Breaking News
April 19, 2018 - Environmental pollutants found to worsen rheumatoid arthritis
April 19, 2018 - UT Southwestern scientists discover protein linked to metastatic breast cancer
April 19, 2018 - Study highlights need for further evidence to improve symptom management in end of life care
April 19, 2018 - Detecting diminished dopamine-firing cells inside brain could reveal earliest signs of Alzheimer’s
April 19, 2018 - Case study shows how intravascular ultrasound imaging helps detect acute aortic syndrome
April 19, 2018 - Research reveals new mechanism by which HIV evades the immune system
April 19, 2018 - Nanodisc-delivered cancer treatment helps eliminate tumors
April 19, 2018 - Functional connectivity MRI could help detect brain disorders and diseases
April 19, 2018 - Finding better way to quantify neuropathy symptoms and treatment efficacy
April 19, 2018 - Study examines effectiveness of caregiver education about sickle cell trait
April 19, 2018 - High-resolution images of tumor vasculature using new technology
April 19, 2018 - Lack of sleep may be linked to risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease
April 19, 2018 - Study finds neurotransmitter may play a role in alcohol relapse, addiction
April 19, 2018 - Researchers build molecular networks of calcific aortic valve disease
April 19, 2018 - Researchers develop highly specific apoptosis assay for pharmacodynamic analyses of tumor specimens
April 19, 2018 - Scientists decipher mechanism of chemotherapy induced female infertility
April 19, 2018 - New insight may allow researchers to design drugs that improve immune responses to vaccines
April 19, 2018 - FDA Approves Crysvita (burosumab-twza) for X-Linked Hypophosphatemia
April 19, 2018 - Researchers uncover origin of virus-fighting plasma B cells
April 19, 2018 - Study finds no evidence of lower intelligence in young children who had anesthesia
April 19, 2018 - Baboons break out of research facility briefly
April 19, 2018 - Study shows how deployment time increases risk of suicide attempt in soldiers
April 19, 2018 - Specific odors from malaria infected individuals attract more mosquitoes
April 19, 2018 - FDA Alert: Rhino 69 Extreme 50000 by AMA Wholesale: Recall
April 19, 2018 - Top HIV cure research team refutes major recent results on how to identify HIV persistence
April 19, 2018 - Experts propose new solutions to increase benefit, affordability of targeted cancer medicines
April 19, 2018 - Deficiency of innate immune adaptor TRIF shortens survival time of ALS mice
April 19, 2018 - New machine learning method offers better way to detect heart disease
April 19, 2018 - CNIO researchers determine structure of protein complex related to cell survival
April 19, 2018 - Faith-based diabetes support program launched by UTSA research team
April 19, 2018 - Volumetric Laser Endomicroscopy Helps ID Barrett’s Regions
April 19, 2018 - Engineered cartilage template to heal broken bones
April 19, 2018 - New computational framework accurately predicts drug-drug and drug-food interactions
April 18, 2018 - Some human cancers may be result of evolutionary accidents, research finds
April 18, 2018 - Higher levels of education linked to lower dementia risk in older African Americans
April 18, 2018 - Smoking Puts Blacks at Higher Risk for Heart Failure
April 18, 2018 - Physiotherapist contributes to guidelines for knee cartilage treatment
April 18, 2018 - Researchers use ‘top-down proteomics’ strategy to get new insights into cancer
April 18, 2018 - Physician assistants less likely to accurately diagnose early stage skin cancers
April 18, 2018 - New faster, streamlined method for bowel cancer detection and treatment
April 18, 2018 - Researchers identify new Listeria species in Costa Rica
April 18, 2018 - Novel interactive diagram shows many facets of mild traumatic brain injury
April 18, 2018 - Short sleep linked to obesity in children and adolescents
April 18, 2018 - When weight loss helps with sleep
April 18, 2018 - New mathematical model can predict efficiency of microbiome therapies
April 18, 2018 - People with high LDL cholesterol levels likely to get greater benefits from statins
April 18, 2018 - Listening to music enhances effect of anti-hypertensive drugs
April 18, 2018 - New method could help treat severe epilepsy in the future
April 18, 2018 - Study reveals increased risks for Alzheimer’s, suicide among youth in polluted cities
April 18, 2018 - Obese patients more likely to develop rapid and irregular heart rate
April 18, 2018 - Study may change global guidelines for managing children with uncomplicated fever
April 18, 2018 - Researchers find letter we’ve seen millions of times, yet can’t write
April 18, 2018 - Roswell Park researchers identify driver of cancer-promoting metabolic changes
April 18, 2018 - Study shows connection between early life stress, depression and sleep disturbances
April 18, 2018 - New tool developed to protect women from HIV infection
April 18, 2018 - Tradeshow Talks with HealthSapiens
April 18, 2018 - NYC mice carry deadly bacteria and viruses
April 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Tavalisse (fostamatinib disodium hexahydrate) for Chronic Immune Thrombocytopenia
April 18, 2018 - Doctors curbing first-time prescriptions for opioids
April 18, 2018 - Scientists analyze nanostructure of chicken eggshells
April 18, 2018 - Study finds muscle complications among active young adults with Type 1 diabetes
April 18, 2018 - Young children should be priority for snail fever treatment
April 18, 2018 - One class of diabetes drug not associated with reduced risk of death
April 18, 2018 - Breakthrough microscope revolutionizes live cell imaging of stem cells
April 18, 2018 - Study on arthritis prevalence and trends reveals unexpected findings
April 18, 2018 - Low-Vision Rehab Improves Several Elements of Visual Function
April 18, 2018 - Babies who look like their father at birth are healthier one year later: study
April 18, 2018 - New drug for migraine in the pipeline
April 18, 2018 - Precancerous colon polyps in Lynch syndrome patients display immune activation
April 18, 2018 - Mouse study shows how tungsten accumulates in the bones
April 18, 2018 - Scientists provide insight into how gene associated with autoimmunity contributes to disease
April 18, 2018 - AHA: Rx for Sedentary Kids — Friends and the Great Outdoors
April 18, 2018 - Expert panel reliable and accurate in identifying injuries in young children
April 18, 2018 - Two immune checkpoint inhibitors efficiently block leukemia development in preclinical tests
April 18, 2018 - New automated text messaging service may help combat opioid epidemic
April 18, 2018 - Large ALS-causing protein aggregates protect rather than harm neurons
April 18, 2018 - Older adults in high-quality nursing homes have lower risks for placement in long-term care facilities
April 18, 2018 - Targeting opioid receptor offers relief for chronic itching
April 18, 2018 - PBO long-lasting insecticidal nets found to be effective in reducing malaria prevalence
April 18, 2018 - New study maps links between 625 genes and different chemotherapy treatments
D.C. Week: Community Health Centers Get Azar’s Love

D.C. Week: Community Health Centers Get Azar’s Love

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

WASHINGTON — Alex Azar, JD, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, garnered a warm reception from community health centers who he called “pioneers” in the transformation to value-based care. But the mood at a House subcommittee hearing was less convivial.

Azar Champions Community Health Centers

Alex Azar, JD, the new head of the Department of Health and Human Services, gushed over community health centers’ achievements during a speech to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) at its Policy and Issues Forum on Friday.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a set of thousands of partners with a long record of providing quality care in both urban and rural communities? Wouldn’t it be great to have a set of partners who are leading on efforts to integrate physical and behavioral healthcare?” Azar asked.

The tenor of that meeting contrasted sharply with a fiery House subcomittee hearing he participated in a day earlier.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Ranking Member on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, said the proposal had “bright spots” but questioned some of the suggested cuts.

“On the one hand, the department requests funding for opioids, which is great. On the other hand, the department slashes access to substance abuse treatment and cuts million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Again, I don’t understand the logic.”

Keep Fee Schedule Update, Get Rid of MIPS, Says MedPAC

Congress should stick to the scheduled Medicare physician fee schedule payment update of 0.5% for physicians in 2019, according to a report released Thursday by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

“The landscape for the fee-for-service sector this year is very consistent with overall trends observed in the last several years,” with beneficiaries generally having adequate access to doctors, and that’s why no additional increase or decrease is required, MedPAC executive director Jim Mathews said on a phone call with reporters. The report also recommended that the fee schedule for hospital inpatient and outpatient services continue as specified by current law, he added.

But the commission was a little harsher when it came to ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), recommending that Congress eliminate the 2019 scheduled update to ASC payment rates; the group recommended that Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar require ASCs to submit their cost data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

In terms of physician payments specifically, the commission voted in January to eliminate Medicare’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and replace it with a voluntary program “under which physicians could elect to be measured on a small number of population-based outcomes measures,” Mathews said.

GOP Senator: Solve Opioid Crisis Through Community, Not Policy

Trying to understand who gets addicted to opioids, and what drives them to drugs in the first place, can help shape a response to the issue, according to a Republican lawmaker.

At an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) briefing on Tuesday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) tied the roots of the opioid abuse epidemic in the U.S. back to the Civil War, and the “social turmoil” that followed. The war “robbed Americans of a sense of purpose” that left people vulnerable to addiction, just as opioids were entering the country, he stated.

A Republican lawmaker and policy experts explored the role of social and cultural factors in the opioid epidemic and ways to address the crisis during an AEI panel discussion on Tuesday.

Lee added that he sees parallels with that crisis and the current epidemic. “The people most vulnerable to opioid addiction are often lonely and cut off from sources of personal fulfillment. “And by that I mean family, meaningful work, and engagement with friends and with neighbors.”

FDA Sets Path to Lower Nicotine in Cigarettes

The FDA has issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to explore lowering nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to non-addictive levels, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, announced Thursday.

“This new regulatory step advances a comprehensive policy framework that we believe could help avoid millions of tobacco-related deaths across the country,” Gottlieb explained in a written press statement.

The proposal to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes is the centerpiece of a comprehensive tobacco regulatory strategy announced by FDA officials last July.

The FDA will conduct a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence involving nicotine’s role in cigarette addiction and seek input from the public. At this time, however, no specific nicotine limit has been set.

Senate Panel Addresses Native Americans’ Opioid Troubles

Native American tribes need federal funding to help tackle the opioid epidemic and new legislation can help, witnesses told the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Wednesday.

Testimony also addressed workforce shortages and the importance of culturally appropriate care. Some witnesses urged that more support be given to traditional healing practices that can be incorporated into mainstream substance use disorder treatment programs.

An administration official — Christopher Jones, PharmD, policy laboratory director in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — appeared hesitant to directly press for more funding. Nevertheless, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said Native Americans would be getting some.

Currently about $10 billion has been earmarked for the Department of Health and Human Services to deal with opioids, he said.

“I will try … to peel some of this money off and dedicate it to Indian Country and I would hope you wouldn’t oppose that when it comes through,” he said.

Next Week

On Monday, Health IT Now and the Bipartisan Policy Center will convene a panel to examine the what role the government should play in health IT.

On Wednesday, the House Commitee on Energy and Commerce will discuss public health efforts to prevent the opioid crisis from worsening.

And a House Committee on Government Reform will discuss improper payments in Medicaid.

Also on Wednesday, The Atlantic hosts a briefing on “The State of Care: Patient Access and Affordability.”

And POLITICO and CALL9 host “Avoiding 9-1-1” a discussion about improving healthcare in nursing homes and reining in costs.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the FDA hosts a joint meeting of its Blood Products Advisory Committee and the Microbiology Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee to provide recommendations to the agency regarding the classification of devices and regarding research programs in the Office of Blood Research and Review.

On Thursday, the FDA’s Pediatric Advisory Committee and the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee will explore “major objectives of a phase 3 drug development program indicated for the treatment of children with achondroplasia.”

1969-12-31T19:00:00-0500

last updated

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles