Worried about implementing electronic health records? The Guide to Reducing Unintended Consequences of Electronic Health Records may be just what’s needed. Developed by Rand, it’s designed to help organizations anticipate, avoid, and address problems that can occur when implementing and using an electronic health record.… The number of underinsured adults — those with health insurance all year, but also with very high medical expenses relative to their incomes — rose by 80 percent between 2003 and 2010, from 16 million to 29 million, according to a new Commonwealth Fund study published in September’s Health Affairs. Forty-four percent of U.S. adults — 81 million people — were either underinsured or uninsured in 2010, up from 75 million in 2007 and 61 million in 2003…. Men have a higher rate of advanced tumors compared to women in all age groups examined, suggesting that the age that people should undergo an initial screening colonoscopy should be sex-specific. Although some studies have shown that men are at greater age-specific risk for advanced colorectal neoplasia than women, the age for referring patients to screening colonoscopy for colorectal cancer (CRC) in average-risk patients is 50 years for both men and women because of the increase in the prevalence of CRC in the sixth decade of life.
House Republicans come out with their ACA alternative. A continuous coverage surcharge replaces the individual mandate. But where’s the CBO score?
The biosimilar segment of the pharmaceutical industry is on fire. Some 700 biosimilars are at some stage of development, and more than 660 companies are involved in some way in the biosimilars land rush. Still, only a handful may get on the market in the next few years.
No one knows how much of an effect biosimilars will have on oncology expenditures. Pricing and market share are in a large, opaque “to be determined” cloud. But there’s certainly potential for a major impact that could lower oncology expenditures by millions, if not billions.
The future of biosimilars in this country is nothing if not uncertain. Most immediately, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case that will determine the timing of the 180-day waiting period before a biosimilar can go on the market. But there are larger and longer-term issues at play as well.
While coupons help individual consumers, they are also having a major impact on the insurance industry and anyone responsible for paying health care bills. Insurers and pharmacy benefit managers complain that they foil formularies and other pricing strategies designed to steer consumers to less-expensive drugs.
The hard truth is that telehealth’s future—its size, its contours—will depend a lot on what payers will be willing to pay for. Currently, commercial plans cover only a limited number of services. In addition, research suggests that there may be quality and utilization problems.
Insurers should consider covering new drug-delivery devices that can improve outcomes while lowering disease-specific pharmacy and long-term overall health care costs. Managing these devices in the pharmacy benefit will consolidate volume-based purchasing and capitalize on PBM strategies for improving adherence.
Basaglar is coming on the scene during tumultuous times for insulin products. Manufacturers are under attack for price hikes. There are allegations of backroom rebate deals. And a class-action lawsuit has been brought on behalf of uninsured patients, charging insulin makers with setting artificially high prices.
Evaluating the quality of telemedicine care is about as easy as evaluating the quality of health care, period, and researchers are still ironing out the methodological kinks. That may be one reason research results are all over the place. This article involved reviewing nine such studies, and the findings are a mixed bag.
The results can be tragic. Patients with addictions are unlikely to wait the hours or days it takes health insurers to approve the medications they need. Insurers are changing their practices, but not without some outside pressure.