Trending News Today: Proposal to Decrease Medicare Prescription Drug Payments Under Fire

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

A recent proposal to reduce Medicare prescription drug payments has faced much criticism. According to The New York Times, patient advocates agree with physicians and drug manufacturers that this proposal for value-based care could limit access to important medications. The Senate Finance Committee and over 300 members of the House have all showed concern about this proposal, as well.

Due to the increasing number of deaths from prescription drug overdoses, physicians in states like Kentucky have access to a database that allows them to check patient use of drugs and can monitor possibly harmful drug-drug interactions, The Washington Post reported. Physicians can also determine whether patients are receiving painkillers from multiple sources at once. Kentucky was the first state to require physicians to access this database before prescribing opioids, sedatives, or other addictive drugs. Currently, 16 states have created similar laws.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, recently vetoed a bill that would prevent him from expanding Medicaid without legislative permission. The governor states that he does not wish to expand the program immediately, but the veto was to preserve his constitutional prerogatives, according to The Washington Post. However, a spokesman says they will continue to analyze how to get the $2 billion per year for expansion.