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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 for brand CV drugs, save over $600M
Substituting generic cardiovascular medications for brand-name medications in Medicare Part D could save more than $600 million annually, including about $135 million in costs to patients, according to analysis published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. All it would require is adjusting the prescribing patterns of the approximately 8% of physicians. “There are substantial potential cost savings from substituting brand-name medications with generic medications. These savings would be primarily driven by lower use of brand-name therapies by the minority of clinicians who prescribe them at increased rate,” researchers conclude. (American Heart Association announcementCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes)

Evidence & Innovation

CVS expanding team-based primary care
CVS Health announced an initiative to use telemedicine, new clinics and teams of doctors, nurses and pharmacists to better manage patient health. It will add hundreds of primary care centers to stores, and care teams could also include dietitians, mental health providers and social workers. Walgreens, UnitedHealth and many other health care organizations are also leaning into providing care, the AP reports. There’s a lot of money at stake: Millions of aging baby boomers will need more regular care and have coverage through government-funded plans like Medicare Advantage. (AP)
Pushback on paying for Aduhelm
Oregon plans to ask the Biden administration if its Medicaid program can avoid paying for drugs approved through a fast-track approval pathway. This includes Biogen’s expensive Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm. Current law that requires Medicaid programs to cover nearly all FDA-approved drugs. Meanwhile, Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) is urging the Biden administration to limit upcoming Part B premium increases, roughly half of which are for a contingency fund to cover Aduhelm. CMS is still developing its formal policy for covering Aduhelm. (STAT NewsABC News)
Long COVID pain is real—and unacknowledged
Pain is increasingly recognized as a key feature of long COVID; too often, however, it’s not taken seriously by clinicians, warns attorney Kate M. Nicholson, founder and president of the National Pain Advocacy Center. That’s often the case with pain: Clinicians are undereducated about diagnosing and treating pain, research funding into persistent pain falls short. “A chronic condition that affects more Americans than any other, and one that is growing amid a global pandemic, should no longer be disregarded. It requires attention — stat.” (STAT)

Policy Solutions

Report: Vaccines averted 1.1M COVID deaths
COVID vaccines have averted 1.1 million additional COVID-19 deaths and more than 10.3 million additional COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to a new a Commonwealth Fund/Yale University report. Without the U.S. vaccination effort, daily deaths from COVID could have jumped to 21,000 per day (vs the record peak of more than 4,000 in January 2021). “As the Omicron variant begins to spread and the Delta variant surge continues, our results point to the tremendous power of vaccination to reduce disease and death from COVID-19. Sadly, they also highlight the ongoing tragic consequences of failing to vaccinate every eligible American.” (Commonwealth Fund)
**There will be no new edition of the news brief next Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021 or Tuesday Jan. 4, 2022. The next release will be January 11, 2022.
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In Case You Missed It!

GTMRx sponsoring Health Care Value Week
January 24 – 28, 2022
Value-based health care models have been at the core of health care improvement efforts for decades. By improving quality of care, reducing costs and eliminating a range of health disparities, new payment and delivery system transformation models continue to demonstrate their power to address the most intractable health care challenges across public and private health care programs.
To celebrate the progress made to date and chart a path forward on key legislative and regulatory priorities, a diverse group of leading health industry stakeholders are hosting Health Care Value Week, beginning on January 24, 2022. The opening event will be a special edition of the Virtual Value-Based Payments Summit: Update on CMS/CMMI Payment Reform Initiatives, featuring remarks from top Administration officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center.
Health Care Value Week will feature opportunities for interested stakeholders to participate in meaningful dialogue with health care executives and policymakers in the Administration and Congress through virtual events and social media.
More information on Health Care Value Week can be found here. Registration information forthcoming.
You can register for the Virtual Value-Based Payments Summit: Update on CMS/CMMI Payment Reform Initiatives here.
GTMRx Institute Blog | A sparkling solution: 
CMM is the innovation we need. Stop stalling. 
In a season of hope, I’m feeling a just little frustrated about the current health care system’s resistance to change. Specifically, of course, I’m talking about giving patients access to comprehensive medication management through team-based, person-centered care. The potential of CMM is undisputed, yet we still lack buy-in from the very stakeholders who could bring it to scale.
Two questions from a recent survey of health care leaders that we conducted illustrate the promise and predicament of CMM…
SEE THE EVIDENCE | The Outcomes of Implementing and Integrating Comprehensive Medication Management in Team-Based Care: A Review of the Evidence on Quality, Access and Costs
Learn about the peer-reviewed evidence showcasing the value of CMM, through improvements in access to care, provider work life, outcomes and patient satisfaction as well as a reduction in costs. These findings, updated in December 2021, outline the CMM team-based care process that can be implemented in a variety of health care systems to ensure positive patient outcomes.
SEE THE GUIDANCE | The Integration of Telehealth Delivery within a Comprehensive Medication Management Practice
Considering the advantages of telehealth and the future direction of health care, it is no longer a question of if telehealth needs to be implemented into practice; rather, it is a question of how to integrate tele­health and CMM services. Core to a plan is a patient care team that works together to achieve a goal of enhancing patient-centered care and medication optimization. Outlined are essential steps to integrating telehealth services and CMM practice: define what telehealth means for your practice, secure stakeholders, develop a team, equipment and software needs; assess costs and financial stability, educate staff, patients and caregivers, develop a workflow, measure health care outcomes and meet with your team regularly.
SEE THE GUIDANCE | Value Framework for Providing CMM in Telehealth
The escalation of telehealth has shed light on the opportunities that exist to increase patient access to care through virtual visits that extend beyond the traditional in-office visit. Included as an opportunity for telehealth is comprehensive medication management (CMM). This value framework, intended for health care team members, payers for health care services and health care policy makers, proposes a guide for providing CMM services via telehealth. Although obstacles to telehealth delivery of CMM exist, the bene­fits to providers, patients and payers outweigh the barriers. For sustainability of telehealth and CMM provided via telehealth, effort from multiple stakeholders is needed to address the challenges that exist.
Join us to be part of meaningful change
Irma, like many others, struggles as a result of our current trial-and-error approach to medication. That is why we advocate for a new, comprehensive approach to medication use and prescribing. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organization, the GTMRx Institute and Foundation relies on funding from our supporting members. We ask that you consider becoming a Supporting Signing Member so we can continue to provide relevant, timely resources to get the medications right!
If you’re interested in supporting the Institute or Foundation at a higher level, please contact us. Your dollars will bring about meaningful change for people like Irma.

Become a Supporting Member Today

AmazonSmile is an easy way for 0.5% of your qualified purchases go to the GTMRx Foundation at no cost to you. And signing up is simple—go to and select “Get the Medications Right Foundation” as your charity of choice. If you prefer to directly donate instead, you can do so here.
Adding the foundation on AmazonSmile will help us continue to provide no cost educational webinars, issue briefs, weekly news briefs and promote the need for transformation of our current system of medication use through social media campaigns.
The GTMRx Institute is supported by our Founding Funders, Executive Members and Strategic Partners.
  See past issues of our weekly news brief here

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