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Treat or eat: Many people forced to choose between food or medicine

Treat or eat: Many people forced to choose between food or medicine

Chronically ill adults who reported food insecurity in their household (not having consistent access to food due to lack of financial stability) were significantly more likely to report cost-related medication underuse, according to a new study in The American Journal of Medicine,. The term cost-related medication underuse refers to taking less medication than prescribed, or not taking it at all due to financial concerns. [More]
Research roundup: Medicaid eligibility; tracking discontinued randomized trials; decline in work-based insurance

Research roundup: Medicaid eligibility; tracking discontinued randomized trials; decline in work-based insurance

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), changes in income and family circumstances are likely to produce frequent transitions in eligibility for Medicaid and health insurance Marketplace coverage for low- and middle-income adults. [More]

Transamerica obtains 4-star Medicare Part D rating from CMS for 2014

Transamerica continues to provide exceptional value to Medicare customers by obtaining a 4-star Medicare Part D rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for 2014. [More]
First Edition: March 13, 2014

First Edition: March 13, 2014

Today's headlines include details of Wednesday's Capitol Hill testimony by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. [More]

Viewpoints: Exploiting botched exchanges; falling number of uninsured; Medicare drug plan retreat

Now that the badly botched rollout of the federal government's health care website seems to be behind us, Republicans have shifted their criticisms to several states that are experiencing problems enrolling people on their state-run exchanges. [More]
Administration reverses course on proposed Medicare drug changes

Administration reverses course on proposed Medicare drug changes

After advancing a number of changes to the Medicare Part D program earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services withdrew its plan, which had drawn significant opposition from patients, drug companies and lawmakers in both parties. [More]

Kindred Healthcare intends to undertake refinancing of existing secured indebtedness

Kindred Healthcare, Inc. today announced that it intends to undertake a refinancing of its existing secured indebtedness. The proposed refinancing would extend the maturity profile of the Company's long-term debt, increase total availability under the Company's secured facilities, improve pricing and provide additional covenant flexibility. [More]
First Edition: March 11, 2014

First Edition: March 11, 2014

Today's headlines include reports that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is stepping back from proposed changes to the Medicare drug program. [More]

Lawmakers ready minor changes to Obamacare amid bipartisan support

Also on Capitol Hill, doctor groups oppose tying a fix to how Medicare pays them to a repeal of the health law, and Republicans look to use the law -- as well as the law's changes to Medicare -- to their advantage in upcoming elections. [More]

Study examines impact of the elimination of preferred pharmacy networks on Medicare Part D program

A new actuarial study released by The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association examining the impact proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug program finds that eliminating preferred pharmacy networks in Part D would increase premiums by approximately $63 annually for over 75 percent of Part D enrollees and raise overall program costs by an estimated $24 billion over the next ten years. [More]

First Edition: March 10, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about how the Virginia Assembly's impasse on Medicaid expansion is playing out. [More]
Longer looks: Health care in jail; preventing Medicare drug fraud; new medical codes

Longer looks: Health care in jail; preventing Medicare drug fraud; new medical codes

"Sheriff Ashe," [the waitress] began. "My daughter is in your jail." She then told me her daughter's story. "Laura," as I'll call her here, was a bright and sociable girl who, after graduating from high school, went on to community college. [More]
Costs for medications expected to rise by 3 – 5% in all health care settings in 2014

Costs for medications expected to rise by 3 – 5% in all health care settings in 2014

Costs for medications are expected to rise by three to five percent in all health care settings in 2014, according to a report published online ahead of print, by the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (AJHP), the professional journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). [More]
Medicare drug program falls short in tracking fraud

Medicare drug program falls short in tracking fraud

Medicare's massive drug program continues to be in the news, from a report finding that it fails to adequately track fraud, to continued opposition to an administration proposal that would revamp the program. [More]

Study finds significant reduction in hospital admissions with Medicare Part D prescription coverage

A new study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Illinois at Chicago finds that Medicare Part D prescription coverage significantly reduced hospital admissions and program expenditures totaling $1.5 billion annually. [More]

Plan to revamp Medicare drug plans meets resistance

A bipartisan group of senators are criticizing the Obama administration's efforts to make significant changes to Part D drug plans. [More]
First Edition: March 3, 2014

First Edition: March 3, 2014

Today's headlins include stories detailing ongoing challenges with state-run exchanges as well as previews of what's next regarding the federal budget process. [More]
Research roundup: Medicaid peer support; doctor Jokes; ACA's asset rules for coverage

Research roundup: Medicaid peer support; doctor Jokes; ACA's asset rules for coverage

Since 2009, the eight states (Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin) participating in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Maximizing Enrollment program have worked to streamline and simplify enrollment systems, policies, and processes for children and those eligible for coverage in 2014. ... States [focused] on five key areas: 1) applications, 2) eligibility determinations, 3) renewals and transfers, 4) notices, and 5) business processes. [More]

Storytelling can help doctors recall opioid guidelines

In the fight against a nationwide prescription opioid abuse epidemic, Penn Medicine researchers are using storytelling to help doctors recall important, potentially lifesaving national guidelines on how to prescribe these medications. [More]

Medicare Part D cost-saving plan draws opposition on several fronts

Among other things, the proposal would limit the types of antidepressants -- and other kinds of drugs -- that are available to Medicare beneficiaries. Drug industry and insurer groups are lining up against the change. [More]