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Practice Transformation

Mandatory virtual visits: Innovation or fragmentation?
New, often lower-cost, plans capitalize on the convenience of telemedicine—and patients’ growing familiarity with it. In fact, some insurers now require initial telehealth visits for non-emergency primary care. But consumers should weigh costs and care options before enrolling in a “virtual-first” plan, warns Kaiser Health News. Most insurers doing this rely on contracted physicians, mental health therapists and other staff members. Moreover, some may permit an in-person visit only if their virtual doctor, who may have never examined them in person, deems it necessary. (Kaiser Health News)
PCPs concerned about ongoing telehealth
Nearly two-thirds of clinicians reported relying on telehealth during the pandemic to maintain patients’ access to care, according to survey findings from the Larry A. Green Center and the Primary Care Collaborative. Clinicians also reported concerns about the continued widespread use of telehealth: 41% of responding clinicians worried that their practice would not be able to support telehealth going forward and 21% said they had to cut back on telehealth use since payments were reduced. A particularly interesting finding: 25% of clinicians were concerned that primary care will become weakened by telehealth in the future. (Healio Primary Care)
Walgreens potentially to close retail locations to focus on health care
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. aims to grow its consumer health care business strategy, a move that could lead to pharmacy retail location closures. Walgreens has been increasing its investments in companies such as VillageMD, a primary health care company; Shields, a specialty pharmacy company; and CareCentrix, a home health care company. “This is a new segment within our business that will focus on bringing together our healthcare ambitions and powering up our new and existing assets to support the journey,” said Roz Brewer, Walgreens chief executive. (Market Watch)

Evidence & Innovation

Employers want a better way to manage medication
A new Zogby poll of HR decision makers found that 87% of respondents feel their company would benefit from a more innovative way to manage medication therapy problems, and 92% feel offering a medication expert and/or clinical pharmacist would be helpful in better understanding medications. Managing the drug benefit is more complex than ever before; many employers are moving beyond formulary design to looking at how medications are being managed for the individual patient, says Katherine H. Capps, co-founder and executive director of The GTMRx Institute, which commissioned the poll. “Is there someone on the care team asking: ‘Is this the right medication for this person?’” (GTMRx)
Talking to health insurers costs billions
Americans spend about 12 million hours a week calling about health insurance, according to research published in the Academy of Management Discoveries. This administrative “sludge” costs employers and the economy billions of dollars in squandered work time, employee stress, absenteeism and reduced productivity. The researchers estimate that the economy loses $21.6 billion a year simply from the time employees spend on the phone with health insurance representatives. All of those dead-weight losses to the economy could be diminished if employers held benefits administrators accountable for reducing administrative hassles in the system, the researchers conclude. (Kaiser Health NewsAcademy of Management Discoveries)

Policy Solutions

KFF Poll: Most want feds to negotiate drug prices
The latest Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll finds that, after hearing from parties on both sides of the debate, most Americans support allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices. The breakdown: 83% total, 95% of Democrats, 82% of independents, and 71% of Republicans). The poll also found that although 85% of adults ages 65 and older report having some type of prescription drug coverage, one in five older adults still report difficulty affording their prescription drugs, including 17% of older adults with some type of prescription drug coverage. (KFF)
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In Case You Missed It!


GTMRx in the Media
The GTMRx Institute has had several recently released publications, including:

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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