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Health insurers pressing down on drug prices
The New York Times
In dealing with health plans, drug companies are facing a new imperative — bargain or be banned. Determined to slow the rapid rise in drug prices, more health plans are refusing to cover certain drugs unless the companies charge less for them. The strategy appears to be getting pharmaceutical makers to compete on price.
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Study: 1 in 5 inmates in Pennsylvania prisons has hepatitis C
NewsWorks
AudioBriefNearly 1 in 5 inmates entering Pennsylvania prisons has hepatitis C, according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Public health. Since 2003, Pennsylvania has screened everyone entering prison for hepatitis C unless an inmate chooses to opt out of the test. Of the more than 100,000 people who were tested upon entry between 2004 and 2012, about 18 percent tested positive for the virus.
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June 25 Webinar Wednesday: 'A Profile of the Concept of Medication Adherence and Strategies to Identify Non-Adherent Patients' by Merck
Merck
Merck cordially invites you to a medical education program for healthcare professionals and healthcare business professionals only. Merck is sponsoring this program, and the speaker is presenting on behalf of Merck.

The program is a non-CME event. The information presented in this program will be consistent with FDA guidelines.
  • Define medication non-adherence and understand its prevalence among patients with chronic disease
  • Recognize the drivers of non-adherence and understand the importance of appropriate communication
  • Use the 10 Tenets model of medication adherence and the Adherence Estimator® screening tool
Click here to register for this event.

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North Carolina House, Senate still at odds over Medicaid reform, funding
North Carolina Health News
Members of the North Carolina House and Senate are a few steps closer to finding a way forward on Medicaid after a recent key committee meeting. In a meeting of the House Health and Human Services Committee, co-chair Rep. Nelson Dollar presented an update to an earlier Medicaid reform plan that moves the federal- and state-funded program closer to the managed care model favored by Senate leaders.
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Ohio seeks better managed-care, lower costs
The Columbus Dispatch
About 115,000 Ohio residents who receive health coverage through Medicare and Medicaid will be moved into managed-care plans under a three-year demonstration known as MyCare Ohio. They represent nearly two-thirds of so-called dual eligibles.
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Virginia lawmakers finalize budget, averting a shutdown as GOP thwarts governor's veto
The Washington Post
The Virginia General Assembly completed work on a two-year, $96 billion state budget, averting a government shutdown and at least temporarily thwarting Gov. Terry McAuliffe's key priority of expanding health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
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Pennsylvania govenor nets 9 insurers for Medicaid alternative
The Associated Press via Modern Healthcare
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's administration said that insurers are showing strong interest in his plan to extend private health insurance to hundreds of thousands of working poor and pay for it with federal Medicaid expansion dollars. According to Corbett's office, nine insurers have signed up to provide the Medicaid-subsidized insurance in Pennsylvania, though only one would cover the entire state.
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Study: Number of uninsured in Los Angeles could drop 57 percent by 2016
Los Angeles Times
The number of uninsured residents in Los Angeles could drop 57 percent by 2016 as a result of the federal health law's expansion of coverage, according to a new report. The study released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation predicts that the number of city residents without health coverage could decline from 1.2 million people to 524,000 in 2016.
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Montana Medicaid expansion initiative fails to qualify for November ballot
Missoulian
An initiative to expand Medicaid coverage to 70,000 low-income Montanans won't be on the November ballot this year, as supporters said they don't have enough signatures to qualify Initiative 170 for the ballot. With a deadline looming for turning in the signatures, Kim Abbott, president of Healthy Montana Initiative, the organization behind I-170, said the group is several thousand signatures short.
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300,000 in Michigan enroll for Medicaid expansion
Detroit Free Press
More than 300,000 Michigan residents have enrolled in the state's expanded Medicaid program since it launched 11 weeks ago. The Healthy Michigan Plan began enrollment April 1. Medicaid expansion is anticipated to cover 320,000 low-income adults in the first year, though it could be much more given the rapid race of enrollment so far.
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Poll: Voters like governor's 'Healthy Utah Plan'
The Salt Lake Tribune
Utah voters overwhelmingly support Gov. Gary Herbert's private market alternative to expanding Medicaid, no matter their gender, age, religion or political persuasion — or how the question is posed. A poll of 623 registered voters in May and June by Dan Jones & Associates found several interesting facts.
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The ACA and America's cities: Fewer uninsured and more federal dollars
Urban Institute
This report estimated the effect of the Affordable Care Act on 14 large and diverse cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Columbus, Charlotte, Detroit, Memphis, Seattle, Denver, Atlanta and Miami. For each city, changes are estimated in health coverage under the ACA, particularly the resulting decline in the uninsured.
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New health chief Burwell revamps HealthCare.gov
The Associated Press via Yahoo News
Moving to prevent more insurance chaos this fall, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell revamped the management of HealthCare.gov. Burwell appointed a new high-level operations manager to closely supervise the online portal to coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare law.
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A look at CBO projections for Medicaid and CHIP
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
Medicaid is the nation's primary health insurance program for low-income and high-need Americans. States administer Medicaid within broad federal rules and have a lot of flexibility to design their programs. Medicaid is jointly financed by the states and the federal government. The Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid to a national eligibility floor of 138 percent of the federal poverty level and provides significant federal funding for this new coverage.

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Report: Vitter open to Medicaid expansion
The Hill
Republican Sen. David Vitter, who is running for governor of Louisiana, expressed support for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion under certain circumstances. Vitter, an outspoken critic of the healthcare law, reportedly said he would support extending free healthcare to low-income adults as long as it didn't draw resources away from other priorities.

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The Sovaldi tax: Gilead can't justify the price it's asking Americans to pay
Forbes
A cure for hepatitis C is within reach for 170 million people around the world — thanks to the charitable efforts of poor and sick Americans who are picking up the tab by paying outrageous prices for their own treatment. It's like Robin Hood in reverse. This is what happens when a pill is priced at $1,000 a day in the U.S., and an entire treatment regimen of 84 of those pills costs just $900 in Egypt. Exact same medicine, completely different pricing.

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Did you miss Webinar Wednesday's 'Behavior change and ROI with Member Engagement & Incentives' by InComm and Finity Communications? Get the slides, other webinar presentations free
MHPA
View or listen to audio for the following webinars:
  • "Behavior change and ROI with Member Engagement & Incentives" by InComm and Finity Communications (PDF)
  • "Medication Monitoring in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders (SUD)" by Millennium Laboratories (PDF request: Adam Rzetelny, Ph.D.)
  • "Transitioning to Managed Care for Individuals Receiving Long Term Services Support" by Deloitte (PDF request: Kim Donohue)
  • "Effective Administration of Dual Eligibles" by TriZetto (PDF request: Julie Sommer)
View additional webinars here.

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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed our previous issues? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    MHPA strengthens government affairs team with lobbyist Jeannine Bender (MHPA)
Facing a $168 million price tag for new hepatitis C drugs, Oregon Health Plan balks (The Oregonian)
Virginia passes budget with Medicaid restriction (The Associated Press via The Washington Post)
GAO calls for more oversight of managed care (The Hill)
Seizure of assets from Medicaid recipients becomes heated issue in California (San Jose Mercury News via St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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