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What We’re Watching: June 4, 2019

DRUG SHORTAGES ARE ALWAYS TOP OF MIND

Drug shortages impact every single segment of the healthcare ecosystem and are a major driver of skyrocketing costs and increased potential for adverse events. That’s why we’re working to advance The Mitigating Emergency Drug Shortages (MEDS) Act, which would provide additional authority to the FDA to help mitigate drug shortages and develop market-based incentives to help ensure a stable supply of medications critical for patient care.

What we’re saying:

Premier has been working tirelessly to advance solutions that address drug shortages and minimize their impact on providers. This includes the launch of our generics company, ProvideGx which has brought six shortage drugs back to the market in just five months. Outside of what we’re doing in the private market, we have been working with members of the Senate on legislation such as the MEDS Act. We will be providing inside information on the MEDS Act and its implications during a webinar this Thursday, June 6. We’ll discuss its provisions and the rationale behind them, as well as the current status of the bill in Congress.

WE TOLD YOU THERE’D BE COMMENTS

As we wrote in this very newsletter last week, CMS is in the process of defining the major tentpoles of the Geographic option within its upcoming Direct Contracting model. The Geographic option would assign a patient population of at least 75K Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries within a targeted region to an entity that is willing to accept 100% up- and down-side risk for spending and quality outcomes.

What we’re saying:

Premier’s comments in response to CMS’ request for information (RFI) focused on giving priority to provider-led applications, establishing rules for model overlap and more guidance around payment, included services and beneficiary alignment.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

Yesterday was the deadline to submit comments to the proposed rules from the ONC on interoperability, information blocking and the ONC Health IT Certification Program, as well as from CMS on patient access to data and interoperability. Together, these proposals would make sweeping changes to increase consumer and provider access to information.

What we’re saying:

Premier has submitted comments in response to these rules, supporting the overall direction to create a more dynamic, competitive and innovative healthcare IT ecosystem. This includes requiring the adoption of open application programming interfaces (APIs) and standards that will enable EHRs to seamlessly connect and exchange information with other health IT systems, applications, medical devices and information sources. Premier also urged the agencies to make changes to the proposed rules to ensure data access and availability at the point of care, reduce regulatory reporting and documentation burdens, clarify overly broad and inconsistent terms, and reconcile laws that potentially conflict with privacy and security.

HAVE YOU HEARD?

Premier’s Dr. Scott Weingarten discussed clinical decision support on the Creating a New Healthcare podcast last week. Dr. Weingarten talked about how smart clinical decision support technology is shaping the practice of medicine and the impact it is having on healthcare quality and cost. Apple listeners can get the podcast here and Android users can get it here. Dr. Weingarten also published an article last week in the NEJM Catalyst on What Value-Based Payment Means for Academic Medical Centers.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

What We’re Watching is a weekly blog focused on the current events Premier is following and their relevance to the work of Premier and its members. Check out last week's update.

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