AHIP praises Ignagni as she announces departure | Read the statement from AHIP | Germany wrestles with how to handle $1 million drug
May 22, 2015
AHIP Solutions SmartBrief

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AHIP praises Ignagni as she announces departure
AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni is stepping down to lead New York insurance company EmblemHealth. AHIP board President Mark Ganz, CEO of Cambia Health Solutions, praised Ignagni's contributions to the health insurance industry. "With tenacity, intellect and deep policy knowledge, she ensured our industry has a seat at all tables," Ganz said. "Perhaps her greatest contributions have been highlighting the value and innovations of this industry." Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Dan Durham will serve as interim CEO during the search for a new CEO. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/21)
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Germany wrestles with how to handle $1 million drug
German authorities said the benefits of UniQure's Glybera gene therapy might not justify its $1 million price and asked for more safety and efficacy data. Bloomberg (5/20)
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Providers & Suppliers
Many patients don't get full disclosure before angioplasty, study finds
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that out of 59 conversations between patients and cardiologists, only two involved complete discussion of the risks and benefits of angioplasty. Alternative treatments were discussed in 25% of cases. The authors noted angioplasty is beneficial in some cases but may not prevent heart attacks in others, as patients often believe. Reuters (5/20)
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Study finds link between patient-nurse ratio, cardiac arrest survival
An analysis of data on 11,160 patients found that nurse staffing in medical-surgical units and better scores on a measure of nurses' work environments were associated with increased survival rates for in-hospital cardiac arrest. No correlation was found between survival rates and staffing ratios in ICUs, possibly because there are national standards for staffing intensive care, said researcher Monica Rochman of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. The study included 2005-2007 data from 75 hospitals, and findings were presented at a meeting of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Medscape (free registration) (5/21)
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FEATURED ARTICLE: Understanding the Power of the Pareto Principle
Here's how the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80-20 rule, can show you which customers you should spend the most time with. Read the article to learn more.

Medical UpdateSponsored By
Study: Misdiagnoses lead to inappropriate antibiotic use
A 500-case study from a Minnesota Veterans Affairs hospital found misdiagnosis fuels inappropriate use of antibiotics. The drugs were inappropriately used in 95% of cases involving indeterminate or incorrect diagnoses and 38% of correctly diagnosed cases, according to a study in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. Overall, 58% of diagnoses were correct. HealthDay News (5/20)
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Report: C-sections raise mothers' delivery risks
A CDC report says having a first baby by cesarean section, compared with vaginal delivery, raised the likelihood that a woman would need a blood transfusion or be admitted to an ICU. Researchers said 9 in 10 women who have a first delivery by C-section will go on to have their next child delivered that way. HealthDay News (5/20)
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Advanced ovarian cancer patients may benefit from presurgical chemotherapy
A 550-patient trial found that women with advanced ovarian cancer had lower rates of 28-day complications and mortality, spent less time in the hospital and had fewer side effects after undergoing chemotherapy before surgery, compared with those who had chemotherapy after the procedure. The findings were published in The Lancet. HealthDay News (5/20)
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Excel and Modern Financial Planning
In today's digital age in financial planning, a new role of the "modern financial modeler" is coming to surface to bridge the gap between financial operations and strategic finance. View a complimentary copy of the Blue Hill research report and learn the role, skills and background of the "modern modeler", strategies and tools that provide for transition to this role for individuals, and best practices and pitfalls in moving to this set of skills.

Emerging Trends
Researchers examine rates of harm in hospitalized children
Two hundred and forty pediatric patient harms were identified in 600 patient charts from six academic children's hospitals, with at least one harm recognized for 23.4% of patients, according to a study in Pediatrics. Researchers said 45% of the harms were potentially or definitely preventable. The most common pediatric patient harms were respiratory distress, pain, constipation, surgical complications, and intravenous catheter infiltrations or burns. BeckersHospitalReview.com (5/18)
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Scientists generate nerve cells from blood sample
A study in the journal Cell Reports describes how Canadian researchers converted blood stem cells into neural stem cells, ultimately creating a variety of nerve cell types. They started with a simple blood sample, solving the problem of obtaining nerve cells for testing. The approach will be used to assess drugs that target specific types of nerve cells without affecting others. CBC.ca (Canada)/The Canadian Press (5/21)
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Health Insurance Plan Company News
Solutions Provider News
Pharma News
FDA grants orphan status to Alnylam's amyloidosis drug
The FDA has granted orphan drug designation to Alnylam Pharmaceuticals' revusiran for the treatment of transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis. A late-stage trial is underway to evaluate the drug for familial amyloidotic cardiomyopathy, a manifestation of ATTR. The drug also holds orphan drug status in Europe. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (5/21)
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Policy Watch
House panel OKs 21st Century Cures measure
The 21st Century Cures bill passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee in a 51-0 vote Thursday. The bill would speed up drug approval by requiring the FDA to improve its drug review process, look at more flexible forms of clinical studies and include patient experience in the decision-making process. The full House is expected to vote on the measure in June. The Hill (5/21), Reuters (5/21)
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Share your consumer experience and digital health insights
Do you provide digital tools or new solutions that can help consumers be engaged in their health? This fall at AHIP's Consumer Experience & Digital Health Forum, share your expertise with health plans from across the country. Learn more.
Improve your back office operations. TPA Direct
TPA Direct includes AHIP member companies which are third party administrators and offers guidance to health plans and other potential payers and administrators interested in outsourcing. Mutual Health Services, a member of TPA Direct, offers full-service third-party administration services to organizations seeking design flexibility and claims cost management.
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An array of benefits for accountable care affiliates
AHIP's newest membership category, Accountable Care Affiliate, offers provider-based organizations such as health systems, hospitals and physician organizations added support to promote accountable care. Benefits include access to AHIP's clinical, policy and public affairs resource center, networking opportunities, and discounts on professional education. Learn more.
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Health IT forum now offers credits toward your ITF designation
Attend the Cybersecurity, Technology and Infrastructure Advancements Forum and receive 16 credits toward your Information Technology Fellow (ITF) designation. Stay on top of the latest IT needs, innovations, theories and trends through AHIP’s health insurance-focused training for IT professionals.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
SmartBrief will not publish Monday in observance of Memorial Day in the U.S. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility."
-- Peter Drucker,
management consultant and writer
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Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual AHIP endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of AHIP.
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Editor:  Melissa Turner
Managing Editor:  Yvonne Chanatry
Advertising:  Deanie Griffin

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