Beacon Community program seeks to curb diabetes across country
WASHINGTON Vice President Joe Biden and the Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius have announced a pilot program designed to curb diabetes in 15 selected U.S. cities with the help of health-information technology.
The Beacon Community program will use health IT resources within their community as a foundation for bringing doctors, hospitals, community health programs, federal programs and patients together to design new ways of improving quality and efficiency to benefit patients and taxpayers, the White House said in a release. Each Beacon Community has elected specific and measurable improvement goals in each of three vital areas for health systems improvement: quality, cost-efficiency, and population health. The goals vary according to the needs and priorities of each community.
Communities will use their Beacon Community awards to provide better control of blood pressure for diabetic and hypertensive patients, improvements in care coordination and chronic disease management, reductions in preventable emergency department visits and re-hospitalizations, reductions in health disparities, better rates of immunization for children and adults, and better adherence to smoking cessation and appropriate cancer screening guidelines, the White House said in a release. The Beacon projects are expected to initially create dozens of new jobs in each community paying an average of $70,000 per year for a total of 1,100 jobs up-front, while accelerating development of a nationwide health IT infrastructure that will eventually employ tens of thousands of Americans.
Cities included in the program are: Tulsa, Okla.; Stoneville, Miss.; Brewer, Maine; Danville, Pa.; Salt Lake City; Indianapolis; Spokane, Wash.; Rochester, Minn.; Providence, R.I.; Junction, Colo.; Concord, N.C.; San Diego; Hilo, Hawaii; and Buffalo, N.Y.
“The most important healthcare innovations are those that are designed and tested by providers and community leaders all across the country. Beacon Communities will offer insight into how health IT can make a real difference in the delivery of health care,” said Secretary Sebelius. “The Beacon Community Program will tap the best ideas across America and demonstrate the enormous benefit health IT will have to improving health and care within our communities.”
Independent pharmacies tap into long-term care market with new center
DENVER Healthcare services company Cardinal Health will work with the American Society of Consultant Pharmacies to help independent retail pharmacies tap into the long-term care market, Cardinal said Thursday.
According to statistics from 2008, the number of adults in the United States needing nursing home or assisted living care is expected to be 20 million by 2050. Officially launched at Cardinal’s Retail Business Conference in Denver this week, the Long Term Care Specialized Care Center will give independents access to long-term care field specialists, discounts on the ASCP’s policy and procedure manuals and continuing education courses and market analyses.
“Many independent pharmacists want to start serving the high-growth long-term care market, but doing so requires a specialized knowledge base and skill set,” Cardinal VP market management and product development Jay Williams said. “That’s why we’ve partnered with ASCP – the recognized expert in geriatric pharmacotherapy – to provide our customers with the education and building blocks they need to immediately start serving the medication needs of the long-term care facilities in their communities.”
GSK joins the National Pharmaceutical Council
WASHINGTON British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is the latest company to join health policy research organization the National Pharmaceutical Council, the NPC announced Thursday.
Established in 1953, the NPC sponsors and conducts scientific analyses of the use of drugs with support from drug companies. GlaxoSmithKline SVP private, public and institutional customers Jack Bailey will serve as the company’s representative on the NPC’s board of directors.
“As the nation moves forward with the implementation of healthcare reform, NPC’s research provides policy makers and implementers with keen insight on comparative effectiveness research and health-and-wellness issues,” Bailey said. “I welcome the opportunity to work with NPC and its staff as they move forward with these and other research areas impacting the pharmaceutical industry.”