13% of Hospital Costs Motivated by Malpractice Fear
In a study of 3 hospitals in Massachusetts, more than a quarter of patient orders were considered partially defensive medicine, but they only accounted for 13% of costs.
Study Questions Screening Policy on Mammographically-Dense Breasts in Women
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, wants a policy revamp on screening guidelines for the women who fall in this category.
In AJMC, Oster & Fendrick Challenge Designation of High-Value Generic Drugs as “Non-Preferred” Based on Cost, Not Evidence
Putting various branded drugs in “non-preferred” tiers and charging higher copays for them has been used for a number of years to steer consumers to use less costly medicines by giving them “skin in the game.” But authors writing for The American Journal of Managed Care are alarmed by the policies of some insurers that now have designated entire classes of widely used generic drugs “non-preferred,” leaving many patients without any low-cost treatment options for their diseases.
Anthem Blue Cross Launches New Health System with California Hospitals
Anthem Blue Cross is partnering with 7 rival hospital systems in California to create a new integrated health system in the Los Angeles and Orange counties. The members will share financial risk and gain.
Gilead's Simtuzumab Fails in Phase 2
The antibody, an inhibitor of the enzyme lysyl oxidase-like-2, combined with gemcitabine, did not have a significant effect on progression-free survival compared to the placebo with gemcitabine arm, in pancreatic cancer patients.
AMA Seeks EHR Upgrade
The American Medical Association has released a framework to improve usability of electronic health records so as to benefit the patients and providers.
Pioneer ACOs Improve Quality, Earn $68 Million in Shared Savings
During the second year of the program, Medicare accountable care organizations reported improvements in nearly all of the quality and patient experience measures, according to data reported by CMS.
Gilead To License Sovaldi for Cheap in Developing Nations
Gilead has licensed sofosbuvir to drugmakers in India who will sell cheaper versions of this revolutionary treatment in 91 developing nations.
Ascension and Envision Join to Deliver Post-Acute Care
Ascension Health will form a joint venture with a division of Envision Healthcare to provide an array of post-acute services, including home care, hospice care, and infusion therapy.
Alpelisib Provides Promise in Treating Cetuximab-Resistant Head and Neck Cancers
The results of a phase 1b study, presented at the AACR special conference "Targeting the PI3K-mTOR Network in Cancer," found that Alpelisib could overcome resistance to the anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab, and the two regimens together were quite beneficial.
CER With Statins Recognizes Improved Adherence with Generic Products
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the result of a collaboration between CVS Caremark and scientists at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Medical School, compared patient adherence to brand name versus generic statins.
Tens of Thousands at Risk of Losing ACA Insurance Coverage
The federal government will terminate health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act for 115,000 individuals who failed to prove they were United States citizens or legal immigrants. Furthermore, another 363,000 people could lose their financial aid because of income reporting discrepancies.
Advocate-NorthShore Merger Arouses Consolidation Concerns
In the wake of Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem’s proposed merger, America’s Health Insurance Plans is leading the charge to prevent this and similar mergers and acquisitions.
Biomarkers Could Determine Treatment for Esophageal Cancer
Research presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology identified VEGF-A and TGF-beta as markers of treatment decision in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
ASTRO Releases Additional Queries As a Part of the Choosing Wisely Initiative
This recommendation follows the list of 5 released last year by the organization, with the aim of helping the patient and physician choose appropriate treatments.
Counterfeit MabThera Found in Germany
Following Herceptin earlier this year, Roche has announced that tampered vials of it's blood cancer drug MabThera (Rituxan) were found in Germany.
Gilead’s New Hepatitis C Drug Will Cost More
Despite the current high cost of Gilead Science’s hepatitis C drug, the next generation version will be even more expensive. However, the company also struck deals with generic drugmakers to bring the drug to developing countries.
Payers Restrict Coverage for Proton Radiation Therapy
Weighing the cost-benefit ratio of proton radiation therapy, private and public payers are placing coverage limitations on the use of this treatment.
HHS Awards $295 Million in Funding to Expand Primary Care Services
More than 1,000 health centers in every US state and territory will receive Affordable Care Act funds to expand their primary care services, according to an announcement from Health and Human Services' Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.
To Treat or Not to Treat: The Overdiagnosis Debate
Rapid advances in detection technology, coupled with an increased awareness about screening, have ignited a debate on overdiagnosis and overtreatment of precancerous lesions. Should physicians use their discretion and implement a "wait-and-watch" approach?
In The Literature: MicroRNA Biomarkers Could Predict Chemotherapy Response in Lung Cancer
MicroRNAs have the potential to be predictive biomarkers that can predict survival as well as response to chemotherapy, as this study discovered.
PCORI Announces Pilot Projects Program Awards Recipients
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has announced the approval of 50 research funding awards, totaling $30 million over two years, through its Pilot Projects Program, which will address a broad range of questions about methods for engaging patients in the health research and dissemination process.
GLP-1 Agonists With Insulin Yield Remarkable Results
A meta-analysis published in The Lancet found that the combination was most successful in achieving the target A1C, with a minimal risk of hypoglycemia and weight loss.
CMS's Open Payments Database on Schedule for Launch
Despite reported glitches, CMS plans to launch the database that will provide information on payments for research, gifts, meals, or speaker fees received by providers and teaching hospitals from the pharmaceutical industry.
Advocate, NorthShore Merger Will Create Illinois’ Largest Healthcare System
A newly announced merger between Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem will create Illinois’ largest integrated healthcare delivery system, serving 3 million patients annually.