Medicaid Update, Discount Cards, MACRA APMs, Telemedicine

Medicaid Update - For all the whispers of state Medicaid programs discussing DPC pilots, none have come to fruition yet.  Manatt offers an excellent Medicaid Expansion Recap article.  Readers will note the absence of any mention of DPC.

Pharmacy Discount Cards - Any veteran DPC physician would tell you that these items typically are not necessary because they do not actually lead to the most affordable prices for medications.  At any rate, they are popular in some areas - usually among "traditional" physicians.  Those groups had better watch out!  If you have not opted out of Medicare, handing out pharmacy discount cards could amount to False Claims Act or Antikickback liability!  Check out this article by Robert M. Wolin "Drug Manufacturer Discount Cards: Accept With Caution."  Oddly enough, when nonprofits design "charity" programs to reduce certain costs for beneficiaries of government programs the OIG does not view this as a problem.  

This quick update from Health Industry Washington Watch includes the following quote: "MACRA established the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) to provide recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the criteria for physician-focused APMs, and to submit comments regarding whether specific proposals meet the criteria to be established by the Secretary. "  So readers might want to follow this group.  Hopefully they will view DPC as an APM (Advanced Payment Model).

For those that hope growth in telemedicine will encourage more DPC, check out this case summary from a group that is battling the Texas Medical Board "Antitrust: “Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News.”