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Several states are considering new "affordability boards" to rein in prescription drug prices. And they're hoping that approach would avoid the legal pitfalls that tripped up earlier state-based policies, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.
How it works: These new boards would review expensive drugs and, if it deems them too expensive, set a new, lower price that insurance plans would have to pay.
Details: Several states have introduced bills following a model by the National Academy for State Health Policy:
Where it stands: Maryland's bill has the most momentum so far, and the effort is partially a response to the defeat of the state's proposal to counter "price gouging," which was knocked down in court.
The other side: Opponents say they'll make some of the same legal arguments that sank Maryland's earlier proposal.
If you ever find yourself in a helicopter on the way to the hospital, chances are you’re in for a very big bill.
Non-flying ambulances aren't a ton better: The GAO report cites a study that says 51% of all four-wheeled ambulance trips are also out-of-network.
My thought bubble: You may be sick of hearing me say this by now, but it's true: Health care is not a competitive market, and the more you need it, the less competitive it is. If you need an ambulance, you're in no position to be a smart shopper about ambulance rides.
Earlier this week, Kaiser Health News dove into doctors' myriad complaints about electronic medical records. Now, undark.com homes in on one particular problem — EHR systems' inability to match records that belong to the same patient.
More than 90% of doctors and other clinicians participating in Medicare's new payment system received bonuses in the first year of its rollout, my colleague Bob Herman reports.
The big picture: The goal of this system is to encourage doctors, nurse practitioners and others to provide better care.