The Week in Congress has a wrap-up on this week’s activities on Capitol Hill. Congress is in session until August 6 at which point it will take its August recess.
This was the first week that the interim OPM Director Beth Cobert was on the job. Govexec.com reports on her first week in office which of course have focused on the cyber breaches. The Military Times reports that the House Armed Services Committee plans to hold a hearing on OPM’s data breaches after the August recess.
In a heart warming report, the Wall Street Journal tells us that Gilead Sciences “is limiting enrollment to its patient assistance program for hepatitis C drugs, which helps people obtain the [blockbuster and horrendously expensive] Sovaldi and Harvoni treatments when they lack sufficient insurance coverage or the financial wherewithal to get the medicines otherwise.” Why? you ask. To put financial pressure on health plans to expand coverage of Gilead’s drugs __
“This is a way of applying more pressure on payers to expand their coverage criteria,” says Roger Longman of Real Endpoints, a research firm that tracks reimbursement issues.
Meanwhile, Randy Vogenberg, a partner at Access Market Intelligence, a consulting firm that specializes in managed care, says “unfortunately, such a strategy places the patient in the middle as the pawn.”