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What We're Reading: Vt. Healthcare Organization Hits Goals; Drug Repurposing for New Targets; Maternal Deaths and Near Deaths

AJMC Staff
Vermont healthcare organization OneCare Vermont is being closely watched because it was within 1% of meeting its financial target in its first year; scientists are turning to drug repurposing to methodically build upon previous research to find new drug candidates while saving time and expense; 2 organizations are investigating why so many American mothers die or nearly die in childbirth.

Vermont Healthcare Organization Gains Attention for Hitting Goals

OneCare Vermont, a Vermont healthcare organization working to keep patients healthier while reducing costs, is being closely watched because it was within 1% of meeting its financial target in its first year and has now been expanded to cover about 18% of the state's population, the Associated Press reported. Officials said that last year it covered about 24,000 Medicaid patients and now covers about 112,000 patients whose healthcare is provided through Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance. The long-term goal is to cover 70% of healthcare services by using specialized care to more closely manage chronic conditions like diabetes.

 

Scientists Turn to Drug Repurposing to Find New Candidates

Instead of finding out that a drug developed for 1 purpose can also be used for another purely by accident, scientists are turning to drug repurposing to methodically build upon previous research to find new drug candidates while saving time and expense, the Washington Post reported. These may include drugs that were already been approved to treat a different disease, as well as drugs that were proven safe in clinical trials but were shelved before getting FDA approval.

 

Why Do So Many American Mothers Die or Nearly Die in Childbirth?

NPR and ProPublica have been investigating why American mothers die in childbirth at a far higher rate than in all other developed countries and found a medical system that bases care on the idea that it's rare for a woman to die in childbirth. The organizations also found a system in which funding and resources are dedicated mostly to saving babies. A mother giving birth here is about 3 times as likely to die as a mother in Britain and Canada, and for every American woman who dies from childbirth, 70 nearly die. That adds up to more than 50,000 women who suffer "severe maternal morbidity" from childbirth each year, according to the CDC. A patient safety group, the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health, came up with an even higher figure of about 80,000.

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