HHS has announced a new initiative to make a medication taken to prevent HIV, pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, available for free to those without prescription drug insurance coverage.

Hospitals were overpaid by roughly $502 million from 2011 to 2014, according to a report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG), which blamed the overpayment on CMS limitations on the reconciliation period.

President Trump’s plan to allow the importation of certain drugs from Canada is facing new challenges from the Canadian government, according to The Hill.

 

Pharmaceutical companies are under fire again for their role in the national opioid abuse epidemic, and this time, it could be criminal. Federal prosecutors have opened a criminal probe to determine if pharmaceutical companies intentionally allowed the flow of opioid drugs, The Wall Street Journal reported.

CMS issued more details and opened up applications for its upcoming direct contracting models that draw lessons from accountable care organizations and aim to promote shared risk.

Hospitals provided about $12.8 million on average in uncompensated care in 2018, according to a new report from Definitive Healthcare.

Congress is seeking more information from a proposed rule from HHS that would allow third-party vendors to have access to patient data in order for consumers to view and access their own personal health information.

President Trump plans to hold a meeting with officials from the e-cigarette industry and medical field amid an epidemic of vaping-related illnesses and deaths, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Google and Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic health system, will have to answer questions about their project that allows Google to collect the health information of millions of patients after Congress sent a letter to the companies.

The American Medical Association has adopted a handful of new policies to guide its future policy work during its interim meeting, including supporting bans on conversion therapy, inclusive electronic health records, racial pay equity in medicine and medical training related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Hospital groups are not happy about a new HHS requirement that will force all hospitals to publicly post their prices for services online. A group of hospital associations plan to launch a lawsuit against the agency just days after it finalized the rule, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2021.

The improper payment rate in Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) fell to its lowest rate since 2010, according to CMS. However, there were still an estimated $28.9 billion in improper payments made in 2019, down $7 billion from 2017.