Trending News Today: Proposed Legislation Aims to Reduce Medical Waste

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Former President Barack Obama appeared in a video yesterday to encourage Americans to sign up for Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans in light of funding cuts for outreach efforts, according to Politico. In previous years, ACA plans were promoted through advertisements, emails, and other methods. Despite the legislative actions that may have prevented people from signing up, the first day of open enrollment for 2018 seemed to be free of issues, according to the article.

Governors from Utah and New Jersey announced that the Trump administration has approved Medicaid waivers to help patients gain access to opioid use disorder treatment, The Hill reported. The 2 waivers are the first to be approved under a new policy that allows Medicaid to pay for opioid abuse treatments. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that previous policies did not properly address the growing concern of the opioid epidemic, but placed significant burdens on states that prevented treatment access, according to the article. This new policy aims to remedy the policies and increase treatment for opioid use disorder.

Recently, a group of lawmakers introduced legislation to reduce the burden of wasted medication related to single-use vials, including cancer drugs, according to STAT. The legislators said that the single-use vials contain more medication than a single patient uses and results in significant waste. A recent report estimated that $2.8 billion is wasted each year on cancer drugs, which are typically packaged in the same vial but dosed based on weight, according to the article.