Proper use of Rxs cuts other health care costs

ARLINGTON, Va. — An examination of data on more than 1.5 million Medicaid enrollees found that when prescription drugs are taken appropriately as prescribed by a physician there is a reduction of other medical costs for certain Medicaid populations. The research, undertaken to examine the impact of changes in prescription drug use on medical costs,

Rising health care costs still a challenge

Rising health care costs still a challenge

WASHINGTON — Total U.S. health care spending growth is expected to average 5.8% in aggregate over the 2014-2024 period, according to a report published in Health Affairs and written by members of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of the Actuary. The authors note that this rate of growth is still substantially lower

Rx seeks a bigger role in Medicaid, Medicare

WASHINGTON ­— Medicare and Medicaid recently passed the half-century mark, and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores envisions an enhanced role for pharmacists in both programs, particularly Medicaid. Congress, too, is looking for opportunities to strengthen and sustain Medicaid. Last month the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health held a hearing titled “Med­icaid

HHS to eye the pricing of generics

HHS to eye the pricing of generics

WASHINGTON — The federal government is looking into the effect of generic drug price increases on Medicaid. The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will compare generic price increases between 2005 and 2014 to the inflation rate. The probe comes in response to questions raised about generics

GOP makes bid to replace ACA

WASHINGTON — Three Republican lawmakers have proposed an alternative to the Affordable Care Act that would stop the expansion of Medicaid and reduce subsidies for middle-income people to buy ­insurance. The plan would give states more power to list “essential health benefits” of insurance. Coverage for maternity care would no longer be mandated. The proposal was

Tavenner steps down as CMS administrator

WASHINGTON — Marilyn Tavenner is resigning as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ­Services. She will step down at the end of this month, she told CMS staff members in an e-mail. Principal deputy administrator Andrew Slavitt, who joined the agency last year to help fix HealthCare.gov, will be the acting administrator. Department of

CVS strikes deal with Gilead

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health and Gilead Sciences have reached a deal to make Gilead’s hepatitis C drugs, Harvoni and Sovaldi, the exclusive option for patients on its commercial drug list, as well as for those it manages on health care exchanges, Medicare Part D and Medicaid. The move partly counteracts a recent decision by