What We're Reading: Ark. Work Requirements Lawsuit; CVS' Cost Savings Plan; Kavanaugh and Healthcare

Advocacy groups filed a lawsuit on behalf of 3 Medicaid recipients challenging Arkansas' Medicaid work requirements; CVS Health announced that its pharmacy benefit manager will target expensive drugs to be excluded from formularies if they are not cost effective; Senate leaders have received a letter from 120 consumer and patient associations on the impact Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could have on health policy.

Arkansas Medicaid Recipients File Lawsuit Over Work Requirements

The Trump administration is facing another lawsuit over its decision to allow states to impose work requirements in Medicaid. Similar to an earlier lawsuit over Kentucky’s work requirements, advocacy groups filed a lawsuit on behalf of 3 Medicaid recipients in Arkansas, reported Reuters. The lawsuit claims the administration does not have the capability to approve work requirements under the federal Medicaid law. In June, a federal judge blocked Kentucky’s work requirements.

CVS Program Will Allow Expensive Drugs to Be Excluded

In a recent white paper, CVS Health announced that its pharmacy benefit manager will target expensive drugs to be excluded from formularies if they are not cost effective. According to The Center for Biosimilars®, a sister site of The American Journal of Managed Care®, CVS Caremark will rely on data from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review to determine cost effectiveness. CVS has already implemented efforts to curb costs, and the white paper identifies 3 additional strategies it will begin to employ.

Consumer and Patient Associations Weigh in on Kavanaugh

Senate leaders have received a letter from 120 consumer and patient associations on the impact Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could have on health policy. InsideHealth Policy reported that the Supreme Court might be hearing cases on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, access to women’s healthcare services, state accountability for violating Medicaid requirements, and attempts to roll back Medicaid coverage. Kavanaugh could be a deciding vote on all of these health issues.