Regulatory Education and Action for Patients (REAP) Policy Forum Addresses Leading Challenges in 2013 Poised to Impact Patients' Access to Health Care

Jul 27, 2012, 11:01 ET from National Patient Advocate Foundation

Nation's Leading Patient Advocacy Groups Address Topics Related to Supreme Court Ruling on Health Reform, Budget Sequestration, the Patient's Role with the FDA on Benefit/Risk Determinations, and Access to Products for Pain Management

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Regulatory Education and Action for Patients (REAP) council – a coalition comprised of 52 of America's leading patient advocacy organizations, co-chaired by the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) and Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) – convened a forum this week designed to identify, discuss and prepare for upcoming major policy changes that stand to affect health care for patients. Featuring expert presentations from both REAP members and external policy specialists, the forum focused on policy matters anticipated to have the greatest potential to alter access to health care in 2013 and beyond.

"NPAF established REAP over two years ago in the recognition that a unified association of patient advocates, representing many different facets of the patient experience, has a unique opportunity to effectively communicate to policymakers the impact health delivery, coverage, cost and access has on care decisions made by the American population," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, CEO and Founder of NPAF. "As part of our mission to convey what matters most to patients, we are committed to gathering leaders in patient advocacy to address these issues."

Moderated by Davenport-Ennis and Jeff Allen, Ph.D., Executive Director, Friends of Cancer Research, the forum featured the following presentations:

  • The Impact of the Supreme Court Ruling on the States, Sonya Schwartz, Program Director, National Academy for State Health Policy
  • The Economic Impact of the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Rachel L. Feldman, Partner, The Moran Company and John Sheils, Health Policy Consultant                          
  • Sequestration and its Impact on Health Programs, Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research! America
  • FDA and Patient Interactions on Benefit/Risk Determinations, James Valentine, Program Analyst,  Office of Special Health Issues, Food and Drug Administration
  • Patient Access to Pain Management, Stephanie Trunk and Joanne Hawana, Associates, Arent Fox; Lisa Pearlstein, Pain Medicine and Regulatory Lobbyist, American Society of Anesthesiologists

Future areas that the coalition may focus on include the implementation of Health Insurance Exchanges and Essential Health Benefits packages, Medicaid expansion, expanded use of Health Information Technology and the proposed research methodology that will guide the activities of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).  As indicated by Davenport-Ennis and Allen, "With considerable activity in health care policy, it is an opportune time for the nation's patient advocacy representatives to work toward consensus solutions on behalf of the patients we represent. As a result of this week's important discussion, we will continue to support initiatives that are most critical to patients, whose care will likely face a variety of new policy modifications in the year to come."

REAP's purpose is to communicate issues to Federal and State regulatory bodies, Congress, health care insurers and others that regulate/develop/manage and/or impact health delivery, coverage, cost and availability of services to the United States population.

National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) is a national non-profit organization providing the patient voice in improving access to, and reimbursement for, high-quality healthcare through regulatory and legislative reform at the state and federal levels. NPAF translates the experience of millions of patients who have been helped by our companion, Patient Advocate Foundation, which provides professional case management services to individuals facing barriers to healthcare access for chronic and disabling disease, medical debt crisis and employment-related issues at no cost.

SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation