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June 27, 2024

Walgreens’ Bleeding Continues

Walgreens’ stock fell 24% as the drugstore chain slashed its profit outlook. It will reduce the size of its pharmacy footprint and continue to evaluate and right size its investment in VillageMD, primary care clinics tied to retail settings.

Additional articles: https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/walgreens-to-reduce-villagemd-stake-close-stores/719984/ and https://www.modernhealthcare.com/providers/walgreens-villagemd-ownership-majority-stake and https://www.modernhealthcare.com/providers/walgreens-boots-alliance-shares-drop-store-closings-ceo-tim-wentworth

(Some articles may require a subscription.)

#walgreens #retailmeetshealthcare #primarycare

https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/providers/walgreens-slashes-profit-guidance-plans-close-more-pharmacy-stores-turnaround

HHS, FBI Issue Cyberattack Warning

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning to healthcare entities on cyber criminals’ phishing and ransomware.

(Article may require a subscription.)

#cyberattacks #healthcare #providers

https://www.modernhealthcare.com/digital-health/hhs-fbi-phishing-ransomware-attack-advisory

Insurers Have Opaque Requirements Even If They Cover GLP-1s For Weight Loss

Insurers are being accused of being vague on requirements that need to be met if the insurance plans cover GLP-1s just for weight loss.  Coverage criteria is sometimes vague, but where is the widespread coverage of the obscene costs of these drugs compared with other developed countries? As usual, health plans are becoming the whipping boy. Attacks usually are engineered by Big Pharma, which moves the debate away from itself to other parts of healthcare.

(Article may require a subscription.)

#weightlossdrugs #branddrugmakers #drugpricing

https://www.modernhealthcare.com/insurance/wegovy-ozempic-coverage-requirements-unitedhealth-kaiser-highmark

Home Health Lobby Attacks Low Medicare Rate Hike

The home health lobby is attacking the Medicare home health rate proposal much as the nursing home lobby is attacking staffing requirements.  The home health proposed rate for next year is a 1.7% cut — the third consecutive year the agency proposed cuts to the industry. This comes as a nursing shortage hits the industry.

(Article may require a subscription.)

#homehealth #ltc #healthcare #providers

https://insidehealthpolicy.com/daily-news/home-health-lobby-slams-proposed-2025-home-health-pay-rule

HHS Looking At Possibility Of Part D Premium Spike

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says it is looking at the potential of major increases in Meeicare Part D premiums due to the $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket spending slated for 2025. The cap was put in the Inflation Reduction Act.  This is a good example of the win-lose of major policy changes.  The cap will help a subset of high-utilizing members, while everyone pays for it in the form of higher premiums.

(Article may require a subscription.)

#pdp #partd #medicareadvantage #drugpricing #ira

https://insidehealthpolicy.com/inside-drug-pricing-daily-news/tanden-hhs-closely-monitoring-potential-part-d-premium-hikes

Supreme Court Throws Out Opioid Settlement

The Supreme Court threw out a bankruptcy settlement related to Purdue Pharma and its role in creating the opioid crisis.  A 5-4 majority said the bankruptcy court could not shield the Sackler Family from future liability.  The decision was the right one, even though it delays monies to victims and their families.  The Sacklers would remain one of the richest in the U.S. despite giving up billions.  The settlements were tiny per victim and a sweet deal for a family that committed massive frauds and crimes.

(Some articles may require a subscription.)

Additional articles: https://insidehealthpolicy.com/inside-drug-pricing-daily-news/scotus-purdue-decision-has-implications-mass-tort-health-cases and https://www.medpagetoday.com/publichealthpolicy/opioids/110851 and https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/4743403-supreme-courts-ruling-purdue-pharma-settlement/ and https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/4742907-supreme-court-purdue-pharma-opioid/

(Some articles may require a subscription.)

#opioids #purduepharma

https://kffhealthnews.org/news/article/supreme-court-upends-purdue-pharma-opioid-settlement/

Medicare Advantage Pressures Abound

A good summary of the current state of Medicare Advantage (MA), including rate cuts, margin challenges, tougher regulations, and potential reductions in benefits in 2025.

#medicareadvantage #medicare

https://www.beckerspayer.com/payer/10-key-medicare-advantage-updates-in-2024.html

DOJ Announces Massive Fraud Indictments

Almost 200 people were charged by the Department of Justice for false healthcare claims involving approximately $2.75 billion. The sad fact is that this is a pittance in terms of true waste, fraud, and abuse, which ranges from $480 billion to $1.2 trillion per year.  Much of this is a result of the unaccountable Medicaid and Medicaid fee-for-service (FFS) systems.

#fwa #medicare #medicaid

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/4743946-health-care-fraud-nationwide-operation

Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Gets Expanded Commitments

Hospital-chain Community Health Systems (CHS) is expanding its partnership with Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs Company to all 71 of its affiliated hospitals. It would purchase 12 drugs Cuban’s firm supplies.  Another blow to the traditional drug supply chain.

#transparency #drugpricing #cuban

https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/providers/mark-cuban-cost-plus-drug-company-selling-directly-community-health-systems

— Marc S. Ryan

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