Volume IV, Issue 12

March 20, 2017
Progressives Push Single Payer in CA
Gregory Kreig reporting for CNN on 3/18/17:

With the future of Obamacare in doubt, leading progressive grassroots groups are turning their eyes west, where California Democrats are pushing a new bill that would create a statewide single-payer health care system.

The shifting focus is at once a concession to Republican dominance on Capitol Hill and a mark of frustration, as activists continue to clash with establishment Democrats they view as unwilling or unable to craft a compelling alternative to President Donald Trump's agenda.

In California, progressives face a much more welcoming political environment. Trump is deeply unpopular there, and state Democrats are on the front foot, controlling both chambers of the state legislature and the governor's mansion.
CMS to launch national campaign to promote coordinated-care program
Virgil Dickson in a  March 14, 2017 Modern Healthcare post reports:

CMS logo Doctors may be unknowingly forgoing hundreds of millions in federal funding that would compensate them to better care for the sickest Medicare beneficiaries, and the CMS is launching a national campaign Wednesday to encourage physicians to take advantage of the funds.

The CMS has been paying physicians an average of $42 per patient per month for consulting with specialists and coordinating chronic-care services. While the program could help lower costs for treating patients with chronic issues such as dementia, heart disease or arthritis, the program, which started on Jan. 1, 2015, hasn't been used by physicians due to a lack of awareness about the care-management billing code and push back from patients who would be on the hook for a co-payment every time their physicians bill for it.
Top 15 Pharma Companies Ranked by 2016 Revenue 
Eric Palmer, in a March 14, 2017 FiercePharma post pharmacy2.jpg reveals the list of familiar drug maker names.

According to the author:

Still, it does feel as if something's happening here. The building tensions over pricing, and a review of the top 15 companies by 2016 revenues, suggests the relentless march forward of drug prices and profits may have slowed.

Sales for the top 15 companies were up about 4% for the year combined, certainly not a figure that shows great strides. Four companies in the top 15 saw their revenues fall for the year, while others reported results that would be classified as flat.



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