Kip Piper's Health Care Blog
Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

Compounded drugs are a new hot issue in the pharmaceuticals industry and in Congress. There are little data about compounding pharmacies, but a new Congressional Research Service brief gives a comprehensive overview. Compounded Drugs Personalize Drug Treatments: Compounded drugs are created when a physician or pharmacist mixes or changes pharmaceuticals to...
Poor quality of care and preventable medical errors are a major cause of high costs and patient suffering.  The opportunities for improvement are considerable. In addition, as states and health plans gear up for Health Insurance Exchanges (HIX), they will count quality and patient safety among their key considerations.  For...
The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in recent months have delivered grim statistics on military and veteran suicides. In a report earlier this year, the VA announced veterans committed suicide at a rate of 22 per day in 2010. Active-duty military suicides reached...
Generic drugs have operated under a different set of rules than brand-name drugs since 1984, when Congress passed the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, or Hatch-Waxman Act. Brand-name drug manufacturers must submit extensive evidence from clinical trials to get approval from the Food and...
Health care quality and patient safety have become increasingly important in recent years, particularly as part of efforts to prevent wasteful spending, hospital readmissions, and medical errors. Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), health information technology (HIT), electronic health records (EHR), and new health plan reporting requirements are among the many...
Electronic prescribing in the U.S. is becoming mainstream, with e-prescribing use by physicians quadrupling since 2008.  Medication adherence is increasing as a result of increased use of eRx. The National Progress Report on E-Prescribing and Interoperable Healthcare Year 2011, a report by Surescripts, provides interesting information on e-prescription use, adoption, and impact on...
A study funded by AHRQ and published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Transmitting and processing electronic prescriptions: Experiences of physician practices and pharmacies, identifies both the benefits and challenges with electronic prescribing (eRx) practices. Authors believe that, as more physicians convert to electronic health record...
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is hosting a free webinar on Using Health Information Technology for Chronic Disease Management.  Webinar is set for Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at 11:30 am EST. During the 90-minute conference, participants can watch and listen as presenters share their experiences, lessons learned, and insights into the potential of...
Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs, especially new brand-named drugs, remains controversial.  Some in Congress remain eager to prohibit advertising of brand-name prescription drugs to consumers in the first two years following a drug’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Is this a good idea or is it...
At the last annual meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, several of us spoke on pharmaceutical research and development in the quickly emerging value-driven healthcare system. Topics focused on the impact of value-based benefit designs, comparative effectiveness research, and government policies on the development of new drugs...

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