Trending News Today: Proposed Medicare Changes May Increase Costs for Some Patients

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A recent study suggests that invasive follow-up tests to examine potentially malignant abnormalities found with lung cancer screening could lead to more complications and health care costs, Reuters reported. According to the article, the researchers examined data on 344,510 patients who had invasive diagnostic procedures to look for lung cancer between 2008 and 2013. Overall, complication rates were more than twice as high as those reported in the pivotal lung cancer screening study responsible for current screening recommendations, with approximately 22% of patients under age 65 who had complications, the article reported.

Proposed changes in Medicare coverage for physician-administered prescription medicines could lead to higher out-of-pocket costs for some patients, according to Reuters. The Trump administration has proposed moving coverage for many of these medications to Medicare Part D, the article noted. However, a JAMA Internal Medicine analysis indicates that patients with Medigap insurance could see an estimated increase by a median of $1460 for those with Part D coverage and $1952 for those without Part D coverage for out-of-pocket costs, Reuters reported.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee is launching a major drug pricing investigation into several pharmaceutical companies, The Hill reported. According to the article, Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md) sent letters to the companies seeking detailed information and documents about their pricing practices. The investigation will seek information on some of the drugs most often cited in alleged industry price gouging, including AbbVie’s arthritis medicine Humira, the article reported.

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