Trending News Today: CMS Proposes Changes in Drug Payment Amount Under Part B Program

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Officials with the FDA have announced plans for a task force aimed at fighting medication shortages, STAT reported. According to the article, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said the agency will ask Congress for the authority to allow it to intervene. In a statement, Dr Gottlieb said he has a clear idea of changes needed in the FDA’s powers, regulations, and drug reimbursement policies, the article reported.

On Thursday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a change in the payment amount for new drugs under its Part B program, Reuters reported. According to the article, the changes would help reduce the amount that seniors would have to pay out-of-pocket, especially for treatments with high launch prices. The agency also proposed paying clinicians for virtual check-ins and expanding Medicare-covered telehealth services to include prolonged preventive services, the article reported.

A new report shows that 1.6 billion doses of opioids were shipped by 3 pharmaceutical distribution companies to Missouri between 2012 and 2017, The Hill reported. According to the article, Missouri, which has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, has had 2400 opioid overdose deaths between 2012 and 2016. The report recommends the DEA return to earlier standards for the use of immediate suspension orders, which allow the agency to suspend the licenses of companies that were found to have lax compliance, the article reported.