Study: Specialty drugs to account for $235B by 2018 | Targeted text messages promote vaccination during measles outbreak | More hospitals plan to add e-monitoring of hand hygiene
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October 23, 2014
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Study: Specialty drugs to account for $235B by 2018
A study in the journal Health Affairs found that high prices are being paid by some patients for specialty drugs despite the availability of cheaper options. Researchers said specialty drugs could account for half of overall pharmacy costs, or $235 billion, by 2018. Contributing factors to specialty drugs' costs include supply and demand issues and a lack of generic alternatives. PBS (10/20)
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Building "Skills for Life": A New Approach to Digital Health Coaching
Join us for a complimentary webcast where we'll discuss our new Digital Health Coaching programs. Through the science of behavior change, and the application of motivational design, we can help empower people to take action and develop new skills to connect with what is most important to them.
Click here to register today.
 
Providers & SuppliersSponsored By
Targeted text messages promote vaccination during measles outbreak
A text-based program by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital helped increase the number of children who received measles vaccinations. During an outbreak, text messages were sent to the families of 266 children aged 1 to 6 who had not yet received a measles vaccine. The campaign also identified 287 patients who may have been exposed to the virus without immunization; alerts were added to their EHRs. Health Data Management (10/21)
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More hospitals plan to add e-monitoring of hand hygiene
A DebMed survey of more than 400 nurses, health care leaders and infection prevention experts found a 2% increase in hospitals with electronic monitoring for hand hygiene since 2012. The survey found 33% were in the process of implementing an electronic system, and an additional 43% of hospitals are planning to adopt a system to track hygiene compliance. MedCityNews.com (10/20)
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Solutions to Power Your Health and Wellness Initiatives
RR Donnelley's Health and Wellness Solutions can help create the ultimate connected member experience. By leveraging data to personalize multi-media content for your members we can educate and inspire them to live healthier lifestyles. Download here.
 
Medical Update
Study shows how diabetes may raise odds of heart valve hardening
Exposure to high glucose concentrations was tied to slower heart valve production among interstitial cells, according to a study in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. The results suggest how diabetes may contribute to an increased risk of heart valve hardening in patients. Diabetes.co.uk (U.K.) (10/22)
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U.S. trans-fat intake dips, but improvements still needed
Trans-fat intake has fallen by about one-third over the past three decades but still accounts for 1.9% of daily calories in men and about 1.7% in women, a study on the website of the Journal of the American Heart Association says. Saturated-fat intake also dropped, but omega-3 fat consumption held steady and is still below recommended levels, researchers said. HealthDay News (10/22)
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Emerging Trends
Mass. provider, MIT to tap digital health, data analytics to boost disease diagnostics
A partnership was formed between Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to advance disease diagnostics and come up with new approaches to treat and prevent autoimmune diseases, as well as improve diagnostics for patients who might have psychiatric or neurodegenerative conditions. Remote monitoring and data analytics will be important tools for achieving those goals, according to officials. Healthcare IT News (10/16)
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Platform enables providers to see data from patient wearables
The wellness app developer Nudge has created a HIPAA-compliant platform called Nudge Coach designed to allow health care providers to view data from patients' wearable devices. The platform allows a private messaging function that allows clinicians to provide feedback in real time. BeckersHospitalReview.com (10/22)
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Health Insurance Plan Company News
Solutions Provider News
Pharma News
Auxilium's Dupuytren's contracture treatment gains expanded approval
Auxilium Pharmaceuticals obtained federal approval for Xiaflex to address up to two Dupuytren's contracture joints in a single hand during a single visit for treatment. It was already approved for treatment of palpable cord in patients with the hand disease. Pharmaceutical Business Review Online (10/22)
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Firm pulls naproxen pills due to packaging error
Contract Packaging Resources recalled almost 12,000 boxes of pain relief tablets at Dollar Tree stores around the country after it mistakenly placed ibuprofen inside boxes of Assured brand naproxen sodium tablets. Allergies to ibuprofen prompt some consumers to purchase naproxen sodium painkillers. Boston Herald/The Associated Press (10/21)
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The Buzz
Infographic: Population Health Management Costs & Risks. In the United States, three-quarters of all health care spending is contributed to treating individuals with chronic diseases, who account for nearly 50% of the population. Managing your population's chronic diseases is of the utmost importance in terms of the cost impact it has on your staff's time and your bottom line. View the infographic.
 
Policy Watch
Vt. senator may hold hearing on impact of HCV drugs' costs on VA
A spokesman for Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., said the lawmaker could hold a hearing this year on the impact of new hepatitis C drugs' costs on the Department of Veterans Affairs. The hearing may take place after the Nov. 4 midterm elections, the spokesman said. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Pharmalot blog (10/20)
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AHIP News
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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AHIP access is just a download away
Access information about AHIP's conferences, online courses and more on your mobile device by downloading the AHIP Conferences App. Whether you want to browse a listing of conference speakers and sponsors or read recent AHIP Coverage Blog posts, there's something for everyone. Download now.
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Preventing diabetes through lifestyle change programs
With 86 million adults suffering from prediabetes, lifestyle changes have become a critical path to a healthier population. This is why AHIP and member plans, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Diabetes Prevention Program, are working to establish effective lifestyle change programs for persons at high risk for type 2 diabetes in communities across the United States. Learn more.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICERUNITE HERE HEALTHAurora, IL
Regional Director, Southeastern Region - State AffairsAmerica's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)Washington, DC
Senior Director, ResearchAmerica's Heatlh Insurance Plans (AHIP)Washington, DC
Regional Director, Southeastern Region - State AffairsAmerica's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)Washington, DC
Director of Operations - GBSMayo ClinicMN
Vice President, Idaho Regional DirectorPacificSourceBoise, ID
Director of Actuarial Services, Government ProgramsPacificSourceOR
Regional Director, Southeastern Region - State AffairsAmerica's Heatlh Insurance Plans (AHIP)Washington, DC
Senior Director, ResearchAmerica's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)Washington, DC
Healthcare Compliance ManagerErnst & Young
Health Plan CEO - OregonTrillium Community Health PlanEugene, OR
Chief Executive OfficerCarePoint Health PlanJersey City, NJ
Pharmacy Care ManagerNational Association of Chain Drug StoresArlington, VA
Health Care Exchange Account ManagerKaiser PermanenteSan Diego, CA
Director, Compliance - Health Plan Privacy & SecurityKaiser PermanenteOakland, CA
Group Health CooperativeGroup Health CooperativeSeattle, WA
Stop Loss Sales ExecutiveBlue Cross Blue Shield of MABoston, MA
Field Representative-Oklahoma and KansasNational Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)
Senior Director, ResearchAmerica's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)Washington, DC
Click here to view more job listings.
 
SmartQuote
For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
-- Steve Jobs,
American entrepreneur
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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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