State Rep. Bob Young (R-Green) is highlighting this weekend as the declaration of Oct. 9 being recognized as PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day by the Governor’s Office. Young has introduced House Bill 189, which requires insurers and Medicaid to cover the PANDAS and PANS.
“I appreciate Gov. DeWine for recognizing the severity of this syndrome from impacting children in Ohio,” Young said. “This is an opportunity to help Ohio children and families and we should not let Ohio fall behind other states concerning insurance coverage. My bill, HB 189, also designates Oct. 9th as ‘PANDAS and PANS Awareness Day’ in Ohio and I’m thankful that the governor is shedding some light on this.”
The childhood disorder, most commonly known as PANDAS: Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections or PANS: Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, affects approximately 1 in every 200 children each year. Additionally, the onset of the disorders or syndrome typically begins with children between the ages of 3-12.
Young notes the bipartisan bill was brought to his attention by a constituent and PANDAS mom.
“Thank you to Representative Bob Young and Governor Mike DeWine for recognizing PANDAS Awareness Day,” said Valerie Wolford, a City of Green resident. “This is a step in raising awareness about this childhood disease that robs our children of a carefree childhood. I encourage all to learn more about PANDAS and PANS.”
Young has outlined his objectives within the bill as follows:
1. Requires health insurers in the state of Ohio to cover medical treatments/procedures for children with PANDAS/PANS, considering the patient’s quality of life (short- and long-term) in order to provide the most effective and expedient pathway to providing lasting remission for these patients. This includes:
a. Diagnoses clinically made by pediatricians, family doctors, psychiatrists, rheumatologists, internists, immunologists, and others, will be acknowledged.
b. Treatments covered are to be based on clinical best practices and current research, as practiced by recognized national condition experts and centers of excellence. Most treatment modalities outlined in medical literature for PANDAS/PANS include, but are not limited to, anti-microbials, anti-inflammatories, steroids, IVIG, plasmapheresis, and immune-related medications, as determined by the severity of the case.
c. Timely authorization for treatment coverage is critically needed. A standardized, fast-path, minimally burdensome prior authorization process should be established. The protracted denial and appeal process of insurance coverage delays treatment, and it puts children at risk of further decline and potential long-term disability.
2. Creates an annual PANDAS/PANS awareness day to be recognized by the state of Ohio.
Currently, House Bill 189 awaits further action within the House Health Committee.