Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Prescription Drug Rates

IL Payers File Pharma Lawsuit Over Opioid Prescription Costs, Safety

October 17, 2018 - A coalition of Illinois payers has sued prominent pharmaceutical companies in a lawsuit that argues the companies are responsible for a spike in opioid prescription costs and patient safety risks. The Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency (IRMA) and Intergovernmental Personnel Benefit Cooperative (IPBC) seeks financial compensation from companies including Allergan, Johnson &...


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CMS Proposes Drug Price Transparency in Television Ads

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has proposed a new rule that would enhance drug price transparency by requiring drug manufacturers to publish wholesale prices of Medicaid and Medicare prescription drugs during television ads. The proposed rule would require...

Risk Scoring, New Payment Models Can Reduce Medication Non-Adherence

by Thomas Beaton

Adopting new payment models, engaging in targeted risk scoring, and improving prior authorization processes may help payers address medication-non adherence among members with mental health concerns, says a report from the National Council...

Reference Pricing Models for Prescription Drugs May Contain Costs

by Thomas Beaton

Reference pricing models for prescription drugs may help to contain spending and reduce high costs for beneficiaries, says a new report from the Commonwealth Fund. Currently, most payers use tiered drug formularies to manage drug costs,...

AMA Expresses Concern with Medicare Part D Formulary Changes

by Thomas Beaton

New Medicare Part D formulary policies introduced by CMS in August may increase patient safety risks and complicate the prior authorization process, said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, MD, to HealthPayerIntelligence.com. In an emailed...

CMS Adds Flexibility to Medicare Part D Formulary Strategies

by Thomas Beaton

CMS is encouraging Medicare Part D health plans to adopt new formulary design strategies that are geared towards lowering drug prices and improving consumer choice. A memo from the agency highlights a major upcoming change to the...

OH Medicaid Adopts Pass-Through Model for Managed Care Drugs

by Thomas Beaton

Ohio’s Medicaid program has issued a mandate that requires managed care health plans to re-negotiate pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) contracts to transition from a spread-pricing drug purchasing model to a pass-through model. The...

Medicare Advantage Part B Plans Can Use Drug Step Therapy

by Thomas Beaton

CMS is allowing Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans to implement step therapy protocols in order to decrease prescription drug spending. On January 1, 2019, MA health plans can apply step therapy guidelines for physician-administered...

Generic Drugs Could Have Saved $3B for Medicare Part D Program

by Thomas Beaton

Using generic drugs instead of their brand-name equivalents could have saved the Medicare Part D program approximately $3 billion in 2016 alone, according to new data from HHS. A relatively small number of brand-name therapies is...

BCBSA Adds Opioid Abuse Accreditation to Treatment Facilities

by Thomas Beaton

The BlueCross BlueShield Association has announced a new accreditation program for opioid abuse treatment centers as a larger part of the organization’s mission to combat the US opioid crisis. In 2013, only 22 percent of treatment...

CMS Proposes Drug Pricing, Price Transparency Changes for Medicare

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has proposed a series of policy changes for Medicare that would promote prescription drug affordability within Medicare, and has also requested stakeholder comments about ways to improve price transparency for Medicare services. As...

CMS Approves Okla. Value-Based Drug Purchasing for Medicaid

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has approved the nation’s first value-based drug purchasing agreement for Medicaid by allowing Oklahoma’s state program to negotiate supplemental prescription drug rebates based on treatment outcomes. CMS allows state...

Private Payers Deny Hepatitis C Drug Coverage to 52% of Members

by Thomas Beaton

Private payers denied Hepatitis C drug coverage to 52.4 percent of commercially insured beneficiaries from 2014 to 2017, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Hepatitis C drug...

MN Law Allows Some Patients to Override Payers on Step Therapy

by Thomas Beaton

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has signed a bill into law that allows patients and providers to execute overrides on payer step therapy programs for prescription drug treatments in certain clinical situations. HF 3196 requires payers to...

CMS: Medicare Part D Gag Clauses are “Unacceptable”

by Thomas Beaton

CMS Administrator Seema Verma has stated in a letter to health plan sponsors that CMS will no longer tolerate Medicare Part D gag clauses as the federal agency continues to promote prescription drug price transparency for...

CMS Highlights Drug Price Transparency Data Dashboards

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has released redesigned drug price dashboards to provide information about manufacturer drug costs and advance the agency’s goals of promoting consumer price transparency. Patients, providers, and researchers are able to explore...

Payers Express Enthusiasm for Prescription Drug Pricing Reforms

by Thomas Beaton

Healthcare payers and associated trade groups have expressed enthusiasm about President Trump’s proposed prescription drug pricing reforms.   A number of influential organizations have offered commentary on the plan, including...

CVS Health Offers New Tools for Lowering Prescription Drug Costs

by Thomas Beaton

CVS Health has launched new cost-saving initiatives that aim to lower beneficiary prescription drug costs through co-pay adjustments, pricing transparency technology, and increased promotion of generic drugs. The initiatives follow a CVS...

BCBS Association: Use Alternative Pain Therapies Before Opioids

by Thomas Beaton

The BlueCross BlueShield Association (BCBSA) has announced a new professional standard that removes opioid prescriptions as a primary pain treatment in a majority of clinical situations. The payer’s National Council of Physician and...

Aetna Will Apply Pharmacy Rebates to Prescription Drugs in 2019

by Thomas Beaton

Aetna has announced plans to automatically apply pharmacy rebates to eligible prescription drug benefits by 2019 in an effort to increase pricing transparency and control costs. Nearly three million Aetna members are likely to experience...

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