The CMS last week released a list of nearly 100 reporting measures under consideration for Medicare's quality and value-based purchasing programs. The list includes new quality and efficiency measures for nursing homes, hospitals, clinician practices and dialysis facilities. The measures focus on patient outcomes; appropriate use of diagnostics and services; cost; and patient safety. The measures, if adopted, will ultimately help patients choose the provider that is best for them, while helping providers deliver quality care.
Healthcare stocks traded lower on disappointing earnings reports last week before the holiday. Analysts said the decline was partly due to a pullback following recent gains. Healthcare had performed well compared to other sectors after the general election, as Donald Trump's win augured more lax regulation over various parts of the industry, including pharmaceutical companies and insurers. But before Thanksgiving, Eli Lilly & Co.'s shares dropped 14.4% after the company said an Alzheimer's drug trial had failed. Juno Therapeutics fell a whopping 25% after the company reported two patients died during its leukemia drug trial. The Standard & Poor's 500 healthcare sector fell 2% and last Tuesday was the worst performing sector on the index.
HHS' Office of Inspector General said New York used inflated population figures to claim funding for its insurance exchange and improperly used as much as $150 million in grants. New York received $571 million in grants from 2010 through 2014 to get the exchange up and running, enroll uninsured people in “qualified health plans” and encourage participation in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. But the OIG says state officials vastly overstated the number of expected participants in the plan by using a formula that assumed the entire state population of nearly 20 million would be eligible. The state disputes the findings but the office is recommending $93 million be returned to the CMS.