Medicare’s ‘Innovation’ Agency Was Expected to Save Money. It’s Cost Billions.
The Congressional Budget Office once predicted that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation would save taxpayers nearly $3 billion over a decade. It's instead increased spending on federal health care programs by billions of dollars.
CBO: Center Tasked With Saving Medicare Money Falls Short
The agency tasked with lowering Medicare costs by changing how physicians and hospitals are paid is on pace to increase spending by more than $1 billion through 2030. The Congressional Budget Office released an updated estimate Thursday that shows the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, created under Obamacare to test new ways to pay for health care, will increase federal spending by $1.3 billion from 2021 to 2030. From 2011 through 2020, the center increased spending by $5.4 billion. (King, 9/28)
On the cost of health care —
Merck Agrees To Medicare Drug Price Negotiations
Merck confirmed on Thursday it will enter talks with CMS for Medicare price negotiations on its diabetes drug Januvia, saying that it has no choice but to agree. The drugmaker in June sued the Biden administration challenging the constitutionality of the negotiations policy. It is the fourth company to say it will opt into talks with the government ahead of an Oct. 1 deadline joining AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Boehringer Ingelheim. (King, 9/28)
Payments To Eye Docs Boosted Medicare Spending On Pricier Drugs
Ophthalmologists who accepted payments from drug companies were less likely to prescribe a cheaper medicine to treat an eye disease that causes blindness in older people, rather than a pair of more expensive alternatives, according to a new study. This led Medicare to spend an additional $643 million during a recent six-year period. (Silverman, 9/28)
On disenrollment —
The Washington Post:
Medicaid Rolls Are Being Cut. Few Are Finding Refuge In ACA Plans
As states prepared to end a pandemic-era promise earlier this year that everyone on Medicaid could keep their health coverage, the Biden administration sought to quell fears that millions of people would become newly uninsured. A policy favorite of the president’s — Affordable Care Act insurance marketplaces — would offer a haven for people losing Medicaid because their incomes had grown too high to qualify, his aides pledged. (Goldstein, 9/28)
Meanwhile, in Nebraska —
Nebraska Becomes Latest Red State To Expand Medicaid To Cover Postpartum Care
Lower-income new mothers will get a full year of Medicaid health care coverage in Nebraska under an order issued Wednesday by Republican Gov. Jim Pillen. The move makes Nebraska the latest in a growing list of Republican-led states that had previously refused to expand postpartum Medicaid coverage beyond the minimum 60 days after women give birth. Conservatives are now largely embracing the change as part of an anti-abortion agenda in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year overturning Roe v. Wade, which for 50 years guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion. (9/28)