Latest California Healthline Stories
New data from the California agency that manages health benefits for 1.5 million public employees, retirees and their families shows that doctors are writing far fewer opioid prescriptions, reflecting a national trend of physicians cutting back on the addictive drugs.
Such medications account for more than a quarter of the state agency’s $2.1 billion in pharmacy costs.
Staff researchers at California’s largest public buyer of health benefits say the goal of reducing drug costs for the state is appealing but might not work in the real world.
Average premium increases for the agency’s 2017 HMO and PPO plans are indicative of health care cost trends.
Controlling costs was a big consideration in awarding the nearly $4.9 billion contract to OptumRx, a unit of the insurance giant.
UnitedHealth’s OptumRx is the lowest bidder and wins a key endorsement ahead of final vote by California’s public retirement system.
The California Drug Price Relief Act would mandate that the state pay no more for prescription drugs than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. David Gorn sat down with Rand Martin, Sacramento lobbyist for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is sponsoring the ballot measure, and Kathy Fairbanks, campaign consultant for the committee opposing it.
Vivity — a new Southern California product from Anthem Blue Cross — debuted to considerable fanfare last month. California already has a rich history of managed care and integrated networks, so is there anything unique about this particular arrangement? “Road to Reform” consulted the experts to find out.