What We’re Reading: Biden’s SOTU Underscores Health Progress, Plans; DC Sees Rising HIV Diagnoses; The Pill Club to Pay $18.3M in Medicaid Fraud

Biden’s State of the Union (SOTU) address emphasized drug access for those on Medicare, the Cancer Moonshot, and more; HIV diagnoses are increasing in Washington, DC, from missed wellness visits and preventive visits upended during the start of COVID-19; California online women’s pharmacy The Pill Club will pay $18.3 million in Medicaid fraud settlement with California.

ACA, Reproductive Health, COVID-19 Discussed in Biden’s SOTU

On Tuesday, President Biden detailed his plans pertaining to drug prices, cutting the cancer death rate, our progress in combating COVID-19, and more in America during his State of the Union Address, according to Chief Healthcare Executive®. The Biden administration’s plans include lower prescription drug prices for seniors on Medicare and goals to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next quarter century. He also stressed how far the country has come in reducing COVID-19 deaths by 90%. He touched on the success of the Affordable Care Act for those who don’t qualify for Medicaid, mental health care access in schools, and his efforts to protect reproductive health care.

HIV Diagnoses Slowly Rise in DC Following Pandemic

Despite the reduction of HIV infections from historic highs, Washington, DC, reported an increase in 2021 that likely won’t abate until testing and treatment offerings mirror pre-pandemic rates, said health experts, according to The Washington Post . A report released by the city Tuesday detailed the increase and revealed the Black and Latino people are disproportionately included in new HIV diagnoses since the pandemic started. HIV health expert Clover Barnes predicts a continuation of the uptake due to missed clinic visits because of the pandemic, though a plan will be implemented to address this rise.

The Pill Club to Settle Medicaid Fraud Claim for $18.3 Million

The online women’s pharmacy The Pill Club reached a settlement of $18.3 million with California authorities of claims of Medicaid fraud. According to the state, the pharmacy prescribed birth control pills after poor or nonexistent consultation and sent customers thousands of female condoms that they didn’t want, said Kaiser Health News. The settlement is following a whistleblower complaint that the company swindled private health insurers in at least 38 states, including its home state of California. The company will pay $15 million to the State Department of Justice and $3.3 million to the Department of Insurance.

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