SECTION 1. Chapter 94C of the General Laws, is hereby amended by inserting after section 21C the following new section:-
(a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
“Cost-sharing information”, the amount an enrollee is required to pay in order to receive a drug that is covered under the enrollee’s health plan.
“Enrollee” a person who is receiving a health care benefit and has been determined by a practitioner to be prescribed a prescription drug for their own use or for the use of a dependent member of their household.
''Health care benefit'', a payment for health care services or the right under a contract or a certificate or policy of insurance to have a payment made by a health plan, as defined in this section, for a specified health care service.
“Health plan” any insurance company authorized to provide health insurance in this state or any legal entity which is self-insured and providing health care benefits to its employees.
“Interoperability element”, hardware, software, integrated technologies or related licenses, technical information, privileges, rights, intellectual property, upgrades, or services that may be necessary to provide the data set forth in subsection (b)(3) in the requested format and consistent with subsection(b)(1).
“Personal Representative” a person, who has been identified by the enrollee or by the commonwealth on behalf of the enrollee, to assist with decision making during their medical appointment, such as a child accompanying an elderly parent.
“Pharmacy benefit manager” (a) For the purposes of this section, the term ''pharmacy benefit manager'' shall mean any person or entity that administers the (i) prescription drug, prescription device or pharmacist services or (ii) prescription drug and device and pharmacist services portion of a health benefit plan on behalf of plan sponsors, including, but not limited to, self-insured employers, insurance companies and labor unions. A health benefit plan that does not contract with a pharmacy benefit manager shall be considered a pharmacy benefit manager for the purposes of this section, unless specifically exempted.
(b) any health plan or pharmacy benefit manager shall, upon request of the enrollee, their practitioner, or their personal representative, furnish the cost, benefit, and coverage data set forth in subsection (3) to the enrollee, their health care practitioner, or their personal representative and shall ensure that such cost, benefit, and coverage data is (i) current as of one business day after any change is made; (ii) provided in real time; and (iii) in the same format that the request is made by the enrollee or their health care practitioner.
(1) the format of the request shall use established industry content and transport standards published by:
(i) a standards developing organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute, included but not limited to, the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs, ASC X12, Health Level 7; or
(ii) a relevant federal or state agency or government body, included but not limited to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services or the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Division of Insurance, Health Policy Commission, or Center for Health Information and Analysis.
(2) a facsimile, proprietary payor or patient portal, or other electronic form other than as required by section (b) shall not be considered acceptable electronic formats pursuant to this section.
(3) upon such request, the following data shall be provided for any prescription drug covered under the enrollee’s health plan:
(i) the enrollee’s eligibility information for such prescription drug;
(ii) a list of any clinically-appropriate alternatives to such prescription drug covered under the enrollee’s health plan;
(iii) cost-sharing information for such prescription drug and such clinically-appropriate alternatives, including a description of any variance in cost-sharing based on pharmacy, whether retail or mail order, or health care provider dispensing or administering such prescription drug or such alternatives;
(iv) any applicable utilization management requirements for such prescription drug or such clinically-appropriate alternatives, including prior authorization, step therapy, quantity limits, and site-of-service restrictions
(4) any health plan or pharmacy benefit manager shall furnish the data set forth in subsection (b)(3), whether the request is made using the prescription drug’s unique billing code, such as a National Drug Code or Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System code or descriptive term, such as the brand or generic name of the prescription drug.
(i) a health plan or pharmacy benefit manager shall not deny or delay a request as a method of blocking the data set forth in subsection (b)(3) from being shared based on how the drug was requested.
(c) any health plan or pharmacy benefit manager furnishing the data set forth in subsection (b)(3), shall not:
(1) restrict, prohibit, or otherwise hinder, in any way, a health care professional or health care provider from communicating or sharing:
(i) any of the data set forth in subsection (b)(3);
(ii) additional information on any lower-cost or clinically-appropriate alternatives, whether or not they are covered under the enrollee’s plan; or
(iii) additional payment or cost-sharing information that may reduce the patient’s out-of-pocket costs, such as cash price or patient assistance and support programs whether sponsored by a manufacturer, foundation, or other entity;
(2) except as may be required by law, interfere with, prevent, or materially discourage access, exchange, or use of the data set forth in subsection (b)(3), which may include charging fees, not responding to a request at the time made where such a response is reasonably possible, implementing technology in nonstandard ways or instituting enrollee consent requirements, processes, policies, procedures, or renewals that are likely to substantially increase the complexity or burden of accessing, exchanging, or using such data; nor
(3) penalize a health care practitioner or professional for disclosing such information to an enrollee or their personal representative, or for prescribing, administering, or ordering a clinically appropriate or lower-cost alternative.
(4) any health plan or pharmacy benefit manager shall treat an enrollee’s identified personal representative as the enrollee for purposes of this section.
(5) if under applicable law a person has authority to act on behalf of an enrollee in making decisions related to health care, a health plan or pharmacy benefit manager, or its affiliates or entities acting on its behalf, must treat such person as a personal representative under this section.
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