What We're Reading: Michigan Drug Pricing Experiment; ACA Enrollment; Gun Laws and Gun Deaths

Michigan receives approval to implement outcomes-based drug contracts in Medicaid; in the first 10 days since open enrollment began, 1.2 million people have signed up for Affordable Care Act health plans, which falls short of the 1.5 million people who signed up in the first 9 days last year; new research has found that in states with lax gunshot laws, children are twice as likely to die from gunshot wounds compared with states with stricter laws.

Michigan Receives Approval for Drug Pricing Experiment

CMS has approved Michigan’s waiver to save money in the Medicaid program by using an outcomes-based approach for drug contracts. The Associated Press reported that the state’s plan addresses the impact of new, expensive therapies. If a medicine does not perform as promised, drug manufacturers would provide increased supplemental rebate payments to Michigan’s Medicaid program. A similar proposal had been approved in Oklahoma in June.

Enrollment in Affordable Care Act Plans Down

Early enrollment numbers have shown that 1.2 million people have signed up for Affordable Care Act health plans in the first 10 days since open enrollment, which falls short of the 1.5 million people who signed up in the first 9 days last year, according to The Hill. However, Larry Levitt, with the Kaiser Family Foundation, noted that it is still too soon to tell what may have caused the drop and signups are likely to surge as the deadline approaches. One factor that could have affected signups could have been the election this year, which may have diverted attention from enrollment. Open enrollment ends on December 15.

Stricter Gun Laws Tied to Fewer Gunshot Deaths Among Children

New research presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics has found that in states with lax gunshot laws, children are twice as likely to die from gunshot wounds compared with states with stricter laws. According to Reuters, the researchers adjusted for factors such as family poverty, unemployment, and substance abuse, which could influence the risk of gun-related death. States with the weakest gun laws had 5 child deaths by gunshot per 100,000 compared with 2.56 child deaths in states with the strongest laws.