Cancer drugs' benefits fail to keep pace with rising prices, study finds | CBO: Medicare spending to reach $1.2T by 2028 | Study: Fewer family physicians provide obstetric care
April 13, 2018
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Cancer drugs' benefits fail to keep pace with rising prices, study finds
Cancer drugs' benefits fail to keep pace with rising prices, study finds
(Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
A study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice found no link between the monthly or incremental costs of new cancer drugs and their clinical benefits. The authors looked at 42 clinical trials for medications approved from 2006 to 2015, finding that average monthly costs of new oncology drugs rose to $15,535 in 2015 from $7,103 in 2006, while the difference in cost between new drugs and those they were intended to replace climbed to $161,141 from $30,447.
Reuters (4/12) 
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CBO: Medicare spending to reach $1.2T by 2028
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Medicare spending will increase by 3% this year, a slower rate than in the past. From 2019 to 2028, it is projected to grow 7% each year to reach $1.2 trillion by 2028.
Becker's Hospital Review (4/10) 
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Providers & Suppliers
Study: Fewer family physicians provide obstetric care
Research published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found the proportion of family physicians providing maternity care decreased from 23.3% in 2000 to 9.7% in 2010, and although about 23% of family medicine residents in 2014 indicated they planned to provide maternity care, just 9% were delivering babies one to 10 years later. Being female, graduating from an allopathic medical school, having $25,000 to $149,999 in education-related debt, and participation in a loan repayment program were factors associated with intent to provide obstetrical deliveries.
AAFP News (4/11) 
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Medical Update
Research examines link between diabetes, heart failure risk
A study in Diabetes Care showed that adults with asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction and diabetes had higher risks for developing heart failure, HF hospitalization, composite endpoint of HF development or cardiovascular death and mortality from any cause than those without diabetes. UK researchers analyzed data from the Studies of Left Ventricular Dysfunction involving 4,223 patients and also found a higher mortality risk among those who had diabetes but did not develop HF, compared with those without diabetes who did not have HF.
Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (4/10) 
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Study: Unintentional weight loss is risk factor in 10 cancers
An analysis of 25 studies that included more than 11.5 million patients found unintentional weight loss is a risk factor in 10 types of cancer, according to research published in the British Journal of General Practice. Researchers said more studies are needed to determine a weight-loss threshold.
United Press International (4/10) 
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Emerging Trends
Many uninsured struggle to get primary care appointments, study finds
Many uninsured struggle to get primary care appointments, study finds
(John Moore/Getty Images)
A study in Health Affairs found that people without health insurance struggle to secure primary care appointments, particularly those who are unable to pay in full at the time of the visit. Researchers found that about 80% of uninsured patients willing to pay in full were able to obtain an appointment with a primary care provider, while just 1 in 7 who needed to pay over time could secure a doctor's appointment in 2012-2013 and 2016.
Reuters (4/12) 
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Health Insurance Provider Company News
Solutions Provider News
Pharma News
CVS relies on generics to hold down price increases
CVS Health says its pharmacy benefit management unit was able to keep drug price growth to 0.2% last year even as list prices increased nearly 10%, mainly by promoting generic alternatives. The company said it was also able to hold price increases for specialty drugs to 3.7% for clients amid 8.3% growth in manufacturer prices.
Healthcare Finance (4/12) 
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Congress crafts opioids policy
Congressional Republicans and Democrats are united in a desire to address opioid misuse, and four House and Senate committees are exploring options and drafting legislation. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., says the subcommittee he chairs intends to send a package of bills to the full Senate by the end of April, and House leaders want to pass legislation before Memorial Day.
USA Today (4/11) 
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Policy Watch
House committee draft bill to expand Medicare coverage for telemedicine
A draft bill from the House Ways and Means Committee that would increase Medicare coverage of telemedicine services to curb expensive and unneeded hospital and emergency department visits is being worked on, said a House GOP committee aide.
Morning Consult (4/11) 
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MRI coverage plan for implantable cardiac devices issued by CMS
MRI coverage plan for implantable cardiac devices issued by CMS
(Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)
The CMS has issued a final national coverage decision for magnetic resonance imaging of patients with implanted cardiac devices. The final document drops data collection requirements, expands coverage beyond MRI-conditional devices and eliminates proposed requirements that patients not be pacemaker-dependent and that imaging should wait at least six weeks following device implantation, surgical modification or lead revision.
MedPage Today (free registration) (4/12) 
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AHIP News
Innovative programs and partnerships to combat opioid crisis
The nation's opioid crisis has reached a critical point. Through advocacy, provider collaboration, and other avenues, Anthem is working to reduce prescription opioids, improve access to evidence-based treatment for addiction, and decrease overdose deaths. Learn more on the blog.
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Earn impressive career credentials
AHIP's Academy for Healthcare Management (AHM) is a launching pad for those who want to learn more, demonstrate their commitment to the health care industry, and gain the credentials that shape rewarding careers. Start by earning your Professional, Academy for Healthcare Management (PAHM®) designation with just one intensive course: Healthcare Management, An Introduction (AHM250). Choose your path.
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Complimentary Health IT Directory focused on solutions
Consumer experience, core payer systems, cyber security and risk, health IT services and analytics, and regulatory are just some of the solutions you'll find in AHIP's Health IT Directory. Consider it your desktop IT consultant. This complimentary resource will showcase companies with answers. Access the directory here.
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