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Legislative and Regulatory Update

December 2018

  • Bipartisan senators introduced new drug pricing policy. “A bill introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will seek to crack down on the tactics used by drug companies like Mylan to overcharge taxpayers for Medicaid rebates. The bipartisan bill from the incoming chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee could be a sign the two will seek common ground on drug prices. The bill would give the Department of Health and Human Services new authority to reclassify a drug and recoup rebates when a manufacturer deliberately misclassifies a drug in order to pay lower rebates.”
  • Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/419725-bipartisan-senators-introduce-new-drug-pricing-bill
    • GOP balks at Trump drug pricing plan. “Republican opposition is building to a proposal from President Trump to lower drug prices in Medicare. The rare break between Trump and Republican allies follows an aggressive step from the president in October that would tie certain Medicare drug prices to lower prices in other countries, a departure from the traditional GOP position.
    • Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/419217-gop-balks-at-trump-drug-pricing-plan
      • Medicare cuts payments to nursing homes whose patients keep ending up in hospital. “The federal government has taken a new step to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions of nursing home patients by lowering a year’s worth of payments to nearly 11,000 nursing homes. It gave bonuses to nearly 4,000 others. These financial incentives, determined by each home’s readmission rates, significantly expand Medicare’s effort to pay medical providers based on the quality of care instead of just the number or condition of their patients. Until now, Medicare limited these kinds of incentives mostly to hospitals, which have gotten used to facing financial repercussions if too many of their patients are readmitted, suffer infections or other injuries, or die.”
      • Read more: https://khn.org/news/medicare-cuts-paymets-to-nursing-homes-whose-patients-keep-ending-up-in-hospital/
        • MedPAC mulls scrapping ‘incident to’ billing for NPS, PAS. “What's known as ‘incident to’ billing for nurse practitioners and physician assistants in Medicare could vanish if the government adopts a recommendation currently before the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). At a meeting Thursday, the panel explored the pluses and minuses of scrapping this type of billing, under which mid-level providers bill services as ‘incident to’ physician services using the physician's national provider identifier (NPI). If the recommendation is adopted, NPs and PAs would bill directly to Medicare for their services.” 
        • Read more: https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/finance/medpac-mulls-scrapping-incident-billing-nps-pas
          • FDA picks eight medical device firms to help battle opioid crisis. “Eight medical device makers, including a startup that uses virtual reality to treat chronic pain, topped an innovation contest aimed at addressing the opioid crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday. Silicon Valley-based startup CognifiSense, which is developing the virtual reality therapy, and iPill Dispenser, which uses a biometrically controlled mobile app that aims to cut overconsumption by dispensing pills based on prescriptions, were among the winners of the FDA’s contest.”
          • Read more:  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-opioids/fda-picks-eight-medical-device-firms-to-help-battle-opioid-crisis-idUSKCN1NZ2D2


           Senate Bill 1446 is effective Nov. 1st. 2018

          One of the pieces of legislation passed was Senate Bill 1446, which asks the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision to require continuing medical education (CME) for prescribers on opioid abuse and misuse, and also restricts initial prescriptions for opioids to a seven day supply. With respect to the CME requirement, the legislation requires that “The Board shall require that the licensee receive not less than one hour of education in pain management or one hour of education in opioid use or addiction each year preceding an application for renewal of a license, unless the licensee has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Board that the licensee does not currently hold a valid federal Drug Enforcement Administration registration number.”

          We are proud to say that we offered one Pharm Hour at the 2017 and 2018 Advanced Pharmacology Conferences and we plan to cover this every year. We will also cover Medical Marijuana.



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