Blues report on MS ? Drug price hikes for 2020 ? Study: Hospital mergers haven't improved quality

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BLUES ASSOCIATION LOOKS AT MS IN AMERICA: More than 520,000 commercially insured Americans were living with multiple sclerosis in 2017, according to a report titled "." The report is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association's .  

The index found that about half the people with MS also suffer from musculoskeletal conditions such as neck and back pain. Additionally, the index, which uses annual data from more than 41 million Blue Cross Blue Shield members, shows that among those diagnosed, 75 percent are women and the median age of all sufferers is 47. In mapping the rate of the disease state-by-state, higher rates were found in the Northeast, Michigan and Illinois and in Wyoming and Colorado. 

79彩票注册网址It remains somewhat of a mystery why MS cases might seem to occur in clusters, according to research from the National MS Society. Cluster studies “have not produced clear evidence for the existence of any causative or triggering factor or factors in MS," according to a Society statement regarding its . The research does find that MS is known to occur more frequently in areas farther from the equator. 

“With more than half a million people living with MS, it is crucial to better understand the impact of this condition on the health, wellness and quality of life of Americans,” the Blue Cross Blue Shield report says. 

DRUGMAKERS HIKE MEDICINE PRICES: Lawmakers' ire and the ever increasing public outcry over the high price of medicines did little to stop drugmakers from raising prices again for 2020. Among the biggest increases: AbbVie's bestselling arthritis medicine Humira, with a 7 percent jump. READ MORE.

QUALITY ISN’T AN OUTCOME IN HOSPITAL ACQUISITIONS: A new study finds that the quality of care at hospitals acquired in recent deals got worse or stayed the same, despite the often-cited rationale that hospital combinations will improve quality, the  In response, American Hospital Association general counsel Melinda Hatton said in a statement that its research, sponsored by Charles River Associates, found quality improved and revenue for each admission declined in the first year after hospital transactions.  

AUTO ASSEMBLY PLANT CLOSURE LEADS TO MORE OPIOID DEATHS, STUDY SAYS: 79彩票注册网址Researchers writing in the  say automotive assembly plant closures are associated with a statistically significant increase in opioid overdose mortality rates. The study, published Dec. 30, compared U.S. manufacturing counties where plants had closed and those counties where automotive plants remained open in the years from 1999 to 2016 and examined overdose rates among adults 18 to 65.

The finding, researchers said, highlights the role of declining economic opportunity in the U.S. opioid crisis. “Automotive assembly plant closures are culturally significant events that substantially erode local economic opportunities,” the study said. 

Researchers looked at 112 counties where manufacturing played a big part in the economy, primarily in the South and Midwest, with at least one operational automotive assembly plant as of 1999. During the study period, 29 manufacturing counties were exposed to an automotive assembly plant closure, while 83 manufacturing counties had no closures. The study found that five years after a plant closure, mortality rates had increased to 20.6 opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 people in counties where plants had shut down compared with a rate of 12 per 100,000 in unexposed counties, an 85 percent increase.

The study said the findings, “combined with a growing body of research demonstrating adverse associations between trade-related industrial decline and drug overdose mortality, lend support to the view that the current opioid overdose crisis may be associated in part with the same structural changes to the U.S. economy that have been responsible for worsening overall mortality among less-educated adults since the 1980s.” 

AUTOMATED ALERTS COULD IMPROVE DRUG ERROR IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS: The use of advanced machine-learning algorithms to identify and prevent medication prescribing errors with automated alerts is highly accurate, could save significant money and prevent more harm than most existing clinical decision support (CDS) tools, according to a new study in the January issue of t  

Researchers went back over outpatient data from Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston from 2009 through 2013 and used machine-learning algorithms to generate 10,668 alerts about potential adverse drug events, according to the study published by the Oakbrook Terrace-based Joint Commission. The retrospective study found that 68 percent of the alerts generated would not have been generated using existing CDS tools. The study stated that alerts could have saved $60 per drug alert, or $1.3 million across all patient interactions in the study. Further, about 80 percent of the alerts generated were judged to be clinically valid.  

79彩票注册网址“The authors of this study successfully provide a glimpse into a new world of safety for medication ordering augmented by machine learning,” Dr. David M. Liebovitz, associate professor of Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said in an editorial that accompanied the study. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

Crain's health care reporter Stephanie 79彩票注册网址berg recaps the people and organizations that made news in the past year, and discusses industry trends she'll be watching in 2020 on . 

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: 

Phillip Kambic is the 2020 chair of the Illinois Health & Hospital Association. Kambic is president and CEO of Riverside Healthcare in Bourbonnais. The rest of the IHA board is:

Chair-elect Karen Teitelbaum79彩票注册网址, president and CEO, Sinai Health System. 

Past chair Mary Starmann-Harrison, president and CEO, Hospital Sisters Health System, Springfield. 

Treasurer Ted Rogalski, administrator, Genesis Medical Center, Aledo. 

Secretary Mary Lou Mastro, CEO, Edward-Elmhurst Health. 

IHA President and CEO A.J. Wilhelmi.

Trustee Jeremy Bradford, president, SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital, Mt. Vernon. 

Trustee Ruth Colby, president and CEO, Silver Cross Hospital, New Lenox.

Trustee Bill Santulli79彩票注册网址, chief operating officer, Advocate Aurora Health. 

• Mike Hastings took office as president of the Schaumburg-based Emergency Nurses Association. Hastings is the clinical manager for Swedish Edmonds Emergency Department in Edmonds, Wash. 

• Mitch Olan79彩票注册网址 has been named to the advisory board of Supply Clinic, a Chicago-based online marketplace for dental supplies. Olan is executive chairman of Dental Care Alliance in Sarasota, Fla. 


JOIN OUR ORTHOPEDIC 79彩票注册网址 ROUNDTABLE: Calling expert panelists for Crain's upcoming virtual roundtable on Health Care: Orthopedic Health. Be recognized as a thought leader on the key issues and trends impacting your industry. Contact Sarah Chow for more information on this opportunity: [email protected]

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