Medicare will begin a process that could limit access to the Alzheimer's drug, Aduhelm, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia and Minnesota.
- District of Columbia: CMS on Monday announced that it will open a National Coverage Determination (NCD) analysis for Biogen's recently approved Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm, a process would ensure coverage for Aduhelm is the same across the country instead of being determined by regional contractors. The coverage policy will determine who will be able to receive the drug—priced at $56,000 per year—and under what conditions, which will help determine its cost to patients and taxpayers, STAT+ reports. The agency will convene to meetings to get input on the decision—scheduled for July 22 and July 27—and solicit public comment over the next 30 days. CMS said it will have a final decision within nine months. (Cohrs/Silverman, STAT+ (subscription required), 7/12; Pagliarulo, BioPharmaDive, 7/13)
- District of Columbia: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration last week extended the comment period for its Covid-19 workplace safety rules to August 20 after a request from the American Hospital Association (AHA). However, the compliance deadline, which AHA had requested be extended by six months, did not change. Hospitals were required to implement most of the rules' provisions within 14 days after they were published on June 21. The remaining provisions must be implemented within 30 days of the rules' publication. (Haefner, Becker's Hospital Review, 7/9)
- Minnesota: All but one of Minnesota's Covid-19 mass vaccination sites will be closed by August 7, Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced Friday. In their final weeks of operation, seven of the closing state-run mass vaccination sites will only offer second doses of the vaccine, and one will only offer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Mall of America mass vaccination site is the only location scheduled to remain open past August 7. Walz said the state will focus on hundreds of smaller vaccination sites, such as pharmacies and health care providers, throughout the state. (AP/Modern Healthcare, 7/11)