Will Medicare stand in the way of innovative rheumatoid arthritis treatment? | Column
By Dr. Priya Reddy
February 25, 2023
Excerpt from Tampa Bay Times
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects millions of Americans, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. If left inadequately treated, rheumatoid arthritis can cause serious joint damage. Early diagnosis is critical and can improve a patient’s prognosis, reduce long-term disability, and improve quality of life.
While there have been many advances in drugs that can treat this debilitating condition in recent decades, there have been relatively few corresponding advances in the science of determining which one of the multiple options available to rheumatoid arthritis patients will or will not work for them.
One such breakthrough in the field of precision medicine, a diagnostic test that could help get patients to the right therapy far more quickly than before, is seeing widespread use in the private market, but Florida’s 4.5 million Medicare beneficiaries are unlikely to have access to this new technology unless action is taken.