What We're Reading: Single-Payer Plan in Calif.; New Mexico Biosimilar Bill; and Shared Decision Making

California Considers a Single-Payer System

As Republicans work to repeal, replace, or even just reform the Affordable Care Act (ACA), California isn’t waiting. According to Los Angeles Times, the state may take the uncertain future of the ACA as an opportunity to create the health system it wants for its 39 million residents. Some politicians and healthcare advocates are promoting the idea of a state-run single-payer system, while other suggestions include a state-run health plan. A state senator introduced a Medicare for all single-payer plan in a bill.

New Mexico Bills Would Allow for Biosimiliar Substitution

Senators in New Mexico approved a bill that would allow pharmacists to substitute biosimilars for brand-name products. The bill would allow substitution in the same way that pharmacists in the state can now substitute generic drugs for brand-name ones, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The biosimilars can be substituted for biological drugs if it means the consumer will pay less, and pharmacies will need to notify the prescriber that the substitution has occurred. The House is still considering its version of the bill.

Getting Patients to Take Charge

The creation of decision aids, improved access to medical records, and other changes are meaning that more patients are finally getting involved with their care. The Wall Street Journal reported that patients have more tools available to get more informed so they feel confident enough to make care decisions instead of just leaving it up to the doctor. Studies have shown that shared decision making leads to better outcomes and lower costs, and patients are more likely to stick to their regimens.