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What We're Reading: GM–Henry Ford Deal; DIR Fee Pressure on HHS; Transplants With Infected Kidneys

AJMC Staff
General Motors (GM) announced its partnership with the Henry Ford Health System to ensure wellness services and healthcare management for salaried employees; Democratic and Republican representatives in the House and the Senate have sent separate letters to HHS Secretary Alex Azar on eliminating direct and indirect remuneration fees; despite using infected kidneys in transplant patients, outcomes improved.

GM–Henry Ford Sign Health Management Deal

In a significant move that establishes the role of the employer as a payer, General Motors (GM) announced its partnership with the Henry Ford Health System to ensure wellness services and healthcare management for salaried employees of the company and their families who reside in Southeast Michigan. This “direct to employer” contract will provide GM employees access to over 3000 primary and specialty care physicians.

 

Lawmakers Increase Pressure on HHS to Eliminate DIR Fees

Both Democratic and Republican representatives in the House and the Senate have sent separate letters to HHS Secretary Alex Azar asking that the government remove retroactive direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees that pharmacies have to pay to Medicare Part D health plans. Inside Health Policy has reported that pharmacists believe that eliminating the DIR fee would significantly lower drug prices, an argument that is fiercely contested by pharmacy benefit managers who operate prescription drug programs for plans.

 

Pilot Kidney Transplant Experiment Pays Dividends

A small study with 20 patients in need of a kidney transplant found that despite receiving organs infected with hepatitis C, using medications to rid the virus improved patient health. “When there’s such a bad organ shortage, we can’t just do business as usual,” said Peter Reese, MD, MSCE, associate professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania who led the study. “We need to shake off that these organs aren’t valuable and that people will not want them.”

 
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