Thank you to everyone that has provided us with feedback on the tools we have put out there for you. Based on your feedback, we've made some enhancements to the Medicaid Drug Pricing Heat Map that hopefully will both improve the user experience and quality of the data. We've also posted an FAQ page with answers to some of the common questions we have received over the last week.
As far as the enhancements, highlights are as follows:
First, we received feedback that when you clicked on "All" drugs the charts looked a bit wonky. Indeed they did! We had initially only designed this to view individual drugs, but we needed to evolve past this. This has now been adjusted, and the tool will return proper values when multiple drugs are selected.
Second, we improved the way we were "lag-correcting" NADAC. Long story short, brand name drugs do not need to be lag-corrected, while generics do (roughly two-months lagged - FAQ has more detail on this). Our initial release lag-effected everything. This latest version treats brands and generics differently to better align with the way CMS actually tracks price. You won't see any changes to generic prices, but there will be some small changes to quarterly brand prices with this new methodology. Check out the "All" drugs filter for brand drugs within managed care. Nearly all states line up almost perfectly now!
Lastly, we made a few enhancements to improve the user experience. We added some more metrics to the pop-up box (i.e. "tooltip") so you can see how much states are spending on what. This is helpful because if the charts look very noisy, you may find it's just due to a really small sample size. We also added a color legend so you can immediately see the range that states are paying for your selected drugs.
Again, thanks for all the feedback. Without it we simply can't build a robust enough tool to help shed light on what's going on. Keep it coming! Together we can bring some much needed transparency to our drug supply chain.
We're working on our next report and hope to release it soon.