One of the most common misperceptions of the American health care system is that if an elderly individual – maybe a parent or a grandparent – has to enter a nursing home, their stay will be fully covered by the Medicare program. But that is not accurate. Medicare does not cover long-term care. It will pay for up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility per spell of illness,… More
On January 31, 2019 the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIIG) issued a proposed rule that will be published in the Federal Register on February 6. The proposed rule has the potential to fundamentally re-structure the prescription drug marketplace in the United States by dramatically altering the economics of pharmaceutical pricing. Although much of the attention surrounding the rule has been focused on its effect on the Medicare Part D prescription drug program,… More
It was just earlier this week that we were writing about a flurry of solicitations released by the the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) seeking bids from manufacturers of select, generally high-priced outpatient drugs for supplemental rebates in MassHealth’s fee-for-service and managed care programs. At that time, we noted that this exercise was likely foreshadowing the release of Governor Baker’s budget proposal.… More
A recent news article suggests that Trump Administration officials are considering allowing states to receive their Medicaid funding through a block grant. The article did not specify how CMS would accomplish such a goal without a statutory change. Details are supposedly being developed, but until we see those details, it’s hard to know exactly what the agency is considering.
My colleagues and I at the Medicaid and the Law Blog thought it might be helpful to provide some background on the concept of block grants in Medicaid,… More
In an interesting (intriguing even?) turn of events, in late December 2018 the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) announced through its public bidding site that it was seeking bids from manufacturers of select, generally high-priced outpatient drugs for supplemental rebates in MassHealth’s fee-for-service and managed care programs. While the state has before used the public bidding process successfully to negotiate supplemental rebates for the state’s Medicaid program (for example,… More
Happy New Year! While healthcare developments have been relatively slow lately due the ongoing partial Federal shutdown, an important story did arise over the most recent Holidays. We previously wrote about a lawsuit filed in November 2017 by a group of hospital trade associations against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) opposing a major change in Medicare reimbursement policy when 340B hospitals purchase drugs under the 340B program for use in the hospital outpatient setting.… More
On December 13, 2018, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) held its December 2018 public meeting.
Dr. Paul Jeffrey, the Director of Pharmacy for MassHealth, spoke on MassHealth’s drug pricing approach, in particular with respect to a drug pipeline he described as “alarming” in terms of cost but “sensational” in terms of potential impact. Although Dr. Jeffrey suggested that implementing a closed formulary would require waiver authority (which CMS denied Massachusetts last year),… More
Despite Mylan’ $465 million settlement with the Department of Justice for overcharging Medicaid millions of dollars for its product EpiPen, Congress is not ready to let bygones be bygones. In a display of bipartisanship, Sen. Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Wyden (D-OR) unveiled a bill (section-by-section summary) entitled “The Right Rebate Act” (RRA) on December 4, 2018 and explicitly cited the EpiPen experience as the chief motivating factor for its creation. … More
In 2006, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney signed Chapter 58 of the Massachusetts Acts of 2006 into law. Chapter 58 was designed to ensure that all Massachusetts residents would have access to some form of health insurance, and it accomplished this through reforms to the individual insurance market; subsidies to purchase health insurance; and an expansion of the Massachusetts Medicaid program, known as “MassHealth.” Many observers have suggested that the enactment of Chapter 58 in Massachusetts paved the way for enactment of the Affordable Care Act at the federal level four years later (although Governor Romney strenuously denied this during his campaign for President in 2012).… More
Despite all of the drama surrounding the 2018 midterm elections, one thing was clear: Medicaid had a big night on November 6, 2018.
In particular, the electorate in the Red states of Nebraska, Idaho, and Utah voted to expand Medicaid (i.e. extend Medicaid coverage to low-income able-bodied adults). Although the Montana electorate rejected a ballot measure that would have permanently funded the Medicaid expansion in that state beyond 2019,… More