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The spike in families' health care spending, charted

August 19, 2019


Families with employer-sponsored health plans have seen average health care spending rise twice as fast as wages over the past decade, according to a research brief from the Peterson Center on Healthcare and Kaiser Family Foundation.

PBMs pass on nearly 100% of rebates to Medicare Part D plans, GAO finds

August 19, 2019


Pharmacy benefit managers in 2016 passed on nearly all of the rebates they negotiated with pharmaceutical companies for Medicare Part D drugs to insurers sponsoring Part D plans, resulting in lower premiums for such plans, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday.

In the states: AMA leaves group that opposes 'Medicare for All,' shots fired at an Illinois VA hospital, and more

August 16, 2019


American Health Line rounds up the latest health care news in the states.

Are big employers on board with ‘Medicare for All’?

August 15, 2019


A survey by the National Business Group on Health of 147 large employers that cover more than 15.6 million people revealed that employers are sharply divided on so-called “Medicare-for-All” proposals—and are planning to implement their own ideas to lower health care costs.

This employer flew a patient to Cancun for surgery. (And they paid her $5,000 to do it.)

August 15, 2019


To meet U.S. residents' growing yet skeptical interest in medical tourism, a Denver-based for-profit organization is arranging for U.S. doctors to leave the states for quick trips to perform operations on U.S. patients—who might even get paid by their employers for having the procedure abroad.

Why an iron infusion could cost $412—or $4,316

August 12, 2019


Experts say the common brand-name products used for IV iron infusions in many cases are medically interchangeable—yet providers increasingly are administering the most costly products, leaving patients facing unexpectedly high bills.

Can 'authorized generics' actually raise Rx prices?

August 12, 2019


Drugmakers increasingly are creating generic versions of their own brand-name drugs, aiming in part to sustain revenue after patents expire, but some critics say these so-called "authorized generics" stifle competition and ultimately could increase prices.

Short-term health plans pay out 39% of premiums on care, report finds

August 9, 2019


The top five short-term health plan insurers in 2018 spent only about 39% of premium dollars on medical care, well below the Affordable Care Act's medical loss ratio threshold, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' 2018 Accident and Health Policy Report published last week.

CMS releases national coverage policy for CAR T-cell therapies

August 8, 2019


CMS on Wednesday announced that Medicare will cover FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapies nationwide at health care facilities that meet certain requirements, but the agency did not change Medicare's payment rates for the treatments.

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