BCBS Louisiana requires agents have ACA exchange certification; price of generic drugs on the rise

Around the Web

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is requiring all of its agents in the individual market be certified to sell in the state's federally facilitated marketplace--even those who only sell outside of the exchange. Agents also serve as health care advisers, and BCBSLA wants them to be well-versed in the Affordable Care Act, says Dianne Eysink, director of corporate communications. Article

Expensive specialty drugs such as Sovaldi are driving up costs for payers. Now the costs of generic drugs are spiking, too--some by as much as 8,000%, the Associated Press reports. Article

State spending last year grew at its fastest pace since before the recession, thanks mostly to an infusion of spending on healthcare reform. Article

Healthcare Provider News

Penalties for excessive readmissions reached an all-time high this year. One problem is that readmission reduction programs focus on how patients exit the hospital, Eugene Litvak, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Optimization in Newton, Massachusetts, tells Ilene MacDonald, FierceHealthcare senior editor, in an exclusive interview. Instead, hospital leaders should focus on how patients enter their facilities, he says. Interview

Healthcare Finance News

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a list of counties and parishes that will lose their rural designation that allows acute care facilities within their boundaries to receive extra payments as critical access hospitals. Article

And finally … Temptation, thy name is kibble. Video