CMS chief Berwick is driving hard to spur health innovation, report says
WASHINGTON The recently installed head of the federal Medicare program is pushing hard to promote new and more cost-effective ways to treat patients and improve the nation’s health scorecard.
On Monday, The Boston Globe reported that Donald Berwick, tapped by President Obama in July as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is working to expand health-innovation projects around the country in line with the massive health-reform law enacted earlier this year. Berwick envisions as many as 300 test sites devoted to developing new, integrated models of patient care by physician groups and other health professionals, according to The Globe.
Spurring those innovative pilot projects will be billions of dollars allocated by the health-reform bill for a health innovation center, and for the development of health information technology to eliminate waste and promote better decision-making among doctors, pharmacists and other health providers.
To that end, Medicare will designate provider groups participating in the innovation pilot projects as “accountable care organizations’’ under the program, the newspaper reported. The underlying goal: to replace the costly and increasingly unwieldy fee-for-service model that now dominates such public health programs as Medicare and Medicaid, with “global payments” that reward healthier patient outcomes and coordinated care among physicians and other providers, according to The Globe.
Berwick, the report noted, is a strong advocate for experimentation in new, outcomes-based models of patient care, and is working to double the size of the innovation center and promote its involvement in new healthcare demonstration projects. Test sites for new collaborative care models will be up and running by the end of 2011, The Globe reported.
NACDS, NCPA in joint statement praise CMS’ move to withdraw provisions of AMP rule currently blocked by injunction
ALEXANDRIA, Va. National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson and National Community Pharmacists Association acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey issued a statement praising the proposed rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that would withdraw existing provisions of the Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement formula under the average manufacturer price model.
"We are pleased that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a rule that would withdraw provisions of what is known as the Medicaid average manufacturer price rule. The proposed rule calls for the withdrawal of existing provisions that define AMP, that determine the calculation of federal upper limits, and that define ‘multiple source drug.’ Put simply, all of these provisions relate to the reimbursement to pharmacies for generic Medicaid prescriptions, and thus impact patients’ access to pharmacies. The move to withdraw these provisions is a victory for patient care as it is delivered in America’s pharmacies every day."
"When we filed the lawsuit in 2007 we knew that patient care was at stake. It is important to point out that the withdrawal of these provisions is another step toward reducing what would have been major cuts to pharmacy reimbursement. The end result is not an increase in reimbursement to pharmacy, but rather the lessening of cuts that previously would have involved pharmacies selling most generic drugs at a loss, thereby threatening their long-term ability to provide patient care."
“We insisted that this policy was not appropriate. Separately, we also have urged that policy-makers should recognize the ability of pharmacies and pharmacists to help improve health and reduce healthcare costs. We are gratified that this sense is reflected in the pharmacy provisions of the new healthcare-reform law. The new law contains provisions ranging from dramatically reducing the AMP cuts to advancing medication therapy management, through which pharmacists can help patients take their medications correctly. … The costs related to poor medication adherence have been estimated to reach $290 billion annually, or 13% of all healthcare expenditures. We urged that patient care should not be jeopardized, but rather that pharmacy be engaged more strategically for the good of patient health and healthcare delivery."
“We anticipate issuing formal comments on CMS’ proposed rule to withdraw these provisions of the AMP rule, and we will continue to work with Congress and with CMS to advocate for access to pharmacy services for patients.”
Omron Healthcare, Dr. Oz team up to underscore home blood-pressure monitoring
BANNOCKBURN, Ill. Omron Healthcare has joined forces with "The Dr. Oz Show" in an integrated media partnership to help spread the word about the importance of home blood pressure monitoring, Omron announced Thursday.
“High blood pressure is a growing concern in the United States among adults, and is often referred to as the ‘silent killer,’” stated Ranndy Kellogg, Omron Healthcare VP marketing and product development. “We’re thrilled to align with ‘America’s Doctor’ in the Sept. 7 season premier to help spread the word about the importance of home blood pressure monitoring, further helping to decrease the risk of heart disease and increase life expectancy.”
The Omron Healthcare integration includes a sponsored segment on "The Dr. Oz Show’s" premiere episode, in addition to a consumer incentive that will be revealed by Dr. Oz during the show. The first 50,000 visitors to DoctorOz.com will be able to download a $10 coupon good on any Omron Healthcare home blood pressure monitor at participating retailers.
The second season of "The Dr. Oz Show" will stress to viewers to “Know Your Five,” and blood pressure is one of those lifesaving numbers Americans need to know. As many as 1-in-3 people suffer from high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. And, research showed home blood pressure monitoring can be vital to reducing a patient’s risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure.
Monitoring blood pressure at home is an important measure people can take to reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke. More than 50% of people with high blood pressure who monitor at home show an improvement in medication compliance and are quicker to take action.