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New drug approvals, clinical trials, drug management. Three times per week.

Politics and policy

Insight into federal and state health care legislation & CMS regulation
Michael D. Dalzell
Medicare’s new bundled payments program is expected to be popular, despite unanswered questions about the target prices for the episodes, risk adjustment, and use of quality data. Here’s what we know—and don’t know.
Kentucky was the first state to take advantage of the Trump administration’s invitation for states to set work requirements for Medicaid, but others are sure to follow.
Peter Boland
Ezekiel J. Emanuel’s Prescription for the Future is true to its title and proposes a five- to 10-year agenda for transforming expensive, wasteful American health care into a system that delivers high-value care. This is a qualitative book based on case studies that identify and systematize how to improve quality, patient experience, and cost.
Joseph Burns
The medical home model for delivering health care is getting tested for people with mental health problems. Missouri has been a pacesetter. By using a cost-based prospective payment system for health home patients, Missouri Medicaid shifted providers’ emphasis from periodic acute care-to-care management with a focus on preventing high-cost exacerbations.
2018 Year in Preview
Susan Ladika
CMS chief Seema Verma wants to reshape the entitlement program that covers about 62 million people. Verma endorses “community engagement”—work or community service— as a condition for “able-bodied” people to get Medicaid coverage and accused the Obama administration of the “soft bigotry of low expectations” for opposing such a requirement.
2018 Year in Preview
Thomas Reinke
Opioids remain the go-to products because they target the mu opioid receptor, which has been shown to be the most effective pathway to reduce pain. The holy grail for drug developers is an agent that stifles pain without producing the euphoria and addiction of opioids.
2018 Year in Preview
Joseph Burns
Blame for the epidemic has focused on drugmakers, drug wholesalers, and physicians who prescribed opioids too liberally. This fall, fingers pointed at health insurers. Investigative reporting showed that coverage policies that restricted access to less addictive medications might have helped fueled the epidemic.
2018 Year in Preview
Jan Greene
Whether in a red or blue state, the state commissioner jobs do require decent working relationships with insurance companies, particularly in precarious times as insurers threaten to leave some areas with no ACA coverage because of poor market conditions or dithering in Washington, D.C.