BY SARAH JANE TRIBBLE: House Democrats are calling foul on Republican assertions that cuts to a little-known discount drug program will eventually reduce skyrocketing drug prices. At a hearing Tuesday, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said high drug prices should be investigated separately from the focus on oversight of the drug discount program, known as 340B. Also on Tuesday, there were other hints at Trump Administration efforts to address drug pricing. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb talked in a public meeting about lowering drug prices on a different front — saying that the agency needs to increase generic drug competition. (read more)
BY DOUG SCHOEN: Despite how polarizing the healthcare debate has become in our country, all sides must agree that one program in particular, Medicare Part D, consistently beats spending projections and improves patient outcomes. Passed under broad bipartisan support, Medicare Part D represents the type of healthcare reform our leaders in Washington must deliver today. For more than a decade, Part D has consistently benefited patients in both cost-savings and positive treatment outcomes by helping curb the costs that Medicare enrollees pay towards essential medications. The program is voluntary, meaning that seniors covered under Medicare may freely choose to purchase a plan, and this flexibility has made Part D very popular. Approximately 70 percent of people who are enrolled in Medicare have a supplemental plan like Part D. (read more)
BY ACP SPOKESPERSON: The American College of Physicians (ACP) today noted they are pleased with the 2018 Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule released last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS agreed with a long-identified need for reducing administrative tasks as an important objective, maintaining significant policy and participating in many efforts to this effect. With this goal in mind, ACP developed the “Patients Before Paperwork” initiative in 2015 with the intent of reinvigorating the patient-physician relationship by challenging unnecessary practice burdens. As part of this initiative, this year the College published a position paper, “Putting Patients First by Reducing Administrative Tasks in Health Care,” in Annals of Internal Medicine. (read more)
The new Medicare Plus Card saves you up to 75% on things not covered by Medicare
Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Luckily, those on Medicare can now start saving on out of pocket expenses like prescription drugs, dental, vision, hearing, and more. Over 1 million people have already received their free Medicare Plus Card.