Notes from Joe
New Year, New Faces, Same Commitment to Our Members
By Joe Pugliese
Happy New Year to everyone! I’m writing this just after we concluded a successful Alliance Board Strategic Planning Retreat. I’m pleased to be able to provide everyone with an update on Alliance plans for 2019.
I have to begin by recognizing the new Alliance Board Executive Committee and outgoing Board members who have devoted so much time and energy to the Alliance over the years. The new Alliance Board Executive Committee is: Chair – Jennifer Borrillo, Tulane; Vice Chair- Heidi Lane, Intermountain Healthcare; Treasurer – Eric Gray, Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center; and Secretary – Ralph Woods, Blood Center of Wisconsin. Jennifer, Heidi, Eric and Ralph have all served on the Board for many years and are deeply committed to ensuring the success of the Alliance as an organization and more importantly, the success of our members HTCs. Beth Sandon-Kleiboer from Helen Devos Children’s Hospital is rotating off of the Board after several years of service and Marisela Trujillo from Gulf States is ending her term as Chair and will serve one additional year as Past Chair. We thank Beth and Marisela for excellent service to the Alliance. We are also adding a new Board Member, Dr. Stacy Croteau, who is introduced in more detail later on in the Newsletter.
Now, to our plans for 2019. The Board and Alliance staff and consultants met for two days to discuss goals and activities in four broad areas:
- Payer Activities: The Alliance Payer Team will expand its work to educate payers about HTCs and promote the many benefits of contracting with them. We will educate our members and payers about how related services such as Hemophilia Alliance Network Services (HANS) and The Alliance Pharmacy (TAP) can help us achieve our goals of having HTCs be in-network providers for as many patients as possible. We are developing innovative payment strategies to ensure adequate reimbursement by Medicaid programs. We will also seek to expand our work with NHF and HFA on their payer activities, since they are important partners in payer education efforts.
- Advocacy and Legal Activities: The Alliance Advocacy and Legal Teams will continue advocacy to ensure the sustainability of the federal program and HTCs’ ability to participate and use program income to strengthen comprehensive care for patients. In addition, we will also continue working with individual centers on their 340B Program operational issues, to help them advocate to maintain their HM designations, and to address Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement issues. We are evaluating new policy solutions to oppose discriminatory reimbursement policies for 340B providers by public and private payers and to expand access to Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) for HTC patients enrolled in Medicare. Finally, we will continue working with NHF and HFA on access to insurance issues, such as related to the Affordable Care Act and patient cost-sharing issues such as co-pay accumulators and out-of-pocket caps. I’ll conclude the advocacy wrap-up by sharing two recent comment letters that we have filed – one advocating for Medicaid managed care policies to promote access to HTCS, and one supporting the bleeding disorders objectives included in the Healthy People 2030 Framework.
- Communications Activities: The Alliance Communications team will continue its work to develop tools to educate members, such as webinars, Member Meetings and this Newsletter. The team is also exploring technological solutions to assist members in operating their centers since CPR+ is being phased out and centers have additional needs, such as online bleed logs. Finally, the team is developing talking points to assist members in working with their institutions and advocating for resources for their centers. We are always open to your ideas for additional tools or improvements to our current activities.
- GPO Activities: The Alliance will continue our efforts to negotiate with manufacturers so that HTCs pay the lowest possible prices for bleeding disorders treatments. The team is also exploring ways to expand the services and products available to HTCs to strengthen them in the face of future changes to bleeding disorders treatments.
As you can imagine, we had a lot to discuss and have a very full plate of activities planned for this year. We will be releasing more details about all of these initiatives moving forward and hope that you will always remember that you, our members, are at the core of our work. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have ideas for additional ways that the Alliance can assist you. WE WORK FOR YOU!
Also in this Issue…
Alliance Board Update
· Featured Board Member: Dr. Stacy Croteau
· We Need YOU for the Alliance Hill Day!
· Telling Your Story Isn’t Always Lobbying
· Reminder: Recertification Deadline Approaching!
· Please Register for the Spring Meeting!
Team Alliance Contact Information
Team Alliance Contact Information
We work for you! Please don’t hesitate to contact any of us with any questions or concerns: