Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Midweek update

Following up on the Weekend Update, MedCity News reports that two generic drug manufacturers, Mylan and Pfizer's UpJohn division merged to form a newco on Monday as the Wall Street Journal predicted. "Pfizer shareholders will own 57 percent of the new company, while Mylan shareholders will own 43 percent."

The Trump Administration today announced an "action plan" to import lower cost prescription drugs into the U.S. principally from Canada.  Health Affairs blog discusses the action plan here.  Health Affairs observes
Today’s announcement certainly represents a significant shift for HHS on drug importation, but it also does not appear that the agency is eager to implement this plan in the near future. The administration is merely stating its intention to release such plans in the fuHelath ture, rather than actually doing so today. Such plans could then take months or years to implement. Most importantly, the plan relies on others -- states, wholesalers, and manufacturers themselves -- to do the federal government’s work for it, to demonstrate the potential for importation to be done safely and effectively. Finally, the state-based importation programs would be only demonstration projects, which (in addition to only applying in a geographic subset of the country) would be time-limited and require renewal.
Health Data Management reports that
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is launching a pilot program that leverages HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard to enable clinicians to access claims data directly within their workflow. At Tuesday’s White House Blue Button Developers Conference, CMS announced the Data at the Point of Care pilot, part of the Trump administration’s 2018 MyHealthEData initiative designed to put patients in control of their own healthcare information so they can make informed medical decisions.
Blue Button 2.0 is a FHIR based application that allows Medicare beneficiaries to access their claim information. The new initiative will allow clinicians to use a different FHIR based application to access claims data for the purpose of filling gaps in their records. HDM further reports at this White House conference that "Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce once again have pledged to work to advance HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources application programming interface."  The FEHBlog has high hopes that the FHIR standard will solve the problem of electronic health record interoperability.  In time, the FHIR standard will allow clinicians and health plans to share healthcare quality data.

On a related note, Becker's Hospital Review offers three things to know that about the growth of blockchain technology in healthcare.

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