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Trending News Today: Financial Incentives May Increase Utilization of Preventive Services

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.
Published Online: Dec 05,2017
Laurie Toich, Assistant Editor
Financial incentives may motivate insured patients to make and keep appointments for preventive services, according to Kaiser Health News. Health plans, medical practices, Medicaid, and some private insurers have been implementing a reward system designed to encourage patients to engage in healthier lifestyles, such as quitting smoking or losing weight. Kaiser reported that these patients may receive gift cards, cash, gym memberships, pedometers, or other incentives for being screened for cancer, attending health classes, or completing surveys. Providing an upfront incentive for patients may save money in the long run by mitigating health problems and chronic diseases, according to the article.

Colorado recently eliminated restrictions that limit which Medicaid beneficiaries can receive treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV), according to STAT. Since HCV drugs are costly, many Medicaid programs only provide access to patients with advanced liver disease, a late stage of HCV. Colorado overturned this rule due to the emergence of lower cost therapies, such as AbbVie’s glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (Mayvret), according to the article.

The CVS Health and Aetna merger may help patients receive better, more coordinated care with less patients falling through the cracks, The New York Times reported. The companies also said that the merger would ensure that patients can receive high-quality, low-cost care that is accessible through their local CVS Pharmacy. Additionally, by combining data from the retail pharmacy chain and the large insurer, the companies said the merger can make the healthcare landscape more efficient and inexpensive, according to the Times.