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Industry Perspectives

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Evolving public views on the value of one’s DNA and expectations for genomic database governance: Results from a national survey

March 11, 2020

Evolving public views on the value of one’s DNA and expectations for genomic database governance: Results from a national survey

We report results from a large survey of public attitudes regarding genomic database governance. Prior surveys focused on the context of academic-sponsored biobanks, framing data provision as altruistic donation; our survey is designed to reflect four growing trends: genomic databases are found across many sectors; they are used for more than academic biomedical research; their value is reflected in corporate transactions; and additional related privacy risks are coming to light. To examine how attitudes may evolve in response to these trends, we provided survey respondents with information from mainstream media coverage of them. We then found only 11.7% of respondents willing to altruistically donate their data, versus 50.6% willing to provide data if financially compensated, and 37.8% unwilling to provide data regardless of compensation. Because providing one’s genomic data is sometimes bundled with receipt of a personalized genomic report, we also asked respondents what price they would be willing to pay for a personalized report. Subtracting that response value from one’s expected compensation for providing data (if any) yields a net expected payment. For the altruistic donors, median net expected payment was -$75 (i.e. they expected to pay $75 for the bundle). For respondents wanting compensation for their data, however, median net expected payment was +$95 (i.e. they expected to receive $95). When asked about different genomic database governance policies, most respondents preferred options that allowed them more control over their data. In particular, they favored policies restricting data sharing or reuse unless permission is specifically granted by the individual. Policy preferences were also relatively consistent regardless of the sector in which the genomic database was located. Together these findings offer a forward-looking window on individual preferences that can be useful for institutions of all types as they develop governance approaches in this area of large-scale data sharing.

The full article can be downloaded below.  

Name: 
Anna

Trump rules let patients download health records to their phones

March 10, 2020

Trump rules let patients download health records to their phones

The Trump administration on Monday unveiled its plan to make it easier for patients to download their own health and insurance records to their smartphones — an effort that's triggered privacy concerns from some of the biggest health care trade groups and intense lobbying from the tech industry.

The rules force insurers and hospitals to make patients' information easily shareable using common data standards. Trump health officials on Monday framed the rules as a way to give patients — instead of health care providers, health records companies and insurers — control over health data.

The full Politico article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Coronavirus could financially cripple many Americans

March 10, 2020

Coronavirus could financially cripple many Americans

Americans’ health may not be the only thing at stake as the coronavirus continues its unrelenting spread in the U.S. The virus could also prove financially crippling for many individuals.

“There are all kinds of pathways for people to be financially affected by this,” said John Graves, an associate professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University.

There are more than 114,000 confirmed cases across more than 100 countries and regions. The U.S. has more than 750 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — the name of the disease — and at least 26 Americans have died.

The full CNBC article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

eHealth Initiative Statement on Final Interoperability Rules FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 10, 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services released two final rules that will have a profound impact on the way patient information is exchanged – and the healthcare system as a whole. The two rules implement interoperability and patient access provisions contained in 2016’s 21st Century Cures Act and are designed to improve the ability of patients to securely access their own personal health information.

The final rule from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), entitled 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program, and the final rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), entitled Interoperability and Patient Access, are the culmination of over five years of advocacy and work by consumer and privacy advocates, health care stakeholders, Congress, and the administration to address issues that have plagued the health care system: a lack of interoperability, insufficient patient access to and control of health records, and uncoordinated care.

“While we are still reviewing both rules, eHealth Initiative (eHI) applauds the administration on its work over many years to implement the critical interoperability and information blocking provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act,” said Jennifer Covich Bordenick, Chief Executive Officer of eHI. “We appreciate the administration’s continued focus on health data privacy and security, in addition to patient access to data. Through our project Building a Consumer Privacy Framework for Health Data, eHI, along with the Center for Democracy and Technology and our expert Steering Committee, will present options to address the current gaps in legal and regulatory protections for health data that falls outside HIPAA coverage. Our goal is that this framework will be useful as stakeholders look to execute the requirements of these final regulations.”

A Nod To The Past Can Help Define Healthcare's Future

March 09, 2020

A Nod To The Past Can Help Define Healthcare's Future

In 1970, healthcare spending represented 6.9% of U.S. GDP. Last year, findings from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services showed healthcare spending in the U.S. was expected to reach $3.8 trillion, representing 17.8% of GDP. It’s a sobering figure, and one that is only expected to rise during the coming years. Managing this spending is central not only for the health of the industry, but also for the U.S. economy.

For decades, the healthcare industry operated on a fee-for-service model. Costs soared in large part due to inefficiencies in the supply chain and care delivery related to this volume-based model. As a result, the U.S. is known for spending much more on healthcare than other countries, while delivering lower quality outcomes than many other developed countries.

Moving to a value-based care model could fundamentally shift how the healthcare industry conducts business. The industry would no longer support reimbursement based on volume, but instead, on value. Value in healthcare has been defined as "the outcomes that matter to patients and the costs to achieve those outcomes."

The full Forbes article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Diet, nutrition, and cancer risk: what do we know and what is the way forward?

March 09, 2020

Diet, nutrition, and cancer risk: what do we know and what is the way forward?

Scientists have suspected for decades that nutrition has an important influence on the risk of developing cancer. Epidemiological studies as early as the 1960s showed that cancer rates varied widely between populations and that cancer rates in migrants moving from low to high risk countries could rise to equal or sometimes exceed the rates in the host population. These observations implied the existence of important environmental causes of cancer, and other studies showed strong correlations between many types of cancer and dietary factors; for example, countries with high intakes of meat had high rates of colorectal cancer. Furthermore, experiments in animals showed that cancer rates could be altered by manipulating diet, with compelling evidence that restricting energy intake causes a general reduction in cancer development. 

Cancer is predicted to be the leading cause of death in every country of the world by the end of this century. Although dietary factors are thought to be important in determining the risk of developing cancer, establishing the exact effects of diet on cancer risk has proved challenging. Here we describe the relatively few dietary factors that clearly influence risk of cancers along the digestive tract (from top to bottom) and of other common types of cancer, as well as challenges for future research.

The full article can be downloaded below.  

Name: 
Anna

The PBM MedImpact Is Proactively Personalizing Medicine

March 09, 2020

The PBM MedImpact Is Proactively Personalizing Medicine

Precision medicine’s promise is to determine for each individual patient or subgroup if a drug will work or not, and whether it will produce adverse events. Among other pieces of information, it does this based on pharmacogenomics. Here, pharmacogenomics refers to how a person’s genetics affects his or her response to a drug. In this regard, an individual’s genetic makeup can determine how effective a medication will be, whether dosing changes will be needed, or whether a different medication should be prescribed.

The full Forbes article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Why you’re more likely to see a physician assistant than a doctor

March 07, 2020

Why you’re more likely to see a physician assistant than a doctor

Dr. Aziz Nazha, the oncologist in charge of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Clinical Artificial Intelligence, has a controversial opinion about what kind of training the next generation of doctors should undergo. “Physicians of the future should know how to program,” he said, “but I know I won’t win that battle.”

The fact that there are even discussions about whether coding should be a requirement of medical school is just one of the many changes at hand for the millions of clinicians who make up the U.S. health care workforce.

Not only are there predicted shortages of nurses and physicians that are expected to worsen over the next decade, industry attempts to shift from a fee-for-service reimbursement model to a value-based system have called for more efficient clinicians and better care for patients.

At the same time, hospitals are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence tools like chatbots and digital scribes and machine-learning models that aim to predict readmission rates and examine mammograms for breast cancer. (Even the tech giants are starting to dabble in health care. Apple Inc. is trying to improve nursing workflow, while Alphabet Inc.’s Google is testing whether digital voice assistants can reduce the amount of time doctors spend entering patient information into the electronic health record.)

All of these trends are influencing how care is delivered and by what kind of clinician. In the exam room of the future — which may be your living room — the doctor may ask about your feelings or know how to code, a physician assistant may be virtual or human, and a nurse may be assisted by a robot.

The full MarketWatch article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Trump signs $8.3B emergency coronavirus package

March 06, 2020

Trump signs $8.3B emergency coronavirus package

President Donald Trump today signed the $8.3 billion emergency funding package Congress swiftly cleared, triggering the flow of cash to federal agencies and states working to combat a rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

The bill provides a total of $7.7 billion in new discretionary spending and authorizes an additional $490 million in mandatory spending through a Medicare change.

The full Politico article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

AI was supposed to save health care. What if it makes it more expensive?

March 06, 2020

AI was supposed to save health care. What if it makes it more expensive?

Last year, Mount Sinai Hospital switched on an artificial intelligence program to search the hospital’s records for evidence of malnourished patients in its wards. The numbers it turned up were eye-popping: 20 percent more cases were diagnosed than in the previous year.

Around the same time, Barbara Murphy, chief of the renowned health system’s department of medicine, was helping to develop another AI program, to predict whether diabetic patients are at near-term risk of kidney disease and to help prioritize specialist visits for those who are. One of the early findings, according to Murphy: “We probably need some more nephrologists.”

As hospital systems around the country unleash machine learning algorithms — computer models that function like millions of unblinking eyes inspecting patient records — such findings are becoming more common. The algorithms, deployed in hospitals over the past couple of years, are often designed to help locate the sickest patients, but in some cases, they also provide more opportunities to bill.

The full Politico article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna