Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
An HIV-positive male was denied a position as an emergency dispatcher with the New York City Police Department, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to The New York Times, Raymond Parker applied for the position of police department technician in 2013, and was given a conditional offer of employment. After undergoing a medical test and a background check, it was disclosed that Parker was HIV-positive. The police department requested further blood tests, resulting in Parker receiving a notice of a medical disqualification for the position because of his “HIV low CD4 count,” the Times reported. Parker filed a discrimination claim with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was then transferred to the Department of Justice, who filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit stated the NYPD did not have a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for failing to hire Parker, according to the Times. The lawsuit is seeking compensation for Parker.
The EpiPen rival, Kaleo, will offer its Auvi-Q emergency allergy auto-injector for free to many consumers, but the injector will cost $4500 for insurance companies, according to The New York Times. Auvi-Q is set to relaunch February 14, 2017, following a product recall. Kaleo said that consumers with commercial or government insurance will be able to obtain Auvi-Q at no charge. Furthermore, the product will be available for free to patients with no insurance and a household income of less than $100,000, the Times reported. “In order to ensure Auvi-Q is available as an option to eligible patients for $0 out-of-pocket, we set the list price at $4500,” Spencer Williamson, chief executive of Kaleo, told the Times. “It’s important to note that nobody pays the list price, and that the most important price is the price to the patients. No epinephrine auto-injector, branded or even generic, will cost a commercially insured patient less out-of-pocket than Auvi-Q.”
Through a deal with New York regulators, Anthem will change its opioid treatment policy, putting a stop to pre-authorizations for drugs that treat opioid-use disorder, according to USA Today. The agreement will affect Anthem plans across the United States, as well as Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield customers in New York. In an announcement Wednesday, Anthem said it is working with affiliated health plans to double the number of consumers who receive behavioral health services as part of medication-assisted therapy for opioid addition, USA Today reported. Additionally, Anthem hopes to decrease the amount of opioids administered to members by 30% from their peak levels by the end of 2019, according to USA Today.