2012 AARP Survey of New York Registered Voters Ages 30-64 on the Development of a State Health Insurance Exchange

To view the full report please visit this LINK

State health insurance exchanges are a provision of the new health law passed by Congress in 2010. States can establish and run their own state health insurance exchange or the exchange will be developed and run by the federal government. The Governor has included a plan to establish a state health insurance exchange in his budget proposal this year. This proposal estimates that the exchange would provide coverage for 1 million uninsured New Yorkers as well as reduce costs for individuals who purchase insurance through the exchange by 66% and reduce costs for small businesses by 26%.

In its continued efforts to be a strong voice for all consumers of health care, AARP in New York commissioned a survey of residents ages 30 to 64 to gauge their opinion of the Governor’s plan to develop a state health insurance exchange. This telephone survey of New York registered voters ages 30-64 was fielded February 18 to March 1, 2012. A total of 400 interviews were completed yielding a margin of error of ±4.9 percent. The annotated survey begins on page 4.

Survey-In-Brief:

  • One out of 8 (12%) New York registered voters ages 30 to 64 responding to this survey say they currently do not have any kind of health care coverage. Those who work for businesses with fewer than 50 employees are three times more likely to be without insurance coverage than those who work for business with 50 or more employees (25% vs. 8%).
  • The majority of respondents who have health insurance say they have employer-based coverage, but roughly half of these respondents say they are extremely (28%) or very (20%) worried about these employers increasing the amount they have to pay for their health care and insurance.
  • Most New York registered voters ages 30 to 64 who are insured are worried about increases in their premiums (80%) and are concerned they won’t be able to maintain their current health coverage over the next 5 years (74%).
  • About eight out of ten respondents are worried they will have to pay more for their family’s health care (80%) and that they will not be able to afford the health care services their family may need (77%).
  • Three out of five registered voters in New York ages 30 to 64 support the Governor’s plan to create a health insurance exchange, which is estimated to provide coverage for 1 million uninsured New Yorkers and reduce the cost of insurance for small businesses and those who are self-insured, with no cost to the State.
  • Nearly two-thirds indicate it should be a top or high priority for the State Legislature to pass a budget this year that includes the Governor’s health insurance exchange.

 

To view the full report please visit this LINK

The Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) Act

The Addiction Treatment Providers Association of New York State supports the I-STOP Act.

Executive Summary

Prescription drug diversion involves channeling legitimately produced controlled substances from their lawful purpose into illicit drug traffic. Abuse of diverted drugs comprises the nation’s fastest growing drug problem, and in recent years has reached epidemic proportions. It affects every sector of society, straining our healthcare and criminal justice systems, and endangering the future of our younger gen- erations.

Painkiller overdoses nationwide killed nearly 15,000 people in 2008. In New York, the number of pre- scriptions for all narcotic painkillers has increased from 16.6 million in 2007 to nearly 22.5 million in 2010 – prescriptions for hydrocodone have increased 16.7 percent, while those for oxycodone have in- creased an astonishing 82 percent. In New York City, the rate of prescription pain medication misuse among those age 12 or older increased by 40 percent from 2002 to 2009, with nearly 900,000 oxy- codone prescriptions and more than 825,000 hydrocodone prescriptions filled in 2009. The roots of the problem are two-fold. First, a lack of education and communication between practitioners signifi- cantly increases the likelihood of over-prescribing and dangerous drug interaction. Second, access to an ever-increasing supply of prescription narcotics, through legal or illegal means, has grown four-fold in the past decade.

Virtually all observers of prescription drug diversion agree that expanding the use of Prescription Monitoring Programs (PMPs), and enhancing the quality and availability of the data they collect, are essential to the solution. The federal Governmental Accountability Office (GAO), the Centers for Dis- ease Control and Prevention (CDC), the insurance industry, the White House, and independent re- searchers all point to such an expansion as a key part of the solution to prescription drug fraud, abuse and diversion.

While New York’s PMP collects critical data on prescription drugs dispensed by pharmacists, the cur- rent system is outdated with regard to how and when data is collected, who has access to it, and how it is used.

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has introduced a program bill in the State Leg- islature that would exponentially enhance the effectiveness of New York’s existing PMP to increase de- tection of prescription fraud and drug diversion. A.8320 (Cusick)/S.5720 (Lanza) would enact the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) Act, to establish an on-line, real-time, con- trolled substance reporting system that requires prescribers and pharmacists to search for and report certain data at the time a controlled substance prescription is issued, and at the time such substance is dispensed. The legislation would:

• require the Department of Health to establish and maintain an on-line, real-time controlled sub- stance reporting system to track the prescription and dispensing of controlled substances;

• require practitioners to review a patient’s controlled substance prescription history on the system prior to prescribing;

• require practitioners or their agents to report a prescription for such controlled substances to the system at the time of issuance;

• require pharmacists to review the system to confirm the person presenting such a prescription possesses a legitimate prescription prior to dispensing such substance;

• require pharmacists or their agents to report dispensation of such prescriptions at the time the drug is dispensed.

I-STOP will vastly enhance the effectiveness of the present system. Its goal is to enable doctors and pharmacists to provide prescription pain medications, and other controlled substances, to patients who truly need them. At the same time, it will arm them with the necessary data to detect potentially dan- gerous drug interactions, identify patterns of abuse by patients, doctors and pharmacists, help those who suffer from crippling addictions and prevent potential addiction before it starts.

 

For more information on the I-STOP Act please download or view the PDF file here