What We’re Reading: Executive Order Protects Abortion Travel; Lilly to Pay Millions in Medicaid Lawsuit; CVS in Primary Care

President Joe Biden signed an executive order to help people travel between states for an abortion; Eli Lilly was ordered to pay $61 million after allegedly underpaying the Medicaid drug rebate program; CVS plans to acquire or take a stake in a primary care industry by the end of 2022.

Biden Signs Executive Order Protecting Travel for Abortions

President Joe Biden signed an executive order yesterday laying the foundation for Medicaid to assist people in travelling between states to access an abortion, the Associated Press reported. Currently, it is illegal to use federal funding toward abortions unless the pregnant person’s life is at risk or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. To get around this, HHS would invite states where abortion is legal to apply to use Medicaid funds to “provide reproductive healthcare to women who live in states where abortion is banned,” according to the White House. Details of the order are still being finalized.

Eli Lilly Ordered to Pay $61 Million After Underpaying Medicaid Program

A federal court jury ordered Eli Lilly to pay $61 million for skimping on payments to the Medicaid drug rebate program, STAT News reported. This news follows nearly a decade of legal battles in which Lilly was accused of failing to pay rebates in full between 2005 and 2016 and making false statements to CMS about how much the company charged distributors for its drugs. According to the jury, Lilly intentionally underpaid rebates to the program, which resulted in financial losses for the program as a whole and Medicaid agencies in 26 states.

CVS Plans to Enter Primary Care Industry by End of Year

CVS announced its plans to either acquire or take a stake in a primary care company by the end of 2022, CNBC reported. CVS currently has touchpoints across the health care industry, including Aetna, Caremark, and its own MinuteClinic urgent care locations. According to Karen Lynch, CEO of CVS, the company is looking to partner with a health care provider with strong management and tech experience that has potential to grow quickly, as the company’s competition with Amazon and Walgreens intensifies.