IOM report calls for action to address cancer care challenges   09/10/2013
An Institute of Medicine committee today issued recommendations for improving U.S. cancer care delivery, from diagnosis through end-of-life care, in the face of growing demand for services, a shrinking oncology workforce and rising costs. The report recommends actions to support patient decision-making; an adequately staffed, trained and coordinated workforce; evidence-based care; real-time analysis of patient data; translation of evidence into practice; outcomes measurement; performance improvement; and accessible and affordable care. As the population ages, the report estimates U.S. cancer incidence will increase 45% by 2030 to 2.3 million new diagnoses per year. “Age is one of the strongest risk factors for cancer, and there are many important considerations to understanding older adults with cancers’ prognoses and formulating their care plans, such as altered physiology, functional and cognitive impairment, multiple coexisting morbidities, increased side effects of treatment, distinct goals of care, and the increased importance of social support,” the report notes.
PCORI awards $114 million in grants to 71 research projects   09/10/2013
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Board of Governors today awarded $114 million in grants to 71 research projects. The awards include studies of ways to improve care for and the health of people with heart disease, chronic pain, several types of cancer, obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, autism, respiratory disorders, and various mental health conditions. Several projects will explore ways to support patient and family caregiver decision-making, reduce health disparities, and improve health care delivery systems. They also include the first 19 awards focused on improving research methods. “Each of these projects will engage patients and other stakeholders in meaningful ways with researchers to tackle critical health problems that affect tens of millions of people nationwide,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, M.D. The board also approved a $9 million contract to a consortium led by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute to serve as the coordinating center for a new national data network being developed through PCORI.
HHS issues MERS guidance for Hospital Preparedness Program   09/10/2013
The Department of Health and Human Services last week issued guidance on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus for state health departments and the health care coalition participants in the Hospital Preparedness Program. The guidance aligns existing MERS guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with HPP’s National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness. The virus has infected 114 people in eight countries since April 2012, nearly half of whom have died. No cases have been reported in the U.S. to date. In July, the World Health Organization determined that the current MERS situation is serious but does not constitute an international public health emergency. HHS and CDC continue to monitor the situation closely.
FDA announces safety labeling changes for certain opioid pain relievers   09/10/2013
The Food and Drug Administration today announced class-wide safety labeling changes and new postmarket study requirements for all extended-release and long-acting opioid analgesics intended to treat pain. The updated indication states that ER/LA opioids are indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. FDA also is requiring a new boxed warning on ER/LA opioid analgesics to caution that chronic maternal use of these products during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome. Once the safety labeling changes are finalized, modifications will be made to the ER/LA Opioid Analgesics Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy to reflect the updated information. Approved last year, the REMS requires companies to make available to health care professionals educational programs on how to safely prescribe ER/LA opioid analgesics and to provide medication guides and patient counseling documents on the safe use, storage and disposal of ER/ LA opioids.
AHA to host special members-only Advocacy Day webcast   09/10/2013
AHA's hospital and health system members are invited to join AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock, Executive Vice President Rick Pollack and Senior Vice President of Federal Relations Tom Nickels for an interactive members-only webcast on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time in conjunction with AHA's Advocacy Day. The webcast will allow hospital leaders who could not travel to Washington, D.C., for Advocacy Day to participate virtually. To access the special webcast, participants must be registered for AHA's 2013 Town Hall Interactive webcasts. To register, click here.