MEDICAL WASTE: Bills to watch in the Louisiana Legislature - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

MEDICAL WASTE: Bills to watch in the Louisiana Legislature

  • MEDICAL WASTE: Bills to watch in the Louisiana LegislatureMore>>

  • MEDICAL WASTE: Examining Big Pharma's campaign clout

    MEDICAL WASTE: Examining Big Pharma's campaign clout

    Friday, May 13 2016 2:09 PM EDT2016-05-13 18:09:11 GMT

    Those bottles of pills in your medicine cabinet translate into political clout for the pharmaceutical industry. We take a deep dive into the state and federal data on Big Pharma's campaign contributions and lobbying expenses.

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    Those bottles of pills in your medicine cabinet translate into political clout for the pharmaceutical industry. We take a deep dive into the state and federal data on Big Pharma's campaign contributions and lobbying expenses.

    more>>
  • Zurik: United/Optum defends prescription 'overpayment program'

    Zurik: United/Optum defends prescription 'overpayment program'

    Monday, May 9 2016 4:06 PM EDT2016-05-09 20:06:37 GMT

    A series of emails we received from a subsidiary of United Healthcare raises more serious questions about the country's largest health carrier. Our investigation last week showed United says its charging customers a copay for some drugs. But in actuality, that copay is a “you-pay” - United charges more than the cost of the drug. We dissect United’s statement in this follow-up to our Medical Waste investigation.

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    A series of emails we received from a subsidiary of United Healthcare raises more serious questions about the country's largest health carrier. Our investigation last week showed United says its charging customers a copay for some drugs. But in actuality, that copay is a “you-pay” - United charges more than the cost of the drug. We dissect United’s statement in this follow-up to our Medical Waste investigation.

    more>>
  • Zurik: Copay or you-pay? Prescription drug clawbacks draw fire

    Zurik: Copay or you-pay? Prescription drug clawbacks draw fire

    Wednesday, May 4 2016 3:10 PM EDT2016-05-04 19:10:12 GMT
    (Source: Fox 8 Photo)(Source: Fox 8 Photo)

    Why would anyone pay more than they had to for their prescription drugs? Some insurance companies give you no choice, and even prevent your pharmacist from discussing it with you. We examine the practice of "clawbacks" and whether it may be a direct violation of  federal law.

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    Why would anyone pay more than they had to for their prescription drugs? Some insurance companies give you no choice, and even prevent your pharmacist from discussing it with you. We examine the practice of "clawbacks" and whether it may be a direct violation of  federal law.

    more>>
  • Zurik: Cassidy slams drug cost clawbacks, demands transparency

    Zurik: Cassidy slams drug cost clawbacks, demands transparency

    Thursday, May 5 2016 3:25 PM EDT2016-05-05 19:25:15 GMT

    Documents uncovered by FOX 8 News show real-life examples of patients going to the pharmacy and getting charged a premium on their medication.  We showed you several examples of customers paying more in copay for drugs than the drugs themselves actually cost. Now one of the most powerful politicians in Washington wants to get our documents.

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    Documents uncovered by FOX 8 News show real-life examples of patients going to the pharmacy and getting charged a premium on their medication.  We showed you several examples of customers paying more in copay for drugs than the drugs themselves actually cost. Now one of the most powerful politicians in Washington wants to get our documents.

    more>>
  • Zurik: Non-emergency ER visits draining public coffers

    Zurik: Non-emergency ER visits draining public coffers

    Monday, May 2 2016 1:17 PM EDT2016-05-02 17:17:14 GMT

    From gunshot wounds to heart attacks: When people fight for their lives, an emergency room can be their last chance for help. But some Louisianans go to the ER for hangnails, blisters, warts, even sunburn. And these ER trips have a catch - you're paying for it. 

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    From gunshot wounds to heart attacks: When people fight for their lives, an emergency room can be their last chance for help. But some Louisianans go to the ER for hangnails, blisters, warts, even sunburn. And these ER trips have a catch - you're paying for it. 

    more>>

Healthcare issues always generate a lot of legislation in Baton Rouge. Here are a few key bills to watch in the 2016 regular session - as well as the House and Senate committees that will be considering these measures for passage.

HB961 by Representative Greg Cromer

DRUGS/PRESCRIPTION: "Requires educational or marketing materials for prescription drugs directed to healthcare providers to include price information" 

IN A NUTSHELL: This bill basically would allow doctors to know the price/cost of a medication when they prescribe it. 

WHO'S CONSIDERING IT: House Health & Welfare Committee (links to committee member list, contact info)

HB864 by Representative H. Bernard LeBas

INSURANCE CLAIMS: "Prohibits certain claims fees assessed by health insurers or pharmacy benefit managers" 

IN A NUTSHELL: This legislation would prohibit DIR fees - fees that are charged to pharmacists months after they have filled prescription.

WHO'S CONSIDERING IT: Passed by House and Senate, and signed into law by Gov. Edwards. Takes effect August 1, 2016

SB131 by Senator Ronnie Johns 

HEALTH CARE: "Provides for alternative options to prescription drugs."

IN A NUTSHELL: This bill somewhat impacts prescription drug cost clawbacks.  It would allow the pharmacist to tell customers about cheaper alternatives; right now they can't volunteer that information, but the customer must ask for it first.

WHO'S CONSIDERING IT: Passed without opposition in both chambers and headed to the governor's desk. Would take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

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