Francis Joseph, a physician from Colorado, was charged with making a false statement in connection with a bankruptcy proceeding, wire fraud, theft of government property and theft in connection with health care fraud. Court documents showed Joseph fraudulently obtained almost $300,000 in COVID relief from three separate programs.
At least three people needed hospitalization in February after taking veterinary-strength ivermectin, which has been touted -- without clinical evidence -- as a COVID-19 preventive, according to the FDA. The NIH is planning a randomized clinical trial to see if drugs approved for other uses can reduce COVID-19 symptoms, and ivermectin, fluvoxamine and famotidine are top candidates.
Australia, Belgium, the Philippines, the UK and other nations have limited use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine after the European Medicines Agency announced that there may be a link between rare blood clots and the vaccine. The EU regulator said a rare combination of the blood clots and low platelet counts should be considered a possible side effect of the vaccine, though it said the vaccine's benefits outweigh its risks.
The CMS has proposed a rule that would increase Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities by about 1%, or $444 million, for fiscal 2022. The agency also proposed increasing payments by 2.2% for rehabilitation facilities and 2.3% for inpatient psychiatric facilities.
A bill passed this week in the Missouri Senate would establish a statewide prescription drug monitoring program and establish a prescription drug monitoring task force with members drawn from state pharmacy, nursing and dental boards and the Board of Registration of the Healing Arts. The bill was advanced to the state House for consideration.
Pharmacy benefit managers are taking steps to ensure underserved populations have access to reliable information on COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy. Claire Winiarek chats with CVS Caremark Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Sree Chaguturu and National Hispanic Medical Association President and CEO Elena Rios about health equity, social determinants of health and why cultural competence is key to COVID-19 vaccination campaigns' success.
Less than 1% of Prime Therapeutics' patient population in 2019 and 2020 had an inflammatory autoimmune condition, but spending on drugs for psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease accounted for almost 20% of total drug spending, and increased by an average of 32.2% per member per month.
Cigna and Oscar Health are offering their co-branded small-group health plan in California's Bay Area, Central Coast, Greater Sacramento, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, North Bay, Orange County and San Diego regions. Express Scripts' pharmacy benefit management services are included in the plans.
Data suggest some parts of the US are getting close to meeting the demand for a COVID-19 vaccine. A Surgo Ventures report found the "supply-demand shift" for COVID-19 vaccines could occur by the end of April, before the country reaches the 70% to 90% vaccination threshold needed for herd immunity.
UCI Medical Affiliates of South Carolina agreed to pay $22.5 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act. Authorities said the urgent care provider and related companies fraudulently billed urgent care visits that were performed by non-credentialed providers to Tricare, Medicare and Medicaid.
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