• President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for HHS Secretary, Rep. Tom Price, will sell off stock holdings to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Price's ethics agreement and financial disclosure were posted online by the Office of Government Ethics. If confirmed by the Senate, the Republican surgeon from Georgia would divest himself of stock in more than 40 companies. He'll also resign a position with the American Medical Association, as well as a managing role in a business partnership. Democrats said the move does not clear up concerns about his investment practices.
HHS Secretary nominee for HHS Secretary, Tom Price, to sell off stock holdings
• The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission last week approved measures to increase payments to Medicare Advantage plans by changing the formula to determine rates, potentially increasing federal spending by as much as $10 billion over five years. MedPAC suggests MA payments be calculated using only fee-for-service spending data for beneficiaries enrolled in both Part A and Part B, instead of its current formula, which underestimates spending and potentially results in plans being underpaid. Plans, not surprisingly, lauded MedPAC's recommendation.
• Cigna Corp. will not cover Mylan's EpiPen epinephrine auto-injector in 2017. Instead, the insurer will cover Mylan's $300 generic version of the EpiPen, which is half the list price of the brand-name drug. Cigna's switch to the recently launched Mylan generic comes a day after President-elect Trump said many drug companies are “getting away with murder” setting their products' prices. CVS Health reported that it would sell the authorized generic version of Adrenaclick, a less-prescribed alternative to the EpiPen. CVS will sell the generic version of Adrenaclick for $109.99 per two-pack for both insured and uninsured patients—about one-fifth the list price of the brand-name EpiPen.
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