The House passed a health care package on Monday that includes measures to curb some practices by pharmacy benefit managers, according to STAT News.
What’s going on: The Lower Costs, More Transparency Leadership Act, which passed on a bipartisan vote, “would equalize payment between hospital outpatient departments and doctors’ offices for administering medicines in Medicare, rein in some practices by pharmacy benefit managers and codify health care price transparency rules.”
- The vote on the measure was scheduled for September originally but was pushed back amid a larger funding dispute.
What it means: The package would prohibit PBMs from “spread pricing”—or charging Medicaid more than they pay pharmacies for medications.
- It would also require PBMs, “clinical lab test providers, imaging providers [and] ambulatory surgical centers … to be more transparent about their pricing.”
What’s next: “Some community health advocates hope Monday’s vote will jump-start negotiations with the Senate, where leaders have signaled they’re looking for more than what’s in the House bill,” POLITICO reports.
Our view: “House passage of the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act is a step forward for PBM transparency, but Congress must continue to advance reforms that ensure PBMs pass on prescription drug discounts directly to plan sponsors and patients as well as delink their compensation from the list price of drugs,” the NAM said on Tuesday.