In Effort To Rein In Spending, Arizona Asks CMS To Waive Medicaid Requirement To Cover All Drugs
The state is the latest to ask for the waiver, which officials say would give them more leverage to extract additional rebates from drugmakers. Meanwhile, Colorado has lifted Medicaid restrictions on when patients can get hep C drugs.
Arizona Becomes The Latest State To Seek To Limit Medicaid Drug Coverage
Arizona has become the latest state to seek permission from the federal government to limit the number of medicines that would be covered by its state Medicaid program, which is currently required to provide coverage for all treatments. In a Nov. 17 letter to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, state officials argued they should be allowed to use the same tools that commercial insurers rely on to contain drug costs. And they insist such a move is needed in order to preserve the larger mission of providing adequate health coverage. Massachusetts made the same request in late September. (Silverman, 12/4)
Colorado Lifts Medicaid Restrictions For Treating Hepatitis C
Amid ongoing criticism that some states continue to curb access to hepatitis C drugs, Colorado officials have lifted restrictions that determined when patients could receive treatment. Going forward, Medicaid beneficiaries will no longer have to demonstrate an advanced stage of liver disease to be treated. In explaining their decision, state officials pointed to declining costs for the medicines, which have dropped in price recently as more new drugs become available. (Silverman, 12/4)