From the News Desk

Dominating the healthcare headlines this week is the implication of the debt ceiling agreement on Medicare and other government run health programs, our own Michelle Oxman discussed its possible impacts on Medicaid.

 In other news:

  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) paved the way for HHS to announce that a multitude of women’s preventative services including birth control, gestational diabetes screening and other visits and services will be covered with no copay for individuals with health plans beginning or starting on or after August 1, 2012.
  • Following the FDA’s change in stance on acetaminophen dosing and labeling in January, McNeil Consumer Healthcare a division of Johnson & Johnson announced new lower dosing instructions on Tylenol, a popular name brand version of the pain killer.
  • Health Net Inc., may now resume marketing Medicare Advantage programs after sanctions were imposed when CMS alleged the company failed to provide prescription drug benefits that conformed with the law.
  • User fees and payment rates were updated for many government programs, including Medicare’s inpatient reimbursement rates and the FDA’s prescription drug user fee rates.  The FDA’s much anticipated reinspections, recall, and importer reinspection user fee rates were also published for 2012, marking the beginning of a new inspection program begun by the Food Safety Modernization Act (P.L. 111-353).