The Hill: Medicare bill holds key to delivering a bipartisan health care win

By: Sloane Salzburg, The Hill, 9/8/17

If the news stories are to be believed, Congress cannot agree on much of anything when it comes to health care. The botched effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act made for big headlines and appeared to leave lawmakers and the public with little hope for acts of bipartisanship anytime soon.

But that narrative tells half the story. In truth, Republicans and Democrats successfully worked together just last month, when Congress overwhelmingly passed sweeping, long-term legislation to reauthorize user fee agreements that account for much of the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) funding.

Congress would prove the naysayers wrong last year, too, when it passed the 21st Century Cures Actlegislation signed into law by then-President Obama streamlining drug approval processes and bolstering research for breakthrough treatments and therapies.

Democrats and Republicans alike know that Washington needs another bipartisan victory of this sort, and the answer is right under their nose.

Medication adherence – the practice of ensuring patients take their drugs as prescribed – isn’t exactly the hot topic du jour in today’s health care debate. You won’t hear it mentioned in campaign commercials, and it doesn’t make for the best fundraising pitch. After all, everyone agrees people should stick to their meds, right? Read More >>

 

NPR: 'Smart' Pill Bottles Aren't Enough to Help the Medicine Go Down

Lauren Silverman, NPR, 8/22/17

What if I told you there was a way to use technology to save an estimated $100 billion to $300 billion dollars a year in health care spending in the U.S.? That's the estimated cost incurred because people don't take the medications they're prescribed.

A number of companies are now selling wireless "smart" pill bottles, Internet-linked devices aimed at reminding people to take their pills. But recent research suggests that actually changing that behavior may take more than an electronic nudge...Read More >>