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What We're Reading: ADHD Medication Access Concerns; 2023 US Health Care Spend; Legislation Introduced to Reform PA

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The arrests of the founders of Done Global, a telehealth company that provides attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication to adults, for allegedly providing prescriptions to unqualified patients and defrauding the government have raised concerns about future access to these medications; US health care spending rose to $4.8 trillion in 2023; bipartisan legislation has been introduced to reform prior authorization with Medicare Advantage.

Arrests Raise Concerns About Access to ADHD Medication

The Justice Department has arrested the founders of Done Global, a telehealth company that provides adults with medication to treat their attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They have been accused of allegedly providing prescriptions to unqualified patients and defrauding the government, according to CNN. Treatment for tens of thousands of patients could be disrupted and ultimately lead to a shortage of prescription stimulant medications like amphetamine/dextroamphetamine salts (Adderall). The CDC is advising patients with ADHD to contact their health care providers and warned of the dangers of using medication obtained illegally, as this could result in increased risks of injury or overdose if they seek medication outside of the legal system.

US Spends $4.8 Trillion on Health Care in 2023

In the US, health care spending rose 7.5% in 2023 to $4.8 trillion, exceeding the growth rate of the gross domestic product (GDP), reports Reuters. Medicaid and private insurance initiated the increase, with the insured population reaching a record high of 93%. Spending is projected to grow at 5.6% annually through 2032, outpacing GDP growth. Medicare spending is expected to rise as well, based on the Inflation Reduction Act, but will subsequently slow down due to drug price negotiations and inflation indexing.

Legislation to Reform Prior Authorization Introduced, Bipartisan Support

Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) and Representative Suzan DelBene (D-Washington) have reintroduced a bill that aims to streamline the use of prior authorization for Medicare Advantage, according to Roll Call. The bill would require Medicare Advantage plans to establish electronic prior authorization programs for health care providers beginning in 2027. Originally introduced in 2021, the bill was reintroduced with reduced costs since lobbying groups that include the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association have prioritized prior authorization changes in Congress.

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