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GTMRx News Brief

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18Jan 22

News Brief | January 18, 2022 | Inconsistent messaging hurts COVID effort

Practice Transformation RAND: Biosimilars could save $38.4B Biosimilar drugs could drive down prices for expensive medicines, saving an $38.4 billion, according to a new RAND Corporation study published in the American Journal of Managed Care. The number could be higher with higher biosimilar use. Most of the expected savings would come from downward pressure on the brand-name biologics they compete with, rather than lower biosimilar prices. The estimated savings are lower than two other recent assessments. The new analysis uses more recent…

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11Jan 22

News Brief | January 11, 2022 | Pharmacists play key collaborative role with MDs in PGx

Practice Transformation Sustained team-based approach reduces burnout A team-based approach to primary care reduces clinician burnout, according to research published in the Annals of Family Medicine. In 2016, Stanford Health Care’s primary care clinic in Santa Clara launched Primary Care 2.0, a team-based model. It has proven beneficial for patients and physicians —but only when the model is sustained. “The Primary Care 2.0 model of enhanced team-based primary care demonstrates team development is a plausible key to protect against burnout, but…

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21Dec 21

News Brief | December 21, 2021 | Report: Vaccines averted 1.1M COVID deaths

Practice Transformation ACP, YouTube join forces to battle disinformation The American College of Physicians is partnering with YouTube to create new educational content to help combat health misinformation about the COVID-19 virus, vaccination and treatments. The videos will focus on communication strategies for clinicians as well as providing proactive, trusted information in the clinicians’ voice. In addition, ACP is developing video content for the public to answer their questions about vaccines with trusted information from physicians. (ACP announcement) Sub generic…

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14Dec 21

News Brief | December 14, 2021 | Millenson: Enough with the secret analytics

Practice Transformation Millenson: Enough with the secret analytics Medicare Advantage plans secretly analyze members’ detailed information ranging from their credit scores and shopping habits to how they vote, writes Michael Millenson, president of Health Quality Advisors. “The use of what’s obliquely termed consumer data is increasingly common not only by health plans but also by health systems and others who have an economic interest in controlling costs.” It needs to stop: “Let me be clear: Secret analysis of information about…

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07Dec 21

News Brief | December 7, 2021 | Study calls for optimization, deprescribing

Practice Transformation More MA plans to take on SDOH  More Medicare Advantage plans will offer supplemental benefits that address social determinants of health such as meals, nutrition and transportation—at $0 premium, according to analysis by Avalere Health. For 2022, meal delivery was the most common benefit, with 68% of plans offering the benefit. The second most popular was transportation services with 39%, followed by nutrition at 30% and in-home support services with 11%. (Avalere analysis; Fierce Healthcare) More doctors spend time…

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30Nov 21

News Brief | November 30, 2021 | Telehealth may hinder identification of drug misuse

Practice Transformation Telehealth may hinder identification of drug misuse Most of physicians (67%) fear they missed signs of drug misuse during the pandemic, according to a new Health Trends report from Quest. Telehealth may be a culprit: 75% said telehealth visits limit the ability to determine if patients are at risk for or are already misusing prescription drugs. Moreover, 91% of physicians said they feel confident they can recognize the signs of prescription drug misuse during in-office interactions with patients, but only…

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23Nov 21

News Brief | November 23, 2021 | Forrester: Burnout, turnover will lead to medication errors in 2022

Practice Transformation Forrester: Burnout, turnover will lead to medication errors in 2022 In 2022, clinician turnover and burnout will contribute to “irreversible patient impacts” such as adverse drug reactions due to medication errors, increasing the risk of illness and mortality among patients, according to a report from Forrester research. Fierce Healthcare shared several other predictions from the report. Among them: Health disparities will disproportionately hurt rural Americans, and 60% of virtual visits will relate to mental health. (FierceHealthcare) Opinion: We must support…

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16Nov 21

News Brief | November 16, 2021 | Patient safety a casualty of COVID-19

Practice Transformation Doctors still the go-to source for all ages The generational divide may not be as wide as one would expect when it comes to health information, according to CMI Media Group’s Media Vitals annual report. Consumers of all ages put more trust in health websites than in the past. Branded websites saw the biggest trust gains across all age groups, especially among millennials. The doctor’s office, however, remains the go-to source for health information across all age groups. However, older…

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09Nov 21

News Brief | November 9, 2021 | Diagnostic errors costly, deadly and preventable

Practice Transformation Primary care access helped reduce risk of COVID infection, death Counties with greater primary care access, more robust public health and fewer social vulnerabilities had fewer COVID-19 infections and deaths, according to a report from the Primary Care Collaborative and Robert Graham Center. “As we emerge from the current pandemic and re-imagine and rebuild primary care, we also need to look at other factors, such as investment in public health and community-based services,” PCC President and CEO Ann…

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02Nov 21

News Brief | November 2, 2021 | National employer group launches PBM

Practice Transformation Nurses feel stressed, worthless, insolated and—surprise—undervalued More than half of nurses working in critical care said they were "not emotionally healthy," according to the latest COVID-19 survey on mental health and wellness conducted by the American Nurses Foundation. Three quarters of nurses across all roles said they felt "stressed," and 10% said they felt "worthless." Among nurses of all types, nearly half said they felt "undervalued," 20% reported increased alcohol consumption, 5% reported feeling isolated, 4% reported increased…

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26Oct 21

News Brief | October 26, 2021 | Talking to health insurers costs billions

Practice Transformation Mandatory virtual visits: Innovation or fragmentation? New, often lower-cost, plans capitalize on the convenience of telemedicine—and patients’ growing familiarity with it. In fact, some insurers now require initial telehealth visits for non-emergency primary care. But consumers should weigh costs and care options before enrolling in a “virtual-first” plan, warns Kaiser Health News. Most insurers doing this rely on contracted physicians, mental health therapists and other staff members. Moreover, some may permit an in-person visit only if their virtual doctor,…

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19Oct 21

News Brief | October 19, 2021 | Needed: A more comprehensive approach to medication management

Practice Transformation CMM lets pharmacists demonstrate value Opportunities abound for pharmacists to participate in comprehensive medication management to demonstrate their value and achieve savings and reimbursements for their practices, Pharmacy Practice News report. It then provides insights on how to implement and execute CMM. Among the advice: Track pharmacoeconomic data; for example, look at where less expensive medications were available and whether patients accepted the recommendation for the cheaper drug. Track disease metrics—e.g., whether a patient with diabetes reduced their A1c levels…

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12Oct 21

News Brief | October 12, 2021 | Low health care system literacy growing, affects vax rate

Practice Transformation CMMI signals big changes The CMS Innovation Center (CMMI) is signaling it plans to restructure payment models to crack down on inappropriate coding, shift the focus of value-based programs to reduce patient inequities and cut down on initiatives that only serve to empower dominant providers with large market shares, Modern Healthcare reports. "Providers, once they're motivated by a risk budget or other incentive, they can get very creative with coding," says Dr. Mai Pham, former head of CMMI.…

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05Oct 21

News Brief | October 5, 2021 | CMM’s benefits “without debate”

Practice Transformation Optimizing medication use for rural vets The current issue of The Rural Connection includes an article on leveraging clinical pharmacists to increase rural veteran access. It reports on the success of the Clinical Pharmacy Practice Rural Veteran Access (CRVA) initiative—a veteran-centric, whole-health comprehensive medication management initiative to ensure medication optimization is prioritized in primary care, pain management and mental health practice areas. Among other areas, the effort had particular success supporting veterans with substance use disorders. (The Rural Connection) Evidence…

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28Sep 21

News Brief | September 28, 2021 | Integrating pharmacists into primary care: Four questions

Practice Transformation Integrating pharmacists into primary care: Four questions Integrating pharmacists into primary care can bring tremendous benefits, but an Advisory Board survey found that only about half of primary care clinics have dedicated pharmacy support, though this person may be shared across multiple sites. To help other practices make the transition, the Advisory Board suggests four questions for PCPs to ask: What is your program’s primary goal? Who is the pharmacist’s end customer? Where should you locate pharmacists? How…

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21Sep 21

News Brief | September 21, 2021 | COVID vaccine as mood enhancement?

Practice Transformation Walgreens, Blue Shield collab focuses on whole-person care Blue Shield of California and Walgreens have joined forces in what they call an effort to improve condition management and deliver whole-person care. Eligible beneficiaries will be able to get blood pressure screenings, mammography care coordination and other services through Walgreens' Health Corner locations. The sites will be staffed with pharmacists, dieticians and/or nurses. The program, which includes in-store, at-home and virtual care, is expected to launch by early 2022.…

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14Sep 21

News Brief | September 14, 2021 | HHS drug plan links payments to clinical value

Practice Transformation Mayo’s remote monitoring success Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Program has served more than 7,000 patients across 41 states, and it may be a model for others. A recent study found that a multisite RPM program for management of acute COVID-19 “is feasible, safe, and associated with a low mortality rate.” The study also demonstrates the efficacy of incorporating interventions that support patient access and engagement and mitigate digital health disparities: The program had an overall patient…

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07Sep 21

News Brief | September 7, 2021 | Leaders: Create federal council to coordinate primary care

Practice Transformation Dollar General eyes rural health care possibilities Dollar General is expanding its health care presence, the Wall Street Journal reports. In July, it hired a chief medical officer, a new position in an August earnings call, CEO Todd Vasos—who comes out of the drugstore sector—said the company is considering services that rural America doesn’t have access to—such as eye care, telemedicine and prescription delivery to stores. But for the most part, the retailer is keeping mum about its health strategy.…

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31Aug 21

News Brief | August 31, 2021 | Political fortitude required for value-based care

Practice Transformation CMS’ vision: coordinated, team-based and equitable care The future of value-based care includes reducing the number of payment models and increasing health equity, according to CMS. It plans to prioritize coordinated, team-based care, outcomes measurements that matter to patients, and holding providers more accountable, CMS and CMS Innovation Center leaders wrote in a recent Health Affairs Blog post. Their objective: a health system that eliminates disparities through high-quality, affordable and person-centered care. The agency plans to put health care equity…

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24Aug 21

News Brief | August 24, 2021 | CBD may alleviate clinician burnout

Practice Transformation CMS’ vision: coordinated, team-based and equitable care The future of value-based care includes reducing the number of payment models and increasing health equity, according to CMS. It plans to prioritize coordinated, team-based care, outcomes measurements that matter to patients, and holding providers more accountable, CMS and CMS Innovation Center leaders wrote in a recent Health Affairs Blog post. Their objective: a health system that eliminates disparities through high-quality, affordable and person-centered care. The agency plans to put health care equity…

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