Capito, Ayotte call for committee review of patient perspectives on access to care, high costs

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) led a call on Friday for a review of patient perspectives on access to care and high out-of-pocket expenses after hearing from concerned patients.

Capito and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) led the call for a review in letters to leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N-NH) joined eight senators in signing the letters.

“We have heard from several patient groups with chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and psoriasis, on the difficulties of accessing (health) care and treatment,” the senators wrote. “Several healthcare trends make it difficult for patients to access their care, including high out-of-pocket costs…causing a significant financial burden and leading to poor adherence and non-adherence.”

The senators called for the review in letters to U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the chairman of the HELP Committee, and Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking member of the committee.

The senators applauded Alexander and Murray for working to strengthen the nation’s health system and called for a hearing or roundtable to review patient perspectives on high out-of-pocket costs and limited access to care.

“Innovative medicines and treatment advancements have greatly improved the quality of life for patients suffering from debilitating, chronic diseases,” the senators wrote. “Accessing the care needed is critical for these patients to achieve optimal health outcomes. Delays in treatment can result in irreversible disease progression and even, exacerbate the cost of care for both the patient and the health system.”

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