August 29, 2019 | Name and shame: Who’s withholding record access?

August 29, 2019


Decision-making in the real world

The FDA Oncology Center for Excellence has inked an agreement focused on using real-world evidence to support regulatory decision-making in cancer care. As part of the collaboration, the FDA and Syapse will investigate methods to derive real-world evidence from multiple sources, including clinical data from EHRs and molecular data from testing labs. The organizations will use this data to characterize the regulatory suitability of real-world evidence. Meanwhile, a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center calls for expanded use of real-world evidence for decision-making on drugs and biologics. (HealthIT Analytics; Bipartisan Policy Center)

Survey: Little confidence in privacy protections

The American public doesn’t trust health care institutions to keep their personal data safe, according to a new survey by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Politico. Only 17% of those surveyed said they had “a great deal of trust” in health insurers to keep their personal information secure. For hospitals, it was 24% and for doctors’ offices—the most trusted—34%. As a point of comparison, 29% have “a great deal of trust” in their primary bank; for online retailers, it’s 11%. (Healthcare Dive; survey findings)Johnson Foundation)


To fight opioid epidemic, put pharmacists on team

Comprehensive medication management must be part of addressing the opioid epidemic, says Suzanne Amato Nesbit, PharmD, a specialist in palliative care and president-elect of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. Success will require a multidisciplinary team-based approach that includes clinical pharmacists. “As … communities across the country struggle to bring this public-health crisis under control, we must prioritize a comprehensive strategy—including a team-based approach to care that fully uses clinical pharmacists, the health professionals best suited to optimize medication use,” she writes in a letter to the Washington Post. (Washington Post)

North Carolina pushes for value

North Carolina Medicaid and its top insurer are aggressively advancing value-based care, pushing to pay health care providers based on whether they keep people healthy, not for each service they provide. The partnership between the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is, according to the New York Times, “one of the country’s most ambitious efforts to transform how health care is defined and paid for.” (New York Times)


Name and shame: Who’s withholding record access?

Patients may have the right to access their records, but many encounter hurdles to actually obtaining them. To help address that, Ciitzen, a health care startup, has launched its Patient Record Scorecard. It gives providers a rating of one to five stars based on the ease of accessing records. It draws on efforts by Ciitzen users who have requested that their data be digitally sent to Ciitzen, and providers are scored on a one-to five-star scale based on whether the response fit with HIPAA regulations and OCR’s Right of Access guidance. (MedCity News; announcement)

True interoperability still out of reach

Payers and providers still haven’t achieved interoperability, warns Patrick Getzen, senior VP and chief data and analytics officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. “The information we’re getting to providers is not actionable enough, not real-time enough.” He and others speaking at the ONC’s third annual Interoperability Forum noted that value-based arrangements are helping drive interoperability. FierceHealthcare reports that audience members disagreed with the dismal assessment of the state of interoperability. (FierceHealthcare)


Simplifying suicide prevention: With suicides on the rise, the Federal Communications Commission has recommended creating a three-digit suicide hotline: 988. At present, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255). Callers are routed to one of 163 crisis centers. (AP)

The dope on dope: JAMA recently updated its 2015 review of the evidence supporting the medical efficacy of cannabis and cannabinoids. (JAMA)

Insurance exchange news: Oscar Health announced plans to cover individuals and families in six new states and a total of 12 new markets in 2020. (FierceHealthcare)


Women feel pain more acutely

Women suffer more painful conditions and, according to researchers, they actually perceive pain more intensely than men do. “The burden of pain is substantially greater for women than men, and that led pain researchers like myself to wonder if the pain perception system is different in women than in men,” researcher and psychologist Dr. Roger Fillingim tells NPR. (NPR)


“The use of real-world data and evidence is expanding to inform the discovery, development and delivery of new therapies for patients, but there are many steps we can take to accelerate progress. Real-world data can provide the basis for badly needed additional evidence about the risks and benefits of many therapies and which ones are best for particular patients.”—Dr Mark McClellan, founding director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, in a Bipartisan Policy Center announcement

Jorden Gunessever