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Rural Health
News by Topic: Pharmacy and prescription drugs

CMS: Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Regulation to Require Drug Pricing Transparency Federal Register
Oct 18, 2018 - Proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would revise Federal Health Insurance Programs for the Aged and Disabled by amending the Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D programs, as well as the Medicaid program, to require direct-to-consumer television advertisements of prescription drugs and biological products for which payment is available through or under Medicare or Medicaid to include the Wholesale Acquisition Cost of the product. This is in an effort to allow beneficiaries to make informed decisions and minimize cost for themselves as well as for the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Comments are due by December 17, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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Rural Pharmacies Are Closing: Where Does That Leave Patients?
Oct 17, 2018 - Discusses rural pharmacy closures and the wide-reaching impact these closures can have on their communities. Also touches on some of the causes of closures including bigger chain pharmacies and low reimbursement rates.
Source: U.S. News and World Report
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CMS Proposes to Require Manufacturers to Disclose Drug Prices in Television Ads
Oct 15, 2018 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have proposed requiring that prescription drugs covered by Medicare and Medicaid include the Wholesale Acquisition Cost of the drugs in direct-to-consumer television advertisements. This proposed rule is intended to increase transparency and to lower drug prices.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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No More Secrets: Congress Bans Pharmacist ‘Gag Orders’ On Drug Prices
Oct 10, 2018 - Two bills that will ban so-called "gag orders" that prevent pharmacists from disclosing that customers could save money by paying a cash price for their prescriptions rather than using their health insurance plan's negotiated price are scheduled to be signed into law by President Trump this week.
Source: Kaiser Health News
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From a Physician Assistant in Fairbanks to a Vending Machine in Interior Alaska: Witnessing Tribal Health Solutions Firsthand
Oct 9, 2018 - Blog post, written by Eric Hargan, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, detailing a tour of several Alaskan communities to learn about how healthcare is delivered in remote parts of the state through telehealth services, vending machines that dispense medications, and through the use of community health aids.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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CMS: Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Federal Register
Oct 4, 2018 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking comment by November 5, 2018 on the following information collections: 1) Eligibility of Drugs, Biologicals, and Radiopharmaceutical Agents for Transitional Pass-Through Status Under the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System; 2) Medicare Subpart D — Private Contracts; and 3) Medicare Disproportionate Share Adjustment Procedures and Criteria.
Source: Federal Register
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Medicare Advantage Premiums Continue to Decline While Plan Choices and Benefits Increase in 2019
Sep 28, 2018 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that for the coming year Medicare Advantage premiums are expected to decline while plan choices and benefits increase. Medicare Advantage enrollment is also projected to reach an all time high. Medicare Open Enrollment for 2019 Medicare health and drug plans begins on October 15, 2018, and ends December 7, 2018.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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VA Adding Opioid Antidote To Defibrillator Cabinets For Quicker Overdose Response
Sep 27, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is moving to add naloxone to AED cabinets in its buildings across the country to provide quick access to the opioid overdose reversal medication. Veterans are nearly twice as likely to overdose. Although there is not a conclusive explanation for this discrepancy, it can be partially explained by combat exposure which can increase their mental health needs as well as cause injuries that would make them more likely to have been prescribed opioids.
Source: NPR
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AHA, Hospital Leaders Announce 340B Good Stewardship Principles
Sep 18, 2018 - Press release from the American Hospital Association (AHA) announcing new principles for ensuring good stewardship of the 340B program on behalf of leaders from both the AHA and individual 340B hospitals. These principles are designed to help 340B hospitals strengthen the program as well as communicating the value of the program directly.
Source: American Hospital Association
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Medicaid To Introduce Value-Based Drug Pricing
Sep 4, 2018 - Details Oklahoma's Medicaid drug pricing initiative, approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as Massachusetts' prescription drug waiver request, which CMS rejected. Touches on Michigan and Colorado, which appear to be planning similar moves. Discusses the broader push, nationally, towards value-based pricing and its application to prescription drugs.
Source: Forbes
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