Modern Healthcare: (12/7) - President-Elect Joe Biden announced Xavier Becerra as his nominee for HHS Secretary. While COVID-19 is expected to be the main focus in the first year of the Biden Administration, Becerra is expected to leverage regulation to limit provider consolidation and anticompetitive practices in the health care system. Experts believe he might also work with CMMI to develop new models to expand access and transparency for patients.
Financial News Media: (12/3) - Although hospital mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have decreased in 2020 due to COVID-19, industry executives expect to see a rise in M&A in 2021. A key factor observed in such activity is uncertainty around provider revenue, and the NIH has stated that the acquisition of physician practices will be difficult to reverse as a result of the current health care environment. This article outlines activity around M&A thus far in 2020 and what to expect in the year ahead.
MedCity News: (12/3) - Value-based contracting for prescription drugs could be a solution to addressing rising drug costs in the Medicaid program. Entering into such a contract would require pharmaceutical companies to take additional risk for improved patient outcomes from their medications, however not entering into such contracts could result in reduced or restricted access to that company’s medications.
STAT: (12/2) - In this op-ed, former CMO of the Medicaid program Andrey Ostrovsky outlined what the Biden Administration can do in its first 100 days to institute new, evidence-based policies to build a more resilient organization at CMS. Suggestions fell under the following four categories: reaffirm the vision of the Quadruple Aim, control COVID-19 and remedy the market failures that drive disparities, develop financial resilience through value-based payments, and reinvest in making CMS a learning organization.
Modern Healthcare: (12/2) - A report by the Primary Care Collaborative found that spending on primary care services in the commercial market dropped from 2017 to 2019, a sign that more needs to be done to invest in primary care services industry-wide. Spending for services rendered by physicians accounted for 4.67 percent of spending in 2019, dropping from 4.88 percent of spending in 2017. Primary care services rendered by physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and physicians accounted for 7.69 percent of spending in 2019, dropping from 7.8 percent in 2017.
Modern Healthcare: (12/2) - The CMS outpatient prospective payment system final rule, released last week, could help increase provider competition. The changes set forth in the rule could allow physician-owned hospitals to expand if they treat a large number of Medicaid patients, phase out inpatient-only procedures list, and continue 340B drug cuts.