What We're Reading: Health Literacy; Paid Family Leave; Biopharma at Davos

Kentucky may require Medicaid patients who lose coverage to pass a health literacy test; new tax law encourages companies to offer paid family and medical leave with tax credit; biopharma leaders head to Davos to share ideas.

Kentucky May Link Health Literacy for Medicaid Coverage

If a patient doesn’t meet the state’s work requirements for Medicaid coverage, he or she could reactivate coverage by passing a health or financial literacy course. According to The New York TimesThe Upshot blog, Kentucky views the course as a away to empower patients to improve their health, but some health policy experts think the provision is punitive without having any health benefit. However, Medicaid enrollees are not the only Americans who have poor health literacy—all Americans could stand to improve their health and financial literacy.

Encouraging Paid Family and Medical Leave

A tax credit in the new tax law could encourage companies to offer paid family and medical leave for lower-wage workers. The provision offers a tax credit for companies, but it is unclear if the credit will work to push companies to offer the benefit, according to Kaiser Health News. The leave can only be offered to workers earning less than $72,000 a year, and the benefit has to cover at least 50% of their wages. Companies that pay more than 50% of wages will receive a larger tax credit.

Biopharma Heads to Davos

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos started today, and biopharma executives will flock to Switzerland to share ideas. STAT reported that executives at top companies attend to lay the groundwork for business transactions and mingle with other leaders, including FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, who is going to sit on a panel discussion about precision medicine. The meeting can also be a venue for new companies to make their name known, such as 23andMe, which used the meeting as a way to promote its testing kits when the company was just 2 years old.