July 2016

These medications have revolutionized the treatment of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. But they are budget busters and have a tricky side effect profile.
Katherine T. Adams
Peter Wehrwein
Insurers apply this management technique to medical pharmacy spending, which includes the costly treatments for rheumatoid arthritis.
Ed Silverman
A surge of new MS treatments have been for the relapsing-remitting form of the disease. A new drug that targets CD20-positive B cells may change that.
Thomas Reinke
They are far less common than many chronic conditions. But by some measures, the financial and health toll from inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis is comparable to stroke and lower back pain.
Jack McCain
Hub programs are growing in popularity as a way for pharmaceutical companies to combat the clout of employers, health plans, and PBMs. But they spell trouble if they spark collusion, threaten patients, or waste federal dollars.
Thomas Reinke



Departments
Legislation & Regulation: Campaign 2016
Adverse selection, other problems may hinder the presumptive Democratic candidate’s proposal to let people buy into Medicare in their 50s.
Richard Mark Kirkner
Value-Based Care
CMS’s data-liberation movement is helping to accelerate the transition to value- and risk-based payment systems. For payers and providers, the trick is knowing what to do with the data.
Michael D. Dalzell
Tomorrow’s Medicine
Studies show Eli Lilly’s Taltz achieves higher remission rates than its main competitor but is also marked by slightly more infections.
Thomas Morrow, MD
Viewpoint
Care targeting pain and symptoms has caught the eye of insurers.
Saskia Siderow

Managed Care’s Top Ten Articles of 2016

There’s a lot more going on in health care than mergers (Aetna-Humana, Anthem-Cigna) creating huge players. Hundreds of insurers operate in 50 different states. Self-insured employers, ACA public exchanges, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid managed care plans crowd an increasingly complex market.

Major health care players are determined to make health information exchanges (HIEs) work. The push toward value-based payment alone almost guarantees that HIEs will be tweaked, poked, prodded, and overhauled until they deliver on their promise. The goal: straight talk from and among tech systems.

They bring a different mindset. They’re willing to work in teams and focus on the sort of evidence-based medicine that can guide health care’s transformation into a system based on value. One question: How well will this new generation of data-driven MDs deal with patients?

The surge of new MS treatments have been for the relapsing-remitting form of the disease. There’s hope for sufferers of a different form of MS. By homing in on CD20-positive B cells, ocrelizumab is able to knock them out and other aberrant B cells circulating in the bloodstream.

A flood of tests have insurers ramping up prior authorization and utilization review. Information overload is a problem. As doctors struggle to keep up, health plans need to get ahead of the development of the technology in order to successfully manage genetic testing appropriately.

Having the data is one thing. Knowing how to use it is another. Applying its computational power to the data, a company called RowdMap puts providers into high-, medium-, and low-value buckets compared with peers in their markets, using specific benchmarks to show why outliers differ from the norm.
Competition among manufacturers, industry consolidation, and capitalization on me-too drugs are cranking up generic and branded drug prices. This increase has compelled PBMs, health plan sponsors, and retail pharmacies to find novel ways to turn a profit, often at the expense of the consumer.
The development of recombinant DNA and other technologies has added a new dimension to care. These medications have revolutionized the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and many of the other 80 or so autoimmune diseases. But they can be budget busters and have a tricky side effect profile.

Shelley Slade
Vogel, Slade & Goldstein

Hub programs have emerged as a profitable new line of business in the sales and distribution side of the pharmaceutical industry that has got more than its fair share of wheeling and dealing. But they spell trouble if they spark collusion, threaten patients, or waste federal dollars.

More companies are self-insuring—and it’s not just large employers that are striking out on their own. The percentage of employers who fully self-insure increased by 44% in 1999 to 63% in 2015. Self-insurance may give employers more control over benefit packages, and stop-loss protects them against uncapped liability.