Medicaid, drug prices and physician issues are the hot topics for this week.
June 9-13: Thousands of physicians have descended on Chicago for the American Medical Association's annual meeting. Functioning much like a legislative session, committees will hash out resolutions that will ultimately get a "yea" or "nay" by the venerable House of Delegates. Among the topics up for debate: payment for advance care planning, payment for palliative care and guidelines for online prescribing.
June 12: It's been one month since President Donald Trump announced that the administration was launching "the most sweeping action in history to lower the price of prescription drugs for the American people." Scant details have emerged since that Rose Garden pronouncement, so all eyes will be on HHS Secretary Alex Azar when he testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee about the drug plan. Azar has floated the idea of requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose prices in their advertisements. And the administration has been critical of the role pharmacy benefit managers play in soaring drug prices.
June 15: U.S. District Judge James Boasberg is scheduled to hear arguments in a case that could ultimately determine the fate of Medicaid work requirements. Advocacy groups representing Medicaid beneficiaries in Kentucky are suing the Trump administration, arguing it lacked the authority to grant a waiver that, in their view, changes the Medicaid program's nature. The U.S. Justice Department contends that Congress gave HHS broad discretion. Three other states gained approval to implement work requirements while six have waivers pending.