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What We're Reading: Drug Approvals; Home Health; American Healthcare Costs
January 02, 2018 – AJMC Staff
FDA Approves First Shock Wave Device to Treat Diabetic Foot Ulcers
December 29, 2017 – Allison Inserro
Cancer Gene Profiling Test Can Open Doors to New Targeted Therapies
December 26, 2017 – Jaime Rosenberg
Top 2017 AJMC® Articles Identify Ways to Reduce Costs and Improve Care Outcomes
December 26, 2017 – Laura Joszt
Boxed Warning for Asthma Death Risk Removed From ICS/LABA Drugs
December 24, 2017 – AJMC Staff
This Week in Managed Care: December 22, 2017
December 22, 2017
What We're Reading: Unnecessary Screening; Brain Food; Wasteful Healthcare Spending
December 22, 2017 – AJMC Staff
What We're Reading: GOP Tax Bill Passes; Healthcare Deals; Discussing High Drug Prices
December 20, 2017 – AJMC Staff
FDA Approves Gene Therapy for Inherited Vision Loss
December 19, 2017 – Allison Inserro

What We're Reading: Drug Approvals; Home Health; American Healthcare Costs

AJMC Staff
FDA approved 46 drugs in 2017, a 21-year high; pilot program tests using home care to reduce emergency department visits; a look at how increasing prices, not increased use of services, has caused American healthcare spending to grow so much faster than peer nations.

FDA Drug Approvals Hit 21-Year High

In 2017, the FDA approved 46 new drugs, which was more than double the amount approved in 2016. According to Reuters, this represented a 21-year high for FDA drug approvals in 1 year, and the number does not include the first gene therapies approved, which are part of a different category. The FDA has been able to accelerate the approval process by using the breakthrough therapy designation.


Home Care to Reduce ED Visits

A new pilot program in Washington, DC, is virtually connecting Medicaid patients who can’t or won’t visit the clinic to primary care. The program sends a medical assistant to the home to connect the patient with the clinic, according to NPR. The idea is to develop relationships with patients who aren’t going to the doctor’s office and reduce the use of unnecessary visits to the emergency department (ED). In addition, the DC council is considering a way to reimburse for these types of visits.


The Price of American Healthcare

Just a few decades ago, American healthcare spending was closer to that of comparable nations. But today, the country spends almost twice as much. The New York Times blog The Upshot explains that the price, not the use, of healthcare in America is the problem. Americans are actually using the same amount of healthcare as people in peer countries—they just pay a lot more for those services. Research has shown that the growth in American healthcare spending is almost entirely from growth in prices and that US hospital prices are 60% higher than European prices.

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