Bristol to Acquire Stake in UniQure, Maker of First $1M Drug
This week in healthcare, a look at UnitedHealth’s 700 TB database, which enables a variety of business intelligence, data mining and online analytical processing tools and BMS aims to bring to the first million-dollar-drug to the U.S. market.
“Big data” is a growing trend — but what does one do with all that information? This article takes a look at big insurer UnitedHealth, which has “approximately 700 TB of structured and unstructured data.” According to UnitedHealth, as they process this data they use “advanced analytics to monitor fraud and waste and study clinical improvements, among other initiatives.”
Recently Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. announced that they would purchase a stake in million-dollar-drug maker UniQure. This venture would gain Bristol-Myers “access to UniQure’s proprietary therapy for congestive cardiac failure that’s intended to restore the heart’s ability to synthesize S100A1, a calcium sensor and master regulator of heart function. The companies will also work together on as many as nine additional gene-therapy targets.”
Medicaid, the “single largest source of health coverage in the United States,” has changed little since its inception in 1965. This Harvard Business Review article describes a Medicaid-specific collaboration that is attempting to reinvent Medicaid care delivery by offering extended hours, a “healthy start” assessment, and integration of behavioral and chronic care.
In the quest for new and more effective reimbursement models, some, including the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), are turning to the medical home as a promising solution. According to a NASHP study, “the medical home model can provide a blueprint for further efforts, such as bundled payments and the accountable care organization (ACO).”
Now that the second round of open enrollment is complete, how have the state exchanges fared? Some better, some worse. For example, Maryland doubled its total number of enrollees this time around by adopting successful neighbor Connecticut’s quicker online platform. Vermont, however, somehow managed to enroll even fewer people than its first go-round.
In this ASCO Post video, taken after an NCCN panel discussion, Clifford Goodman and Peter B. Bach discuss the panel as well as the “affordability of cancer care, the “financial toxicities” of high drug prices, and what could and should be done about it.”
Last week, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) issued their joint “Annual Report to the Nation”. The report includes “a yearly update of cancer incidence (new cases) and mortality (death) rates” and a special section highlighting “the incidence of breast cancer subtypes by race, ethnicity, poverty level, and state.”
Medicare Payment Reform in Cancer Care Long Overdue
This MedPage Today article argues the need for Medicare payment reform is great and action by Congress is long overdue. “Punctuating the need for such reforms is the cumulative 20% in Medicare cuts levied against freestanding radiation oncology facilities in the last decade. Such deep cuts threaten the ability of community-based cancer centers to operate – let alone adopt new technologies and advance innovative care practices.”
It’s not here yet, but analysts are already debating the potential impact of the ACA’s so-called “Cadillac Tax,” a tax on plans “exceeding $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for families” that will go into effect in 2018. According to FierceHealthPayer, this tax may affect as many as one in three employers. Experts worry that the tax may raise costs or cause hardship to American workers.
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