Moving Intelligent Change Forward
March, 2018 Vol. 2 - In This Issue:
Choose your favorite trend - it's all here in this edition.  Big data and the promise of AI in health. Payment for value (if we can just define what it is). The latest marriage of health plan and PBM. Healthcare delivered remotely via app or a clinician 300 miles away. Rising antibiotic resistance and resurging outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease. AHRQ is in jeopardy (again). And innovators who are getting back to the basics: maybe the key to a healthy society is focusing on the patient's needs for transportation, housing or nutritious food in concert with managing their symptoms.

Tech's Next Big Wave: Big Data Meets Biology 

It began in December, with CVS's proposed $69 billion buyout of insurer Aetna. In January, three more corporate behemoths-Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway-said they were forming a joint venture aimed at reducing health care costs and improving outcomes for their combined 1 million or so employees.   
The Struggle to Build a Massive 'Biobank' of Patient Data

This spring, the National Institutes of Health will start recruiting participants for one of the most ambitious medical projects ever envisioned. The goal is to find one million people in the United States, from all walks of life and all racial and ethnic groups, who are willing to have their genomes sequenced, and to provide their medical records and regular blood samples. 
Vital Directions for Health and Health Care

Through the Vital Directions for Health and Health Care Initiative, the National Academy of Medicine called on more than 150 leading researchers, scientists, and policymakers from across the United States to provide expert guidance on 19 priority focus areas for U.S. health policy. The views presented in this discussion paper series are those of the authors and do not represent formal consensus positions of the NAM, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, or the authors' organizations.
Centene partnering with PBM RxAdvance

Centene said the partnership will leverage Centene's own PBM, Envolve, and its clinical competencies with RxAdvance's Collaborative PBM cloud platform.  Centene said "key differentiators" of RxAdvance's business model include an  operating model with administrative cost savings and a r eduction in avoidable drug-impacted medical costs.   
Take This App and Call Me in the Morning 

Health tech companies are making a big push to digitize medicine, introducing novel tools like digital pills that track when patients take their drugs and smart spoons that can automatically adjust to hand tremors.
Now they want some patients to get prescription treatments from the app store as well.  
Intermountain opens its digital front door 

Intermountain Healthcare is launching a new "virtual hospital" to speed dual aims of transitioning to digital health and tackling population health issues, but it's not ready to put the hospital industry out of business just yet.
Mumps Is On the Rise. A Waning Vaccine Response May Be Why.

Mumps is resurging. And it may be because the immune response provoked by the mumps vaccine weakens significantly over time, and not because people are avoiding vaccination or because the virus has evolved to develop immunity to the vaccine, a new study has found.
Common 'Superbug' Found to Disguise Resistance to Potent Antibiotic

Some common "superbugs" appear to harbor a little-known type of resistance to a last-resort antibiotic, a new study shows, suggesting a worrying new way in which dangerous bacteria can evade one of the few remaining treatment options.
AMA survey says prior authorizations hurting clinical outcomes

Payers have used prior authorization for years to prevent unnecessary care, but the practice is unpopular and can be a headache for hospitals, patients and even payers. The Academy Academy of Family Physicians calls prior authorizations "the number one administrative burden" for family physicians.
AHRQ Is in Trouble - and why you should care

For the past 30 years, a little-known U.S. health agency has supported and produced volumes of groundbreaking research on how to make healthcare safer, less wasteful, and more effective. Dubbed "the little federal agency that could," the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has accomplished this feat with a small fraction of the budgets of its higher-profile cousins, the CDC and National Institutes of Health (NIH). 
BCBS joins with Lyft, CVS and Walgreens in new pop health effort

Scott Serota, CEO of BCBSA and chairman of the board of the BCBS Institute, noted that health is often more connected to an individual's ZIP code rather than their genetic code.
With that in mind, the organization will look at potential issues involving transportation, pharmacy, nutrition and fitness in communities. Similar to other SDOH initiatives, BCBS Institute will target help to at-risk members beyond the physician's offices and hospitals.   
Passion + Quality = Change That Matters
I embrace the powerful opportunities in our evolving health care landscape. I founded Momentum Health Strategies to be a catalyst for change through continuous learning, diverse engagement and thoughtful policy and practice initiatives. I deliver innovative, strategic thinking and a passion for improving the patient experience. My personal drive and dedication to high-quality results will help you navigate the competitive terrain you face and convert your vision to action.

Momentum Health Strategies

Jennifer L Bright, MPA
(703) 628 - 0534