A podcast that pulls back the curtain to help you make sense of complex healthcare economics and policy issues.

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A podcast that pulls back the curtain to help you make sense of complex healthcare economics and policy issues.

On the Healthcare Matters podcast

“Healthcare Matters” is hosted by Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at GHLF and Ben Blanc, Associate Director, Digital Production and Engagement at GHLF. Our goal is to simplify the complexities in healthcare economics and policy for you.

Healthcare Matters Episodes

“Healthcare Matters” is part of the Global Healthy Living Foundation Podcast Network and hosted by Dr. Robert Popovian and Ben Blanc.

Season 5, Episode 3

Advancing Vaccine Policy: Live from the World Vaccine Congress

Join Dr. Robert Popovian and Ben Blanc for a special live episode from the World Vaccine Congress in Washington, DC, where they delve into the latest developments in vaccine policy and economic research. This episode spotlights the congress’s role as a vital hub for collaboration and innovation in the vaccine industry.

Tune in to get an insider’s view of the pivotal conversations shaping the future of vaccines.

Season 5, Episode 2

Pharmacies and Public Health: Breaking Down Barriers to Pharmacy Vaccination

In this episode of Healthcare Matters, Dr. Robert Popovian and Ben Blanc take a deep dive into GHLF’s latest vaccine study with guests Dr. Wayne Winegarden, Senior Fellow in Business and Economics at the Pacific Research Institute (PRI) and Director of PRI’s Center for Medical Economics and Innovation, and Esteban Rivera, Associate Director of Data Science and Economics at GHLF.

Together, they delve into the study, which underscores the pivotal role pharmacists play in vaccination efforts and the urgent need for regulatory reform. They discuss how pharmacies enhance vaccine access and affordability, especially in marginalized communities, the challenges posed by regulatory barriers, and suggest ways to reform these barriers to improve vaccination rates.

Tune in to explore how pharmacies can play a pivotal role in public health through streamlined vaccination processes.

To access the full report, go to: https://ghlf.org/removing_barriers_to_pharmacy_vaccination/

Season 5, Episode 1

New Findings Unveiled: The Economic Path to Increased Vaccination

In this episode of Healthcare Matters, our hosts dive into the impact of pharmacy reimbursement on vaccination rates with guest Vibhu Tewary, researcher and Project Director at IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science. Through discussing a recent study, they reveal how a modest increase in reimbursement can lead to higher flu vaccination rates among Medicaid-covered adults. The episode also touches on the role of pharmacies in public health, the need for policy reform to enhance vaccine accessibility, and the potential for future research to further improve public health outcomes.

You can find the full report at www.iqvia.com/insights/the-iqvia-institute/reports-and-publications/reports/trends-in-adult-vaccination-in-the-us

Season 4, Episode 10

PBM Practices Uncovered: A Closer Look at Drug Pricing

Dr. Robert Popovian and Conner Mertens dive into the problematic practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) that prioritize profits over patient access to affordable medications. Focusing on the case of a generic asthma medication offered at a discount yet overlooked by PBMs, the hosts explore the deep-seated issues of misaligned incentives in health care. They also discuss innovative solutions to bypass the traditional pharmaceutical distribution system, aiming to enhance patient access and affordability.

Join our hosts as they explore the complexities of health care economics and the path towards a more equitable system.

Season 4, Episode 9

Pandemic Economics: How Vaccines Changed the Game

Join our hosts as they explore the substantial impact of COVID-19 vaccines. They discuss a groundbreaking study by the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) revealing how rapid vaccine development and distribution saved millions of lives and prevented hospitalizations, leading to a significant $500 billion economic saving. The episode delves into vaccine efficacy, the importance of boosters, and strategies to combat vaccine hesitancy. Tune in for a concise yet comprehensive analysis of how COVID-19 vaccines have reshaped public health and the economy.

Season 4, Episode 8

Beyond the Formulary: Uncovering the Hidden Impact of Drug Exclusions

Dr. Robert Popovian and Conner Mertens, along with guest Catherine Hicks, a patient diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis as a child, dive into the complex world of formulary exclusions. They discuss how these exclusions impact patient care and the hidden consequences they bring, including how Catherine was personally impacted. Dr. Popovian also shares learnings from GHLF’s research work, shedding light on the clinical and economic implications of these exclusions.

Tune in for a deep dive into the realities of navigating health care policy and the pressing need for patient advocacy.

Season 4, Episode 7

Prescription for Uncertainty: Navigating the Maze of Drug Shortages

Our hosts delve into the complex and concerning rise in drug shortages affecting patients in the U.S. and around the world. They explore the intricate economics driving the scarcity of essential medicines, from the impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act to the raw material supply disruptions tied to over-reliance on China.

Listen as they discuss the severe repercussions on patient care, including delayed treatments and compromised health outcomes, and present thought-provoking solutions that challenge current pricing policies and distribution practices.

Season 4, Episode 6

Unpacking the Inflation Reduction Act: Hope and Hurdle for Patients

In this episode of Healthcare Matters, join our hosts as they dive into the intricacies of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). While the act has brought about significant benefits like the annual cap on out-of-pocket costs, zeroing out costs for vaccines, and the insulin cap, it’s not without its challenges.

Join Dr. Popovian and Conner Mertens as they explore the benefits and risks associated with the IRA, offering valuable insights into how it affects patients, particularly in terms of prescription drug costs.

Season 4, Episode 5

A Patient’s Journey: Navigating Vaccine Accessibility Challenges

In this week’s episode of Healthcare Matters, co-hosts Dr. Robert Popovian and Conner Mertens are joined by special guest, Dr. Shilpa Venkatachalam, Director of Patient-Centered Research Operations and Ethical Oversight at GHLF.

Dr. Venkatachalam’s personal story sheds light on the systemic barriers that hinder patients from accessing crucial vaccines, even when recommended by their health care providers. In this episode, we’ll dig into issues such as state-level regulations, the critical need to expand pharmacist abilities to administer vaccines, difficulties in transferring patient data/information, and the importance of advocating for oneself in the health care system.

Season 4, Episode 4

Healthcare Deception: Exposing Copay Accumulator and Maximizer Schemes

In this episode of “Healthcare Matters,” join hosts Dr. Robert Popovian and Conner Mertens as they unravel the shady practice known as “copay accumulator adjustors.” Joined by JP Summers, a patient advocate and chronic disease patient herself, they’ll shed light on this practice employed by pharmacy benefit management companies and insurers. You’ll learn how these policies adversely affect patients by preventing patient assistance from applying towards deductibles, leading to financial and emotional burdens. The hosts debunk myths about rising premiums when legislation prohibiting maximizer and accumulator practices is passed, using credible research and data to create an online free interactive tool. Tune in for insightful discussions and personal stories that underscore the urgency of reforming copay accumulator policies.

Season 4, Episode 3

Decoding Hospital Price Transparency: A Path Toward Patient Empowerment and Consumerism in Health Care

Join our hosts as they tackle the critical issue of hospital price transparency in the U.S. health care system. Their guest, David Balat, founder of the Healthcare Finance Specialists and an expert in health care finance, sheds light on the impact of hidden costs and the benefits of empowering patients through transparent pricing. Discover how consumerism in health care can lead to lower costs and better outcomes, and learn why price transparency is crucial for improving access to affordable, high-quality health care.

Season 4, Episode 2

Voices on the Ground: Bringing the Patient Perspective to State Level Health Care Policy

At the Global Healthy Living Foundation, we know the value of grassroots advocacy. Tune in to this week’s episode to hear how trained patient-advocates proactively connect with local, state, and federal health policy stakeholders to share their perspectives and influence change. This week features guests, Corey Greenblatt, Associate Director of Policy and Advocacy, and Patient Advocate and Community Outreach Manager, JP Summers. Alongside co-hosts Conner and Robert, they recount a summer advocacy road trip that spanned more than eight states and dozens of patient-led meetings with lawmakers and stakeholders.

Season 4, Episode 1

On the Cusp of New Drug Pricing Paradigm

We may be on the verge of an enormous shift in how drug prices are set. It’s been led by a dramatic decline in insulin prices, but it’s spreading to other brand drugs as well.

Join our hosts for the first episode of our 4th season as they dive head-first into this important topic. They’ll discuss how this new paradigm is the unintended but welcome result of legislative, regulatory, and market pressures exerted on the biopharmaceutical industry.

Compilation Episode 01

Why Health Care Matters: A Compilation of Insightful Conversations

Join our hosts in this special compilation episode as they revisit some of the most informative and engaging segments from past episodes. They’ll discuss drug formulary exclusions and their impact on patients, cash pharmacy models disrupting the industry, and the safety of biosimilars. Tune in to hear valuable insights and advice to help you better understand the ever-changing landscape of health care economics and policy.

Season 3, Episode 10

Why Transparency Is Essential to Creating a More Sustainable Health Care System

We are developing policy solutions based on innuendos, gossip, and erroneous modeling assumptions instead of actual data. To help patients with out-of-pocket costs, we need our policymakers to step up, do the brave thing, and improve drug affordability by implementing policies based on accurate data.

In this episode, our hosts dive deeper into the important discussion surrounding transparency in drug pricing and discuss an article published in National Review and co-authored by Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at GHLF. “The reason I authored the paper is because frankly, if you don’t have transparency in the marketplace, and you don’t have accurate collection of information and data, you’re going to make poor policy decisions,” says Dr. Popovian.

Season 3, Episode 9

Advocacy and Legislation: Speaking Up for Patients Matters

Over the last 20 years, the United States has made good progress in expanding access to care, yet millions of patients are still struggling to pay for their health care.

In this episode, our hosts discuss current legislation advancements that help protect patient assistance programs concerning their out-of-pocket costs and how patients are being taken advantage of through insurer-initiated programs such as accumulators and maximizers. Our guest, JP Summers, Patient Advocate and Community Outreach Manager at the Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF), brings her patient perspective to the discussion having recently met with policymakers in Wisconsin.

Season 3, Episode 8

Anticipating the 2023 Biosimilar Boom: What Should You Know?

2023 will be marked by the introduction of several biosimilars for Humira (adalimumab) on the U.S. market. While biosimilars can generate savings for the health system, many questions remain with decisions to be made by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), and health insurers, all of which will impact patients themselves.

In this episode, our hosts discuss the many implications of introducing competition to the marketplace. “Are we going to see lower prices? Are we going to see lower costs for patients? Those are… the questions that we’re going to have to face in the next 12 months,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at GHLF.

Our guest, Zoe Rothblatt, Associate Director of Community Outreach at GHLF, and person living with spondyloarthritis and Crohn’s disease, joins the conversation to bring her patient perspective.

Season 3, Episode 7

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Enhanced the Role of Pharmacists in the Immunization Process

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an increased role of pharmacies in the overall immunization process, as they served as key sites of administration for COVID-19 vaccines.

The IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science and the Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF) released a report today to better understand the trends in vaccine administration in the United States.

“[The report is] built into the evidence of how we can address equity, where patients want to get their care, and what are the policy solutions that are important for us to pursue to make our healthcare system more equitable among everyone,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at GHLF.

In this episode, Dr. Popovian discusses the key findings of the report, from the enhanced role of pharmacies in the overall immunization process in the U.S. to the differences in vaccine administration site by gender, income, or race.

Season 3, Episode 6

Your Questions Answered: A Special Q&A Episode

This week, our hosts sit down for a special ‘mailbag episode’ to answer questions from our listeners. They are joined by the podcast’s producer, Ben Blanc, Manager of Programs and Special Projects at GHLF, who moderates the discussion.

Our hosts cover a wide variety of topics, including everything from patient spendings to vaccines.

Our hosts also share more about their advocacy work and the importance of providing a platform for patients to be heard. “What we’re trying to do is convey information to the everyday patient who’s looking for answers… And that’s what we take very seriously,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at GHLF.

“Tell us your story and work with us to elevate the stories. We’ll give you a megaphone. We’ll make sure that legislators and folks that are at the tables of power… are going to hear your experience and hear you out for how their decisions impact your life, your care, and your health,” says Conner Mertens, Patient Advocate and Community Outreach Manager at GHLF.

Season 3, Episode 5

The 2022 Midterms: What to Expect for Health Care Policy

As of the recording of this episode, control of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives has not yet been determined, which means that like many other issues the future of health care policy for the coming years remains unknown.

Could a change in the balance of power mean changes to existing programs? What will be the focus of Congress in the coming years regarding health care?

“At the end of the day, whether it’s a Republican Congress, or a Democratic Congress or Senate or a governorship doesn’t matter, because the patient issues of trying to get healthier, to be kept healthy, and to be able to access medicines and physicians and hospitals is the same. And both parties have a responsibility to patients to be able to get them better, quicker and faster,” says Dr. Robert Popovian.

Season 3, Episode 4

‘Living with COVID’: Where Do We Go from Here?

As the third winter of the coronavirus pandemic looms, more waves of COVID-19 are expected with few masking or social distancing restrictions in place. However, death and hospitalization rates are expected to be less severe compared to past pandemic winters largely due to vaccination drives, natural immunity, and the increasing availability of effective COVID-19 treatments.

In this episode, Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation, provides an update on where we stand with protection and treatment against the virus and how patients, vaccinated or not, can work with health care professionals on getting themselves better care.

“So it’s not just about the vaccines, but how do we move forward as a community, as researchers, as patient advocates, as health care professionals,” says Dr. Robert Popovian.

Season 3, Episode 3

The 340B Program: Is this Drug Discount Initiative a Victim of its Own Success?

Since its creation in 1992, the federal 340B Drug Pricing Program allows qualifying health care providers who treat low-income and uninsured individuals to buy discounted prescription drugs. The program has grown significantly – due to an increase in the number of eligible health care providers and the higher volume of drugs purchased through the program. However, as the program has grown beyond its original intent, there has been a series of legal challenges between drug manufacturers, providers, and federal policymakers.

“In the U.S. we have at most about 80,000 pharmacies… that serve patients. 38,000 to 39,000, almost, are eligible for this 340B discount, which is primarily meant for uninsured patients. There is no way in the U.S. that… we have 50 percent of our population which is uninsured, nor is it a possibility that 50 percent of our population is low income,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Season 3, Episode 2

A Failed Promise: Why Are Patients Overpaying for Generic Medications?

In the United States, nine out of 10 prescriptions issued are for generic, instead of brand-name medications.

While Pharmacy Benefit Managers negotiate drug prices on behalf of Americans, an increasing number of patients are choosing to bypass these intermediaries – as well as their insurance – altogether and pay for prescription drugs in cash instead. “Generics are supposed to be very low-cost alternatives to brand-name medicines, but you’d be surprised to hear what’s going on here,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

“We need to become better consumers of health care. We are patients, but we need to also become consumers just like the way we consume anything. We need to become better at it,” says Dr. Popovian.

Season 3, Episode 1

The Inflation Reduction Act: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly– What’s In It for Patients?

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a sweeping climate, health care and tax bill was signed into law this summer.

While the IRA undeniably brings some great wins for patients, there are some significant complexities to consider regarding the health care financing and delivery system in the U.S. and the many ways in which this bill will impact patients. Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation, delivers his analysis on the wins and misses of a bill as it relates to patients in the U.S.

“What I wish the bill did… is one: address the issue of formulary exclusions, and number 2: to have the patients benefit from the negotiated prices at the pharmacy. This is unbelievably unfair for patients! And this happens both with Medicare and with commercial plans,” says Dr. Robert Popovian.

Season 2, Episode 10

A Necessary Way to Expand Access to Healthcare and Improve Equity

We are a nation of working, playing, and yes, even getting sick and injured at all hours of the day and night. That’s why it is so vital to have access to quality health care beyond the weekday, 9-to-5 paradigm that our system is set up for. In this episode, we explore a new study that points to the need for pharmacies and pharmacists to play a greater role in expanding access to health care.

“Patients in low-income communities, especially seniors living in low-income communities, deserve better access to health care,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Season 2, Episode 9

Overcoming the Hurdles of Biosimilars Adoption

Biosimilars are equally as safe and effective as brand biologic medicines. Plus, they are less expensive, which means they save patients money. So why are there still hurdles for the U.S. health care system to adopt them?

“Patients are saving money and the system is saving money. So what we need to do is introduce policies in the marketplace that really enhance the adoption of biosimilars,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Season 2, Episode 8

Why Are Drugs So Expensive For Seniors

Mary’s story is familiar to far too many senior citizens who are living on fixed incomes. They have no choice but to pay thousands of dollars a year on medications that are not covered by insurance. What could be done to help them?

In the Medicare program, “we tend to cover everything cheap, which is basically the generic medicines. When patients require more expensive drugs. the coverage becomes less and less,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at Global Healthy Living Foundation. “That means they’re exposed to those prices more and more, which makes absolutely no sense because it goes against the premise of what insurance should be.”

Season 2, Episode 7

“It’s Criminal”- Non-Medical Switching and Mental Health

Getting diagnosed and properly treated for a mental health condition is grueling enough without having to deal with non-medical switching, or having to change your medication for no other reason than money, says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation. In the second of two episodes on this topic, we examine what can be done to change this practice of non-medical switching.

Season 2, Episode 6

Non-Medical Switching: What It Is and How It Harms Patients

It’s frustrating for chronically ill patients, like those living with mental health disorders, when their proven drug therapies are switched or substituted—sometimes justifiably, other times for companies to make more money. In the first of two episodes on this topic, we examine what’s behind non-medical switching and how it could harm patients.

“Non-medical switching is basically substituting one molecule for another for the sole purpose of an economic outcome that is favorable to the insurer or the pharmacy benefit management company,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Season 2, Episode 5

UnQALYfied: Putting a Price on Patients Life

In the United States, data analytics are used to determine the price of drugs. But many patients don’t fit into neatly organized statistics, especially ones who have multiple diseases and, as a result, are denied therapies. In this week’s episode, we explore the method used in the U.S. to set drug prices, called the Cost per QALY or cost-effectiveness.

“Data in health care has never been meant to be static. We need to provide even greater scrutiny concerning these models and how they’re applied and make coverage decisions for life-saving biopharmaceuticals,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Season 2, Episode 4

Patients Stuck with Health Care Deductible Bills

Majority of insurance and pharmacy benefit management companies offer copay accumulator adjustment programs. However, for patients, what these programs do and what they mean is shrouded in mystery. In this week’s episode, we break down copay accumulator adjustment programs, and how they impact you as a patient.

“The patient is the one that is going to get stuck in the middle. And at some point, they are going to suffer- both financially and also in a way to be able to get care that is necessary to them,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Season 2, Episode 3

Status of COVID Treatments

New treatments are being developed by the biopharmaceutical industry in collaboration with the government and FDA to help treat COVID-19 and new variants. In this week’s episode, we break down these new treatments and therapies, and discuss what they mean for patients.

“It is important for us to have multiple therapies-even within those classes-to make sure that patients have choice and that physicians, pharmacists, and nurses have choices that can then appropriately treat the patient,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Season 2, Episode 2

A Deep Dive Into COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccinations have proven to reduce the severity of symptoms, hospitalizations, and death for people who contract COVID. But for some, the debate surrounding the vaccines has kept them from getting a booster, let alone the initial round of vaccinations. In this episode, we explore how the vaccines were developed so quickly, the differences between them, and how they work.

“They’re helping us every day. They’re reducing hospitalizations and mortality and don’t kid yourself: the chances of you being hospitalized or dying from COVID is much greater if you are not vaccinated. The data is very clear on that, and it has held up throughout this last twelve months,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Season 2, Episode 1

In Drug Development, It’s About Time

As we start a new year and a new season, we take a look at how drugs are developed and why time is the most important part of the formula when it comes to biopharmaceutical research. In other words, the more we delay, the longer it takes for patients to get the treatment they need.

“The researchers concluded that statin therapy, which is used everyday by patients toward lowering their cholesterol, reduced deaths by 40,000. There were 60,000 fewer hospitalizations and heart attacks and 22,000 fewer hospitalizations for strokes,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Episode 10

Three Big Misses of Build Back Better for Patients

At the start of 2022, there’s renewed hope that President Biden’s social spending and climate policy bill can survive in some form. In this episode, we explore three of the bill’s shortcomings and how it impacts patients.

“Some estimates say that we spend more on administrative burden in the US marketplace than actually pay for pharmaceuticals in the US market, which is astounding to me,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Episode 09

Build Back Better: Will Congressional Action Help Patients?

One Senator has held up the passage of President Biden’s social spending and climate policy bill, known as Build Back Better. We examine how the current bill would help patients and where it stops short.

“It is a major issue for consumers. Every day, patients through no fault of their own are not able to afford their medicines,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation. “And it does cause complications down the road if they’re not taking their medicines because of outrageous out-of-pocket costs that they’ll have to pay.”

Episode 08

The Risks of Switching Patients Who Are Stable on Their Medications

Has your insurer ever switched your drug without talking to you or your doctor? This is called a formulary exclusion. But what risk does this pose to patients suffering from chronic illness?

“There is some action that can be taken to prohibit this type of practice. Or at least—for the minimum—to mandate that pharmacy benefit management companies and insurers that are doing, and implementing such policies, are held accountable,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Episode 07

The “1-2 Punch” To Help Patients

Patients are not all the same, they’re individuals with different needs, different genetics, and different medical conditions. In this episode, we explore the benefits of the medical community using both personalized and precision medicine on patients.

“One cannot exist without the other. But the most important thing is that it allows us to be able to really concentrate on the patient and bring the specific drug to the patient, which is the right drug to the right patient at the right time, says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Episode 06

The Gimmick of Paying Patients

If you were offered a financial incentive to change medications, would you do it? Many healthcare providers offer cash incentives to get their patients to switch to a new medication, but this quick cash practice can have serious, long-term health implications for patients.

“Although this is not illegal, it is somewhat unethical because, again, it’s blurring the lines between medical practice and insurance coverage,“ says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Episode 05

Mind Boggling: Patients In The Dark

Patients are the last to know how much their insurance premiums, pharmaceuticals and hospital costs will be. What will it take for the healthcare system to become more transparent so patients have more information to make informed decisions and save money?

“It is just disturbing that the federal government, the largest payer of healthcare in the United States, does not have audit rights to go in, open up the ledgers of the pharmacy benefit managers and see where the money is going,“ says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Episode 04

Out-of-Pocket Barrier To Vaccines

In this episode, we are looking at how benefit design in Medicare creates vaccine design inequity. Even small out-of-pocket costs can deter some communities from getting the right vaccines and treatment they need.

“Any type of a policy that reduces the access to vaccination, most definitely will impact patients and will increase this wasteful spending,“ says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation. “Vaccines should be regarded as—and are regarded as—the most cost-beneficial intervention in healthcare.”

Episode 03

The Flaws in Fail First Therapy

In this episode, we look at the major flaws in fail first, or step therapy, which mandates that a patient must fail on one or more less expensive drugs before “stepping up” to another drug.

“Anything that we do from a policy perspective, and this is the mantra of Global; Healthy Living Foundation, policies, legislations, anything that passes, the patient has to directly benefit from them,“ says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Episode 02

Bipartisans Healthcare: Policy or Pipedream?

In this episode, we look at how the federal government can work in a bipartisan manner to improve our healthcare system.

“Bipartisan initiatives are extremely important in healthcare because, at the end of the day, no physician, patient chart, hospital admissions record ever asks you about your political platform before you get treatment. And I truly believe that there is a bipartisan opportunity here. Patients are waiting and we need to help them out. They can no longer go on the way things are currently set up,” says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Episode 01

Time for Bipartisanship?

With a new administration in the White House, there is renewed optimism for bipartisanship on issues surrounding healthcare. Hear how the Biden administration can work across the political isle to make effective change, bringing costs down for patients, and ensuring they receive the best possible care.

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