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U.S. Payers Increase Focus on Quality, but Are There Trade-offs with Patient Access?


IP Blog | Dave Melin | April 6, 2014

This week in healthcare, we take a detail-oriented look at patient assistance programs, quality care improvement measures, and health care costs.

BioBlogWeeklyMeasures That Improve Quality Must Be Nimble If Imperfect, UnitedHealthcare’s Newcomer Explains

Lee Newcomer, MD, of UnitedHealthcare argues that “while oncology has accepted the need for measures of quality, deciding what they will be remains a work in progress.” He offers several ideas for how to get to the heart of the matter and “take on the real cost drivers.”

How Health-Care Spending Got So High

“Everyone” knows that health care costs are high and rising. But where do these increases come from? According to the Wall Street Journal, hospital care still tops the list, with other growing factors including care for seniors and care for “dread diseases”.

ACA Rollout Raises Ante for Patient Access and Assistance

PharmExec discusses the impact of the ACA rollout on Patient Assistance & Access Programs (PAPs) following the recent conference. Key takeaways include the necessity of patient education, the importance of the “mix” of enrollees, and the variety of interpretations of federal anti-kickback laws.

Oncology Biotechs You’ve Probably Never Heard Of: 2 Potential IPOs and 2 Non-USA

“In the first six weeks of 2014, 18 life sciences companies went public.” Author and investor Joseph Allen takes us on a tour of a few biotech companies that you may not have heard of before… but that you might hear from in the future.

‘Choosing Wisely’ campaign aims to curb overuse of certain tests and treatments

Many issues in healthcare focus on patient access. But one Oregon campaign instead focuses on helping patients and doctors to discuss whether the treatments they’re considering are actually necessary. “The Institute of Medicine estimates that up to 30 percent of the $2 trillion in annual health care spending in the U.S. is duplicative or unnecessary.”

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