HEALTH

Increasingly, as drug prices inch upwards, patients are relying more on coupons they receive directly from pharmaceutical manufacturers to cover the cost of their drugs.But health insurers have developed a tactic that essentially negates that benefit by refusing to count the value of the coupon or copay assistance...
Like each of Virginia's psychiatric hospitals, Central State Hospital in Petersburg is almost always near capacity. But thanks to a broad effort to rightsize Virginia's entire behavioral health system, Gov. Ralph Northam's new plan to replace the outdated facility might actually cut the total number of beds.Following a brief...
From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary.A new study from the Commonwealth Fund found that Medicaid work requirements not only will cause more people to lose insurance, but could also increase uncompensated care and hurt...
From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary.More than 20 percent of Virginia's black, American Indian and Hispanic populations report poor or fair health, compared to 14 percent of the state's white residents.Annual data from the...
The dental community has been focused on training and educational opportunities for dentists to change the way they prescribe opioids for dental procedures. For the past three years, I have been an advocate of the change, a role I did not choose: I was chosen for it. Four years ago, my...
More than four years later, Diane Franklin's children still choke up when they describe what happened to their mother.It was Dec. 13, 2015, and as she approached Franklin's apartment in a Charlottesville independent living community, Jackie Carney could already smell urine.Franklin had been trapped there for four days, her...
This month, Virginia's Medicaid program has stopped requiring clinicians to obtain prior authorization before prescribing a medication used to treat opioid addiction in a move to increase access to treatment.The change in policy applies to Suboxone films, a form of buprenorphine and naloxone that is applied to the tongue....
From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary.Past efforts to reform step therapy in Virginia have been met with resistance from health insurance companies. But this year's bipartisan push to reform the practice — which can...
In 2017, Virginia clinicians provided $747 million worth of wasteful services to patients, according to the Virginia Center for Health Innovation.Those services ranged from ordering tests and images before low-risk surgeries to unnecessarily screening for vitamin D deficiencies."It delays care, because people have to have those procedures and wait...
From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary. WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-11th, on Tuesday called the presence of asbestos in cosmetic products an important lesson in the value of government regulation. Connolly, a member of...