Policy Sense Blog

The Fixer-Upper That’s All Ours

Mar. 28, 2017

Moving into the first home you own is filled with meaning and emotion. There is that sense of promise, and a passion to make everything just the way you want it. There is some fear—so much can go wrong with a house. The overall experience is both empowering and daunting. People moving into rentals typically don’t have the same highs or lows. After all, it’s just a rental.

Giving Patients a Ride: a Tricky Legal Line

Mar. 23, 2017

What if health systems provided rides for elderly patients with limited transportation options or poor patients unable to access public transportation? We might applaud them for a creative strategy to improve access for vulnerable populations. However, their actions might be illegal.

Novello Inspires Action at 2017 Penn Health Equity Symposium

Mar. 21, 2017

Penn’s third annual Martin Luther King Jr. Health Equity Symposium featured a keynote address by Antonia Novello, 14th Surgeon General of the United States, who had a hopeful, yet challenging message: “Had Martin Luther King been here today, he would see that we are doing much better, but he would he would still be fighting. He would feel pride, disappointment, sadness, and he would be appalled that blacks and whites are still segregated.”[content_elements:element:0]

Substituting Heroin for Prescription Opioids

Mar. 20, 2017

It seems self-evident: one way to address the epidemic of opioid deaths is to make prescription opioids harder to misuse. OxyContin, for example, is especially dangerous when it is crushed for ingestion, inhalation, or injection. In 2010, the FDA approved a reformulated, abuse-deterrent version of OxyContin that made the pill difficult to crush or dissolve. The new version immediately replaced the old one, marking a substantial reduction in the supply of abusable prescription pain relievers.

International Comparison of Frameworks for Valuing Drugs

Mar. 1, 2017

“Pay more for drugs that do more.” Although few would argue with the concept of paying for value, the mechanism for doing so has thus far eluded our multi-payer, market-based system. The Gant Precision Cancer Medicine Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania looked past US borders to learn about mechanisms in other countries, in its quest to recommend sustainable frameworks for valuing precision cancer drugs.

43 Ways to Leave Your Technology

Feb. 14, 2017

We recently convened an expert roundtable to tackle how health systems, payers, and providers can spur the ‘de-adoption’ of medical practices and technologies no longer considered valuable. This got us thinking - while the process by which ineffective practices or technologies are abandoned is neither simple nor automatic, even the language used to describe it is not clear. And language matters. It often reflects an unstated focus on one mechanism or one level of decision-making. Here we review, and potentially clarify, the terminology.

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