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Practice Transformation

COVID-19 has forced many ambulatory care clinics to turn to telehealth. A new podcast from GTMRx founding funder, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, explores the implementation and expansion of telehealth pharmacy services in two ambulatory care clinics. Speakers discuss the types of telehealth visits provided, the roadblocks encountered, lessons learned and reimbursement. (ASHP podcast)
Widespread critical-medication shortages are the next big crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, writes Jeremy Samuel Faust, emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Some hospitals are running short on solutions needed for dialysis. In addition to drugs for patients on mechanical ventilators, including sedatives and painkillers, we need to fast-track the production of drugs used to treat pneumonia. Hydroxychloroquine is a concern, too. It’s being used for COVID-19 patients despite a lack of compelling evidence, creating shortages for patients with conditions it’s known to help, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. (The Atlantic)
A recent HealthITAnalytics article explores how Allegheny Health Network is leveraging real-time analytic tools to improve care coordination and patient health outcomes. Its new care coordination platform—CarePort—allows Allegheny Health to identify patients in need of follow-up care in real-time. It’s also providing wrap-around support with nursing and health coaches. “We’re moving to a team-based care model and introducing extended care team members to include behavioral health consultants, pharmacy, nutrition and social work,” says Bill Johnjulio, MD, chair of the Allegheny Health Network primary care institute. (HealthITAnalytics)

Evidence & Innovation

The Apple/Google Bluetooth virus-tracking technology is rolling out, but public health officials are not so sure it will be helpful, reports the Washington Post. The system will notify smartphone users if they’ve potentially come into contact with an infected person, but it won’t share any data with health officials or reveal where those meetings took place. In early communications about the product, the companies referred to it as a “contract tracing” system, but they have since backed away from that. (Washington Post)
A recent Wall Street Journal article featured physicians skeptical of precision medicine; they argued that tailoring treatment to the genetic profiles of individuals is “less important than the old-fashioned public health measures.” Paula Muto, MD, FACS, was among those who disagreed via a letter to the editor. “Public health is not the same as practicing medicine. One is dedicated to the prevention of disease and the other to its treatment. Both are important but should not be seen as interchangeable.” (Wall Street Journal letters)

Policy Solutions

The cost of cancer drugs isn’t related to clinical benefit, according to a study published in The Lancet Oncology. It concluded that cancer drugs with low or uncertain clinical benefit could be prioritized for price negotiations, while “value frameworks” could help identify therapies providing high clinical benefit. In a statement, lead author Kerstin Vokinger, MD, expanded on that. “Drugs that are less effective should be cheaper than those with high efficacy. National authorities should take greater account of the clinical benefits of drugs when negotiating prices, and therapies that provide high clinical benefit should be prioritized in price negotiations.” (Science DailyThe Lancet Oncology)

In Case You Missed It!

GTMRx Member Dan Rehrauer, Pharm.D., senior manager MTM Program, HealthPartners, gave a presentation to the GTMRx Payment and Policy Solutions Workgroup on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. The presentation topic focused on the CMM engagement work being done at HealthPartners. He discussed an overview of HealthPartners, the barriers and successes in engagement with different stakeholders (private, employers, Medicare, Medicaid, providers, etc.), how to approach CMM-naive audiences and the types of pilots that providers have requested to expand access to CMM services.
Tuesday, June 9, 2020 | 1- 2 p.m. EDT
It makes sense that evaluation of a patient’s genotype can support the clinical decision-making process and target correct therapies, improving patient outcomes. This webinar will address barriers, incorporation of PGx into team-based care and how PGx aid in treatment decisions for COVID-19 patients.
Hear from a clinical pharmacist and a research consultant as they discuss findings from two separate research studies on pharmacogenomics. Colleen Keenan, a consultant with The Advisory Board’s Clinical Innovators Council, will share findings from her recent paper, “Considering pharmacogenomics during COVID-19? Here’s what you need to know.” And Emily J. Cicali, Pharm.D., BCPS, shares highlights from her recent publication, “Challenges and lessons learned from clinical pharmacogenetic implementation of multiple gene-drug pairs across ambulatory care settings.”
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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