FDA proposes risk-based framework to improve compounding oversight   04/16/2013
The Food and Drug Administration today proposed a framework to strengthen the agency’s authority to improve the safety of drugs produced by compounding pharmacies. Testifying at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing investigating a fungal meningitis outbreak last May involving contaminated medication made by a New England compounding pharmacy, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., said, “We recommend that Congress recognize the appropriate state role in regulation of traditional compounding while authorizing clear and appropriate federal standards and oversight needed for non-traditional compounders that produce riskier products.” She proposed working with Congress to define non-traditional compounding based on factors that make the product higher risk, “such as any sterile compounding in advance of or without receiving a prescription, where the drug is distributed out of the state in which it was produced.” Among other changes, she said “an accurate inventory of pharmacies engaged in non-traditional compounding would facilitate appropriate oversight and coordination with state regulators.”
Hospitals treat victims of marathon explosions   04/16/2013
Emergency medical services yesterday transported about 90 patients to Boston hospitals after two explosions occurred near the Boston Marathon finish line shortly before 3 p.m., according to city officials. The explosions, which the president today described as “an act of terror” by an unknown group or individual, killed three people and injured about 180, according to news reports. At a Federal Bureau of Investigations briefing this morning, the special agent in charge began by thanking the first responders, physicians, nurses and medical staff who volunteered at the marathon, saying “their services and heroic actions saved lives.” AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock today expressed the association’s “pride and gratitude to our colleagues in Boston’s hospitals. They put their skills and preparation to work immediately to treat scores of people wounded in the blasts. In doing so, they provided a community and a nation with a badly needed sense of order and the security of knowing that even when the unthinkable happens, hospitals are there to help.”
Groups launch contest to address health care data challenges   04/16/2013
The Bipartisan Policy Center, Heritage Provider Network and The Advisory Board Company today announced the Care Transformation Prize Series, a national contest to address data challenges faced by U.S. health care organizations. Health care providers are invited to submit their most difficult data challenges as they implement delivery system and payment reforms. A prize board composed of health care leaders will select challenges to be addressed by competing teams of data scientists, and HPN and The Advisory Board Company will offer at least three quarterly prizes of $100,000 to the teams that develop the best solutions. The winning algorithms will be made available to health care organizations and the public. “Over the next two years, this contest will inspire innovative solutions for health care organizations as they learn how to leverage large data, particularly clinical data sets, for reform efforts,” said HPN President and CEO Richard Merkin, M.D.
Guide helps health care leaders transform care delivery   04/16/2013
A new guide from the AHA's Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence initiative helps health care leaders use metrics to evaluate their progress toward value-based health care delivery in four priority areas. Originally identified in the 2011 AHA report Hospitals and Care Systems of the Future, the priority strategies are: aligning hospitals, physicians and other providers across the continuum of care; using evidence-based practices to improve quality and patient safety; improving efficiency through productivity and financial management; and developing integrated information systems. To further assist leaders in implementing these strategies, HPOE will launch an online self-assessment road map in the next couple weeks. For more information, contact hpoe@aha.org.