Trending News Today: Effects of 340B Cuts Debated

Top news from across the health care landscape.

A federal program that provides discounted drugs to certain hospitals may undergo significant changes. Federal officials and lawmakers have debated that the reach of the 340B program has become too large and needs to be reined in, according to Kaiser Health News. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently proposed a rule that would reduce payments by $1.6 billion. This decision is being fought in court by several hospital groups that say that the cuts would have detrimental effects on safety-net hospitals that serve low-income and uninsured patients who often have serious illnesses, according to the article.

Lawmakers have started making progress towards reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other health programs, according to The Hill. The bipartisan deal would include funding for CHIP, community health centers, expiring Medicare programs, and may also include the Chronic Care Act, which aims to improve the efficiency of Medicare spending, according to the article. Legislators said that the healthcare package bills could be included in a short-term or long-term bill in December.

California’s approach to 2018 Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment is vastly different than the federal government’s tactics. The state spent $45 million in advertisements alone and spent $100,000 for murals to be painted across the state to increase awareness and drive individuals to their marketplace, Covered California, according to California Healthline. In comparison, the federal government only spent $10 million on advertising the 2018 exchanges. While some experts say that advertisement outreach is the best way to get people enrolled, critics say that the money would be better spent on reducing premiums, according to the article.