Cigna/Express Scripts

Insurers slam critical drug-pricing research but can’t vouch for their own

BY: - December 9, 2021

A spokeswoman for a major health-insurance industry group on Wednesday questioned research cited in a story published Tuesday in the Capital Journal. In doing so, she cited a bit of purported research that she couldn’t vouch for herself. The story was about research showing that insurers working with Medicare are supposed to be lowering care […]

For one drug at least, biggest insurers force Medicare patients to buy the most expensive

BY: - December 7, 2021

In theory, the point of managed care is to save money by negotiating with providers for lower prices. So it would seem that the biggest managed-care providers would use their clout to negotiate the lowest prices from doctors and hospitals and for medicine. But for at least one drug, the largest Medicare managed-care companies are […]

Congressional group takes up PBMs, strikes a partisan tone

BY: - November 26, 2021

Members of Congress last week took up an issue potentially of great importance: What to do about powerful health conglomerates who play an increasingly powerful role in the drug-supply chain. But the event also demonstrated the harsh partisanship that increasingly paralyzes Congress in the face of difficult problems. Rep. James Comer, R-Ky, called the forum […]

CVS sometimes forces people to use its pharmacies. Now the Supreme Court will weigh in

BY: - November 5, 2021

It’s a practice long complained of in Ohio. CVS Health and other massive corporations often use their pharmacy middleman subsidiaries to force people to get the most expensive class of drugs from the businesses’ own mail-order pharmacies. Some call the practice “patient steering.” CVS and companies such as UnitedHealth and ExpressScripts/Cigna say the arrangements save […]

State says Medicaid director complied with ethics law, won’t share documents

BY: - October 11, 2021

The Ohio Department of Medicaid and the governor’s office last week insisted that Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran complied with state ethics laws as her department entered into massive contracts earlier this year. However, they so far have refused to produce copies of affidavits that seem to be required by state law, and Corcoran is refusing […]

Ohio’s Medicaid director owns the stock of some major contractors, but won’t say how much

BY: - October 6, 2021

Since she became director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid in January 2019, Maureen Corcoran has owned stock in some of the department’s biggest contractors. Given the size of those contracts, they could have increased the value of the stock Corcoran owned. But while she complied with one set of state disclosure requirements, Corcoran won’t […]

In court, drug middlemen fight to limit pharmacies insured patients can use

BY: - September 7, 2021

In the first test of a 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, drug middlemen last week argued that federal law gives them a crucial right to limit what pharmacies patients with health insurance can use — or at least make it more expensive if patients get their medicine at a shop that isn’t preferred by the […]

Already concerned with drug costs, large employers, family pharmacists worry about more middlemen

BY: - September 2, 2021

There already were deep concerns among small pharmacists about drug middlemen known as "pharmacy benefit managers."  Now the corporations that own them appear to be creating yet another layer of middlemen. That has even the largest employers in the country worried.