Roughly 20% of primary care practices could close within weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey conducted last month by the Primary Care Collaborative. The loss in revenue from non-urgent business has put dire strain on resources and operations. Physicians need to respond quickly to the changing environment, and some technology vendors are seizing the opportunity, reports Healthcare IT News, which offers a regularly updated comprehensive listing of telemedicine vendors during the age of COVID-19. (Healthcare IT News; survey)
That primary care practices are in danger of closing is bad enough, but this is happening at a time when strong primary care, working with public heath, will be needed to help the country re-open—not to mention needing to meet pent-up demand. In this Q&A, Julie Schilz, senior director of Mathematica’s Health Unit, discusses how commercial insurers can take essential steps to support vulnerable primary care practices. (Milbank)
Evidence & Innovation
A collaboration in Minnesota is bringing comprehensive medication management to the community pharmacy. In pharmacies participating in the Slice of PIE initiative, pharmacists deliver MTM services consistent with the CMM patient care process. The initiative, led by HealthPartners, the University of Minnesota (UMN), the University of North Carolina and the Alliance for Integrated Medication Management, could “change the trajectory of community pharmacist engagement and related value-based programs nationally, thereby allowing patients across the country access to enhanced care and better health outcomes,” according to a UMN College of Pharmacy blog post. UMN researchers are currently evaluating the program’s success. (Minnesota Daily; UMN blog post)
Social, behavioral and environmental factors need to be incorporated into value-based payment models according to a New England Journal of Medicine paper co-authored by William Shrank, MD, CMO of Humana, and Shantanu Agrawal, MD, president and CEO of National Quality Forum. “Growing evidence indicates that socially disadvantaged people have comparatively worse health outcomes suggesting that clinical and social risk are related,” Agrawal said in a prepared statement. “To improve the health outcomes of all people, including the disadvantaged, we must consider this growing body of evidence as part of a comprehensive, 21st century approach to risk adjustment.” (Becker’s Hospital Review; NEJM)
The CDC is rolling out an app designed to accelerate electronic case reporting of COVID-19 cases. The app, based on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standards, can be implemented quickly to automate COVID case reporting. Meanwhile, Gary, Ind. has already launched a COVID-19 Assistant app that can help people determine if they need to seek testing and medical care. “We really want to arm our citizens with knowledge,” said Dr. Roland Walker, the city’s health commissioner. The app was developed by Innovaccer. (Fierce Healthcare; NWI Times)
New York has expanded COVID-19 diagnostic testing criteria to include all first responders, health care workers and essential employees even if they are asymptomatic, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to allow pharmacists to conduct diagnostic testing. (Becker’s Hospital Review)
In Case You Missed It!
Dorothy (Dot) Adcock, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of LabCorp spoke about LabCorp’s Covid-19 RT-PCR test on the GTMRx Precision Medicine Enablement via Advanced Diagnostics Workgroup on Friday, May 1. This test is the first COVID-19 at-home sample collection that has been has been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). You can learn more about the test 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.