July 31, 2023
Payers | Tea Leaves
  • A report from Epic Research found that once joining Medicare, patients are 50 percent more likely to get health screenings for breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Patients with other undiagnosed diseases, such as depression, COPD, type 2 diabetes, lung or prostate cancer, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, are also more likely to discover their condition in their first year of being on Medicare coverage. The report reviewed more than 20 million patients between the ages of 60 and 70 to see whether diagnoses occurred more frequently. Breast cancer screening rates jump from 15.3 percent to 30.4 percent, while colorectal cancer screening rates increase from 4.8 percent to 11 percent. (Article here)
  • This week, a visitor opened fire at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in Portland, killing a security guard and injuring a nurse. Workplace violence in health care facilities is five to six times higher than in any other private workplace, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but that statistic is from 2018 and does not differentiate gun violence from other forms of physical aggression. Following increases in both aggression towards nurses and mass shootings, stakeholders are debating whether new tech or old solutions can make a difference. (Article here)
  • The first 10 drugs selected for Medicare price negotiation will be announced by September 1 and will set the stage for unprecedented government action regulating drug costs, with billions of dollars at stake and scores of patients standing to benefit. The years-long negotiation process will kick off once the initial batch of drugs chosen for negotiations is announced. The manufacturers of the Medicare Part D-covered drugs picked by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will have one month to send in their agreements saying they will engage in the negotiation process. The negotiations could save the federal government nearly $100 billion by 2031 and slash some prices Medicare pays by half. (Articles here and here)