A pair of influential senators are seeking answers about the steep cost of the hepatitis C drug Sovaldi.
Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Finance Committee, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking minority member of the Judiciary Committee, sent a letter last week to the chairman and CEO of Sovaldi manufacturer Gilead Sciences with questions about how the drug’s price was determined. The senators also are seeking detailed information about the company’s November 2011 purchase of Pharmasset, the original developer of Sovaldi.
By combining forces, solo and small-group medical practices helped generate $237 million in savings over three years in CareFirst’s Patient-Centered Medical Home Program,
the insurer revealed last week. CareFirst, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliate covering the District of Columbia, Maryland and portions of northern Virginia, released findings demonstrating how 4,000 providers participating in its medical home initiative saved $130 million in 2013—the third year of the program—when healthcare spending came in 3.2% lower than projected for the 1.1 million Blues plan members who receive care at CareFirst primary-care practices operating as medical homes.
The CMS is quizzing a few states about whether technical woes are delaying Medicaid access for their residents, and if so, when and how states plan to fix the glitches.
The states involved have until Monday to respond to the query sent to them June 27. Most of the targeted states—Alaska, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee—are not operating health insurance exchanges, or have a partnership agreement through which they rely on the federal HealthCare.gov marketplace to screen applicants for Medicaid eligibility and to transmit clearance for those it deems qualified for the program.