Feed aggregator

$4.69 billion verdict against J&J talcum powder

CNN - Fri, 2018-07-13 08:33
After 8 hours of deliberations Thursday, a St. Louis jury awarded $4.69 billion to 22 women who sued pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson alleging their ovarian cancer was caused by using its powder as a part of their daily feminine hygiene routine.

Republicans Had a Plan for Josh Hawley in Missouri. He’s Working on It.

NY Times - Fri, 2018-07-13 08:30
Handpicked by party leaders and backed by influential donors, Mr. Hawley has gained recognition and influence in a key state. But there have been growing pains.

Why there's little optimism after the Justice Department reopened the Emmett Till case

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-07-13 08:30
Jeff Sessions's Justice Department has a credibility problem.

In about 20 years, half the population will live in eight states

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-07-13 08:30
Thirty-four states will be home to 30 percent of the country.

Fareed: Attack 'biggest crisis since Suez'

CNN - Fri, 2018-07-13 08:20
CNN's Fareed Zakaria stresses the importance of the UK's relationship with the US and says President Trump's interview with 'The Sun' undermining Prime Minister Theresa May is the "biggest crisis since Suez."

The week in 31 photos

CNN - Fri, 2018-07-13 08:14
Take a look at 29 photos of the week from July 6 through July 12.

‘Value-based’ insurance gets people to take their medicine

Futurity.org - Fri, 2018-07-13 08:10

When insurance plans charge patients less for the medicines that help them most, patients are more likely to take them, according to a new article.

Taking a medicine every day in the hopes that it will prevent some long-range potential health catastrophe—like a heart attack or kidney failure—isn’t easy.

Many people skip doses, or don’t refill their prescriptions on time, or at all. And plenty of studies have shown that the more patients have to pay for those prescriptions, the less likely they are to take them as directed.

In a new article in Health Affairs, researchers report a “value-based insurance design” approach led patients to fill their prescriptions more often.

“If total costs are equal, using more medicines that prevent costly hospitalizations is clearly preferable to having people being admitted to a hospital.”

And even though that meant an increase in insurers’ drug costs, it didn’t drive up the total cost of insuring those patients—which suggests that they used less of other kinds of health care.

“Enhanced access to high-value drugs that did not lead to an increase in total spending is a win/win for both insurers and patients,” says senior author Mark Fendrick, a professor of internal medicine and of health management and policy at the University of Michigan Medical School and School of Public Health.

“If total costs are equal, using more medicines that prevent costly hospitalizations is clearly preferable to having people being admitted to a hospital,” he says.

Fendrick, one of the originators of the value-based insurance design (VBID) concept in the early 2000s, worked on the study with Rajender Agarwal, who conducted the review of evidence while earning a master’s degree in the business of medicine at Indiana University.

Drug adherence

The researchers looked in detail at 21 studies that measured the impact of VBID-style prescription drug plans compared with more traditional plans. The studies, all done in the last 10 years, were held to a strict standard for evidence review called the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system.

The studies looked at the impact of VBID-style copays and co-insurance—in which patients pay less, or pay nothing, for certain drugs that are known to provide high value for people with certain chronic conditions. They focused on drugs usually used long-term to prevent health issues in people with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and asthma.

The team looked at the impact of low out-of-pocket costs for patients on their medication adherence, measured by how much of the medication the patient had obtained, compared with the duration of the prescription. They also looked at what the studies found about the health care spending, use of health care services, and clinical outcomes and quality for patients in VBID plans compared with non-VBID plans.

All of the studies that examined diabetes drug use showed a significant increase in drug adherence with a VBID design—though in some cases it came about together with coaching or a disease management program.

Nearly all of the studies of VBID designs for blood pressure medications (ACEs, ARBs, and beta blockers) showed improvement in adherence, and all the studies of statins to lower cholesterol levels showed improvement in adherence with the VBID option. Two of the five asthma studies showed an increase in adherence.

Nine of the studies looked at health care spending for the patients in VBID plans compared with those in conventional plans. Most of the studies showed that the insurer experienced increased prescription drug spending, and three of the studies showed that patients’ out-of-pocket costs dropped significantly.

Decreased spending

Importantly, when total costs were reported, two studies showed decreases in spending, and seven showed no difference, suggesting that increased spending on drugs was offset by decreased spending elsewhere.

The researchers also note that they did not find enough evidence to say that VBID-style plans improve patient outcomes or the quality measures that are used to assess health care systems—but they say this was a fault of how the studies were designed, not the VBID concept. Future studies of VBID plans should include more measures of how patients fared over the longer term, they say.

The fact that so many comparative studies exist shows the growing momentum of the VBID concept, Fendrick notes.

Drone delivery could make your medications cheaper

The programs for chronic conditions build on the inclusion of VBID principles in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires commercial health plans to eliminate consumer cost-sharing for many counseling services, vaccines, and screenings such as those for depression, high cholesterol, and colon cancer. Use of those services has gone up since the ACA went into effect in 2010.

In addition to enhanced preventive care coverage for over 140 million Americans, VBID-style coverage has been implemented for people with chronic conditions by several state-sponsored plans, many private employers, and federal programs such as TRICARE and Medicare. President Trump’s signing of Bipartisan Budget Bill of 2018 expanded the Medicare Advantage V-BID Model Test to all 50 states.

Yet as more public and private payers adopt VBID principles, an important barrier prevents their use in High Deductible Health Plans—the fastest-growing insurance type.

Nearly 1 in 3 women miss follow-up breast cancer treatment

A change in Internal Revenue Service regulations is needed to allow plans to cover high value chronic disease services before a patient meets their plan deductible. Fendrick and his team has worked closely with federal policymakers to make this change a reality. The bipartisan Chronic Disease Management Act was introduced to both the US Senate and House of Representatives this year.

“This common sense legislation could lower out of pocket costs for nearly 20 million Americans with chronic conditions,” Fendrick says.

Source: University of Michigan

The post ‘Value-based’ insurance gets people to take their medicine appeared first on Futurity.

In public dust-up, Ocasio-Cortez questions Crowley’s pledge of support in New York congressional race

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-07-13 08:00
The political newcomer charged on Twitter that the Democratic incumbent she defeated in last month’s primary is no longer supporting her in the fall.

John Berman reacts to Trump undercutting Theresa May

CNN - Fri, 2018-07-13 07:50
CNN's John Berman compares President Trump's praise about former UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson to that of a foreign leader coming to the US and touting Sen. Marco Rubio or Hillary Clinton as a "great president."

Britain, Time to Let Go of the ‘Anglosphere’

NY Times - Fri, 2018-07-13 07:34
The other members of this outdated idea of family couldn’t care less.

White House Orders Broader Access to Files About F.B.I. Informant

NY Times - Fri, 2018-07-13 07:34
The full House and Senate Intelligence Committees will be able to read the documents, even though intelligence and law enforcement officials had urged that access be tightly restricted.

California Today: California Today: Here’s What’s Been Different About Fires This Year

NY Times - Fri, 2018-07-13 07:34
Friday: Changes in fire behavior and what they mean for us, “Game of Thrones” gets 22 Emmy nods, and Boltman is up for auction on eBay.

Trump releases ‘nice note’ from Kim Jong Un praising progress despite setbacks in denuclearization talks

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-07-13 07:30
The president posted the personal letter on Twitter, but the North Korean leader offered no reassurances that he intends to relinquish his nation’s weapons program.
Syndicate content