News & Information
What Is the Public-Private Bridge?
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, July 01, 2014 10:41 AM

Bridging the gap between the U.S. public health system and private healthcare is a key mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that has gone largely unrecognized.  Few so far have described the potential effects of the this mandate on prevention and public health. The public and private health sectors have operated with very little interaction for almost a century.  The ACA's Prevention and Public Health Fund, or Prevention Fund, aims to change that by calling for alignment, coordination, and integration between the two entities.

"Due to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare is now providing coverage for evidence-based preventive services with no copayments."  "We are testing new payment and service delivery models focused on prevention and population health."

Such collaborative care could be a "game-changer that improves the health of the U.S. population." Better integration may prove to be the most radical change through the Prevention Fund as it will allow public health systems to bill insurers for some services, such as immunization.Coordination between the two systems will mean that private clinical providers will be able to refer patients to community programs.  

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Med Student Exposure to Marketers Affects Prescribing
Written by Editor   
Thursday, June 26, 2014 12:00 AM

Physician trainees who spend more time with pharmaceutical marketing representatives are less likely to make evidence-based prescribing choices.  

The authors say their data add to literature showing that pharmaceutical marketing is linked to prescribing choices that are more likely to favor brand names over generics or nondrug treatment options that have the same or comparable effectiveness.  The study found that a 10-point higher industry relations index was associated with 15% lower odds of prescribing based on evidence. There was also a significant link between the industry relations index and greater odds of choosing to prescribe brand-name drugs.

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Drug Discounts Have Pharma Crying Foul
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 02:40 PM

In 1992, the federal government told drug manufacturers they had to give steep discounts to hospitals that treat a large percentage of poor patients.  The law got bipartisan support, and it was a boon for hospitals and the federal government. In the decades that followed, the drug discount program has grown in leaps and bounds. But this spring as the feds have been drawing up new rules for the program, a pitched battle has broken out between hospitals and drug manufacturers.

But here's the rub. Sometimes, instead of passing on drug discounts to patients, hospitals sell the medicines at higher prices to their insured patients. The hospitals use the proceeds to fund clinics, staff, and other services that the hospitals say benefit everyone. The law allows them to do that, the hospitals say, because it's a way to stretch "scarce federal resources" -- a phrase that is in the law.

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Nurses Harsh on Overweight Patients
Written by editor   
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 07:53 AM

Nurse practitioners responding to a survey indicated a critical attitude when dealing with overweight and obese patients, researchers reported.  In the medical literature, studies show that obese women report experiencing stigma in healthcare and from their healthcare provider. In fact, other research indicated that about one in five overweight patients who experience weight stigma avoid future medical appointments and would seek to find a new provider.

In this study more than 50% of the clinicians surveyed agreed with statements that:

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Lack of Training Hampers Domestic Abuse Screening
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 07:47 AM

Since 2013, the United States Preventive Services Task Force has recommended that women, ages 14-46, be screened for intimate partner violence at every encounter with a healthcare personnel, even if there are no outward signs of physical abuse. It's estimated that one in four women will be victims of intimate partner violence and one in men will also be victims.

At a family medicine clinic at Oregon Health & Science University in Richmond, 25% of the respondents -- nurse practitioners, physician assistants, doctors, and others -- said they'd never undergone training for domestic violence screening, while 80% said they had not received such training in the last 6 months.  The lack of training is "one of the biggest barriers to getting treatment for [victims of intimate partner violence]."   "There is no standard guide available at this time."

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