HHS on Wednesday outlined its timeline for Medicare prescription drug price negotiations under the Inflation Reduction Act, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Rhode Island.
- District of Columbia: HHS on Wednesday outlined its timeline for Medicare prescription drug price negotiations under the Inflation Reduction Act. In early September, HHS will release a list of the first 10 high-cost drugs subject to negotiations with drug manufacturers. According to HHS, these talks will start in February 2024, and the maximum negotiated prices will be released in September 2024. The negotiated prices will go into effect of Jan. 1, 2026. Then, the government plans to select 15 additional drugs for 2027, 15 more for 2028, and 20 additional drugs for each subsequent year. During negotiations, Medicare must consider things like the cost of research and development, the cost of production and distribution, and how the drug differs from existing alternatives. Still, health experts have noted that it is unclear how HHS will define and weight those factors. "We will be transparent and aggressive in implementation every step of the way," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. (Gonzalez, Axios, 1/11)
- Maryland: A report published Monday in Health Affairs found that Medicaid expansion has furthered the Biden administration's initiative to improve maternal health, with a 17% decrease in postpartum hospitalizations in states that have expanded the program. According to the report, the reduction in hospitalizations was maintained through the first 60 days postpartum, with some evidence of a smaller decline in hospitalizations from 61 days to six months postpartum. Notably, because hospitalizations provide evidence of health issues that progress enough to require an inpatient hospital stay, the findings support the claim that Medicaid expansion benefits the health of people that have recently given birth. (Lagasse, Healthcare Finance, 1/11)
- Rhode Island: CVS Health on Monday announced that it is exploring several deals, potentially furthering its recent push into primary care. In particular, CVS is considering a $10 billion deal with Oak Street Health, which operates a network of value-based primary care centers. The company also announced its participation in venture rounds for Monogram Health and Array Behavioral Care. In addition, CVS invested $100 million in Carbon Health—a strategic deal that will involve opening pilot clinics in certain CVS locations. (Primack, Axios, 1/10)