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Practice Transformation

Large employers reported a strong trend toward virtual care options during the pandemic, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Business Group on Health. Fifty-three percent of the 122 employers represented in the survey identified implementation of more virtual care solutions as the top health care benefit initiatives for 2021. It’s not just the pandemic: This was the top priority among respondents to BGH’s annual survey for the third year in a row, reports Ellen Kelsay, the BGH president and CEO. “There’s certainly no doubt that virtual care is here to stay.” (HR Dive)
As part of an urgent call for medication management reform GTMRx’s executive director, Katie Capps, and distinguished fellow, Molly Ekstrand, outlined four capabilities enabled by health information technology: clinical decision support tools (at the point of care), population health and risk stratification tools, patient engagement and care coordination tools and use of health IT to support economic, clinical and humanistic outcome measures. “CMM services can be correlated with broader changes in health status or health care utilization patterns, thus demonstrating contribution and value to the broader health care system. However, optimizing medication use through CMM in practice truly and wholly relies on having the right data, at the right time, at the point of care and available to the entire team,” the authors say. (Pharmacy Practice News)

Evidence & Innovation

A quarter of health care spending is unnecessary, but few organizations are implementing evidence-based practices to reduce that, Health Payer Intelligence reports. At Xtelligent Healthcare Media’s Value-Based Care Summit, Kenneth Cohen, MD, of OptumCare and New West Physicians, discussed how OptumCare was addressing this: They bring together successful medical groups from across the country to share best practices. At the heart of the problem is the assumption that quality of care equates to the cost of care. “Not only does more care not equal better care, but typically more care actually equals harmful care.” (Health Payer Intelligence)
Medicare spent more than $1.4 billion between 2017 and 2018 on drugs that would eventually be wasted or discarded, according to a report from Most were chemotherapy and cancer-treating drugs. The wasted $1.4 billion only accounts for discarded drugs that were covered by Medicare Part B, according to the report. Part B drug spending is just 16% of total Medicare drug spending. (Healthcare Finance Newsreport)
Most consumers say they aren’t notified of physical changes in their prescription pills, such as color and shape, STAT reports. However, pharmacists report they do alert their customers. This disconnect is contributing to a lack of patient adherence, according to a new analysis. Half of 1,000 consumers who were surveyed reported such a change in the past year, and 29% thought they received the wrong pill. As a result one in eight either took their pills less frequently or stopped taking them altogether. (STAT)
Uber is piloting prescription deliveries in Dallas and Seattle. It expects to expand to other cities soon. Uber’s health arm is partnering with NimbleRx, an online medication-delivery platform for independent pharmacies. Users must sign up for NimbleRx through their local pharmacy and select Uber as the delivery option at checkout. The cost of delivery will vary based on location, time and delivery speed preference. It represents the third major growth initiative of Uber Health, which launched in 2018. (Dallas Morning NewsThe Motley Fool)

Policy Solutions

Late last month, the FDA granted emergency use authorization to a COVID-19 saliva test from the Yale School of Public Health that lacks a separate nucleic acid extraction step and eliminates the need for a special swab or collection device. All that’s needed are saliva samples collected in a sterile container. (Healthcare DiveFDA)

In Case You Missed It!

Kaiser Permanente recently joined the GTMRx Institute as an Executive Member along with the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Kentucky and Breast Cancer Index who have both joined as Strategic Partners of the Institute. You can learn more about our members here.
CMM offers reduced costs, improves access to care, provides better care and enhances provider work life. These results are outlined in “The Outcomes of Implementing and Integrating Comprehensive Medication Management in Team-Based Care: A Review of the Evidence on Quality, Access and Costs,” updated in June 2020. The evidence document was prepared by GTMRx workgroup members, M. Shawn McFarland, PharmD, FCCP, BCACP, national clinical pharmacy practice program manager, clinical practice integration and model advancement, clinical pharmacy practice office, pharmacy benefits management services, Veterans Health Administration; and Marcia Buck, PharmD, FCCP, FPPAG, BCPPS, director, clinical practice advancement, American College of Clinical Pharmacy. (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. Did you miss the most recent episode?
Episodes feature:
  • Liz Fowler, JD, Ph.D., executive vice president for programs, The Commonwealth Fund
  • Amy Gutierrez, Pharm.D.,senior vice president and chief pharmacy officer, Kaiser Permanente
  • Amanda Brummel, PharmD, BCACP, vice president, Clinical Ambulatory Pharmacy Services, Fairview Pharmacy Services
  • Orsula V. Knowlton, PharmD, MBA, president and chief marketing & new business development officer, Tabula Rasa HealthCare
  • Anand Parekh, MD, chief medical advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Paul Grundy, MD, president, GTMRx; chief transformation officer, Innovaccer
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.

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