Late last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2017, a 9.6% increase from 2016. Deaths continue to soar, even as states and health systems implement policies to curb the overprescribing of opioids that led to the epidemic in the first place. It’s hard not to be discouraged by these numbers and our failure to reduce overdose deaths. To fully appreciate the shifting dynamics of the opioid crisis, we need to understand both the nature of the policies we are implementing as well as their likely short- and long-term effects.
Using a legislatively-mandated, integrated dataset, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has published its first comprehensive look at the state’s opioid-related overdoses between 2011 and 2015. The dataset links information on an individual level across diverse state databases, including mental health data, jail and prison data, vital records, substance abuse treatment data, and many others. The findings highlight the need to improve treatment access for people who experience a non-fatal overdose, and to tailor treatment to the needs of vulnerable populations.
Prescription drugs are often held as the leading case for a strong patent system: billions of dollars in R&D investment can only be incentivized via ironclad intellectual property protections. With Americans spending over $300 billion annually on prescription drugs, the stakes for incentivizing the right kinds of innovation and paying for value are high. This ongoing work suggests that drugs that rack up patent citations may not be the most innovative, and the most valuable drugs may not be generating the most revenue.
As state legislatures continue to reassess restrictions on the scope of practice of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), Daniel Gilman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will give us his perspectives on how nursing regulations affect competition at the LDI Health Policy seminar on Friday, December 8, 2017 at noon.
In repeated surveys, Americans cite the affordability of health care as their top financial concern. Despite their handwringing, politicians often avoid defining what constitutes “affordable” health care, and both non-experts and seasoned policymakers seem to lack robust measures of affordability. How can the most important crisis in health care lack reliable metrics?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first digital pill that tracks if patients have taken their medication. Our experts weighed in on the potential benefits of the new technology, as well as on the potential for abuse.
The Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking issued a final report in September whose recommendations are rapidly making their way into bipartisan legislation. But there are two harder questions on which the report is silent.
LDI’s 50th Anniversary Symposium convened nearly 450 attendees, including foremost experts in health policy, academia, and industry, to discuss solutions to today's most pressing health care challenges. The two-day event covered topics ranging from innovative population health solutions to redesigning health care delivery and payment. If you missed the dialogue, here are some highlights.
At LDI’s 50th Anniversary Symposium, participants in the panel “The Future of Payment Reform” characterized and evaluated different alternative payment models (APMs) such as bundled payments and accountable care organizations (ACOs).
Federal policies have failed to recognize that opioid use disorder is a chronic disease and not a crime. It is time to let public health take the lead on the opioid epidemic. The country must implement evidence-based public health policies that end the war and start the healing.
The recent rule change by the Trump administration that makes it easier for employers to refuse to include free contraceptive services in their health insurance plans taps into a wider debate about privileging religious and moral freedom over other interests in policy. In a recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Viewpoint, Ronit Stahl and LDI Senior Fellow Holly Fernandez Lynch describe how policymakers have competing duties to protect religious and moral freedom (conscience) while serving other needs of people with different beliefs (access).