HHS Nominee Azar Promises to Address High Drug Prices, New Payment Models

January 12, 2018

During a confirmation hearing this week, nominee for Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar laid out his priorities, including a number of issues of concern to large employers.  These included: 

  • Addressing high drug prices while encouraging innovation; 
  • Making health care more affordable and available; 
  • Shifting from paying for sickness to paying for outcomes in Medicare; and 
  • Tackling the opioid epidemic. 
Mr. Azar also signaled that he is open to mandatory payment models, saying, “To test a hypothesis on changing the health care system, if it needs to be mandatory as opposed to being voluntary to get adequate data, then so be it.”  If confirmed, he may lead a major shift in the Trump administration's stance on mandatory payment models.