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

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...
As part of the $1.1 billion provided to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) earmarked for comparative effectiveness research (CER) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA or Recovery Act) of 2009, $474 million went to HHS’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to support...
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires benefit plans offer a minimum set of essential health benefits. Those include ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, prescription drugs, rehabilitation and habilitative services and devices, and laboratory services. The...
Prescription drug spending rose by $135 billion between 2001 and 2010 to comprise approximately 12 percent of the nation’s overall healthcare outlay. While drug expenditure was one of the fastest growing components of U.S. healthcare spending prior to the early 2000s, generic drugs helped reduce the rate of annual...
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 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has published its first set of proposed national priorities for research, Draft National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda Version 1. This 22-page publication highlights five focus areas for use in guiding comparative clinical effectiveness research and funding announcements. The Institute invites comments from...
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...
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most health plans are now required to provide preventive services to their enrollees without any co-payments or other cost sharing.  Over time, this is expected to significantly improve prevention and wellness, reducing costs and reducing incidence of preventable condtions.  However, the preventive services...
The latest issue of the journal American Health & Drug Benefits includes a valuable mix of studies and articles of interest to decision makers. Topics include health reform, bundled payment, drug pricing, benefit design, Medicaid, medication therapy, and specific clinical conditions. The Health Reform Law: Key Changes to Be Implemented...

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