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Practice Transformation

“Precision medicine … already has the power to disrupt your practice,” writes Joel Diamond, MD, FAAFP. In Medical Economics, he discusses how practices can begin to incorporate genomics. It can be difficult to prove ROI right away, he warns, but that need not be a barrier to adoption. “No one questioned the value of MRI tests when they were introduced, but it still it took time to build a genuine ROI argument. Healthcare will be well served by taking the same approach with precision medicine.” (Medical Economics)
Pooling data from various hospital EHRs has always been a challenge. Now, the pandemic is revealing just how far away we are from interoperability. “I’m stunned at EHR vendors’ inability to consistently pull data from their systems,” says Dale Sanders, chief technology officer of Health Catalyst, a data analytics company. “It’s absolutely hampering our ability to understand and react to COVID.” According to Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, the CDC should have come up with a COVID data-collection plan that used standardized terminology so hospitals with incompatible EHRs could compare notes. (KHNFortune)

Evidence & Innovation

A first-of-its-kind “fast-fail” trial revealed that a receptor involved in the brain’s reward system may be a viable target for treating anhedonia, a key symptom in many mood and anxiety disorders, according to research published in Nature Medicine. Psychiatric drug development is costly, time consuming and frequently unsuccessful. “The fast-fail approach aims to help researchers determine—quickly and efficiently—whether targeting a specific neurobiological mechanism has the hypothesized effect and is a potential candidate for further clinical trials,” explained Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD, director of NIMH.(NIHM announcementNature Medicine)
Researchers are adapting a form of gene therapy to develop a coronavirus vaccine, the New York Times reports. It uses a harmless virus—already used in gene therapy—as a vector to bring DNA into the patient’s cells. That DNA instructs the cells—in this case, it would tell the cells to make a coronavirus protein that would stimulate the immune system to fight off future infections. (NYT)

Policy Solutions

CMS issued a new round of regulatory changes earlier this month. Several related to telehealth. For example, it is increasing reimbursement for telephone-only telehealth visits. In addition, some practitioners, such as therapists previously restricted from providing telehealth services for reimbursement, can now do so. Another major change relates to COVID-19 testing. Medicare beneficiaries will no longer need a written order from a provider. CMS will also cover certain antibody testing, tests that patients self-collect at home. All of these are temporary, issued in response to the public health emergency. (Healthcare DiveCMS announcement)
The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing how few antibiotic options there are and the need for investment to be prepared for more antibiotic-resistant infections to emerge. This pandemic may be caused by a virus, but desperate attempts to save patients often include overprescribing antibiotics, Axios reports. This raises concerns about antibiotic resistance. Compounding the problem is that the antibiotic pipeline is anemic. (Axios)

In Case You Missed It!

The Practice and Care Delivery Transformation Workgroup has been busy at work focused on restructuring their subgroup leadership and ‘areas of further work’. In addition to the current executive leadership—Anthony Morreale, Pharm.D., MBA, BCPS, FASHP (VA), Marcia Buck, Pharm.D., FCCP, FPPA, BCPPS, and Kasey Thompson, Pharm.D., MS, MBA (ASHP)—the workgroup has created two new subgroups: the Best Practices and Innovative Solutions Subgroup and the Evidence-Based Resources Subgroup.
To read more about their work, click the following link.
Thursday, May 28, 2020 | 1- 2 p.m. EDT
The COVID-19 global health care crisis has created a real opportunity to expand access to care through telehealth. How do we optimize patient outcomes and ensure appropriate use of medications virtually?
Join us for our upcoming webinar featuring Jared Augenstein, MA, MPH (Director; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP) and Melissa Badowski, PharmD, MPH, FCCP, BCIDP, BCPS, AAHIVP (Clinical Associate Professor, Section of Infectious Diseases Pharmacotherapy; Department of Pharmacy Practice,University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Pharmacy) to hear from a clinical pharmacist and a policy analyst as they discuss barriers to implementation and opportunities that the coronavirus pandemic offers to expand telehealth services. They will consider in what way these changes may impact care delivery.
Register here.
Remarks from the GTMRx / Bipartisan Policy Center Feb 6 keynote address by Gregory Downing, D.O.,(page 10-13) “Get the Medications Right: Innovations in Team-Based Care,” in the latest edition of the Personalized Medicine Coalition’s Personalized Medicine in Brief. Read it here.
Guest: Paul Grundy, MD, Chief Transformation Officer, Innovaccer; Interim President, GTMRx Institute
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.

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