Trending News Today: Medicare Seeks to Address Expensive Drug Prescriptions

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Healthcare in rural America lacks accessibility according to a report in The New York Times. Generally, people have less access to doctors, hospitals, and hospice care in rural areas, mostly due to remoteness. The article also states that lower income correlates to health, so numerous elderly patients living in rural America are likely to be afflicted with more chronic illness.

Small healthcare mergers have been going unnoticed lately. The New York Times attributes it to the fact that small mergers here and there with no large moves have flown under the radar. Doctors and hospitals said in the report that it helps better coordinate patient care and make treatment less expensive. Skeptics predict that these hospitals will be able to charge more and have more influence about where patients go for alternative care or services.

According to an article in The New York Times, Medicare officials believe that physicians and hospitals have been prescribing more expensive drugs in order to reap the benefits of their 6% add-on for these treatments. In order to remedy this, Medicare is proposing a plan to pay a 2.5% add-on with a flat fee instead. This plan will become permanent if the treatment is found to maintain quality and lower cost.