The caveat: The prices are now falling for various reasons, but the high cost still means many who might benefit don’t have access to the medications.
Massachusetts plans scored highest. Other New England states in the top 10 included Rhode Island (ranked second), Maine (third), New Hampshire (sixth), and Vermont (eighth). The Midwest states were also well represented in the top 10 with Wisconsin (fourth), Minnesota (fifth), and Iowa (10th) making the cut.
Hospitals in the United States generally pay more for cardiac stents and cardiac rhythm management devices (pacemakers and cardioverter defibrillators) than do their counterparts in European countries and, in the case of Germany, much more, according to a study in Health Affairs.
The rates of women experiencing serious and possibly life-threatening complications during child birth soared 45% between 2006 and 2015, increasing from 101.3 to 146.6 per 10,000 hospital deliveries, according to a statistical brief by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
A GAO report notes that HHS under the Trump administration cut money for paid advertising for the 2018 open enrollment period by 90%; from the $100 million for the 2017 enrollment period, down to $10 million for 2018. TV advertising went from $26.6 million under the Obama administration’s final year allocation to zero under President Trump.
The caveats: California stands out as the exception to the rule. And its program is thorough and fairly involved.
BPCI Advanced signals a willingness among Medicare providers to redesign care and take on risk. Commercial payers are watching closely.
CMS has broadened the services that Medicare Advantage plans can provide—services that may reduce expensive treatments and injuries. Insurers continue to see the market as a business opportunity. Critics see a slow-motion privatization of Medicare.
Despite high need and urgency, patient adherence is low. One might think that puts the onus on patients, but a major reason for this gloomy picture is the severe shortage of mental health professionals across the country—a shortage that’s only going to increase.
Insurers are figuring out the market, say the law’s defenders.