Lousiana to use 'Netflix' model for hepatitis C drugs
State officials in Louisiana said they plan to move forward with a "Netflix" model for paying for costly hepatitis C treatments in an effort to increase access to the medications that can cure patients of the disease.
The effort—which would essentially require the state to pay a subscription fee to drug companies—could also serve as a model for other states seeking ways to improve the affordability of the drugs, the Washington Post reported.
The state announced it has a goal to treat 10,000 people with hepatitis C by 2020, a number which represents about a quarter of its infected populations on Medicaid and in prison. (The Washington Post)
Maine launches Medicaid expansion
A week after newly elected Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced her plan to execute the expansion of Medicaid, more than 500 residents have successfully enrolled in the program.
The expansion of MaineCare, the state's version of Medicaid, was passed by voters and supposed to go into effect in July. But the former governor held up the implementation of the law until the state legislature was able to identify a funding source, Maine Public Radio reported. .
More than 8,000 individuals have applied for MaineCare since July. (Maine Public Radio)
Colorado lawmakers considering 'public option'
A Colorado lawmaker has introduced legislation to instruct state agencies to craft a public-option proposal for offering health insurance.
The legislation was introduced under a newly elected Democratic majority in Colorado but has also won the support of a Republican cosponsor. If ultimately passed, the proposal would require federal government approval. (FOX31 Denver)
Tennessee resumes payments to struggling rural clinics
Struggling rural clinics in Tennessee will soon get paid a year after the state suspended payments to TennCare, its Medicaid program.
The reversal follows an investigation by The Tennessean about the challenges facing rural healthcare providers who serve patients in impoverished areas where doctors are scarce. (The Tennessean)