IN THE NEWS

Gayle’s Story

Gayle Taylor-Ford’s husband Daniel was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2015. From the get-go, they have had to consistently fight with their insurance company to get – and stay on – the right treatment that his doctor prescribes.

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Kansas Lawmakers Approve ‘Step Therapy’ and Welfare Reform Bill

  Kansas legislators approved a health and public welfare bill Monday that would reduce prescription drug costs within the state’s Medicaid program and make changes to eligibility for public assistance.   Senators voted 27-13 in favor of the measure early Monday after the House approved it in a 79-43 vote. The measure will now go […]

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The Latest: Kansas Senate Debating Budget-Balancing Plan

  11:35 a.m.   Kansas legislators expect to consider two additional bills that Republican leaders consider necessary companions to a separate budget-balancing plan.   Lawmakers hoped to wrap up work Sunday by passing the budget-balancing plan.   One companion bill on the Legislature’s to-do list would allow the state to sell off the Kansas Bioscience […]

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Kansas Lawmakers Cut Welfare Benefits, Approve Medicaid Drug Step Therapy

  In its next-to-last act of 2016, the state Legislature passed a bill cutting welfare benefits and requiring low-income Medicaid patients to try cheaper treatments before more expensive drugs could be prescribed.   The bill SB 402   The votes   79-43 in the House, 27-13 in the Senate   How SB 402 changes welfare […]

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Kansas Lawmakers Narrowly Pass Budget Fix, Adjourn

  Kansas lawmakers approved a budget early Monday that will require more cuts by Gov. Sam Brownback to balance.   The House debate on the bill started a minute after midnight on Monday – after lawmakers worked through the weekend to cobble together a partial budget fix. About an hour later, the bill passed 63-59, […]

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Kansas Legislature – The Latest: Kansas Official Not Committing to Specific Cuts

  The Latest on the Kansas Legislature (all times local):   4:15 p.m.   Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director says the administration is not yet committing to any specific spending cuts to help balance the state’s budget.   The GOP-dominated Legislature hoped to finish work on a plan for keeping the budget balanced through […]

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Lawmakers Negotiating Final Version Of Bill To Reduce KanCare Drug Costs

  Finding a way to balance the state budget is job one for Kansas lawmakers in the final weeks of the legislative session. But dozens of other bills remain in play, including one aimed at lowering KanCare costs by limiting patient access to expensive drugs.   The so-called “step therapy” bill requires health care providers […]

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Senate Health Negotiators Focus on Step Therapy, Welfare Reform Bills

  Leadership in the Senate health committee has staked out priorities for whatever remains of the session, but it isn’t clear if the House shares them.   A conference committee made up of members of the Senate Public Health and Welfare and House Health and Human Services committees met Wednesday morning and afternoon to consider […]

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Protecting Patients

  As a physician, I make decisions in partnership with patients, taking each person’s medical history and needs into account. But insurance companies often use other tactics to override my recommendations, putting patients in jeopardy.   Step therapy is when patients are required to try – and fail – on alternative prescription drugs chosen by […]

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Editorial: Don’t Repeal Protections Against Step Therapy

  Imagine if your daughter was diagnosed with a terrifying, debilitating disease like multiple sclerosis. You consult with her doctor at length, consider an array of treatment options and finally choose one that proves effective.   Then your daughter’s insurance company forces her to try something cheaper — something that may not even work.   […]

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