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GTMRx News Brief

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21Jun 22

News Brief | June 21, 2022 | Colorado to hospitals: No transparency? Then no debt collections

Practice Transformation Can Oracle create a national EHR database? Just after closing the deal to acquire Cerner, Oracle—or more specifically, board chair and chief technology officer Larry Ellison–said the company would create a national health records database. “We’re building a system where all American citizens’ health records not only exist at the hospital level, but they also are in a unified national health records database.” Health IT experts have been expressing doubts, however, pointing out that for decades, public and private…

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14Jun 22

News Brief | June 14, 2022 | JMCP: Sustaining CMM in the pharmacy setting

Practice Transformation JMCP: Sustaining CMM in the pharmacy setting What is needed to sustain CMM in the community pharmacy setting? HealthPartners shared its insights, based on decades of experience. Among other things, the authors stressed the importance of differentiating CMM from other services and providing support for pharmacies doing CMM. They also discussed the influence payment models have on sustainability. “CMM in community pharmacies shows promise for being a sustainable practice model. However, increased reach and performance of networks, as…

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07Jun 22

News Brief | June 7, 2022 | AMA won’t support opioid training legislation

Practice Transformation Telehealth boom opened the door to hybrid models Telehealth is increasingly incorporated in hospitals’ digital roadmaps, according to speakers at the annual HIMSS health care conference. That’s good news for proponents of hybrid care models, who cite the value of meeting patients. The use of hybrid models aligns with the shift to value-based care, Healthcare Dive reports. If providers have a certain amount of funds to take care of a specific population, instead of being paid on a per-visit basis,…

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31May 22

News Brief | May 31, 2022 | Employers lack transparency into specialty drug outcomes

Practice Transformation Employers lack transparency into specialty drug outcomes A Pharmaceutical Strategies Group report finds that specialty drugs continue to be a top focus for plan sponsors, at least in part because of costs. And as it stands, sponsors don’t have much insight into the impact of such drugs. “More than 80% of plan sponsors have access to reporting on their total healthcare costs,” PSG’s Tracy Spencer said in a prepared statement. “However, clinical outcomes of adherence, persistency and clinical…

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24May 22

News Brief | May 24, 2022 | Hospitals harm seniors; medication problems top cause

Practice Transformation Hospitals harm seniors; medication problems top cause One in four older Americans covered by Medicare experienced some sort of harm during hospital stays in October 2018, according to a report from the HHS Office of Inspector General. About half those cases involved adverse events that led to longer stays and sometimes permanent harm or death. By far, the most common type of harm event was related to medication (43%), followed by patient care (23%), procedures and surgeries (22%)…

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17May 22

News Brief | May 17, 2022 | Tailored CMM: Different models, same process

Practice Transformation Tailored CMM: Different models, same process Pharmacists are well positioned to collaborate with primary care providers to conduct comprehensive medication management, but different PCP practices require different CMM practice approaches, according to the authors of an Annals of Pharmacotherapy commentary. The authors consider two models — Expanded Care Team Pharmacist Model and Population Health Team Pharmacist Model — and explore how the CMM process works in each. “By tailoring the CMM process to their practice model, pharmacists can follow consistent…

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10May 22

News Brief | May 10, 2022 | DOJ launches investigation into Cerebral

Practice Transformation Tots likely to get COVID vax from docs Most states prohibit pharmacists from vaccinating children under 3. Even where it’s permitted, pharmacies are wrestling with whether to do so. That means physicians — especially pediatricians — will play a large role in the in this phase of the country’s largest-ever vaccination campaign, the Washington Post reports. It notes that across party lines, pediatricians are the most trusted source of vaccine information for parents, which could help overcome vaccine hesitancy. (Washington Post) Study…

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03May 22

News Brief | May 3, 2022 | Opinion: Make policy changes to prevent medication harm

Practice Transformation Diabetes care needs to be team-based A multidisciplinary team of health care professionals including physicians, nurses, dietitians and pharmacists can provide comprehensive diabetes care and management for patients, writes Susan Cornell, PharmD, of the Chicago College of Pharmacy at Midwestern University. “Working as a team allows each practitioner to work to the highest level of their license and provides more reward in what they have achieved. The key to success and efficacy of workflow is knowing what each…

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26Apr 22

News Brief | April 26, 2022 | GTMRx: Think beyond the pill, and support primary care

Practice Transformation Increased use of generics, biosimilars help control costs Biosimilars and generic drugs may slow drug cost growth in 2022, Modern Healthcare reports. Drug prices only increased 1.9% in 2021, partly due to new biosimilars and generics, according to an American Society of Health-System Pharmacists report. “Biosimilars really took off this year,” Eric Tichy, PharmD, MBA, division chair, supply chain management, at Mayo Clinic, said in a release. “A couple of years ago there was a lot of consternation about the…

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19Apr 22

News Brief | April 19, 2022 | Community pharmacists, collaboration and CMM

Practice Transformation Before prescribing, plan on deprescribing opioids Before prescribing opioids, physicians should—in collaboration with the patient--develop a deprescribing plan, argues Jason Doctor, PhD, of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics. It would lay out a specific path for reducing, and then eliminating, opioid use. “Properly structured, the plan will give the patient confidence that an opioid prescription may help relieve pain in the short run but will not lead to dependence or addiction in the long…

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12Apr 22

News Brief | April 12, 2022 | Physicians lack time, support to address SDOH

Practice Transformation Physicians lack time, support to address SDOH Most (61%) of physicians say they have little or no time to address their patient’s social determinants of health (SDOH), according to a new survey from The Physicians Foundation. Yet, roughly 80% believe the U.S. cannot improve health outcomes or reduce health care costs without addressing those factors. In addition, 63% report they often have feelings of burnout when trying to address their patients’ SDOH. (Physicians Foundation; RISE) To free up pharmacists, Walgreens…

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05Apr 22

News Brief | April 5, 2022 | Comprehensive medication management a win-win for seniors

Practice Transformation CMM a win-win for seniors Older adults are particularly vulnerable to drug therapy problems. They are also especially hard hit by social isolation. Comprehensive medication management offers a solution to both, writes Karmen L. Stephens, PharmD, BCGP. “Undoubtedly, the use of CMM as a solution to engage and interact with residents while simultaneously addressing health concerns and letting an individual know someone cares about him or her is an essential component of care for the older adult population…

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29Mar 22

News Brief | March 29, 2022 | Opportunities abound for pharmacist collaboration

Practice Transformation Opportunities abound for pharmacist collaboration Opportunities for collaboration between community and health-systems pharmacists abound, according to Tamara A. McCants, PharmD, of Howard University, During her APhA 2022 presentation, she cited several examples, including comprehensive medication management. She also talked about challenges in collaboration. Turf battles, "finger pointing as to who should have done what, and why they didn’t, and ‘we need to do this,’ and ‘we’re better at that,’” can be a bit problematic. “That is not the…

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23Mar 22

News Brief | March 22, 2022 | CMMI should support flexible primary care, not FFS

Practice Transformation CMMI should support flexible primary care, not FFS To increase the likelihood that models achieve overall cost savings and/or quality improvement, CMMI should test approaches that add flexibility and significantly increase the share of total health care spending devoted to primary care, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. Replacing Medicare fee-for-service with alternative payment arrangements could improve the effectiveness of future primary care models. The report calls on CMMI to go big: “Models that adjust small details…

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15Mar 22

News Brief | March 8, 2022 | The big honking problem: The cost of employer health plans

Practice Transformation Pharmacist-led patient care services + PGX = success, study finds A large implementation of a pharmacogenomics-enriched CMM program led to a reduction of roughly $7,000 per patient for participating Medicare Advantage enrollees. It also led to a positive shift in health care resource utilization away from acute care toward primary care. The program focused on participants in the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Kentucky. “The observed reduced costs, meaningful shifts in the patterns of patient healthcare…

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08Mar 22

News Brief | March 8, 2022 | The big honking problem: The cost of employer health plans

Practice Transformation RAND: Volume-based payments still dominate Most physicians employed in group practices owned by health systems are paid primarily based on the volume of care they provide, according to findings published in JAMA Health Forum. In these practices, volume-based compensation was the most common type of base pay for more than 80% of primary care physicians and for more than 90% of specialists. “The results of this cross-sectional study suggest that PCPs and specialists despite receiving value-based reimbursement incentives from…

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01Mar 22

News Brief | March 1, 2022 | A path forward? PBM as fiduciary

Practice Transformation A path forward? PBMs as a fiduciary PBMs could provide employers with the transparency they need into employee drug prices and help them save money. How? By agreeing to serve as a fiduciary, writes David A. McKay who spent 20 years representing self-funded plans in audits and litigation against PBMs. “By agreeing to serve as a fiduciary, a PBM can commit to putting the employer’s best interests ahead of the PBM’s profits when negotiating with pharmacies and drug manufacturers and…

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22Feb 22

News Brief | February 22, 2022 | AMA survey: Prior authorizations hurts patients, increases doctor’s burden

Practice Transformation Primary care a hot property for private equity Private investors, retailers and health insurers are pumping billions into primary care ventures, Bloomberg reports: “A medical profession once defined by solo offices and small partnerships is now dominated by corporate practices and hospital-owned clinics.” US companies focused on primary care raised about $16 billion from investors in 2021, according to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine’s Catalyst. That’s more than four times the amount invested in 2020. The article includes interviews…

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15Feb 22

News Brief | February 15, 2022 | Staffing shortage top hospital CEO challenge

Practice Transformation Electronic exchange closer to reality After several COVID-related delays, the ONC has set a Dec. 31 deadline for the health care industry to support apps that store records electronically, such as Apple Health. This is part of the 21st Century Cures Act, and it works both ways: Health IT developers will need standardized APIs and FHIR technology to support data exchange and interoperability, and providers will be expected to use APIs and FHIR technology. Patients won’t be required to use apps, but medical offices…

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08Feb 22

News Brief | February 8, 2022 | For VBP success, CMS must consider market dynamics

Practice Transformation Address depression to correct misinformation? People who experience depressive symptoms may be more receptive to misinformation related to COVID-19 vaccines, according to research published in JAMA Network Open. “This survey study found that individuals with moderate or greater depressive symptoms were more likely to endorse vaccine-related misinformation,” according to researchers. “[B]y addressing the extremely high levels of depression in this country during COVID, we might decrease people’s susceptibility to misinformation,” says lead author Roy H. Perlis, MD, MSc,…

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