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Our e-newsbrief features the policies, people and research driving adoption of comprehensive medication management. Each week, you’ll receive the latest news about practice transformation, policy solutions, evidence and innovation that advance comprehensive medication management. Subscribe today, so you’ll never miss an issue.

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GTMRx News Brief

June 11, 2019

Practice Transformation

Six people who formerly served as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology unanimously support proposed new regulations for better health IT interoperability and simpler patient access to their records. In an open letter published in HealthAffairs, they endorse rapid advancement of application programming interfaces (APIs) and an API framework to enable standardized, safe, easier data extraction. Such a framework will boost development of software to support care coordination across the health care continuum. (Health Affairs Blog)
Medical societies, patient groups, researchers and others—about 150 in all—signed a letter opposing a proposed bill that would change language in the Patent Act and effectively reverse the 2012 Supreme Court ruling protecting genes, “abstract ideas,” “laws of nature” or “natural phenomena” from patent. Committee hearings on the draft bill this month have primarily featured companies that support the change. Among those against it is Nobel laureate Harold Varmus, MD, cancer researcher and former head of the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, who said “it’s in the interest of virtually everyone to keep ideas and basic discoveries about the laws and products of nature in the public domain.” (MedPage Today)

Evidence & Innovation

Precision medicine is empowering doctors in a Tennessee clinic to get the right medication for every patient the first time. Murfreesboro Medical Clinic and SurgiCenter negotiated with a lab to get the cost for a genomic test down to $99, which most patients can afford. It also worked with a data vendor to bring test results into the electronic health record and prescribing workflow at the point of care. Effectiveness and compliance are on the rise, providers there say. (HealthcareFinance)
When multiple sclerosis patients with commercial insurance coverage stopped taking their control medications for 60 or more days, they were 28% more likely to relapse, a new study found. They also had 40% more hospitalizations and 25% more emergency room visits. The study did not ask patients why they stopped taking the medications. (MedPage Today)

Policy Solutions

Diagnostic testing is built for analytics and data mining, and enables quality measurement and improvement, says Dr. Brian Caveney, LabCorp’s chief medical officer. It also helps physicians select the medication therapy a patient is most likely to respond to. “Making precision medicine a reality will depend on better, more accurate biomarkers and genetic testing to help physicians make more specific diagnoses and better decisions about which medications they should and could use at the right dose.” (Thrive Global)
Better understanding of medications affects their willingness and ability to take them. For the past three years, the OpenNotes movement has given patients full access to their physicians’ notes in their medical records. As a result, they’re more informed, and more likely to take their medications as prescribed: 64% reported greater understanding of why a drug was prescribed; 62% said they felt more in control; and 61% said they were more comfortable with their prescriptions. (U.S. News and World Report)
Avoidable illness and death resulting from non-optimized medication therapy cost $528.4 billion in 2016, according to a peer-reviewed paper in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy. This issue brief from the GTMRx Learning Network explores the research behind the figures and the promise of comprehensive medication management as a systematic means to assure medications are appropriately and effectively used. Featuring lead study author Jonathan H. Watanabe, Pharm.D., M.S., Ph.D. BCGP, associate professor of clinical pharmacy, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego; and co-author: Terry McInnis, MD, MPH, president and co-founder, Get the Medications Right Institute and Foundation. (GTMRx Learning Network)
June 19, 2019, 1-2 p.m. EST | Comprehensive medication management is a team sport, with the potential to improve patient care and access while optimizing the skills of all clinicians on the team. The Veterans Health Administration has systematically integrated clinical pharmacy specialists into the care team to accomplish CMM for a range of chronic conditions. Join us for this free webinar featuring Anthony P. Morreale, Pharm.D., MBA, BCPS, FASHP, associate chief consultant for clinical pharmacy and policy for the Department of Veterans Affairs Pharmacy Benefits Management, and Julie Groppi, Pharm.D., FASHP, who will explore the practice model and outcomes of CMM integration, as well as the tools that support the team. (Register now)
The GTMRx Institute is fortunate to be led by accomplished and active board members who have long been voices of change. Our own Dr. Paul Grundy’s voice will be celebrated tonight at the Kennedy Forum in Chicago. Trusted Healers: Dr. Paul Grundy and the Global Healthcare Crusade is a book written by Dan Pelino (with Bud Ramey), illuminating the life work of our founding board member and my friend, Paul. Read more.
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