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Practice Transformation

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, GTMRx Executive Member, President-Elect Todd Sorensen has set an ambitious goal—that 50% of primary care practices will have integrated comprehensive medication management (CMM) into their practice, with pharmacists delivering those services. Academic Pharmacy Now publisher Lucinda L. Maine, PhD, RPh, says it’s more than a pipe dream. However, innovation, including incorporating CMM into practices, “will take action and collaboration with key contributors both in and out of pharmacy to make it happen faster than practice change has historically occurred.” Maine says it can happen. (Academic Pharmacy Now)
Watch the recent webinar “Core tenets to implement CMM in primary care: Getting the medications right” based on research by Todd Sorensen and Mary Roth McClurg funded by AACP (GTMRx founding board member).
Many organizations have developed patient and clinician education programs to advance genomic testing. But, warns John Fox, MD, MHA, VP of clinical transformation at Spectrum Health, they’re overlooking one critical audience. Private insurer coverage for comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) isn’t keeping up with the VA or Medicare. This, despite the evidence demonstrating that CGP helps enable personalized medicine and represents a major step forward in the fight against cancer. The title of his opinion piece says it all: “When it comes to genomic testing, private insurers need to step up.” (Managed Healthcare Executive)

Evidence & Innovation

Patients with type 2 diabetes who were in poor health were more likely to continue taking insulin after age 75 than their counterparts in better health, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine. As people with type 2 diabetes age, the risks of insulin use can outweigh its benefits, creating the need for increased provider and patient education. National guidelines recommend reduced insulin use among older adults, but these practices are challenging to implement. “Revisiting the need for potentially harmful medications such as insulin when the risks outweigh the benefits can help to reduce adverse events like hypoglycemia and improve the quality of care in older patients,” says Richard W. Grant, MD, MPH, a Kaiser Permanente research scientist. Pharmacists, primary care physicians, geriatric specialists and others are working together to address polypharmacy, he adds. (JAMA Internal MedicineKaiser Permanente News)
CVS Health, Walgreens and Walmart are increasingly investing in face-to-face health care, and each is taking a different approach. Becker’s Hospital Review offers a list of what each is doing. For example, Walgreens employs “health guides” to help customers find medications and book appointments with its health clinic. CVS HealthHub stores feature a “care concierge” to help guide customers through the services offered. Walmart opened a stand-alone health clinic in Georgia last month, and plans to open another one there early next year. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Policy Solutions

Increasing primary care access is seen as essential to improving population health; the data show that effective primary care can help reduce emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Yet the federal government estimates that 84 million Americans lack adequate access to primary care. Meanwhile, the demand for primary care is outpacing supply. The Lown Institute has proposed a few ways to address the crisis. The first two are from the federal level: Cover the cost of medical school for students who devote 10 years or more to primary care, and offer CMS residency subsidies to those entering primary care. The third? Move toward more direct primary care models. (Forbes)
Google parent company Alphabet has hired former FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, MD, to serve as head of strategy and policy across the company’s Google Health and Verily Life Sciences enterprises beginning Nov. 18. Currently vice chancellor for data sciences for Duke Health, he will remain on the Duke faculty as an adjunct professor in the School of Medicine. Califf has been serving as an adviser at Verily, Alphabet’s biotech division, since 2017. (Fierce HealthcareDuke)
In case you missed it: Focus On Communications
In five short months, the GTMRx Institute is already 500 members strong! And we are growing every day. We are off to a fast start—producing timely, relevant content and resources through the GTMRx Learning Network and convening workgroups to develop a Blueprint for Change to optimize medication use for all patients.
Our first member communication went out on September 27 and included updates on our initiatives and progress. If you missed it, the Focus on Communications update will be re-sent on October 14, 2019. Only signing members will receive the links to access these updates. If you’re not yet a signing member, now’s the perfect time to join. It’s simple and free to join, and we hope you’ll help us spread the word with others in your network who want to be part of the movement to get the medications right, the first time!

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