Briefs

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

Ab­bott Lab­o­ra­to­ries must di­vest two car­diac de­vice busi­nesses in or­der to con­tinue with its pro­posed $25 bil­lion pur­chase of St. Jude Med­i­cal. The busi­nesses in ques­tion pro­duce vas­cu­lar clo­sure de­vices, or VCDs, used to close holes in ar­ter­ies fol­low­ing the inser­tion of catheters; and steer­able sheaths, used to guide catheters for treat­ing heart ar­rhyth­mias. The Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion on Tues­day ap­proved the deal on the con­di­tion that North Chicago-based Ab­bott gives up all rights to prod­ucts made by Toky­obased Terumo Corp. The FTC de­ter­mined that with­out di­vesti­ture, Ab­bott would con­trol more than 70% of the mar­ket for VCDs.

Eight states are signed up for an HHS ini­tia­tive in­tended to in­te­grate be­hav­ioral health ser­vices with the pri­mary-care set­ting. The goal is to pro­vide greater and faster ac­cess to care for those suf­fer­ing from men­tal ill­ness or sub­stance use disor­ders. The states se­lected to par­tic­i­pate in the two-year demon­stra­tion are Ok­la­homa, Ne­vada, Oregon, Penn­syl­va­nia, New York, New Jersey, Mis­souri and Min­nesota. The pro­gram will fo­cus on Med­i­caid ben­e­fi­cia­ries with se­ri­ous men­tal ill­ness, trou­bled chil­dren and pa­tients with long-term drug use disor­ders.

The an­nual de­fense bill signed by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in­cluded a pi­lot pro­gram to test value-based in­sur­ance cov­er­age in Tri­care, the U.S. De­fense De­part­ment’s health ben­e­fits pro­gram. A pro­vi­sion in the de­fense bill calls for a pro­gram that will re­duce or elim­i­nate co-pays and other cost shar­ing for cer­tain drugs and ser­vices con­sid­ered high qual­ity be­cause they of­fer proven re­sults. Providers con­sid­ered high-value would be re­im­bursed at higher rates as well. The sec­re­tary of de­fense must sub­mit a re­port within the next six months de­tail­ing which providers, ser­vices and med­i­ca­tions will be con­sid­ered high-value. The sec­re­tary must also iden­tify the co-pays or cost share amounts that will be re­duced or elim­i­nated when Tri­care pa­tients opt for high­value care.

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