Alternatives to the traditional fee-fee-service are becoming increasingly, but perhaps nowhere is the shift from volume to value gaining more traction that in oncology. No doubt the expense of cancer care has something to do with that. A study that linked Medicare records with survival and incidence data from the Survival, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database estimated that the medical costs of cancer care in the U.S.

News & Commentary
About 18% of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) had contraindications to common antiplatelet medications, and roughly 6% of those patients received contraindicated medication that could have caused bleeding. Fortunately, though, the contraindicated medications did not result in a significantly higher risk of 30-day mortality.
Snapshot
Health advocacy services connect employees with advisers who can answer questions and provide advice about using the often-Byzantine health care system.
 The number of companies offering such services has remained stagnant at about 24% since 2013, according to Optum, and it’s a minority of companies that provide other kinds of help for dealing with the health care system.
Tomorrow’s Medicine
Thomas Morrow, MD

Thomas Morrow, MD

Taltz is indicated for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy. It is delivered as a subcutaneous injection. The agent comes as either a pre-filled syringe or an autoinjector and can be self-injected after proper training and with physician supervision.
By some measures, the financial and health toll from inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis is comparable to stroke and lower back pain. Collectively, they affect about 10 million patients in the United States. They are chronic conditions characterized by immune-mediated inflammation of unknown etiology and for which there is no cure.
News & Commentary
“This is not altogether surprising as only 69% of children’s hospitals successfully attested to Stage 1 of the CMS Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and psychiatric hospitals are not eligible for the CMS Medicaid or Medicare EHR Incentive Program,” according to a data brief by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
Paul Terry
President and CEO, HERO

 A few days ago, I went to the “Poke-stop” in my small town of Waconia, Minnesota, (population 11,490) to learn why I was losing my Pokémon “gym battles” and, more importantly, to survey the growing numbers of twentysomethings exploring my community’s parks and landmarks. I met a group of 15 Waconians for the first time, and they were excited about describing how Pokémon Go had increased their activity levels, their awareness of our community’s history, and their engagement with others.

News & Commentary

Marilyn Tavenner
AHIP

In addition to the old reliable increases in medical and pharmacy costs, some new factors are in play. Two of the three “risk mitigation” programs established under Obamacare will end in 2017, reinsurance and risk corridors. Risk adjustment will continue.
Value-Based Care
Michael D. Dalzell
Having the data is one thing. Knowing how to use it is another. Applying its computational power to the data, a company called RowdMap puts providers into high-, medium-, and low-value buckets compared with peers in their markets, using specific benchmarks to show why outliers differ from the norm.
Viewpoint
Saskia Siderow
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Allison Silvers, MBA
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Diane E. Meier, MD
Palliative care has become America’s fastest growing medical specialty. ere are now more than 6,500 physicians and 13,500 nurses certified in palliative care, and palliative care teams available in more than 80% of American hospitals with more than 50 beds.
Thomas Reinke
The surge of new MS treatments have been for the relapsing-remitting form of the disease. There’s hope for sufferers of a different form of MS. By homing in on CD20-positive B cells, ocrelizumab is able to knock them out and other aberrant B cells circulating in the bloodstream.