Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend Wrap-Up / Miscellany

  • Congress is on recess. reports on the majority's plans for September when Congress returns from the party conventions.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is launching a personal health record pilot for tradition Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona and Utah. "Under this pilot in Arizona and Utah , a beneficiary may choose one of the selected commercial personal health record (PHR) tools, and Medicare will transfer up to two years of the individual’s claims data into the individual’s PHR." The pilot is expected to go live on January 1, 2009.
  • Modern Healthcare reports that Nearly 90% of the respondents to the Harris Interactive survey said they want their doctors to be able to share information electronically, and another 71% said they want their doctors to be able to order prescriptions by way of computers. Harris Interactive polled 1,000 adults by telephone in late May for the survey. While the patients were clear about wanting to have medical professionals be able to access data electronically, they were less certain about their own role."
  • USA Today reported on spikes in specialty drug prices, which should be no surprise to health plans. According to the article, "Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., asked the Government Accountability Office last week to investigate large price hikes." This followed a Joint Economic Committee hearing held on July 24 focusing on the price of drugs used to treat rare diseases.

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