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One Million Patients Volunteer for Precision Medicine Initiative

IP Blog | Dave Melin | March 6, 2016

BioBlog Weekly oncologyThis week in healthcare: 1 million volunteer precision medicine initiative cohort is being launched at Vanderbilt University and why Medicare payment reform should be the focus of health stakeholders in politically charged 2016.

Precision Medicine 1M Volunteer Cohort Becoming a Reality

To work towards its Precision Medicine Initiative, Vanderbilt University has received a contract from the NIH to “launch the first phase of a cohort of 1 million volunteers who will form the foundation of a massive research effort to transform the understanding and practice of medicine.”

Medicare Payment Reform May Be Strategy Game Changes for Plans

This article looks forward to the impact of Medicare payment reform this year and argues that “MACRA, not ACA, should be the acronym health plans and other stakeholders focus on in 2016.”

3 Questions on… The Value of Using Clinical Pathways in Oncology

This interview with ASCO Task Force on Clinical Pathways Chair Robin Zon dives into “why ASCO determined it was necessary to make the nine recommendations in the statement and what’s ahead for clinical pathways in oncology.”

Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Among Oncology Surgeons Do Not Necessarily Result in Culturally Competent Care

A survey of oncology surgeons in Washington has found that while the surgeons in their sample “displayed and valued cultural awareness and sensitivity… cultural awareness and sensitivity did not necessarily result in culturally competent behavior.”

FDA’s Cancer Moonshot Aims at Toppling Drug and Device Silos

In a recent House Appropriations subcommittee meeting, acting FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff said that in order to pursue the White House’s “cancer moonshot” initiative, the FDA must “pull down the silos between researchers and breach the internal barriers separating its own oncology experts on drugs, diagnostics and devices.”

Moops?: A Roadmap to MIPS

This article gives an overview of how CMS’s new MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System) program works, what’s been implemented so far, and what’s coming down the pike.

Reasons to Be Skeptical about the Value of Private Exchanges

Although some have floated the idea of private exchanges as a viable solution to health insurance woes, some experts are saying that “private exchanges are simply a way to shift more costs onto workers by repackaging insurance products already offered to employer groups.”

Cancer Statistics for African-Americans, 2016: Progress and Opportunities in Reducing Racial Disparities

A new report published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians has found “substantial progress in reducing the mortality gap between blacks and whites for some cancers, while the gap has widened or remained level for two leading cancers: breast cancer in women and colorectal cancer in men.”

The Value of Considering Cost, and the Cost of Not Considering Value

This article argues that rather than pretending cost doesn’t matter we need to understand the relationship between cost, value, and quality care: “we can no longer ignore nor can we blindly accept that cost and feel that it has no place in our medical decision making. To continue to do so would inevitably bankrupt our health care system and prevent us from ever being able to provide necessary quality care for all.”

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