The Daily Scan

June 13, 2018

Last Updated: 8:55 AM EST

Legislation

  • In yesterday's Senate hearing on drug prices, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) pressed Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar about why no drug companies have announced price decreases despite President Trump saying they would soon. Azar responded that the reason for the holdup is that Pharmacy Benefit Managers are discouraging price decreases because that could reduce the amount of rebates that the PBMs get. “Oddly, the fear is that they would be discriminated against for decreasing their price,” Azar said. Azar was also pressed to comment on the Justice Department's filing that it would not defend the Affordable Care Act in court. He stated: "The position articulated by the attorney general is a constitutional and legal position, not a policy position." (TheHill.com, TheHill.com,Written Testimony on Senate.gov, Video Testimony on C-SPAN)

Litigation

  • The owner of Redirections Treatment Advocates, LLC, an opioid addiction treatment practice with offices in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, has been indicted on charges of unlawfully dispensing controlled substances and health care fraud. The indictment alleges Jennifer Hess aided five physicians on multiple occasions with unlawfully dispensing buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone and Subutex, a drug that should be used to treat individuals with addiction. The indictment also charges Hess with conspiracy to unlawfully distribute buprenorphine. Finally, the indictment charges Hess with health care fraud for allegedly causing fraudulent claims to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for payments to cover the costs of the unlawfully prescribed buprenorphine. (Justice.gov)

Regulation

  • In a sweeping set of actions aimed at reducing the toll of U.S. firearm deaths and injuries, the AMA House of Delegates yesterday backed gun-violence restraining orders, tougher background checks and better data collection, among other measures. The solutions range from common-sense gun safety protections, closing the gap in domestic violence restraining orders to include dating partners, and supporting research on gun buyback programs. Importantly, the AMA has been pressing Congress and the administration to provide dedicated resources for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to advance research on gun violence. (AMA-Assn.org)

 

Private Sector

  • Centegra Health System has signed a definitive agreement to join Northwestern Medicine, Chicago’s premier integrated academic health system. The affiliation was approved by the governing boards of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Centegra Health System. Additionally, all regulatory approvals have been obtained. With these approvals, Centegra will become the newest member of Northwestern Medicine on September 1, 2018. (NM.org)

 

 

 

 

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