Weekend update / miscellany

  • The attorneys for First Databank and the class action plaintiffs in the Average Wholesale Price RICO case reported to the Court on Friday that they had reached in principle an alternate settlement proposal that will be submitted to the Court by March 5. You will recall that the Court on January 22 rejected the first proposal that would have provided no monetary relief to consumers or health plans harmed by the alleged jacking up of the AWP. The Court sent them back to the negotiating table. We likely will see their work product this week.
  • The HIMSS mega-conference was held in Orlando last week. Modern Healthcare and Health IT News report on industry reaction to the Google and Microsoft electronic health information initiatives.
  • Tomorrow is the first business day of the brave new world that CMS recently announced on its National Provider Identifier website:

    MARCH 1st IS A CRITICAL DATE! As of March 1, 2008: Medicare claims with both an NPI and a Medicare legacy number will continue to be rejected if the pair is not found on the Medicare NPI Crosswalk. Claims without an NPI in the primary provider field (i.e., the billing, pay-to, and rendering fields) will be rejected! Claims with only a Medicare legacy number in the primary provider field will be rejected!

    It would be advisable for health plans paying secondary to Medicare to take the same approach.

  • These Washington Post and Chicago Tribune articles on the problems with the Chinese manufactured ingredients incorporated in Baxter’s Heparin product adds an interesting wrinkle to the prescription drug importation/reimportation debate.