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Feb. 4, 2011

Today’s issue is brought to you by Drug Benefit News, biweekly news, proven cost management strategies and unique data for health plans, PBMs, pharma companies and employers.

Today's Featured Story

Outcomes Improve With Efficient Use of Palliative, Hospice Care
Reprinted from Drug Benefit News

Although most health insurers cover palliative care and hospice care, many patients might not be getting it soon enough for it to really help them. And although studies show that the amount of care patients receive right at the end of their lives is increasing, that upsurge does not necessarily translate to better outcomes — in terms of both patient health and health plan finances .... Read Full Story


Quote of the Day

“Ten percent [the threshold that would trigger a review of increases in HHS’s new rate regulation] is not a lot given the rate at which medical costs and utilization are increasing….So there will be a lot of rate increases that will go through this review process.”

— Steve Zaharuk, senior vice president at Moody’s Investors Service, told AIS’s Health Plan Week.



Today's Datapoint

$249.9 billion…was spent on retail sales of prescription drugs in the U.S. in 2009, 44% of which was under private insurance, 22% in Medicare, and 21% out-of-pocket, according to Pembroke Consulting’s analysis of recent data from CMS’s Office of the Actuary.



Today from Washington

People on the Move

H. D. Smith, a pharmaceutical wholesaler, promoted Harvey Tanenbaum to executive vice president. Tanenbaum was senior vice president....Streamline Health Solutions, Inc. named Robert Watson president and CEO. Watson was president and CEO at DocuSys, Inc.


Today's Featured Health Business Job Opening

Confidential Regional Health Plan
Medical Director

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