News and Commentary

HCFA: Medicaid Must Now Cover Growth Hormone

The Health Care Financing Administration has ordered Medicaid to cover Serostim, a growth hormone that can stifle cachexia — also known to AIDS patients as wasting.... Two New York representatives have introduced a measure in Congress that would require health plans to cover routine breast, cervical, colorectal, and prostate cancer screenings under Medicare's screening-benefit schedule.... Florida legislators were to consider compromise legislation in late April mandating coverage of bone-marrow transplants, autism-spectrum disease, and oral contraceptives, all of which would add $40 million to costs, HMOs say.... The California legislature is considering a similar bill regarding coverage of oral contraceptives.... Meanwhile, California officials have told Health Net not to cut 14 drugs from its formulary, including Prozac and two drugs for cystic fibrosis that patient groups say have no adequate substitutes.

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Edited by Jill Condello, PhD, ICON Access, Commercialisation & Communications