Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Medicare / 14.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: ABT-AssociatesMatthew Trombley, Ph.D. Associate/Scientist Abt Associates  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: CMS developed the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Investment Model (AIM) as part of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) to encourage the growth of ACOs in rural and underserved areas.  The goal of our study was to see if AIM ACOs could successfully decrease Medicare spending in these areas.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care / 12.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50702" align="alignleft" width="173"]Erin L. Duffy, PhD, MPH Adjunct Policy Researcher RAND  Dr. Duffy[/caption] Erin L. Duffy, PhD, MPH Adjunct Policy Researcher RAND  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: A patient treated at a hospital in his or her insurer’s network may be involuntarily treated by out-of-network (OON) physicians. In these cases, the OON physician can seek to collect full billed charges from the patient’s insurer and, if the insurer does not pay the full amount, the physician can bill the patient for the remaining balance. These unexpected bills from out-of-network physicians are known as “surprise medical bills” and most result from anesthesiology, radiology, and pathology services. California implemented a comprehensive policy (AB-72) addressing surprise medical billing for out-of-network nonemergency physician services at in-network hospitals in 2017 for patients in fully-insured health plans. AB-72 limits patients’ cost sharing to in-network levels, unless patients provide written consent to billing 24 hours in advance of services. Insurers and health plans pay out-of-network physicians at in-network hospitals the greater of the payer’s local average contracted rate or 125% of Medicare’s fee-for-service reimbursement rate. 
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Medicare, UCLA / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50628" align="alignleft" width="154"]Auyon Siddiq PhD Assistant Professor/INFORMS Member Decisions, Operations & Technology Management  UCLA Anderson School of Management Dr. Siddiq[/caption] Auyon Siddiq PhD Assistant Professor/INFORMS Member Decisions, Operations & Technology Management UCLA Anderson School of Management MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) was created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to control escalating Medicare spending by incentivizing providers to deliver healthcare more efficiently. Medicare providers that enroll in the MSSP earn bonus payments for reducing spending to below a risk-adjusted financial benchmark that depends on the provider's historical spending. To generate savings, a provider must invest to improve efficiency, which is a cost that is absorbed entirely by the provider under the current contract. This has proven to be challenging for the MSSP, with a majority of participating providers unable to generate savings due to the associated costs. This study presents a predictive analytics approach to redesigning the MSSP contract, with the goal of better aligning incentives and improving financial outcomes from the MSSP. We build our model from data containing the financial performance of providers enrolled in the MSSP, which together accounted for 7 million beneficiaries and over $70 billion in Medicare spending.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, NYU, Ophthalmology, Pharmaceutical Companies / 02.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50532" align="alignleft" width="150"] Dr. Thiel[/caption] Cassandra L. Thiel, PhD Assistant Professor NYU Langone School of Medicine Department of Population Health NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service NYU Tandon School of Engineering MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Most healthcare professionals and researchers are aware that the healthcare sector makes up about 18% of the US Gross Domestic Product. What many do not realize is that all of that economic activity results in sizable resource consumption and environmental emissions. The healthcare industry is responsible for 10% of the US’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 9% of air pollutants.1 Sustainability in healthcare is a developing field of research and practice, and my lab offers data and information by quantifying resource use and emissions of healthcare delivery. We started looking at cataract surgery a few years ago, in part because operating rooms (ORs) typically represent the largest portion of spending and garbage generation in a hospital.2,3 Cataract surgeries are interesting because they are one of the most common surgeries performed in the world. In the US, we spend $6.8 billion on them each year. Any changes we can make to individual cases would have much larger, global impacts. I studied cataract surgeries at a world-renowned, high-volume eye surgery center in India and helped validate that clinical care could be designed in a way that was effective, cost-efficient, and resource efficient. Compared to the same procedure in the UK, this surgery center generates only 5% of the carbon emissions (with the same outcomes).2 This site’s standard policy is to multi-dose their eye drops, or use them on multiple patients until the bottle was empty. As such, the site generated very little waste. Returning to the US, I observed cataract cases and heard the complaints of OR staff that they had to throw out many partially used or unused pharmaceuticals. In reviewing the literature, we could not find a study that quantified how much we were throwing away and what it cost us to do so. We, therefore, set up a study to look at this particular issue.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 28.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: blood-tests-lab-testsRenuka S BindrabanMD and Prabath W. B. Nanayakkara, MD, PhD Section of Acute Medicine Department of Internal Medicine Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute Amsterdam UMC Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherland  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is well known that a significant portion of healthcare activities is considered of low-value. Eliminating such low-value care is often targeted in efforts to both contain rapidly increasing healthcare costs as well as maintain high-quality care. In this context, our study focused on reducing unnecessary laboratory testing. In 2008, our study group performed a multifaceted intervention aimed at reducing unnecessary diagnostic testing at the Internal Medicine department of the Amsterdam University Medical Center, location Vrije Universiteit (VU). In the ‘Reduction of Unnecessary Diagnostics Through Attitude Change of the Caregivers’, we implemented this successful intervention in the Internal Medicine departments of four large teaching hospitals in the Netherlands. The intervention included creating awareness through education and feedback, intensified supervision of residents, and changes in order entry systems.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, ENT, Surgical Research / 25.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50402" align="alignleft" width="133"]Vinay K. Rathi, MD Otolaryngology Resident | Massachusetts Eye and Ear Project Manager | Partners Ambulatory Care MBA Candidate | Harvard Business School Dr. Rathi[/caption] Vinay K. Rathi, MD Otolaryngology Resident | Massachusetts Eye and Ear Project Manager | Partners Ambulatory Care MBA Candidate | Harvard Business School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: This study is a secondary subgroup analysis that follows on the heels of a recently published study in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) examining physician reimbursement for surgical procedures in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), which both public and private insurers use to determine payment rates for clinician services. Although it is widely understood that physician time (i.e., the amount of physician time required to perform a procedure) is perhaps the most important factor used to determine payment rates, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has historically relied upon limited and potentially biased survey data to estimate physician time. Leveraging time data from American College of Surgeons National Quality Improvement Program, the authors of the recent NEJM study demonstrated that CMS does not appear to systematically misestimate intraoperative times, but there are substantial discrepancies that may result in over- or undercompensation for certain procedures and specialties.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 18.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50263" align="alignleft" width="140"]Jim Stimpson, PhD Professor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs  Health Management and Policy Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health Dr. Stimpson[/caption] Jim Stimpson, PhD Professor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Health Management and Policy Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have limited information on the impact of the ACA on persons with a disability, even though nearly 1 in 5 persons in the US has a physical or mental disability. Prior to the ACA, persons with a disability had complications accessing health insurance for a variety of reasons including lower likelihood of employer-based coverage, reduced access to private insurance due to pre-existing conditions, and income-restrictions for Medicaid coverage that are on average below the poverty threshold across the country.
Author Interviews, CDC, Cost of Health Care, Diabetes / 09.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Xiaohui Zhuo, PhD Division of Diabetes Translation National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prescription drug spending (spending from families and individuals, their medical providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.) and employees across the United States) has increased at a much higher rater than other components of the total medical expenditure associated with diabetes.  The share of spending on prescription drugs in per capita annual excess expenditure due to diabetes increased from 27% to 41% between 1987 and 2011, according to a previous study using national data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Medical Expenditures Panel Surveys. In this most recent study, CDC researchers estimated the increase in the national spending on antidiabetic drugs from 2005 to 2016 in total and by drug class and broke down the increase in total national spending by examining what factors have contributed to the increase estimating the magnitude of each factor’s contribution.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Kidney Disease / 03.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Plugged into dialysis" by Dan is licensed under CC BY 2.0Andrew C. Qi,  Medical student Karen E. Joynt Maddox MD MPH Assistant professor of medicine Washington University School of Medicine Saint Louis, Missouri.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program (ESRD QIP) is a Medicare program that evaluates dialysis facilities in the U.S. based on a set of quality measures, and penalizes low-performing facilities. We’ve seen a growing understanding of how social risk factors like poverty and race/ethnicity impact patient outcomes in other settings, making it difficult for providers caring for disadvantaged populations to perform as well in these kinds of pay-for-performance programs. We were interested in seeing if this was the case for dialysis facilities as well, especially since patients receiving dialysis are already a vulnerable population.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Genetic Research, Personalized Medicine / 02.07.2019

Dr. Winegarden
Dr. Winegarden

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wayne Winegarden, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Medical Economics and Innovation
Pacific Research Institute

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this poll? Would you tell us a little about the Center for Medical Economics and Innovation? 

Response: Recent press reports have focused on how extensive innovative gene therapies can be.  PRI was interested in learning where Americans stand on these cures of the future, and commission a new national opinion survey to find out.

The Center for Medical Economics and Innovation is a new center launched by PRI this spring to research and advance policies showing how a thriving biomedical and pharmaceutical sector benefits both patients and economic growth. Medical innovation is an important driver of economic growth, responsible for over $1.3 trillion in economic activity each year. As the Milken Institute has found, every job in the biomedical sphere supports another 3.3 jobs elsewhere in the economy.

Among the activities of the Center – which can be accessed at www.medecon.org – are providing free-market analysis to evaluate current policy proposals, producing easy-to-understand data and analysis on current trends in medical science, breaking down complex issues like pharmaceutical and biomedical pricing structures, and demonstrating the benefits that market-based reforms can offer patients and the U.S. health care system. 

Amgen, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Lipids, UCLA / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_25325" align="alignleft" width="160"]Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, FACC, FAHA Eliot Corday Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Science Director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center Co-Chief of Clinical Cardiology, UCLA Division of Cardiology Co-Director, UCLA Preventative Cardiology Program David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1679 Dr. Gregg Fonarow[/caption] Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, FACC, FAHA Eliot Corday Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Science Director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center Co-Chief of Clinical Cardiology, UCLA Division of Cardiology Co-Director, UCLA Preventative Cardiology Program David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles, CA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Last year, Amgen made the PCSK-9 inhibitor evolocumab available at a reduced list price of $5,850 per year This 60% reduction was aimed at improving patient access by lowering patient copays, especially for Medicare beneficiaries. Additionally, the treatment landscape for PCSK9 inhibitors was further defined in 2018 when the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Multisociety Clinical Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol recommended PCSK9 inhibitors for, among other patient populations, patients with very high-risk (VHR) ASCVD whose low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels remain at 70 mg/dL or more  despite a heart-healthy lifestyle and treatment with standard background therapy.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Pain Research / 21.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49868" align="alignleft" width="200"]Changchuan (Charles) Jiang MD, MPH MSSLW Internal Medicine Residency Program, Class of 2020 Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Dr. Jiang[/caption] Changchuan (Charles) Jiang MD, MPH MSSLW Internal Medicine Residency Program Class of 2020 Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Chronic pain is one of the common side effects of cancer treatments and it has been linked to low life quality, lower adherence to treatment, higher medical cost. As the population of cancer survivors grows rapidly, chronic pain will be a major public health issue in this population. We know from previous studies that chronic pain is common in certain cancers such as breast cancer. However, little was known about the epidemiology of chronic pain in the cancer survivors until our study.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA, Medical Imaging / 17.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49804" align="alignleft" width="142"]Quinn R Pack, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School - Baystate Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine Tufts University School of Medicine Dr. Pack[/caption] Quinn R Pack, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine University of Massachusetts Medical School - Baystate Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine Tufts University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Because echocardiograms are non-invasive, very low risk, and nearly universally available, it is easy to over-use this technique.  In myocardial infarction, echo is also recommended in guidelines. However, in our lab, we frequently find echocardiograms that are ordered purely out of routine, without any thought as to the likelihood of finding an abnormality.   Prior studies also suggested that as many as 70% of echocardiograms provide no additional diagnostic value. When spread across the approximate 600,000 patients in the United States each year, this low diagnostic yield represents an opportunity to reduce costs by reducing echocardiograms. 
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 07.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49581" align="alignleft" width="180"]Sameed Khatana, MD, MPH Fellow, Cardiovascular Medicine, Perleman School of Medicine Associate Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics University of Pennsylvania Dr. Khatana[/caption] Sameed Khatana, MD, MPH Fellow, Cardiovascular Medicine, Perleman School of Medicine Associate Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics University of Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) led to the largest increase in Medicaid coverage since the beginning of the program. However, a number of states decided not to expand eligibility. Studies of prior smaller expansions in Medicaid, such as in individual states, have suggested evidence of improved outcomes associated with Medicaid expansion. Additionally, studies of Medicaid expansion under the ACA of certain health measures such as access to preventive care and medication adherence have suggested some improvements as well. However, there have been no large, population-level studies to examine whether Medicaid expansion under the ACA led to changes in mortality rates. Given, a high burden of cardiovascular risk factors in the uninsured, we examined whether states that had expanded Medicaid had a change in cardiovascular mortality rates after expansion, compared to states that have not expanded Medicaid.
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 06.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49644" align="alignleft" width="161"]Blythe J.S. Adamson, PhD, MPH Senior Quantitative Scientist Flatiron Health Dr. Adamson[/caption] Blythe J.S. Adamson, PhD, MPH Senior Quantitative Scientist Flatiron Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Racial disparities in access and outcomes have been documented across the full trajectory of cancer-related care. This includes access to prevention and screening, to early diagnosis, treatment, survival and other health outcomes. While these disparities have been well documented, finding mechanisms to reduce disparities is more challenging. One potential mechanism to reduce treatment disparities is to improve access to insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed in March 2010, included as its overall goals the improvement in healthcare quality and access, and enhancing equity in treatment and outcomes. The ACA allowed states to expand Medicaid to poor and near-poor adults, and this was implemented by many states starting in 2014. In addition, the ACA established private insurance marketplaces with income-based premium subsidies and limits on out-of-pocket spending for qualifying low-income enrollees. Prior research has demonstrated that ACA Medicaid expansions are associated with increased coverage and improved overall access for cancer survivors; and for newly diagnosed patients, the ACA was associated with increased coverage and shifts to earlier stage diagnosis for some cancers. To our knowledge, no research has yet demonstrated that the ACA coverage expansions affected the process of cancer care, specific cancer treatments received or specific treatment outcomes, let alone whether disparities were reduced.  In this study we looked at the time from advanced/metastatic diagnosis to start of systemic treatment for black vs. white patients and based on whether they were diagnosed at a time and in a state that had vs. had not implemented Medicaid expansion. Our study hypothesis was that Medicaid expansion reduced disparity in timely treatment of black patients compared to white patients with advanced cancer. We defined timely treatment as start of systemic therapy within 30 days of advanced/metastatic diagnosis. This is a retrospective observational study, not a randomized controlled trial. In other words, we selected a cohort of patients diagnosed with advanced or metastatic cancers over time and observed whether they received timely treatment. The Flatiron Health EHR-derived database was the principal data source for this research. Flatiron contributing practices include 280 cancer community based clinics and academic hospital outpatient settings (~800 sites of care) representing more than 2.2 million patients with cancer in the United States. Practices are located in 40 states. To produce the database, Flatiron extracted data from structured fields, including demographics, and recorded medication orders and administrations. Flatiron also abstracted unstructured data, using technology assisted review by highly trained clinicians. Abstracted data include diagnosis date, stage, and prescribed oral anticancer medications. The database used for research purposes was de-identified. We also used data from the Kaiser Family Foundation which has tracked Medicaid implementation policies for over twenty years, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics from which we pulled state-year unemployment rates.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 06.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48428" align="alignleft" width="200"]Hefei Wen, PhDAssistant Professor, Department of Health Management & PolicyUniversity of Kentucky College of Public Health Dr. Wen[/caption] Hefei Wen, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Health Management & Policy University of Kentucky College of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Medicaid is the principal payer of behavioral health services in the U.S. and expected to play an increasing role in financing behavioral health services following Medicaid expansions under the ACA.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Surgical Research, University of Michigan / 05.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49606" align="alignleft" width="156"]Dr. Mark R. Hemmila MD Associate Professor of Surgery Division of Acute Care Surgery University of Michigan Dr. Hemmila[/caption] Dr. Mark R. Hemmila MD Associate Professor of Surgery Division of Acute Care Surgery University of Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Traumatic injury has a tendency to be thought of as a disease that preferentially impacts younger people.  We wanted to explore the prevalence and impact of traumatic injury within the population of patients for whom Medicare is the third party payer. 
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 22.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49269" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dan LyPh.D. Program in Health PolicyHarvard Dan Ly[/caption] Dan Ly, MD, MPP Ph.D. Program in Health Policy Harvard MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is some mixed evidence regarding whether state level tort reform reduces defensive medicine, or the practicing of medicine in such a way to reduce medical liability. This includes “positive” defensive medicine, or performing certain tests and procedures to reduce such liability. Other research finds that the perception of malpractice risk drives such defensive medicine, including the use of diagnostic imaging, such as CT scans and MRIs. I was interested in exploring what influenced the perception of this risk, hypothesizing that, for a physician, a report of an injury against one’s colleague might increase the perception of this risk and lead to an increase the use of diagnostic imaging.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 19.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49162" align="alignleft" width="191"]Nina Niu Sanford, M.D. Assistant ProfessorUT Southwestern Department of Radiation OncologyDallas TX 75390 Dr. Sanford[/caption] Nina Niu Sanford, M.D.  Assistant Professor UT Southwestern Department of Radiation Oncology Dallas TX 75390  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this study is that we know cancer survivors are at risk for uninsurance or underinsurance and the most commonly cited reason for this is cost of insurance.  However, there have been no prior studies assessing from the patient perspective the reasons for not having insurance. In addition, there has been further recent controversy over the Affordable Care Act, including threats from the current administration to dismantle it.  Thus assessing the impact of the ACA among at risk populations including cancer survivors is timely.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Kidney Disease, UCLA / 14.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49111" align="alignleft" width="200"]Chris Childers, MD, PhDDivision of General SurgeryDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA10833 Le Conte Ave., CHS 72-247Los Angeles, CA 90095 Dr. Childers[/caption] Chris Childers, MD, PhD Division of General Surgery David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles, CA 90095 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patients with end-stage renal disease – poorly functioning kidneys – often have to receive dialysis. This typically requires a patient to visit an outpatient clinic several times a week to have their blood filtered by a machine. Over the past few years, two for-profit companies have increased their control over the outpatient dialysis market – DaVita and Fresenius. Combined they control approximately ¾ of the market.  A number of concerns have been raised against these for-profit companies suggesting that the quality of care they deliver may be worse than the care delivered at not-for-profit companies. But, because they control so much of the market and because patients have to receive dialysis so frequently, patients may not have much choice in the clinic they visit. Medicare covers patients who are 65 years or older and also patients on dialysis regardless of age.  Medicare pays a fixed rate for dialysis which they believe is adequate to cover the clinics' costs. However, if a patient also has private insurance, the insurer is required to pay for dialysis instead of Medicare. Whereas Medicare rates are fixed by the federal government, private insurers have to negotiate the price they pay, and may pay much more as a result.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Radiation Therapy / 23.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48748" align="alignleft" width="133"]Ankit Agarwal, MD, MBAPGY-3, Radiation Oncology ResidentUNC Health Care Dr. Agarwal[/caption] Ankit Agarwal, MD, MBA PGY-3, Radiation Oncology Resident UNC Health Care MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Medicaid provides vital health insurance for millions of mostly low income Americans throughout the United States. However, it is well known that patients with Medicaid have worse clinical outcomes than patients with private insurance or Medicare insurance. Part of the reason for this may be due to difficulties with access to care, in part due to the traditionally very low payments in the Medicaid system. We found that Medicaid payment rates for a standard course of breast cancer radiation treatment can vary over fivefold (ranging from $2,945 to $15,218) 
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety / 16.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48537" align="alignleft" width="145"]Karen Joynt Maddox, MD, MPHAssistant Professor of MedicineWashington University Brown School of Social Work Dr. Joynt Maddox[/caption] Karen Joynt Maddox, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Washington University Brown School of Social Work  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Medicare’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program has been controversial, in part because until 2019 it did not take social risk into account when judging hospitals’ performance. In the 21st Century Cures Act, Congress required that CMS change the program to judge hospitals only against other hospitals in their “peer group” based on the proportion of their patients who are poor. As a result, starting with fiscal year 2019, the HRRP divides hospitals into five peer groups and then assesses performance and assigns penalties. 
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Opiods / 16.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48576" align="alignleft" width="92"]Joel Segel, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Health Policy and AdministrationThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park, PA 16802 Dr. Segel[/caption] Joel E. Segel, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Health Policy and Administration The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Earlier research has shown that the societal costs of opioid misuse are high, including the impact on employment. However, previous work to understand the costs of opioid misuse borne by state and federal governments has largely focused on medical costs such as care related to overdoses and the cost of treating opioid use disorder. Our main findings are that when individuals who misuse opioids are unable to work, state and federal governments may bear significant costs in the form of lost income and sales tax revenue. We estimate that between 2000 and 2016, state governments lost $11.8 billion in tax revenue and the federal government lost $26.0 billion. 
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, General Medicine, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 02.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48340" align="alignleft" width="142"]Teryl K. Nuckols, MDVice Chair, Clinical ResearchDirector, Division of General Internal MedicineCedars-Sinai Medical Center  Dr. Nuckols[/caption] Teryl K. Nuckols, MD Vice Chair, Clinical Research Director, Division of General Internal Medicine Cedars-Sinai Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Healthcare policymakers have long worried that value-based payment programs unfairly penalize hospitals treating many African-American patients, which could worsen health outcomes for this group. For example, policy experts have suspected that the Medicare Hospital Readmission Reduction Program unevenly punishes institutions caring for more vulnerable populations, including racial minorities. They've also feared that hospitals might be incentivized to not give patients the care they need to avoid readmissions. The study Investigators wanted to determine whether death rates following discharges increased among African-American and white patients 65 years and older after the Medicare Hospital Readmission Reduction Program started.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, UCLA / 27.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37423" align="alignleft" width="200"]John N. Mafi MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine David Geffen School of Medicine University of California, Los Angeles Natural scientist in Health Policy RAND Corporation Santa Monica, California Dr. Mafi[/caption] John N. Mafi, MD, MPH Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research Department of Medicine David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA RAND Health, RAND Corporation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What types of services are low-value in this setting?  Response: For decades we have known that offering routine preoperative testing for patients undergoing cataract surgery provides limited value, yet low-value preoperative testing persists at very high rates, even at Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, one of the largest safety net health systems in the United States.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Gastrointestinal Disease, Opiods / 12.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47904" align="alignleft" width="133"]Howard Franklin, MD, MBAVice President of Medical Affairs and StrategySalix Pharmaceuticals Dr. Franklin[/caption] Howard Franklin, MD, MBA Vice President of Medical Affairs and Strategy Salix Pharmaceuticals MedicalResearch.com: What is opioid-induced constipation? Response: Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is a side effect in as many as 80 percent of chronic pain patients on opioids. OIC is unlikely to improve over time without treatment and can lead to suffering and discomfort. More importantly, the insufficient treatment of OIC can have negative implications for patients, both those on opioid therapy for chronic non-cancer pain as well as advanced illness, and for hospitals.