Healthcare Industry

Changes to DIR Fees Featured in CMS’ Proposed Rule for 2020

On Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their proposed rule for 2020 titled Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses. The proposed rule supplements President Trump’s Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs that was released in May 2018…

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President Signs Opioid Legislation into Law

Today, President Trump signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act into law to further address the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 49,000 people died from opioid overdose in 2017. The bill, which passed out of Congress with bipartisan support, is aimed to help…

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President Signs ‘Gag Clause’ Bills into Law

Today, President Trump signed two bills into law that will allow pharmacists to disclose the lowest cost of prescriptions to their patients. Previously, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have enforced so-called “gag clauses” that prohibited pharmacists from informing their patients if they could purchase their prescriptions for a lower cost out-of-pocket vs. through insurance. The Patient…

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Bills Banning Pharmacy ‘Gag Clauses’ Head to President’s Desk

Yesterday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed two bills that would prohibit “gag clauses” by health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Gag clauses prohibit pharmacists from preemptively informing customers if their prescription would cost less if they paid out of pocket versus paying through insurance. The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and the Know…

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Senate passes bill banning pharmacy ‘gag clauses’ for Medicare Part D

Last Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed a bill designed to stop the restrictions and PBM threats tied to “gag clauses” in Medicare Part D plans. The bill, also known as the Know the Lowest Price Act, would allow pharmacists to inform their Medicare Part D patients if the cash price for a prescription is lower than…

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CDC Publishes National Diabetes Prevention Guide for Community Pharmacists

Pharmacies taking part in diabetes prevention just became easier now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a new guide called “Rx for the National Diabetes Prevention Program Action Guide for Community Pharmacists.” The guide was developed by CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation along with pharmacists and pharmacy partners across the country,…

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HHS Secretary Azar Expresses Concern about DIR Fees

Earlier this week, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke to the House Committee on Education and Workforce about the policies and priorities of his agency. He touched on several topics including the opioid epidemic, mental health, and prescription drug prices. Azar also spoke about gag clauses and DIR fees during…

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President Announces Plan to Cut Drug Prices

On Friday, May 11, President Trump spelled out his plan to bring lower prescription prices to consumers. In doing so, his rhetoric included pointed remarks – “Everyone involved in the broken system – the drug makers, insurance companies, distributors, pharmacy benefit managers and many others – contribute to this problem.” The plan is called a…

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May is Mental Health Month

Since 1949, May has been deemed Mental Health Month by Mental Health America. MHA was founded in 1909 and is a community-based organization dedicated to assisting those with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. In fact, there are even two Kansas MHA affiliates located in Kansas City and Wichita. MHA…

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