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Practice Transformation

Data from a multistate patient safety organization database reveals that medication-related events are the most common patient safety incidents in ambulatory care settings. The findings were published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. Across all categories, the 2,701 events were associated with 51 deaths, 159 severe harm events, 1,180 moderate harm and 926 mild harm. Medication-related events accounted for 45.3% of all errors. “These results can help ambulatory care settings target safety events and develop systems-level prevention strategies,” researchers concluded. (The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient SafetyAHRQ Patient Safety Network)
What drove the merger of Intermountain Healthcare and Sanford Health? Insurance plans, for one, Sanford Health’s CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft told reporters. “We’ve had an insurance company for 25 years, and we do a good job with it in this region. But we’re stuck. Growth has been a challenge in an increasingly mobile society. Meeting an organization like Intermountain Health with their reach, with their reputation and their insurance company being four or five times the size of our insurance company really was the missing ingredient.” The organizations expect the deal to close in 2021. (FierceHealthcare)

Evidence & Innovation

The L.A. Care Health Plan and Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) are partnering with the California Right Meds Collaborative, a pharmacist-led initiative at the University of Southern California to improve health outcomes in local communities, reduce health care costs, better allocate physician resources and reduce unnecessary hospitalizations. It will focus on patients with persistently uncontrolled health conditions. “By leveraging community pharmacies as neighborhood-based health hubs, patients who struggle with chronic disease control have easy access to comprehensive medication management,” program founder Dr. Steven Chen of the USC School of Pharmacy said in a prepared statement. It “allows pharmacists to collaborate with physicians to fully utilize their training for the benefit of patients, physicians and health plans and the community.” Chen is a GTMRx Distinguished Fellow. (Pharmacy TimesannouncementHC21 8th Annual Pharma U)
Prescribing potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) to seniors leads to increased health care utilization and costs, according to research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. More than 34% of adults age 65 and older were prescribed these drugs, which include antidepressants, barbiturates, androgens, estrogens, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, first-generation antihistamines and antipsychotics. “Our results suggest that receipt of PIMs is associated with higher rates of healthcare utilization and increased costs across the healthcare continuum,” researchers conclude. (Journal of the American Geriatrics SocietyUB Now; Lown Institute)
Seven health systems are collaborating to form the Health System Owned Specialty Pharmacy Alliance (HOSP) to advocate for health system-owned specialty pharmacies. “HOSP delivers a platform for the industry to firmly establish the integrated specialty model as the new industry standard,” says former CMS Administrator Tom Scully. Among the health systems involved are Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis and CommonSpirit Health in Chicago. (Becker’s Hospital ReviewHOSP announcement)

Policy Solutions

Medicare will cover the cost of coronavirus vaccines, per a CMS rule announced Wednesday. The vaccine will be given to providers, and Medicare will reimburse for the cost of the injection. The policy calls on state Medicaid agencies to provide vaccine administration with no cost sharing for most beneficiaries. Finally, it implements provisions of the CARES Act that call for most private insurers to cover a COVID-19 vaccine under most plans without cost sharing (in- and out-of-network). All these changes are for the duration of the -public health emergency. (The Hill)
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In Case You Missed It!

Register Now! Member Feedback Needed: Medication Management Reform: 4 Key Drivers

Mark you calendar! GTMRx will be hosting four key presentations and panel reactions, showcasing the work from 100+ GTMRx experts?.
November 12 – from 1:00-1:30 pm EST?
Precision Medicine: Leveraging the Power of PGx to Improve
Patient Care
November 13 – from 1:00-1:30 pm EST
Health IT: Turning Data into Actionable Information
November 17 – from 1:00-1:30 pm EST
Payment and Policy: Demonstrating Value
November 19 – from 1:00-2:00 pm EST
Practice Transformation: CMM Adoption Across the Care Continuum?
*This event is for members only. If you are unsure if you are a member, you can sign up here.
HC21 8th Annual Pharma U: Using Clinical Pharmacists for Better Care and Better Costs in Complex Patients
Thursday, November 12, 2020 10 – 11 AM EST
Employers demand high value care–the right drug, right patient, right time, right cost. Join HC21 for this online event to discuss how employers can leverage CMM to Get The Medications Right.
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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