Health Care

CMS proposes new payment rate for pricey, personalized CAR-T cancer treatments

In this image, the back of a scientist's head is visible as he arranges research materials and lab tools on a shelf. He's wearing a white lab coat.
A biologist works on immunotherapy for HPV+ cancers at the National Cancer Institute. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a proposed rule yesterday addressing Medicare hospital payments in 2020, including how hospitals will be reimbursed for CAR-T therapies.

The big picture: These are medical procedures that use a patient's own cells to fight cancer — a treatment that also comes with a high price tag. CMS is also considering raising Medicare rates to hospitals by 3.7% on average next year, by far the largest proposed pay hike in several years.

Colorado leads the rest of the U.S. on creating a public option

Colorado state house
Colorado's state Capitol in Denver. Photo: Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado became the blue state that's gone the farthest toward creating a public option yesterday, when its legislature passed a bill directing state agencies to come up with a plan by November, AP reports.

Details: The public option would compete with private insurance plans on the individual market, but it's not clear yet whether it'd be offered on or off Colorado’s exchange.