News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
9/20/2018

Legislation that would make it easier and faster for manufacturers of generic drugs to sue companies that withhold brand-name product samples needed for generic drug development would reduce government spending by $3.3 billion from 2019 to 2028, mainly through lower Medicare and Medicaid spending, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation. The bipartisan CREATES Act, which is awaiting a vote in the Senate, would accelerate the market entry of generics, according to the report.

9/20/2018

Half of people who have been prescribed a drug do not take it properly, and getting patients to adhere to prescriptions could reduce hospital costs by $2 billion by 2025, according to the National Council for Behavioral Health's Medical Director Institute.

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FierceHealthcare
9/20/2018

A study in the Journal of Consumer Research revealed that individuals who are busy or think they are busy have an increased sense of self-importance, leading to self-control and healthier decision-making, while those who feel pressed for time tend to make indulgent decisions. A drop in a person's sense of self-importance due to feeling less busy correlates with the disappearance of the self-control effect, said study author Amitava Chattopadhyay.

9/20/2018

Fitbit Care is a new platform from Fitbit that offers support and coaching to mobile health device users participating in connected health and wellness programs. "Supporting patients beyond the walls of the doctor's office is one of the most important things we can do to drive successful outcomes, and as a clinician, I see great potential for Fitbit Care to help tackle some of the biggest challenges in health care and improve health outcomes at scale," said John Moore, Fitbit's medical director.

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mHealth Intelligence
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Fitbit, John Moore
9/20/2018

Heidelberg Engineering has secured clearance from the FDA to market its optical coherence tomography angiography module. The module is designed to be used with the company's Spectralis diagnostic imaging devices for noninvasive 3D visualization of perfused vasculature.

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FDA
9/20/2018

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the administration is awarding more than $1 billion in grants to combat the opioid abuse epidemic. Of the total, $930 million will go to state prevention and treatment programs, while $352 million was awarded to community health centers to improve access to services for substance abuse and other mental health needs, and $194 million was allocated for research and heightened response and prevention activities.

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HHS, opioid abuse, Alex Azar
9/20/2018

Montana created a bipartisan working group, which includes health plan representatives, to create a reinsurance program for the state, following a Montana Healthcare Foundation report showing it could reduce premiums by 10% to 20%. Two bills to create a reinsurance program were vetoed by the governor last year.

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Montana, Mont.
9/20/2018

The California Department of Insurance filed a lawsuit against AbbVie, accusing the drugmaker of illegally increasing prescriptions of its arthritis drug Humira by paying kickbacks to health care providers in exchange for prescribing the drug and hiring a network of nurse ambassadors to make sure Humira prescriptions were regularly refilled. According to the complaint, health insurers received about 274,000 claims for Humira prescriptions from 2013 to 2018, causing them to shell out approximately $1.2 billion in improper payments.

9/20/2018

The European Commission approved a biosimilar version of AbbVie's Humira for rheumatoid arthritis made by Mylan and Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics. The companies may begin marketing the new drug, Hulio, on Oct. 16, when a key patent on Humira expires.

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Reuters
9/20/2018

Denti-Cal, California's Medicaid dental program, is running pilot programs to improve children's access to care and is launching an educational campaign next month as part of a broader statewide initiative to improve public health and reduce health care costs by focusing on prevention. The state has also expanded the use of teledentistry, raised reimbursement rates for dentists and recruited more dentists to accept Denti-Cal patients.

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California