What we're reading, February 4, 2016: President Obama is proposing changes to the widely disliked Cadillac tax; Florida declares a health emergency in 4 counties over Zika virus; and drug makers are pouring money into efforts to improve medication adherence.
President Obama has shown willingness to alter the Cadillac tax, a controversial part of the Affordable Care Act that even Democrats have begun to speak out against. The New York Times reported that a senior White House advisor confirmed the president’s 2017 budget plan will include a proposal to tailoring the tax to reflect regional differences across the country. Parts of the country where healthcare is particularly expensive will have a higher threshold, according to the proposed change.
Panic over the Zika virus in the United States is increasing. Governor Rick Scott has declared a health emergency in 4 counties in Florida, all of which had confirmed cases, reported CBS Miami. In total, Florida has had 9 confirmed cases of the virus, all of which were contracted by people who traveled to Latin America and the Caribbean and none of whom were pregnant women. South Florida hospitals are also asking pregnant women when they are admitted if they have traveled to areas with the virus.
Patients may be upset at how costly drugs are getting, but the pharmaceutical industry probably isn’t too happy about the money it loses when patients don’t fill or refill their prescriptions. According to STAT, drug makers are pouring money into adherence programs to get patients to take their medications. They are investing in smart pills that send alerts if they haven’t been taken, gift cards to thank patients who do refill their prescription, and payment patients to talk about the benefits of taking medication as prescribed.