Friday's Feature

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.

~Nelson Mandela

News, Announcements, Celebrations

  • To learn more about The Colorado Trust’s Community Partnerships effort that began in 2015, click here.
  • Jimmy Kimmel Highlights the Value of Teaching Hospitals is a story in an earlier AAMC News by Dr. Darrell G. Kirch about Jimmy Kimmel’s and his wife’s newborn son born with a serious heart condition and the lifesaving team-based care they received in two teaching hospital settings.


Community Prevention

  • Words Matter: How Do We Change Attitudes Towards Mental Health? is a posting on the Mental Health Colorado blog with an invitation to participate with suggestions on the public forum.
  • What Worries You Most? is a special exhibit on display through September 8th at the Fulginiti Art Gallery on the Anschutz Medical Campus that resulted from a 4th year student project about humanism in medicine. These CU SOM students distributed cards to patients getting care in the UCHealth Emergency Department that asked them what worries them most. As you might guess, their answers didn’t only concentrate on the reason for their ER visit.
  • Is My Child’s Behavior Typical? is a posting on the Children’s Hospital Colorado Pediatric Mental Health Institute site that includes a quick guide to when kids are just being kids and what might be cause for concern.
  • Derailed: When Mental Illness Throws a Life Off Track is a series of live events, podcasts and educational materials that illuminate the most challenging healthcare situations called Hard Call, sponsored by the CU Bioethics and Humanities department. This one highlights a story about a man from the Manhattan garment district of his fame, fortune, and mental illness.
  • Treating Anxiety and Depression in Primary Care: Reducing Barriers to Access – Family Practice Management is an article on AAFP Family Practice Management by Karen Colorafi and colleagues about how collocating counseling and primary care services can help ensure that patients get the mental health care they need.


Policy Efforts

  • Latest GOP Health Care Bill Sees Immediate Defections from Republicans is an NBC News story covered by Leigh Ann Caldwell about the latest Senate health care bill revision released today is already being met with skepticism and even outright opposition by some key Republican senators.
  • ‘Extreme’ Opioid Use and Doctor Shopping Still Plague Medicare is an NPR story by Charles Ornstein about how the HHS inspector general found that some 22,000 Medicare Part D beneficiaries seem to be doctor shopping for opioids – obtaining large amounts prescribed by four or more doctors and filled at four or more pharmacies according to a report released today by the DHHS.
  • JAMA Forum: Reforming Medicaid is a posting on news@JAMA by Gail Wilensky and Andy Slavitt, former administrators of the Medicare and Medicaid programs under Presidents Obama and Bush that include some reasonable policy recommendations.
  • Patient advocates say Medicaid per capita caps would demolish long-term care for elderly is a posting on Modern Healthcare by Mara Lee that begins by saying that “Medicaid doesn’t always pay for nursing home stays or home health aide visits for elderly people who can’t afford them,” and this situation will only worsen with the passing of reduced federal funding for Medicaid.
  • In Texas, People with Mental Illness are Finding Work Helping Peers is an NPR story by Lauren Silverman about the severe shortage of professional mental health care providers in Texas. Peer specialists – certified and paid – have begun to bridge the gap. Texas is one of more than 35 states that finance peer services through Medicaid.
  • Controlling the Cost of Medicaid is an article in the NEJM by Drs. K. John McConnell and Michael E. Chemew about an opportunity for bipartisan compromise in Congress may be in the area of flexibility for states with regard to Medicaid.
  • Uneven Playing Field: Applying Different Rules to Competing Health Plans is a story posted on The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation site by Karen Pollitz and Anthony Damico about a possible amendment to the BCRA that would allow insurers in the non-group market to sell some policies that would not be required to follow all of the ACA market rules, such as the ACA essential health benefit and cost-sharing standards.
  • Individual Insurance market Performance in Early 2017 is an issue brief posted on The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation by Cynthia Cox and Larry Levitt about how the authors find the individual market on track to have the best year since the ACA began, contrary to those who report it collapsing.
  • Crippling Medicaid Cuts Could Upend Rural Health Services is a story on Kaiser Health News by Virginia Anderson highlights the worsening rural areas’ financial straits that would be caused by reductions in Medicaid funding.
  • Slashing Medicaid is probably the worst way to fight an opioid addiction epidemic is an editorial by The Times Editorial Board in the LA Times that discusses how the proposed BCRA would pull the rug out from under those fighting to stop the raging opioid epidemic. The authors go on to say that if the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis is honest, it will have no choice but to pint out to Trump that the biggest threat to the government’s ability to fight the scourge is the healthcare reform he is pushing.
  • What Virginia’s poorest citizens want from health care reform is a story on PBS News Hour by Judy Woodruff ab out the over-the-top struggles facing the poor in Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Medicaid Cuts Will Drive Up Cost of Private Coverage, Montana Insurers Say is a post on Kaiser Health News by Eric Whitney, Montana Public Radio, that reports that insurance executives at companies that sell policies in Montana’s marketplace, say they are concerned that GOP plans to repeal and replace the ACA would destabilize a market that is working.
  • The Biggest Problem with U.S. Health Care is a posting on Fortune by Sandro Galea about how our investment is deeply lopsided in favor of cure. The argument for greater focus on population health is not a case against this investment; it is a case against this lopsidedness.
  • How Health Care Cuts Could Impact Disabled Americans is an Atlantic documentary that points out why some people with disabilities fear the GOP health plan. According to Mary Lou Breslin of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Medicaid cuts could ultimately cost 3 million people with disabilities their freedom and erode 40 years of hard won gains by the disability rights movement.
  • Health Plans that Nudge Patients to Do the Right Thing is a story in The New York Times by Austin Frakt about value-based insurance design…the idea that health plans offer more generous coverage of high-value care, but less generous coverage of those services that provide little or no health benefit. How about cost-sharing that helps patients do the right thing.
  • The High Cost of Coping are several stories on Money by Elizabeth O’Brien and Taylor Tepper about how the parity act and the ACA have softened the financial blow of MEB problems…yet true parity remains an unfinished promise.


Research, Data, Evaluation

  • Adolescents Who Self-Harm Have More Psychosocial Problems Decades Later is a posting on NEJM Journal Watch by Amy Orciari Herman about an Australian study of nearly 1700 adolescents where these youth were asked about self-harm and then were assessed for numerous outcomes about 20 years later.
  • Effective Care for High-Need Patients is a special publication from the National Academy of Medicine on the National Academy of Medicine website that concentrates on the opportunities for improving outcomes, value and health for high-need patients and includes a conceptual model of a taxonomy for high-need patients.
  • Don’t Assume that Private Insurance is Better than Medicaid is a story in The New York Times by Aaron E. Carrol and Austin Frakt about the conservative argument that the poor would benefit simply be being ushered off Medicaid and onto private insurance…which is far from being proven.
  • The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative Publishes New Evidence Report is about a new evidence, Milbank-supported, report, “The Impact of Primary Care Practice Transformation on Cost, Quality, and Utilization,” posted on the Millbank Memorial Fund site thank links the PCMH and other forms of advanced primary care with improved outcomes from 45 newly released peer-reviewed reports and additional government and state evaluations. Authored by our friends from the Robert Graham Center features examples and data from PCMH programs; the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative launched by the CMMI; and state primary care initiatives, including Colorado, Minnesota and Oregon about the benefits of a strong primary healthcare sector.
  • Suicide Prevention in an Emergency Department Population: The ED-SAFE Study is posting on The JAMA Network about a publication in JAMA Psychiatry by Drs. Ivan W. Miller and colleagues about whether ED-initiated interventions reduce subsequent suicidal behavior among a sample of high-risk ED patients.
  • The game changers: 12 bold attempts to slow the opioid epidemic is a special report by Max Blau on STAT about 12 ideas that could begin to bend the curve of the opioid epidemic including a vaccine, a prescription, an intervention, pressuring insurance companies to end prior authorization requirement, medication-assisted treatment for pregnant women, better opioid education for school of medicine students, Cigna provides docs with prescribing reports showing how they stack up against peers, drug maker develops a tablet that makes viscous material that is resistant to passing through a needle, police intervention for those who have overdosed to connect them with information and a counselor, hotel exec assembles an army of health care influencers to evaluation treatments and convince payers to cover evidence-based treatments, possibly creating drug injection sanctuaries with supervision to help steer addicts toward treatment, and build housing for recovering addicts in underserved areas.
  • A National Survey of Medicaid Beneficiaries’ Expenses and Satisfaction with Health Care is an article published by Drs. Michael L. Barnett and Benjamin D. Sommers in JAMA Intern Med about a study that analyzed a newly released government survey examining Medicaid beneficiaries’ experiences with and opinions of the Medicaid program, which found that enrollees are largely satisfied with their care, and that few perceive their insurance as a major barrier to care.


SIM Updates

  • Cohort 2 practice notifications were sent to practices July 7th.


Enjoy your weekend.