Good morning. Today's Vitals is extra short: 682 words, <3 minutes to read.
Seniors pay more out of pocket for cancer drugs today than they did in 2010, according to a new JAMA study.
The big picture: The Affordable Care Act reduced seniors' share of their drug bills, but price increases — on new and old drugs alike — have canceled out those savings.
Between the lines: There are 13 cancer pills in Part D that were also covered in 2010. What seniors pay for the vast majority of them is expected to increase this year.
Yes, but: Many cancer drugs aren't covered by Medicare Part D. They are instead in Part B, because they're administered by a doctor rather than picked up at a pharmacy.
Hospitals are being accused of violating federal laws designed to keep financial considerations from influencing doctors' decisions, Kaiser Health News reports with the Daily Beast.
It's illegal for doctors to refer patients for services that the doctor has a financial interest in, and for hospitals to pay doctors for referrals.
The other side: One hospital facing a lawsuit said that the generous salaries that it gave doctors were the only way it could provide specialized care to local residents.
The bottom line: Lawsuits aside, there's no disputing that hospitals are gobbling up physician practices, the market is becoming more consolidated and doctors generate significant revenue for hospitals.
Small groups of pharmaceutical industry shareholders have pushed for companies to disclose whether higher drug prices fuel lavish bonuses for top executives. But those proposals were handily defeated, my colleague Bob Herman reports.
The bottom line: The industry and its largest stockholders are not about to start self-regulating when it comes to drug prices and incentive pay packages.
Between the lines: The drug pricing reports would not have been required, and companies would not have been forced to make any changes to bonuses — and the proposals still failed.
Photo: Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Less than a third of seniors had dental insurance in 2017, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About two-thirds of adults over 65 had visited the dentist within the last year, with poor adults less likely to have done so.
Just over half of HIV patients are women, but most research subjects are men, the NYT reports.
Why it matters: "If we're going to find a cure, it's important that we find a cure that actually works for everybody," Rowena Johnston, AMFAR's director of research, told the NYT.
Have a great day!