A newly signed law has made Arkansas the first USA state to include emerging regenerative therapies in state employee health insurance. The Emerging Therapies Act of 2017 grants state employees and teachers access to regenerative therapies from certified providers, in certified settings and for certified applications.
"Regenerative medicine moves away from the allopathic medicine model, where a physician matches a diagnosis to only a binary, pharmaceutical or surgical solution and focuses instead on the “correction of medicine”. The State of Arkansas will now give patients a choice beyond drugs or surgery," explained David L. Harshfield, Jr., an Interventional Radiologist and Director of Arkansas Institute of Regenerative Medicine.
"The American Association of Orthopedic Medicine, the world's oldest educational organization dedicated to teaching Interventional Regenerative Orthopedic Medicine, was also a proponent of this bill passing. The 'Emerging Therapy Act of 2017' in Arkansas is revolutionary in both vision and scope. Its implementation will forge a new path in healthcare delivery and we are inspired by as well as committed to its success going forward," Dr Thomas Bond, President-Elect, explained in a statement.
Regenerative medicine being covered under state healthcare is an important milestone in developing these treatments into viable options for patients. However, despite there being many such treatments on the market, few are fully regulated and FDA-approved. It is hoped that wider spread insurance coverage will encourage manufacturers to focus on developing these treatments and ensuring they are fully appraised by the appropriate regulatory body.