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Practice Transformation

A new report from the National Academy of Medicine calls for interprofessional teams that coordinate care across the continuum, meaningfully engaging the full range of primary care professions. It describes opportunities for integration between primary care and various areas, including pharmacy. The report also calls on payers to move away from fee-for-service in favor of models that better support independent practices, enable team-based care, and address the social determinants. CMS, it says, should increase physician payment rates for primary care services by 50%. The report also recommends increased funding of primary care research. (Healthcare InnovationImplementing High-Quality Primary Care: Rebuilding the Foundation of Health Care)
A pharmacist-led, mobile-health-based intervention that included home monitoring significantly reduced medication errors, adverse events and hospitalizations among kidney transplant patients, according to research published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. “The key to the success of this intervention was likely the use of technology coupled with the pharmacist-led telemonitoring and management of patients,” the researchers write. “From our results, we believe clinicians should consider integrating these technologies into established clinical treatment pathways to improve medication safety related outcomes. (Medscape Medical NewsCJASN)
Use of direct-to-consumer telemedicine may increase costs and utilization, according to an analysis published in Health Affairs. Patients who used telehealth for upper respiratory infections were more likely to receive more follow-up care than those who received in-person care. The telemedicine cohort had fewer ER visits but more subsequent office, urgent care and telemedicine visits. “Our findings suggest that potential savings from shifting initial care to a direct-to-consumer telemedicine setting should be balanced against the potential for higher spending on downstream care,” researchers conclude. (Modern Healthcare*; Health Affairs)

Evidence & Innovation
Cannabis is an integral part of pain medicine despite a lack of clear evidence, Elon Eisenberg, MD, of Rambam Health Care and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology told attendees at the American Academy of Pain Medicine meeting. “Some patients with chronic pain clearly benefit from medical cannabis,” he explained. “The problem is that we cannot find predictors for good responses yet,” he said. “Which patients are going to be responsive? What pain types? What constituents are going to give us the best results? We don’t know.” (MedPage Today*)

Policy Solutions

Most (87%) top execs from large businesses predict the cost of employee health benefits will become unsustainable in the next five to 10 years; 85% say the government will need to play a larger role in providing coverage and containing costs. That’s from a survey by the Purchaser Business Group on Health and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Respondents agreed that a larger government role would be better for business (83%) and employees (86%). Employers are increasingly desperate to rein in rising health care costs and spending, Modern Healthcare reports. (Modern Healthcare*; KFF)
A recent Phase 2/3 trial for ALS hit its endpoints. Then the FDA wanted another trial. For Mary Catherine Collet, an ALS patient advocate, it was too much. “Clinical trial and regulatory processes are broken,” she writes in an opinion piece for STAT. The ALS community is in the same position Lou and Eleanor Gehrig were in 1939. “What’s more, there is a frustrating shroud of secrecy about what is really holding up approvals or access to investigational therapies that gives cover to the parties involved — physicians, researchers, regulators, industry, and sometimes even ALS advocacy organizations.” (STAT News)
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In Case You Missed It!

Our Employer toolkit, developed by the GTMRx Employer Toolkit Taskforce, explores the benefits of CMM for individuals and for the employers who pay for benefits.
Covers topics, such as:
  • What is CMM
  • How CMM differs from traditional MTM
  • The ROI of CMM in practice
  • Patients that benefit the most from CMM services
  • CMM & value-based strategies (return-on-investment)
  • CMM & Pharmacogenomics testing
  • Employer call to action
Find more information on its development and what others are saying in our press release. Find other, employer-related resources.
Download the Employer Toolkit today!
Employers want a healthy, productive workforce. They want to eliminate waste. They want health care that works. They want the investments they make in primary care programs designed to manage chronic conditions and in medication management programs to create value; mitigate risks; and decrease hospitalizations, ER visits and other services that impact total cost of care.
They can make that happen. Read more.
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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