Jun 16, 2017

Trump may promote "value-based" drug pricing

AP file photo

Trump administration officials are having a meeting today to bat around some ideas for executive actions they can take on drug prices, as Jonathan Swan reported last night. And one idea has emerged that will make health care nerds very happy, Bloomberg reports: The White House might promote value-based pricing, in which insurers pay for drugs based on how well they work on specific diseases and patients.

Why it matters: That's actually an idea that wouldn't get a big fight from the pharmaceutical industry. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has been pushing for legislative and regulatory changes to make it easier to promote those kinds of arrangements. But without legislative changes, the Trump administration may have to settle for using them only in federal programs, like Medicare Part D.

Before you get too excited: Research published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine throws some cold water on the promise of value-based purchasing, at least in hospitals. Hospitals that are part of the program — which conditions some of their Medicare payments on a complex set of performance metrics — don't seem to perform any better than hospitals that aren't, according to the NEJM article.

The bottom line: Both groups of hospitals have improved since value-based purchasing took effect, but at about the same rate.

But there may be some valuable lessons here. The NEJM authors noted that another, somewhat similar ACA policy — penalties for hospitals that readmit a lot of patients — seem to be working pretty well. That program might be more effective because it's simpler, the authors said, and because it uses penalties instead of bonuses.

Go deeper

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 5,850,258 — Total deaths: 361,249 — Total recoveries — 2,444,898Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 1,724,873 — Total deaths: 101,698 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. Business: Many poor and minority families can't afford food or rent.
  5. 2020: Trump courts Asian American vote amid coronavirus.
  6. ⚽️ Sports: European soccer's push to return.

Trump's big, empty beef with Twitter

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump finally acted on his now year-old threat to take action against social media platforms for alleged bias against conservatives. But so far, according to experts in both government and the industry, the threat looks mostly empty.

Driving the news: Trump escalated his war on Twitter Friday morning, tweeting repeatedly that the company needs to be regulated after it overnight added a warning label to a tweet of his calling for the military to start shooting looters, which violated Twitter’s rules against glorifying violence.

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.