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GTMRx News Brief

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24Nov 20

News Brief | November 24, 2020 | The vaccines are coming. Now what?

Practice Transformation Antibiotics for babies? Don’t mess with the biome Children under age 2 who take antibiotics appear to be at increased risk for childhood-onset asthma, respiratory allergies, eczema, celiac disease, obesity and ADHD, according to research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. As with so much, it comes down to the microbiome. “Overall, our findings extend the associations between early antibiotic exposure and later development of asthma, allergic diseases, and autoimmune conditions described previously. We hypothesize that antibiotics play a causal role…

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17Nov 20

News Brief | November 17, 2020 | Misinformation abounds, threatening vaccine use

Practice Transformation Team-based care, with clear roles, improves patient engagement Practices with a team-based care infrastructure are better at patient engagement initiatives than those without, according to research published in the Annals of Family Medicine. “Collectively, our findings suggest that strengthening the foundation of the medical home by promoting full staffing of primary care teams, clearly defined roles of team members, effective leadership, and a practice culture of performance improvement may increase adoption and use of patient engagement practices,” the…

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10Nov 20

News Brief | November 10, 2020 | Flu shot associated with less severe COVID

Practice Transformation About a third of minors take supplements Approximately one-third (34%) of U.S. children and adolescents take dietary supplements, according to research published in the Oct. 30 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The most frequently used products were multivitamin-mineral products, which were used by 23.8% of children and adolescents. The researchers note that supplement use might mitigate nutrient shortfalls, but it may lead to intake above recommended upper limits for some nutrients. They also point out…

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03Nov 20

News Brief | November 3, 2020 | Medicare, Medicaid to cover COVID-19 vaccines

Practice Transformation Study: Medication events most common safety issue in ambulatory care Data from a multistate patient safety organization database reveals that medication-related events are the most common patient safety incidents in ambulatory care settings. The findings were published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. Across all categories, the 2,701 events were associated with 51 deaths, 159 severe harm events, 1,180 moderate harm and 926 mild harm. Medication-related events accounted for 45.3% of all errors. “These results can…

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27Oct 20

News Brief | October 27, 2020 | Vaccine allocation framework: Start with health workers, first responders

Practice Transformation Vaccine allocation framework: Start with health workers, first responders The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine, a consensus report recommending equitable allocation framework for COVID-19 vaccine allocation. It recommends using existing systems across all levels of government to ensure equitable allocation, distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccine; launching a COVID-19 vaccine promotion campaign and risk communication and engagement program; and supporting equitable allocation globally. The framework would begin vaccinations…

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20Oct 20

News Brief | October 20, 2020 | Older adults aren’t even getting CMR, much less CMM

Practice Transformation Nash on “payviders” and other trends to watch What’s next? David Nash, MD, MBA, recently identified several trends to watch, reports MedPage Today. One is personalized medicine. Soon, it will be possible to take a “buccal smear, get your genetic makeup, and make a prediction about your own health, even in the primary care doctor's office.” A related trend: the convergence of artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, machine learning and population health intelligence. Then, there’s the rise of the "payvider.” "We're…

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13Oct 20

News Brief | October 13, 2020 |Strong, defined care teams improve patient engagement

Practice Transformation Strong, defined care teams improve patient engagement Patient engagement programs need a strong team-based care infrastructure, according to research published in the Annals of Family Medicine. Researchers drew from the VA Patient-Aligned Care Team (PACT) 2016 national survey of direct care clinicians. Among the findings: “Working in a chaotic clinic environment with vague team boundaries is associated with higher barriers to providing patient-centered care. Clear expectations of each team member’s duties and responsibilities are needed to optimize the team’s…

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06Oct 20

News Brief | October 6, 2020 | PGx meets major depressive disorder

Practice Transformation PGx meets major depressive disorder There's growing interest in the study of drug metabolism in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), Clinical Advisor reports. Current research suggests that pharmacogenetic testing may improve response and remission rates among individuals with MDD. Challenges persist. For example, the cost may be prohibitive, and patients still may experience adverse effects even when pharmacogenetic testing is used. Among Clinical Advisor’s recommendations: Manage patient expectations. “Pharmacogenetic testing offers more information, but there are no guarantees that a patient will…

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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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