News and Updates

Smarter Health Care Coalition Letter Urges White House to Expand HSA-HDHP Preventive Safe Harbor

July 19, 2017

Read our letter

Smarter Health Care Coalition Applauds White House for Move to Help Chronically Ill Access Needed Care

June 23, 2017

Read our press release

New Members

We would like to welcome Novo Nordisk to the Coalition! Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care, and also focuses on care for other chronic conditions including rare bleeding disorders, growth hormone related disorders, and obesity. We look forward to incorporating their perspectives and insights into our work and efforts.

Hill Activity Update

CHRONIC Care Act of 2017 Clears Senate Finance Committee
On Thursday, May 18, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017 (S. 870). The CHRONIC Care Act of 2017 would expand the Value-based Insurance Design (V-BID) Model to all states by 2020. Next, the bill will be considered by the full Senate, but the exact date has not yet been determined. The full text of the bill is available here

Senator Stabenow Highlights Innovation of Medicare Advantage V-BID Demonstration
During the Senate Finance Committee’s May 16 hearing, “Examining Bipartisan Medicare Policies that Improve Care for Patients with Chronic Conditions,” Senator Stabenow highlighted the innovations of the Medicare Advantage V-BID demonstration, specifically mentioning Dr. Mark Fendrick and the University of Michigan Center for V-BID:

“I want to specifically talk about the value-based insurance design today. It’s not something everyone in the public would be thinking of in terms of an improvement in the system. But I am proud to say that this is a Michigan export. In 2005, Dr. Mark Fendrick started the University of Michigan Center for Value-Based Insurance Design. They have done innovative work in evaluating health plan benefit designs to improve care and reduce costs. This bill would take this [VBID] from a pilot in 7 states to an opportunity for every state.”

Coalition Submits Letter of Support for The Value-Based Insurance Design (V-BID) for Better Care Act of 2017
On Wednesday, May 17, the Coalition sent a letter of support on the The V-BID for Better Care Act of 2017 (H.R. 1995). This bill, along with the recently re-introduced CHRONIC Care Act of 2017, would expand the CMS Medicare Advantage V-BID demonstration to all states by January 1, 2019, and represent a major step forward in unleashing the potential for Medicare Advantage to more effectively address the needs of beneficiaries.

The letter, sent to Representatives Black, Blumenauer, McMorris Rodgers, and Dingell, can be viewed here.

In The News

Coalition To Trump: Include HSA Policy In Final Drug Executive Order (7/20/17)
A broad coalition of health care stakeholders is urging the White House to include a provision that would expand the services that consumers can purchase with pre-tax health savings account dollars prior to hitting the deductible in the final version of an expected drug-pricing executive drug order. Read the full article here.

Whichever Way ‘Repeal And Replace’ Blows, Pharma Is Due For Windfall (7/12/17)

The pharmaceutical industry could see windfall profits from a little-noticed tweak to the insurance market tucked into the Trump administration’s draft executive order on drug prices. Read the full article here.

Health Insurers Try Paying More Up Front To Pay Less Later (7/12/17)
Some health plans are beginning to offer free maintenance care for people with chronic health problems, hoping that spending a little more early on will save a lot money in the long run. Read the full article here.

A broad swath of health care stakeholders is thrilled an alleged draft White House executive order on drug policy leaked last month would expand the pre-deductible services that can be paid using health savings account and hope the policy will be in the final version. Read the full article here.

Health Plans That Nudge Patients to Do the Right Thing (7/10/17)
What would happen if health plans offered more generous coverage of high-value care, but less generous coverage of those services that provide little or no health benefit? Read the article here.

Senate Panel Approves Bill Revamping Medicare for Chronically Ill Patients (5/18/2017)
The article provides a summary of the provisions included in the CHRONIC Act, including the Medicare Advantage V-BID expansion. Read the full article here.

Medicare Urged to Look Harder at Value of Services Provided (4/1/2017)
In 2014, Medicare spent between $2.4 billion and $6.5 billion on health care services known as “low-value care.” MedPAC used 31 measures of low-value care developed by Aaron Schwartz of Harvard University and colleagues.The article discussed options the MedPAC could consider, including increasing patients’ responsibility “by using cost-sharing and conferring with their providers about which services are necessary.” Read the full article here.