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Practice Transformation

Nurses feel stressed, worthless, insolated and—surprise—undervalued
More than half of nurses working in critical care said they were “not emotionally healthy,” according to the latest COVID-19 survey on mental health and wellness conducted by the American Nurses Foundation. Three quarters of nurses across all roles said they felt “stressed,” and 10% said they felt “worthless.” Among nurses of all types, nearly half said they felt “undervalued,” 20% reported increased alcohol consumption, 5% reported feeling isolated, 4% reported increased suicidal thoughts, 3% reported increased substance use and 1% reported “self-injurious behavior.” (Medpage Today)
Commentary: Rein in algorithms, trust physician judgment
Many medical algorithms are flawed, according to an opinion piece in Scientific American. Among the authors’ calls to action: Dismantle systems that foster overreliance on medical algorithms, such as prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) mandates. Unless their decisions lead to patient harm, “doctors should not face significant penalties for using their own clinical judgement instead of following recommendations from medical algorithms.” In health care, “if your decisions affect patient lives, ’do no harm’ must apply—even to computer algorithms.” (Scientific American)

Evidence & Innovation

Vaccinated people have lower all-cause mortality
People vaccinated against COVID-19 are also less likely to die of other causes compared to the unvaccinated, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. This wasn’t a complete surprise: Earlier research suggested a downstream effect of vaccination, in which nursing home residents who received an mRNA vaccine had lower all-cause mortality compared with unvaccinated residents. The bottom line: “There is no increased risk for mortality among COVID-19 vaccine recipients. This finding reinforces the safety profile of currently approved COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.” (MedPage TodayMorbidity and Mortality Weekly Report)
National employer group launches PBM
The Purchaser Business Group on Health has launched a company, Emsana Health, to develop health care products for large employers. It’s first business unit, a pharmacy benefit manager called EmsanaRx, will be operational next year. According to the announcement, “EmsanaRx is structured to address the lack of accountability of the PBM industry to its employer clients, who largely lack access to information about drug costs, true discounts and administrative fees that contribute to huge profits—predominantly for three PBMs dominating 80% of the market.” (Healthcare Diveannouncement)
Want to learn more about what employers need to know about getting the medications right? GTMRx Employer Toolkit here
Are they really allergic to penicillin?
Roughly 10% of the U.S. population has a documented penicillin allergy, but more than 90% of those can tolerate it if tested. Research published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that education and EHR alerts at primary care practices increased referrals for penicillin allergy confirmatory testing by nearly 20%. “Mislabeled penicillin allergies are costly on the individual patient level, but also on the population level,” coauthor Cathleen Collins, MD, PhD, tells Healio Primary Care. “Delabeling is an important way to cut down on overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics and save resources over the course of a lifetime.” (HealioAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology)

Policy Solutions

CMMI calls for accountable care the norm by 2030
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation plans to have every Medicare beneficiary and most Medicaid members in an accountable care arrangement by 2030, officials announced. This move addresses one of CMMI’s five strategic objectives: “Increase the number of beneficiaries in a care relationship with accountability for quality and total cost of care.” A new FAQ sheet explains the initiative and solicits feedback. (Healthcare DiveCMMI strategic direction; CMMI slide deck)
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In Case You Missed It!


GTMRx Update
The GTMRx Institute presented at the GPBCH Educational Program on CMM. Thank you to GTMRx senior advisor, Sandra Morris, and GTMRx distinguished fellow, Jan Hirsch who presented on behalf of the Institute. Also involved in the event were GTMRx Employer Advisory member Neil Goldfarb and our executive member, Tabula Rasa HealthCare.
You can watch the recording here.
In this episode, Dr. Thomas Mattras, the director of operations in the Office of Primary Care at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, joins GTMRx executive director, Katherine H. Capps, to talk about personalized, proactive, patient-centered care; how to encourage physicians to utilize clinical pharmacists in their practice; and shares patient success stories from CMM services.
Listen here.

Advocacy in Action
GTMRx is pleased to announce that we have launched our Advocacy Letters and Policy Documents page on the GTMRx website. Advocacy is a core component of the GTMRx Institute’s mission, and our policy positions are aimed at advancing acceptance and recognition of the importance of creating a systematic, evidence-based approach to medications and their rational use through CMM in practice. To advance our efforts, comments are submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), members of Congress, the Administration, and other public sector payers (OPM) as appropriate.

In addition to development of Vaccine Confidence Leagues (VCLs) and community-building activities, the task force’s recommendations include:
  • Accelerated approval of vaccines
  • Public education
  • Payment reform
  • Improved vaccine access for primary care practices
  • More effective immunization information systems (IIS)
  • No cost-sharing for certain patients
  • Enhanced diversity, inclusion, and equity
Find the report Frequently Asked Questions here.
Read the report here.
Join us to be part of meaningful change
Irma, like many others, struggles as a result of our current trial-and-error approach to medication. That is why we advocate for a new, comprehensive approach to medication use and prescribing. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organization, the GTMRx Institute and Foundation relies on funding from our supporting members. We ask that you consider becoming a Supporting Signing Member so we can continue to provide relevant, timely resources to get the medications right!
If you’re interested in supporting the Institute or Foundation at a higher level, please contact us. Your dollars will bring about meaningful change for people like Irma.
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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