At a recent campus-wide opioid task force at Penn, one noted researcher and clinician pointed out a painful truth: “We know how to treat addiction; it’s the systems that aren’t responding to the need.”Last week, the nation took two important steps to helping our systems respond to this public health crisis: the first-ever Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, and an announcement that allows physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) to prescribe medication-assisted treatment.
[This blog originally appeared on the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia blog. View the original blog post here]
The presidential election evoked strong reactions from all sides, but regardless of where you landed, one thing we can all agree on is that a seismic shift occurred on election day. That said, we cannot allow the election and its potential repercussions for the health care system to move our focus away from protecting programs and policies that affect children’s health and welfare.
In two recent JAMA Viewpoints, Amol Navathe and colleagues point to the potential of social comparisons to motivate physicians to improve the care they provide. Fulfilling this potential, however, will take careful attention to how these comparisons are designed and delivered.
Americans visit a public library over one and a half billion times each year. In contrast, Americans visit a physician's office just over 928 million times annually. What if library visits could be leveraged as opportunities to promote health? In Health Affairs, colleagues and I analyze the ways in which the Free Library of Philadelphia already promotes better health, and suggest what more it could do.
Emerging value-based policies are no doubt well-intentioned efforts to achieve better outcomes at lower costs. However, missing from many initiatives seems to be clear recognition about whose value ought to be prioritized -- that of individual patients or society overall.
Medicare Part D beneficiaries can face as much as 33% coinsurance for some drugs listed in a “specialty tier,” which can result in thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. The concern, of course, is that this level of cost-sharing creates a barrier that may put patients at risk for poor outcomes because they cannot afford the drugs they need. Jalpa Doshi and colleagues have looked at this issue in three studies of patients with very different conditions, and found that cost sharing was associated with reduced or delayed initiation of a drug, low adherence to a prescribed drug regimen, or interruptions in treatments. We’ve put this evidence together in a handy one-pager.
A new multidisciplinary consortium of more than 20 experts and stakeholders has come together at Penn to address the promise and challenges of precision cancer medicine. Through multiple conference calls culminating in a conference in May 2017, the group will tackle the hard questions that precision medicine raises for patients, providers, and payers. This is the first in a series of posts on the consortium’s work.
October 21, 2016 [cross-posted from the Health Cents blog on philly.com]
Along with improving quality, cost containment is vital to redesigning American health care to increase value. For policymakers and health care leaders, accurate “costing” of care is needed to shift towards a more value-based system that patients are able to navigate.
In early 2015, we received pilot funding from LDI to estimate the number of opioid pills left unused following a common outpatient surgery: tooth extraction. We enrolled 79 dental patients over six months. Our results showed that patients used an average of 46% (13/28) of the opioid-containing analgesic pills prescribed for them after surgery, and 1,010 pills remained unused among this group. If generalized to all patients, these results suggest that more than 100 million opioid analgesic pills remain unused following tooth extractions in the United States each year.
Dan Polsky was a bit skeptical when he heard the news that, after a 10-story fall and a week-long coma, construction worker Kal Mathyssen had awakened with the ability to fully understand his health insurance policy. So Polsky decided to give Kal the ultimate test: could he describe the breadth of the provider network in his insurance plan?