Missouri Becomes 50th State to Create Drug Monitoring Program
An executive order from Missouri’s governor has made it the last state to create a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), according to the Associated Press. These programs have been instituted across the United States in an effort to track prescriptions and make it easier to spot patients who are doctor-shopping to access more opioids or doctors overprescribing the drugs, but Missouri’s lawmakers consistently failed to agree on a program. Some counties had joined an initiative to create a patchwork PDMP, but the unexpected order from Governor Eric Greitens will cover the entire state and could go into effect within a month.
Report Finds Healthcare Pricing Increases Slowest Since June 2016
A new report from the Altarum Institute finds that healthcare prices continue to increase, but at a slower rate than in previous months. Modern Healthcare states that the report indicated healthcare pricing rose by 1.6% in May, which is the lowest growth rate since June 2016, and hospital prices are growing at a slightly slower rate. The report attributes this curbed growth to continued cost-cutting measures by hospitals and the influence of increased price transparency and consumer price shopping. “All told, it is difficult to imagine healthcare prices accelerating anytime soon,” the study concluded.
US News & World Report to Delay Release of Hospital Rankings
STAT reports that US News & World Report will delay the publication of its annual hospital rankings from August 1 to August 8 due to the detection of data errors. According to an e-mail that was sent to participating hospitals and obtained by STAT, the errors were related to the new methodology used to judge the hospitals, which considers patients’ socioeconomic status and other factors that could impact outcomes. “While these changes … allow us to better assess hospital care, they are complex to implement and we discovered errors late in the process,” the e-mail explained.