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

Commentary on “Competing Visions for Consumer Engagement in the Dawn of the Trump Administration” (10/17)

In this commentary, John Rother, JD, and Larry McNeely, MPA, explain how V-BID can be a uniting issue in the current environment of supporters and skeptics of consumer-directed health care. The commentary is available here.

Expand the Health Savings Account ‘Safe Harbor’ to Reduce Health Costs (8/26/17)

The Hill published an op-ed by Dr. Mark Fendrick, of the University of Michigan’s Center for V-BID, on the importance of the expansion of the “safe harbor” provision which would help lower premiums and make HSAs more attractive and effective. The full op-ed is available here.

Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design: The First Year(9/15/17)

Mannat Phelps & Phillips LLP published some analysis and findings from the first year of the MA V-BID demonstration, focusing on diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertension. Some key findings include:
• About 2% of MA enrollees potentially have access to V-BID in 2017
• In 36 of the 45 plans, enrollees with chronic conditions receive reduced cost sharing. Some offer this in combination with extra coverage for services or reduce cost sharing for Part D drugs.
• 3 plans offer extra coverage as the only V-BID benefit.
• 6 plans offer reduced drug cost sharing as the only V-BID benefit.
The full article is available here.

Coalition To Trump: Include HSA Policy In Final Drug Executive Order (7/20/17)
Read the full article here.

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

Read the full article here.

Health Insurers Try Paying More Up Front To Pay Less Later (7/12/17)
Read the full article here.

Read the full article here.

Health Plans That Nudge Patients to Do the Right Thing (7/10/17)
Read the article here.

Senate Panel Approves Bill Revamping Medicare for Chronically Ill Patients (5/18/17)
Read the full article here.

Medicare Urged to Look Harder at Value of Services Provided (4/1/17) Read the full article here