Modern Healthcare reports that the Express Scripts acquisition of its fellow prescription benefits manager Medco is drawing scrutiny from another Congressional committee and at least 25 State regulators. Of course, the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department are the actual decision makers.
HHS announced today that it was removing red tape that constrain the business practices of hospitals and doctors, as it adds red tape to insurer business practices under the Affordable Care Act.
Business Insurance reports that the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program -- to which State and municipal health plans have access, but not the FEHBP -- has expended 3/5s of its appropriated funding and may be tapped by the end of this year.
Finally, the AMA News discusses innovative practices to improve patient adherence to prescriptions. Get a load of this one --
Another technology that soon could be seen in clinical practice is the so-called tattletale pill. This "smart pill" has embedded, ingestible microchips that are activated by stomach acids once swallowed and will then send emails or text messages to alert physicians or caregivers. Swiss drugmaker Novartis plans to seek regulatory approval for the technology in spring 2012. Several other firms are working on the idea.