Today's News and Commentary

About the public’s health

Are worksite clinics an old-school solution to employers’ current cost problems?: Medical care at the workplace is a very old concept that is making a comeback. This article provides a nice overview of this topic.

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Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017: The importance of diet to health is not a new concept. This research quantifies this link: “In 2017, 11 million …deaths and 255 million… DALYs [Disability Adjusted Life Years] were attributable to dietary risk factors. High intake of sodium (3 million… deaths and 70 million… DALYs), low intake of whole grains (3 million … deaths and 82 million… –DALYs), and low intake of fruits (2 million… deaths and 65 million… DALYs) were the leading dietary risk factors for deaths and DALYs globally and in many countries.”

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Avalere: Despite dropouts, BPCI Advanced participation shows providers open to greater risk: The CMS program called Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Advanced requires renewing participants, as of March 1, to assume financial risk as a condition to their participation. While a number of participants have decided to continue, there has been a significant dropout rate. Reports on these numbers are either “glass half empty of half full.” After this year will there be enough risk-bearing programs left to make a significant impact on the cost and quality of healthcare?

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About pharma

Key House lawmakers reach bipartisan deal to advance long-stalled drug pricing bill: The House Energy and Commerce Committee has achieved bipartisan support in passing measures to ease the process of getting generics to market. One of these measures is the CREATES Act (Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples), which prevents branded drug manufacturers from withholding their products from generic companies who need reference samples for  testing their products.

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For more details on the dozen bills passed by the committee read this announcement

Cigna, Express Scripts Capping Insulin Co-Pays at $25 for Participating Commercial Members: To address the ongoing problem of high and rising insulin costs, Cigna and Express Scripts are limiting expenses to a $25 copayment for participating members.

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About insurance

Shifting Care from Office to Outpatient Settings: Services are Increasingly Performed in Outpatient Settings with Higher Prices: It has long been known that care costs more in the hospitals outpatient departments than when the same services are provided in a doctor’s office. This article has an interactive graphic that helps quantify these differences.

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