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Massachusetts Mito Cocktail Mandate
Current status of the Massachusetts Mito Cocktail Mandate
The Joint Committee on Financial Services passed H.941 out of committee with a favorable report on April 13, 2016. The bill underwent a few revisions and is now H.4205. It is pending before the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.
The background of the Massachusetts Mito Cocktail Mandate
In 2006, Massachusetts led the way for the first mitochondrial disease awareness week legislation; we are hopeful we can lead the way again for fair coverage of this life-saving treatment approach for our Mito patient community through H.941.
In 2007, MitoAction introduced a bill to the Massachusetts legislature to mandate coverage of vitamins and supplements for all mitochondrial disease patients in the state of Massachusetts. Over the past seven years, representatives from MitoAction, the patient community, and the Medical Advisory Board have continued to champion this bill through the legislative process.
In 2012, a committee was formed within MitoAction and representatives from UMDF, Solace Nutrition, America's Compounding Center, Acton Pharmacy, Epic4Health, and the medical community were invited to join to address the issues surrounding coverage of the Mito cocktail. Click here for a history of the bill.
In 2013, a cost-benefit analysis was completed by Compass Health, which determined that the cost of coverage would be pennies per resident if the legislation were passed.
In March 2014, the bill went before the Joint Committee on Financial Services for review. The Joint Committee voted H.977 out of committee with a favorable report. H.977 then went to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, where it received a favorable fiscal note. It ended the session in the House Ways and Means commitee, where time was simply too short to complete the process during that legislative session.
In November 2015, the bill (as H.941) went before the Joint Committee on Financial Services again. The Joint Committee on Financial Services passed the bill out of committee with a favorable report and a few minor changes on April 13, 2016. The revised bill, H.4205, is currently pending before the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.
What does the bill propose?
H.941 requires that health insurance plans, defined in the bill, provide “coverage for treatment of mitochondrial disease [including], but not limited to, the use of vitamin and nutritional supplements, such as CoEnzyme Q10, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin K1, and L-Carnitine.”
H.941 focuses on pharmacologic treatment for mitochondrial disease – specifically combinations of vitamin and nutritional supplements. These treatments may take the form of the Mito cocktail and require special ingredients or preparations – some classified as bulk chemicals or medical food, and sometimes requiring the services of a compounding pharmacy. A Mito cocktail may contain anywhere from two to 20 ingredients, of which those specified in H.941 are among the most common.
In 2013, MitoAction conducted a patient survey to determine the most commonly used components of the Mito cocktail and their perceived effectiveness. The results of this survey may be found here.
How can you help?
Please contact your representatives as well as the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing today! Here are the e-mail addresses for the legislators on the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing: