senior meds 031621SPRINGFIELD – Residents of long-term care facilities could avoid burdensome red tape and administrative delays in receiving their prescribed medications under a measure proposed by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) to exempt these individuals from the four-prescription limit imposed on Medicaid patients.

“For residents of long-term care facilities, whose drug regimens are regularly reviewed, prior authorization requirements are often just an unnecessary hoop to jump through,” Murphy said. “Removing this barrier would allow patients to get the care they need more quickly and efficiently.”

The legislation would exempt residents in long-term care facilities, community-integrated living arrangements, supportive living facilities, and intellectual and developmental disability care facilities from having to request prior authorization when prescribed more than four medications.

Nearly 92% of older adults have at least one chronic condition and 77% have at least two, according to the Illinois Association of Long Term Care Pharmacy Providers. That often results in many long-term care facility residents regularly being prescribed more than four prescriptions.

Federal law mandates that a patient in a long-term care facility has his or her drug regimen reviewed at least once a month by a licensed pharmacist, who must report any irregularities to the attending physician and the director of nursing. The physician must make changes based on these reports. Advocates say this rigorous review process should allow long-term care facility residents to bypass the prior authorization requirement.

“We should be making it easier, not harder, for patients to follow the treatment plans prescribed by their doctors,” Murphy said. “This legislation would eliminate a significant obstacle standing between long-term care residents and better health.”

Senate Bill 142 passed the Senate Health Committee Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate.