Category Archives: Health

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Facing growing pressure, N.Y. insurers agree to lift restrictions on hepatitis c therapies

Wall Street Journal

Last week, we wrote about the mounting evidence of insurer discrimination and coverage denials for patients with certain high-cost health conditions such as HIV and hepatitis C. In many cases, insurers have been denying new hepatitis C treatments to patients unless their livers showed signs of severe damage – despite guidelines from major medical societies recommending the drugs for nearly all hepatitis C patients. Today, the Wall Street Journal reported some good news for hepatitis Read More >

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ICYMI: One Patient’s Perspective: Having Cancer Doesn’t Make Me Worth Less

Yesterday, cancer survivor and health economist Jennifer Hinkel shared her perspective on the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s Value Assessment Framework: An organization named ICER — the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review — is making big waves in health care circles. It calls itself “a trusted non-profit” despite suggestions that it takes significant funding from the health insurance industry. ICER has just released a draft report about treatment for a rare and difficult-to-treat cancer called Multiple Myeloma. Read More >

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Patient and provider groups ask CMS: Don’t turn back the clock on rheumatic disease care

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Writing today in The Hill, Ann Palmer of the Arthritis Foundation and Joan Von Feldt of the American College of Rheumatology have a message for CMS: don’t turn back the clock on rheumatic disease care by proceeding with the recently proposed payment cuts in the Medicare Part B program. They write: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed additional Medicare Part B payment cuts that would make it exceedingly more difficult for Read More >

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Evidence Mounts of Insurer Discrimination against HIV, HCV Patients

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We’ve written before about the problem of discriminatory formulary design in health insurance plans, particularly for patients with high-cost health conditions. Evidence continues to mount that the practice is widespread and poses substantial barriers to accessing needed medicines for patients with potentially deadly and debilitating diseases like HIV and hepatitis C. Late last week, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued a health plan, alleging that it refused to pay for hepatitis C drugs except Read More >

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New Reports: Insurance Plans Shifting More Costs to Patients

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A new report out this week from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that patient out of pocket costs are increasing, as insurance plans shift a greater share of costs onto patients via increased deductibles and coinsurance payments. The study found that “between 2004 and 2014, average payments for deductibles and coinsurance rose considerably faster than the overall cost for covered benefits, while the average payments for copayments fell.” It showed that in the same time Read More >

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