Good morning ... Here's a delightfully weird collection to start your summer Friday: The strangest things people have found washed up on the beach — including a TV, a papier-mâché rhinoceros and someone's spinal column.
The Trump administration has a message for accountable care organizations, a cost-cutting enterprise encouraged by the Affordable Care Act: You're either in or you're out.
ACOs are one of the many efforts to get doctors, hospitals and other providers to work together — and get paid together — under the belief that greater collaboration will both save money and improve quality.
The no-risk track is shrinking, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said yesterday. From now on, if you want to be in an ACO, you can only stay in the reward-only model for two years before accepting some risk. That's down from six years now.
The advocacy group Patients for Affordable Drugs Action is launching an ad campaign today against Rep. Anna Eshoo — the first time the group has targeted a Democrat.
Why it matters: By and large, Democrats are the more anti-pharma party, so anti-pharma ads will more frequently cut against Republicans. And $500,000 is not a ton of money, especially against a many-term incumbent in a safe district.
Pharmacy benefit managers got their first political break in a while yesterday: a letter from Rep. Greg Walden and Sen. Orrin Hatch to the Trump administration asks it to consider the economic effects of a proposed rule that’s expected to chip away at PBMs’ rebates.
Between the lines: The substance of the request isn’t the interesting part here — reviewing economic impacts is a standard part of the regulatory review process. What’s interesting is that two powerful committee chairmen made a point to emphasize that part of the process.
PBMs have taken a rhetorical beating from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and the administration’s plan to lower drug prices threatens their bottom lines.
Here’s a drug project to watch: Louisiana officially unveiled a proposal this week in which the state would pay drug companies fixed prices over several years for “unlimited access” to hepatitis C drugs for Medicaid and prison populations.
The big picture, via Axios' Bob Herman: Louisiana is calling it a “subscription payment model” — kind of like Netflix. Except instead of nonstop streaming, Louisiana gets as many hepatitis C treatments as it needs.
What they’re saying: Gilead Sciences, the dominant maker of a hepatitis C cure, appears to be on board.
The drama between Carl Icahn and the Cigna-Express Scripts camp is far from over.
The bottom line: This is an entertaining fight among wealthy investors and health care conglomerates with a lot of money on the line. But we still don’t have any reasonably good idea of how much Cigna and Express Scripts customers would save on drug costs or premiums as a result of the deal.
Happy Friday! Have a great weekend and let me know what to pay attention to next week: firstname.lastname@example.org.