Azar says HHS is working on Medicare wage index "absurdity" | Old antitrust law could throw a new wrinkle in proposals to cut drug spending | CMS unveils new tools to help more states to seek Medicaid waivers
HHS Secretary Alex Azar acknowledged what he said were absurd disparities in the Medicare wage index during a Senate Finance Committee hearing Thursday, noting "much of the absurdity is based into statute." After hearing complaints from senators about large differences in payments between states, Azar said the agency is soliciting comments on proposals to revise the entire system but warned it is limited in what it can do.
The CMS released a new set of resources to encourage more states to pursue Section 1115 demonstration waivers and make it easier for them to secure federal approval to implement changes to their Medicaid programs, such as requiring beneficiaries to work or lose eligibility. CMS Administrator Seema Verma wrote in a blog post that the new resources, which include templates for creating implementation plans and reporting documents, as well as guidance for assessing demonstrations, are designed "to support state monitoring and evaluation efforts."
PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for more than 266 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D. PCMA is dedicated to enhancing the proven tools and techniques pioneered by PBMs that generate savings and access for consumers and payors.
Contact PCMA Charles Cote
Vice President, Strategic Communications