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GTMRx News Brief

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29Sep 20

News Brief | September 29, 2020 | Will COVID kill value-based care?

Practice Transformation Viewpoint: A call for algorithmic stewardship Algorithms are not new in health care, but newer emerging algorithms are increasingly complex and require oversight and quality control, according to the authors of “The Case for Algorithmic Stewardship for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Technologies.” When used appropriately algorithms can improve the diagnosis and management of disease, but they also have the potential to “exacerbate existing systems of structural inequality." They identify several key considerations for emerging algorithmic stewardship programs.…

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22Sep 20

News Brief | September 22, 2020

Practice Transformation COVID-19 vaccine: What messaging works? Unlike with other vaccines, talking about the public good won’t convince patients to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Civis Analytics tested five messages with 4,000 respondents. Personal stories proved to be the best motivator. When a respondent hears about a real person who contracted COVID-19 and died, they were 5% more likely than the control group to agree to the vaccine. However, when the message was about making communities healthier for everyone, they were…

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15Sep 20

News Brief | September 15, 2020

Practice Transformation Pharmacists should be part of the primary care team Noah Nesin, MD, FAAFP, chief medical officer at Penobscot Community Health Care, writes on the importance clinical pharmacists, as part of the care team, have taken on as front-line responders during the current pandemic in the Journal of Ambulatory Care Management: “As the nature of primary care has become more complex and we have properly moved to include population health as a key responsibility, this now widely held perspective has…

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08Sep 20

News Brief | September 8, 2020

Practice Transformation Nudging peds away from antibiotics A telehealth platform that includes clinical feedback can help care providers reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing rates, according to research published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Physicians who, in real time, saw their prescribing rates compared to the practice-wide rates, reduced their antibiotic prescription rates. All the doctors in the study had received education on antibiotic resistance. The conclusion: “Education plus individualized feedback in a telemedicine practice significantly decreased antibiotic prescription rates for…

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01Sep 20

News Brief | September 1, 2020

Practice Transformation Employers ready to pay for for virtual health Large employers reported a strong trend toward virtual care options during the pandemic, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Business Group on Health. Fifty-three percent of the 122 employers represented in the survey identified implementation of more virtual care solutions as the top health care benefit initiatives for 2021. It’s not just the pandemic: This was the top priority among respondents to BGH’s annual survey for the third…

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25Aug 20

News Brief | August 25, 2020

Practice Transformation Pandemic pushes PCPs to value Many primary care practices are struggling to keep their doors open—and those that do stay open are rethinking their business models. Physicians and health policy experts say the pandemic is accelerating efforts to restructure primary care and put it on a firmer financial footing. “Primary care doctors now know how vulnerable they are, in ways they didn’t before,” said Rebecca Etz, a researcher at the Larry A. Green Center, an advocacy group for…

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18Aug 20

News Brief | August 18, 2020

Practice Transformation The gross-to-net bubble and rebate reform The Drug Channels Institute estimates that the gross-to-net bubble--the dollar gap between sales at brand-name drugs’ list prices and their sales at net prices after rebates and other reductions--reached $175 billion in 2019. The bubble reflects--and drives--many of patients’ problems and misunderstandings of U.S. drug prices, explains Adam J. Fein, PhD, CEO of the Institute. Recent executive orders related to drug pricing revived the issue, but few grasp the “complex economic interplay…

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11Aug 20

News Brief | August 11, 2020

Practice Transformation Pandemic, loss of coverage and adherence Becker’s Hospital Review asked several experts to describe how pandemic has affected medication adherence. Matthew Pond, Pharm.D., VP of pharmacy services at HonorHealth in Arizona, focused on patient coverage and costs. Losing health insurance “directly impacts patients with conditions requiring medication therapy, and we expect to see these trends continue as increasing barriers to care of outpatient medication adherence.” Related to that is the ability to pay out of pocket. “With the national…

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04Aug 20

News Brief | August 4, 2020

Practice Transformation You can lead a horse to water, but can you vaccinate it? If scientists create a COVID-19 vaccine, will people take it? Maybe yes, maybe no. As few as half of Americans say they will get vaccinated, according to a recent poll. But to achieve “herd immunity,” 70% to 90% of the population need to be vaccinated. There are hardcore anti-vaxxers, who may remain unconvinced. But many more are on the fence, and public health officials need to…

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28Jul 20

News Brief | July 28, 2020

Practice Transformation Delivering the vaccine to patients: Twice as difficult? A two-dose COVID-19 vaccine may be more effective, but presents serious challenges. Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford are planning to conduct final-stage testing of such vaccines. But a two-shot vaccine will be difficult to distribute widely, putting developing nations at a particular disadvantage. “A one-shot vaccine would be ideal, but the first vaccines are highly unlikely to meet this very high threshold,” Michael Kinch, PhD, a vaccine specialist at Washington University in…

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21Jul 20

News Brief | July 21, 2020

Practice Transformation Walgreens moves to primary care Walgreens plans to open hundreds of primary care clinics, thanks to a deal with VillageMD to staff and operate 500 to 700 clinics in 30 U.S. markets within five years. According to Walgreens, half the clinics will be in underserved areas. Each clinic will offer an array of services, including checkups and chronic disease care. Nurse practitioners, physician assistants and social workers will work out of some locations; telehealth options will also be…

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14Jul 20

News Brief | July 14, 2020

Practice Transformation How hospitals, health systems handle telehealth Only 31% of hospital and health system executives surveyed said their organizations use EHR capabilities to conduct telehealth visits, according to a recent Sage Growth Partners report. However, 48% said they use third-party software such as Skype. Overall, only 11% expect to return to their pre-pandemic rates of virtual care within 24 months. When asked what tech solutions are critical to their organizations, 85% said virtual care, 52% said hospital communication and…

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07Jul 20

News Brief | July 7, 2020

Practice Transformation Primary care could lose $15B+ due to COVID Researchers estimate that U.S. primary care practices are projected to lose more than $15 billion as a result of missed consultations and services during the pandemic. That’s more than $67,000 of lost revenue this year for each full-time U.S. primary care physician, according to research published in Health Affairs. Overall, the researchers “anticipate large, meaningful reductions in revenue for primary care practices” that could “threaten practice viability should practices be unable to secure…

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30Jun 20

News Brief | June 30, 2020

Practice Transformation COVID as a clarion call “Every crisis brings opportunity,” says Asaf Bitton, MD, MPH, a practicing physician and executive director of Ariadne Labs. “I hope that this time around, we can move beyond our usual collective amnesia about the risks that pandemics pose and will continue to pose.” COVID-19 isn’t even the worst-case scenario, he says, citing measles and virulent forms of influenza. This pandemic “is the clarion call to preparedness and action—not just this year or even…

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23Jun 20

News Brief | June 23, 2020

Practice Transformation CMS rule would encourage value-based pricing CMS has proposed a rule to make it easier for private insurers to enter value-based payment arrangements with drugmakers—arrangements tied clinical outcomes. The goal: Expand access to costly new therapies, such as gene therapy. It will also apply to Medicaid programs. The change “shifts us away from our typical negotiations around drug pricing, which are usually volume-based…to negotiations around outcomes, and increases competition for manufacturers to develop drugs that are not only…

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16Jun 20

News Brief | June 16, 2020

Practice Transformation Fernandopulle on Iora’s COVID response “The pandemic is an impetus to radically transform how the delivery system serves patients. We have the opportunity to not just survive, but thrive,” says Rushika Fernandopulle, co-founder and CEO of Iora Health. With that, he explains how Iora restructured itself to respond to COVID-19. The inspiration? Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Hackett’s model of working simultaneously in three time frames: Now, Near and Far. (Medium) NHS calls on multidisciplinary team to prioritize care…

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09Jun 20

News Brief | June 9, 2020

Practice Transformation EHRs and safety: mixed reviews Hospital EHR systems’ ability to detect harmful medication-ordering errors improved from 54% in 2009 to 66% in 2018, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. But that’s not the real takeaway. What is? The lack of consistency was the real lesson. The findings “suggest that although hospitals across the US have nearly universally adopted EHRs during the past two decades, the associations of these systems with safety are…

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02Jun 20

News Brief | June 2, 2020

Practice Transformation Telemedicine update: Patients like it, BCBS-TN adopting it According to a new Press Ganey survey, “virtual visits can achieve similar ratings for patient experience as in-person visits, with some specific differences in methods of care delivery.” The survey also indicates, however, opportunities to improve, including ease of scheduling appointments and contacting providers. In related news, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announced it will permanently cover virtual visits with in-network providers, effective immediately. This includes member-to-provider and provider-to-provider consultations. (HealthLeaders Media-survey; HealthLeaders Media-BCBS)…

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26May 20

News Brief | May 26, 2020

Practice Transformation Listen: COVID-19 and telehealth pharmacy services COVID-19 has forced many ambulatory care clinics to turn to telehealth. A new podcast from GTMRx founding funder, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, explores the implementation and expansion of telehealth pharmacy services in two ambulatory care clinics. Speakers discuss the types of telehealth visits provided, the roadblocks encountered, lessons learned and reimbursement. (ASHP podcast) Drug shortages: The next COVID crisis Widespread critical-medication shortages are the next big crisis of the coronavirus…

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19May 20

News Brief | May 19, 2020

Practice Transformation Study: Pharmacist can support PGx Research published in the Journal of American College of Clinical Pharmacy supports the pharmacist’s role in facilitating pharmacogenomics (PGx). In 96% (n=24) of the patients in the study, pharmacists found genetic variants that could affect the safety and effectiveness of at least one drug a patient was taking. “The study confirmed the critical role to be played by pharmacists in facilitating the clinical usage of relevant genetic information to optimize drug therapy decisions as well…

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