Citing the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment and the logic of fair play, Pfizer Inc. is taking on a Health and Human Services’ (HHS) antitrust policy that prohibits drug companies from helping Medicare beneficiaries with hefty copays.
The U.S. FDA reported that 28 serology tests for antibodies for the SARS-CoV-2 virus either have been withdrawn from the market by the sponsor or delisted by the agency for failure to comply with its notification process for emergency use authorization (EUA). The agency said the list of unavailable tests will be updated over time. For his part, Commissioner Stephen Hahn said the move was undertaken “to ensure that Americans have access to trustworthy tests.”
Except for breakthrough devices and qualifying infectious disease drugs, the footwork for getting Medicare's new technology add-on payment (NTAP) can be more challenging than that needed to win FDA approval. It could be even tougher for products that use artificial intelligence (AI) or that follow a subscription model for pricing.
Innovation is being rewarded under Medicare’s proposed fiscal 2021 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) that was unveiled Monday. For starters, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing a new Medicare-severity-diagnosis related group (MS-DRG) specifically for CAR T therapies.
How U.S. health care emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic is a million-dollar question, as patients, providers, payers and drug manufacturers are adapting to a new reality that’s advancing telehealth and changing how providers interact with patients.
The Trump administration has proposed a policy to gradually reopen the U.S. for business, part of which is to allow a resumption of elective procedures and treatments in outpatient settings. While patients with urgent medical needs presumably are being treated already, the policy would seem to promise a boost in volumes for certain devices, such as coronary artery stents, knee implants and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) devices, all of which enjoy at least limited Medicare coverage for outpatient use.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it may tack on another three years to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program, proposing among other things to drop the 50% cap on gainsharing payments. Analysts with Cowen Washington Research Group, of New York, said post-acute care providers are at greater risk than device makers with the extension, however, due to the fact that hospitals have several choices in terms of discharge destination, including the patient’s home.
The advent of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) changed the framework for dealing with aortic valve stenosis, but some clinicians might argue there was a corresponding and inappropriate rush away from surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR).
Policymakers are often as sensitive to overall health care spending as they are to increases in Medicare spending, and the latest report on both brought some good news and some bad news. The good news is that overall health care spending was essentially flat as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, but the bad news is that Medicare spending jumped 6.4%, thus renewing the troublesome historical trend of outpacing typical GDP growth.
Despite a substantial build-up of expectations, the U.S. federal government has excluded device makers from a proposal to provide safe harbors under the anti-kickback statutes for value-based arrangements between providers and medical device makers. The news comes as a blow to device makers, who have argued for some time that value-based arrangements between industry and hospitals could save the taxpayer millions each year in Medicare spending, but the draft rule made note of concern that such arrangements might reduce competition among device makers.