April 9, 2020

Around the nation: CDC's website no longer touts hydroxychloroquine as Covid-19 treatment

Daily Briefing

    CDC's website previously featured guidance that included dosage and duration information for providers looking to prescribe hydroxychloroquine as an off-label treatment for Covid-19, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Connecticut, Georgia, and Indiana.

    • Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont (D) on Sunday issued an executive order prohibiting all so-called "surprise" medical bills for patients who receive emergency medical care related to Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The order bans providers and insurers from billing patients for out-of-network charges if a patient receives care from an out-of-network provider. The executive order also protects uninsured patients from being charged for Covid-19 care at a rate that is higher than the rate Medicare pays for the care (Cohen, Inside Health Policy, 4/7 [subscription required]).
    • Georgia: CDC on Tuesday removed guidance from its website that included dosage and duration information for providers looking to prescribe hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. President Trump has been a vocal supporter of using the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for Covid-19, but many experts believe evidence supporting the drug as a safe Covid-19 treatment is lacking. CDC's website now states that hydroxychloroquine and other drugs "are under investigation in clinical trials" for use as a Covid-19 treatment, but notes that FDA has not yet approved any "drugs or other therapeutics … to prevent or treat Covid-19" (Axelrod, The Hill, 4/7; Roston/Taylor, Reuters, 4/7).
    • Indiana: Eli Lilly on Tuesday announced that it will cap out-of-pocket costs for most of its insulin products at $35 per month for uninsured Americans and those enrolled in commercial health plans. The company said the effort is intended to assist diabetes patients who may be facing financial hardship because of the Covid-19 epidemic. Patients enrolled in government insurance programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare, are not eligible for the cost cap (Roy, Reuters, 4/7).
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