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Practice Transformation

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation that expands roles pharmacists and some nurses, allowing them to perform certain functions without physician supervision. HB 607 allows certain advanced practice nurses to provide primary care and practice independently of doctors. HB 389 allows pharmacists to test and treat patients for the flu and strep throat as well as treat chronic medical conditions. It also requires them to recommend patients follow-up with a doctor if necessary. “Seventeen other states have expanded the roles of pharmacists, who would now be able to order and interpret tests and change medication on a variety of conditions,” says Sen. Travis Hutson, who presented the bill. (Tampa Bay TimesFlorida Politics)
CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT released final versions of their interoperability and information-blocking proposals last week. The long-awaited rules prohibit information blocking and are intended to give patients more control over their medical data—even downloading it to their phone. Ideally, the rules will improve care coordination. Curious about the impact? Becker’s Hospital Review has compiled a list of winners and losers. Patients will need to have access to their data by Jan. 1, 2021. Other provisions have a six-month rollout period. (Becker’sMedscape Medical News)
How will artificial intelligence change health care delivery? Radiology may offer a preview. Debate rages among radiologists, arguably those most immediately affected by AI. Some believe AI—which does a superb job of reading images—will eventually render diagnostic radiologists obsolete, reports Radiology Business Journal. Others, like Shreyas Vasanawala, MD, PhD, of Stanford, see AI as assistive, not adversarial. But even neuroradiologist Robert Schier, MD, a self-described alarmist, calls on colleagues to embrace AI. “You will provide better patient care, be more valuable and do a better job.” (Radiology Business Journal)

Evidence & Innovation

Drug prices rose 3.5 times faster than inflation 2007 and 2018—even after taking into account rebates, according to a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers looked at list and net prices of 602 drugs between 2007 and 2018 and found that net prices rose 60%. “In this analysis of branded drugs … mean increases in list and net prices were substantial, although discounts offset an estimated 62% of list price increases with substantial variation across classes,” researchers concluded. (Becker’s Hospital ReviewJAMA)
Learn how your organization can best prepare for the coronavirus at a webinar sponsored by NonProfit WebAdvisor. It will take place March 18 at 1 p.m. EDT. Nonprofit attorney Zachary Kester will collect and synthesize the latest guidance from WHO, the CDC, OSHA and others. (details and registration)

Policy Solutions

The FDA has classified insulin as a biologic in attempt to make it less costly and more accessible. The change, effective March 23, opens the drug up to more competition, potentially lowering costs. In particular, it allows drugmakers to manufacture biosimilar versions of insulin, lower-cost versions of the drug that have the same clinical effects. This move comes on top of efforts by some insurers and states to control the cost of insulin. (Advisory Board Daily Briefing)
AI can help government agencies serve their constituents, tackle their most vexing issues and get the most out of their budgets. But few have all the building blocks of successful AI programs: clear vision and strategy, budget, high-quality available data and talent. A five-step, mission-based data strategy can help sidestep these challenges, according to a new paper from McKinsey & Co. This strategyoutlined in the paper—focuses on how governments can often accelerate their AI efforts by emphasizing impact over perfection. (McKinsey)
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