Variations in Insurances Policies Regarding Adherence to the AGA Guideline for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in IBD.

Variations in Insurances Policies Regarding Adherence to the AGA Guideline for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in IBD.

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2018 Nov 14;:

Authors: Yadav A, Vasquez P, Dolgin NH, Falchuk KR, Feuerstein JD

Abstract
BACKGROUND: The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) published guidelines on therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in August 2017 recommending use of reactive TDM to guide treatment changes in patients with active IBD who are being treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) agents or thiopurines. We sought to determine if changes in national clinical practice guidelines result in changes in health care insurance policies within 6 months of publication.
METHODS: Using the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Market Share Reports of the top 125 insurance companies by market share in 2016, we reviewed the largest 50 companies for their publicly available online policies regarding TDM of anti-TNF and thiopurine in IBD. For those with available policies, we looked for whether proactive and/or reactive TDM was covered. Policies were also looked for genetic or enzymatic activity of thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) testing before use of thiopurine. All these policies were reviewed within the week of publication of the AGA guideline. They were reviewed again 1, 3, and 6 months later for evaluation of any policy changes after the published AGA guidelines.
RESULTS: Fifty of the largest insurance company policies were included. With regards to TDM policy for anti-TNF, we did not find a difference between baseline and 6 months values (P=0.38). With regards to TDM policy for thiopurine, we did not find a difference between baseline and 6 months values (P=1.00). About half of the companies did not have a policy regarding TPMT testing for thiopurine use. Of those with available policies for TPMT testing, there was no difference between baseline and 6 months values (P=0.13).
CONCLUSIONS: Even after publication of national guidelines, a large number of the largest health insurance companies do not have a policy regarding reactive TDM for anti-TNF and/or thiopurines. Majority of those with a policy, fail to meet the current standards set forth by the practice guidelines. A significant gap remains between the insurance policies and AGA guidelines. Further studies are needed to determine how to effectuate change to improve insurance company adherence to clinical practice guidelines.

PMID: 30439759 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

PubMed Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30439759?dopt=Abstract