Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Kip Piper's Health Care Blog
Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

In 2005, state Medicaid programs will pay for over 18 percent of the nation's quarter trillion dollar pharmaceutical market. Thanks to an excellent new analysis by Jim Verdier and colleagues at Mathematica Policy Research, we have new insights into cost and use patterns in Medicaid. Some highlights: ● Average monthly Medicaid...
Medicare observers expect heavy competition for drug plan contracts with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). It now appears CMS will receive several hundred applications, including applications from major insurers offering drug benefit packages in every state. Since adoption of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), most observers -...
The supply chain for prescription drugs is as complex as it is important. It represents a fascinating, continuously evolving maze of players, relationships, and processes from manufacturers all the way to individual patients. With Medicare's new approach to Part B drug reimbursement, the upcoming Medicare Part D drug benefit, increasing...
New evidence on the high incidence of preventable, often deadly drug errors in nursing homes raises serious implications for the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. Each month, one in ten nursing home residents suffer a medication-related injury, according to a new study in the American Journal of Medicine. The lead...
When the Medicare prescription drug benefit begins on January 1, 2006, about seven million beneficiaries face more restricted drug formularies. Currently, these "dual eligible" individuals receive their drug benefit through state Medicaid programs, which offer more liberal formularies than what will be expected of the new Medicare drug plans. In...
Some legal gurus are questioning the constitutionality of a key provision of the Medicare prescription drug benefit: the so-called "clawback" provision that requires states to send the federal government cash to help cover the cost of drugs for dual eligibles. The mandatory payments are enormous - $6 billion in...
Adjusted for cost-of-living differences, rural physicians have 13 percent more purchasing power than urban physicians. And while there are fewer physicians per capita in rural areas, the overall urban-rural disparity is likely due to an over supply of physicians (particularly specialists) in urban areas. So says a new study by...
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released the final rule governing the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. To help folks understand the 1,162-page final rule, CMS created a variety of fact sheets, timelines, and other background materials to help stakeholders understand the extraordinarily complex drug benefit: ● Overview...
Congress could improve the newly created Medicare prescription drug benefit by applying the lessons of welfare reform, according to an excellent new article by Paul Barringer. In American Outlook, the Hudson Institute's quarterly journal, Mr. Barringer lays out what made welfare reform successful: ● Pay for performance: bonuses for performing well...
The pay-for-performance (P4P) movement continues to grow: 1. The Medicare Payment Assessment Commission (MedPAC) is calling on Congress to incorporate quality incentives in Medicare payments to hospitals, physicians, and home health agencies. In 2003, MedPAC released similar P4P recommendations for Medicare managed care plans and dialysis facilities. MedPAC says the...

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