Washington Health Policy Week in Review

Washington Health Policy Week in Review is a weekly newsletter that offers selected stories from the daily newsletter CQ HealthBeat.

E-Prescribing, Quality Reporting Could Boost Docs Medicare Pay

Physicians can increase their Medicare reimbursements by an additional 4 percent next year if they prescribe drugs electronically and participate in a quality reporting initiative.

Economists Back Stimulus Bill of up to $450 Billion

If a larger economic stimulus package bodes well for a temporary increase in federal Medicaid spending, boosters of such an increase could take heart from the testimony of two of the three economists who testified at a Joint Economic Committee hearing.

McCain, Obama Back Prescription Drug Importation But Acknowledge Safety Concerns, Advisers Say

Presidential candidates Barack Obama, D-Ill., and John McCain, R-Ariz., have reaffirmed their support for allowing Americans to import cheaper prescription drugs from abroad, but both campaigns note that concerns over international drug safety will take precedence in determining this policy, commonly known as drug reimportation.

Part D Nerds Celebrate Good Times

One of the databases that makes the Medicare research community drool consists of claims filed under the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. Researchers have been itching to know what secrets those claims reveal about the types of drugs seniors are being prescribed and potential flaws in the design of the Medicare drug benefit.

Studies Analyze Impact of Massachusetts Health Care Law

The landmark 2006 Massachusetts law to bring near-universal health coverage to the state has not caused employers to cut back coverage for their employees, new studies have found. But other research suggests the law could diminish employer's motivation to offer coverage in the long run.

Study: Overpayments Still a Factor in Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plans

Private fee-for-service plans--the fastest growing part of Medicare Advantage--will continue to be an outsized financial drag on the public sector, despite recent passage of legislation designed to trim the program's costs, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report.