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Practice Transformation

Health IT and EHR optimization can mitigate clinician burnout, EHR training and care team expansion, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. “Arguably, the primary drivers of burnout for physicians have been related to electronic health records and overwhelming inefficiencies in clinical practice that significantly and negatively impact workflow and patient care,” the authors write. “Physicians experience high fatigue with short, continuous periods of EHR use, which is also associated with inefficiency of EHR use (i.e., more clicks and more time) on subsequent cases.” (EHR IntelligenceJAMIA)
Many health systems use patient portals for vaccine communications, but 45% of adults 65 to 80 and 42% of those 50 to 80, say they haven’t registered with their provider’s portal system, according to a University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation survey. Income, education level and race were strong predictors of portal use. Encourage older adults sign up for and use patient portal access—or log in again if they haven’t in a while, says Preeti Malani, MD, of Michigan Medicine. (Patient Engagement HITUniversity of Michigan)

Evidence & Innovation

At least one third of COVID-19 infections occur in people who never develop symptoms, according to a paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “To reduce transmission from people who are presymptomatic or asymptomatic, we need to shift our testing focus to at-home screening,” lead author Daniel Oran, AM, tells Medscape Medical News. In related news, The White House announced last week it is buying 8.5 million rapid coronavirus tests that can be taken at home without a prescription. (Medscape Medical NewsAnnals of Internal MedicineWashington Post)
The Federation of State Medical Boards has launched Provider Bridge, a license-portability initiative that will allow certain clinicians to work across state lines. Clinicians can register and receive a digital Provider Bridge Passport, which collects their active licenses, disciplinary history, specialty certifications and DEA registration and NPI numbers. The clinicians can then submit that passport to a health system, hospital or other care provider in need of help. It’s currently limited to physicians and physician assistants, but the Federation plans to expand the program to other health care professionals. (mHealth Intelligence)

Policy Solutions

Health and Human Services has delayed by one year the start date of a rule that would eliminate the rebates drugmakers pay to pharmacy benefit managers. The rule, released last year, was an attempt to simplify drug pricing and pass discounts to consumers. Drugmakers support the rule. PBMs oppose it: A PBM trade group filed a lawsuit challenging the rule. The delay will give the administration time to review the rule and its potential impact on Medicare Part D and its enrollees, Becker’s Hospital Review reports. (Becker’s Hospital Review)
Lehigh County, Penn., is blaming PBMs for waste. Controller Mark Pinsley reports the county wasted at least $1.4 million on health care in 2019. The primary culprit: prescription drugs—specifically, the opaque pricing system. “So, it could be we pay the provider $25, but they only pay the pharmacy $20,” Pinsley says. “Because we’re self-insured, we should be making a decision—do we agree with that spread or do we not, and if we do, that’s fine, but right now, we don’t even know.” Other localities may start scrutinizing PBMs, STAT reports. (Stat NewsWFMZ)
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In Case You Missed It!

GTMRx Workgroup Update | Practice and Care Delivery Transformation Workgroup
The GTMRx Best Practices and Innovative Solutions (BPIS) Subgroup of the Practice and Care Delivery Transformation Workgroup is working on a comprehensive medication management (CMM) FAQ tool for physicians. The group hosted two physician focus groups—with more to come—to inform their work, which will be a part of a larger physician stakeholder package. Please reach out to Izzy Serji, MPH, Operations Manager, GTMRx Institute (E: iserji@gtmr.org) if you or a physician you know is interested in helping on this initiative.
The AMA and ASHP (GTMRx founding funder) are committed to exploring the potential of pharmacogenomics-based selection, dosing and monitoring of medications to improve health outcomes. To further clinicians’ understanding of this emerging area of medicine, the AMA and ASHP are developing an informative series of virtually convened and facilitated webinars to evaluate the evidence base, identify and promote current best practices and guidance on the clinical application of pharmacogenomics and understand the health equity implications of adoption.
The webinars are free and will run February 17, February 24, March 2, March 11 and March 18. Register here.
The Get the Medications Right Institute (GTMRx) workgroups have developed a set of Tools from Our Experts to advocate for medication management reform. These tools are designed to be useful resources for all stakeholders, and we believe these will be vital to optimize medication use through CMM in practice. We encourage you to share them, post them and use them to advocate for medication management reform. Find these guidance documents here.
Developed by the Best Practices and Innovative Solutions Subgroup of the Practice and Care Delivery Transformation Workgroup, learn how expert practices, such as Kaiser Permanente, have implemented successful programs designed to optimize medication use. This case focuses on delivery of services and offers insight into the programs’ impact on outcomes, clinician satisfaction, cost savings and patient satisfaction. Also included are details about program size and success factors. Read it here.
Listen here.
Hosted by the GTMRx Institute’s executive director and co-founder, Katherine H. Capps, Voices of Change features leaders who have knowledge, experience and ideas to solve this urgent need to get the medications right. Did you miss the most recent episode? Liz Helms discuss the patient’s perspective in getting the medications right, saying, “[Patients] need to ask the questions. We need to understand why we’re taking that, and if we’re taking multiple medicines, then we need to understand if they all work together. And if they don’t all work together, then there should be conversations [on] what should we do to change that?”
Episodes feature:
  • Liz Helms, president and CEO of the California Chronic Care Coalition
  • Liz Fowler, JD, Ph.D., executive vice president for programs, The Commonwealth Fund
  • Amy Gutierrez, Pharm.D.,senior vice president and chief pharmacy officer, Kaiser Permanente
  • Amanda Brummel, PharmD, BCACP, vice president, Clinical Ambulatory Pharmacy Services, Fairview Pharmacy Services
  • Orsula V. Knowlton, PharmD, MBA, president and chief marketing & new business development officer, Tabula Rasa HealthCare
  • Anand Parekh, MD, chief medical advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Paul Grundy, MD, president, GTMRx; chief transformation officer, Innovaccer
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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