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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 will at least have to support electronic exchanges using the FHIR standards. What remains to be seen is how this will be enforced. (NBC NewsForbes)
Friendly, persistent texts may drive vaccine uptake
A study of 689,693 customers from 4,700 Walmart pharmacies identified the best way to nudge people to get vaccinated. The researchers tested 22 different text reminders. The most successful method was persistent and friendly: It included two texts three days apart that a vaccine was “waiting for you” it found. The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These insights—based on the flu vaccine—can inform efforts by pharmacies providers and governments “in the ongoing campaign to encourage full vaccination against COVID-19,” researchers concluded. (Market WatchPNASGTMRx report)
Cardiovascular community frustrated by PBM exclusions
PBMs are increasingly dropping medicines from their formularies. For some, CVS Caremark’s decision to strike anticoagulant Eliquis may have been the last straw for the cardiovascular community. It sparked outcry from 14 patient advocacy groups; they called on CVS to reverse the “dangerously disruptive” decision. “We’re captive consumers,” Beth Joyner Waldron, who used Eliquis, tells Modern Healthcare. “As a patient or consumer, I don’t choose my PBM; I choose my insurance. I don’t choose my PBM, yet they have pretty wide latitude to make clinical decisions that impact my care and override the decision of my doctor.” (Modern Healthcare)

Evidence & Innovation

Staffing shortage top hospital CEO challenge
Hospital CEOs responding to a survey by the American College of Healthcare Executives ranked personnel shortages as their top 2021 challenge. Almost all (94%) identified a shortage of RNs as the most pressing issue in that category, followed by technicians (85%), therapists (67%) and primary care physicians (45%). Financial challenges, which held the top spot since 2004, came in second. Patient safety and quality came in third. (Becker’s Hospital Review)
More docs seeking mental health, SUD services
Visits for mental health and substance use disorder increased 27% for physicians during the first year of the pandemic, according to research published in JAMA Network Open. The relative increase was significantly greater among physicians with no history of mental health or substance abuse issues (vs. those who did). The findings were similar regardless of age, gender, urban or rural setting—and even whether they treated COVID-19 patients. The findings highlight “a potential greater requirement for access to mental health services and system level change,” researchers conclude. (JAMA Network OpenUniversity of Minnesota CIDRAP)

Policy Solutions

Crane: MA, CMMI direct contracting a launchpad for VBC
Dr. Richard Gilfillan and Dr. Donald Berwick recently criticized the Medicare Advantage and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s Global and Professional Direct Contracting pilot program. Don Crane begs to differ. “If MA and direct contracting are impaired or eliminated as Gilfillan and Berwick appear to advocate, the value movement may well collapse.” Crane is president and CEO of America’s Physician Groups, which represents medical groups practicing coordinated care. “Neither MA nor direct contracting are without imperfections, but in addressing areas where these programs can be improved it is important that we don’t eliminate them. Both can and do serve as learning grounds and launchpads used by groups moving into value-based care…” (Health Affairs Forefront)

In Case You Missed It!

Watch Now! Value-based Strategies: A Better Way to Manage Medications | Hochman, Chen, Capps
Prescription medicine is the most common treatment for medical problems in America, but medication has the power both to heal and harm. Illness and death—resulting from the wrong prescription, the wrong dose, skipped doses or new medication-related issues—cost an estimated $528 billion each year.
Value-based payment models should support a new way to manage medications, particularly for patients suffering with multiple chronic conditions and those who see many physicians. Too often patients are precariously left to self-navigate a system that lacks coordination and communication between providers.
Comprehensive medication management (CMM) is proven solution. During this session you will hear from national experts experienced in advancing comprehensive medication management in primary care and integrating the role of the clinical pharmacist as an integral member of the primary care team. Want to see the evidence: the impact on cost and quality?
GTMRx was a proud sponsor of Health Care Value Week (January 24-28, 2022)
Watch now and find related resources here.
New Podcast Episode: Jessica Lea, PharmD
Host Katherine H. Capps talks to Tria Health CEO, Jessica Lea. As a trained pharmacist, she brings 20 years of knowledge and expertise in managed care and pharmacy benefits and is an advocate for the pharmacists’ role in improving outcomes. Her background in academia and numerous pharmacy achievements continue to fuel her passion of providing patient-centered care that results in optimal health outcomes.
In the episode, she offers guidance to employers as health plan sponsors to develop a “Buy Right Strategy”—an educational outreach program to educate employers about a new process of care to ensure medication are safe, effective and appropriate for their employees.

A Comprehensive Overview of the Institute, It’s Vision, Mission and Leadership
The Get the Medications Right Institute is working to decrease misuse, overuse and underuse of medications and avoid waste by advancing comprehensive medication management to ensure appropriate and personalized use of medications and gene therapies. Learn more in this brochure.
Interested in supporting our work?
Please contact Jeff Hanson (e: jhanson@gtmr.org)
Advocacy in Action: New GTMRx Advocacy and Policy Update
The GTMRx Institute’s Precision Medicine Enablement via Advanced Diagnostics Workgroup invited congressional staff from the Personalized Medicine Caucus to present on draft PGx legislation underway on two occasions. The Personalized Medicine Caucus, co-chaired by Representatives Tom Emmer (R-MN) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), engages members in a constructive dialogue about legislative and regulatory policies that can help realize the full potential of personalized medicine. The recommendations that came out of these discussions were put into our Letter to the Personalized Medicine Caucus Co-Chairs—Representatives Tom Emmer (R-MN) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA)—on the Right Drug Dose Now Act.
Some of the topics covered in this letter include:
  • Incorporating comprehensive medication management definition and language.
  • Combining PGx testing with the CMM process of care.
  • Expanding implementation of EHR guidelines, education awareness campaigns, and reporting.
  • Clarifying the definition of adverse drug events.
You can find the rest of our Advocacy Letters and Policy Documents on the GTMRx website. Advocacy is a core component of the GTMRx Institute’s mission, and our policy positions are aimed at advancing acceptance and recognition of the importance of creating a systematic, evidence-based approach to medications and their rational use through CMM in practice. To advance our efforts, comments are submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), members of Congress, the Administration, and other public sector payers (OPM) as appropriate.
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 smile.amazon.com 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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