Biden Scraps Trump’s Plan to Move $ 340 Billion in Rebates on Insulin and Epi-Pens

The policy reportedly threatened to withhold grants from community health centers if they charged low-income patients more than they paid for life-saving injections. Other news concerns rising Medicare drug prices, incentives at skilled nursing facilities, Florida’s Medicaid budget, and a program in Connecticut that will give “baby bonds” to new parents receiving Medicaid.

Stat: Biden admin switches to Ax Trump 340B rule targeting community clinics

The Biden administration decided on Tuesday to scrap a Trump-era policy that would have targeted federal drug discounts for clinics serving low-income people. As several of Trump’s other controversial drug pricing policies on import, international benchmark prices and drug discounts remain in limbo, this is the second time HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra has backed down on the side of the suppliers at the expense of the drug manufacturers on the contentious policy related to the federal 340B. drug rebate program. (Cohrs, 6/15)

Modern healthcare: Trump rule on community health center insulin and Epi-Pen discounts could end

The Biden administration wants to eliminate a rule targeting community health clinics in the 340B program. The rule, which was issued by the Trump administration but never went into effect, would have required community health centers to pass on to patients the $ 340 billion rebates they get for insulin and Epi-Pens . The Biden administration argued Tuesday that the rule would impose “undue administrative costs and burdens” on health centers. (Hellmann, 6/15)

Also –

Axios: MedPAC says higher prices led to increased spending on Medicare drugs

The amount Medicare spent on drugs dispensed at pharmacies increased 26% between 2013 and 2018, members of the Medicare Advisory Payment Commission wrote in their new annual report. MedPAC members shone the spotlight on pharmaceutical companies, attributing “almost all of the growth … to higher prices rather than an increase in the number of prescriptions filled by recipients.” (Herman, 6/16)

Modern healthcare: MedPAC wants to end incentive program for skilled nursing facilities

A panel advising Congress on Medicare policy on Tuesday recommended eliminating and replacing the value-based purchasing program for skilled nursing facilities, arguing it is fundamentally flawed. Congress passed the VBP program in 2014 to improve quality in skilled nursing facilities, but the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission says the program’s only performance measure – hospital readmissions – does not fully capture quality care or does not address variations between facilities in patient populations. As part of the program, MedPAC found that NFCs treating higher proportions of dual-eligible beneficiaries or facilities with more medically complex patients were more likely to be penalized under the program. (Hellmann, 6/15)

Health News Florida: Florida asks for more time for possible Medicaid boost

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration is asking the federal government for more time to “consider the potential impacts” of withdrawing hundreds of millions of dollars in additional Medicaid funds for home and community services. In an email to the Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Karen Williams of the state’s Medicaid office said Florida wanted a 30-day extension, which would give the state until July 12 to submit a plan to the federal government. (Sexton, 6/15)

The Washington Post: Revolutionary Connecticut law would give $ 3,200 bond to every child born into poverty

Connecticut is set to become the first state in the country to provide children of low-income parents with “baby bonds” – individual, state-paid trusts that children can access once they are 18 years old. years. Under the law, any child born to parents who rely on Medicaid insurance will receive $ 3,200 in a special savings account. By the time they can access the fund, it will be worth nearly $ 11,000, according to the Hartford Courant. (Branigin, 15/6)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of coverage of health policies by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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