Weekend update

The House of Representatives and the Senate are both in session this week. On Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing about repealing and replacing the sustainable rate of growth formula discussed in Friday’s FEHBlog entry.

Modern Healthcare featured a detailed AP story about the myriad of efforts underway to reduce the “epidemic” of hospital readmissions, a topic in which OPM recently has shown interest.

There is no single solution. But what’s clear is that hospitals will have to reach well outside their own walls if they’re to make a dent in readmissions.
Otherwise a slew of at-home difficulties — confusion about what pills to take, no ride to the drugstore to fill prescriptions, not being able to get a post-hospital check-up in time to spot complications — will keep sending people back.
“This is a team sport,” says readmissions expert Dr. Eric Coleman of the University of Colorado in Denver. It requires “true community-wide engagement.”

Last year an underregulated compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts caused a string of deaths due to tainted medicine.  The Washington Post reported last week that

Shoddy practices and unsanitary conditions at three large-scale specialty pharmacies have been tied to deaths and illnesses over the past decade, revealing that the serious safety lapses at a Massachusetts pharmacy linked to last fall’s deadly meningitis outbreak were not an isolated occurrence, records and interviews show.

The AMA News reports this morning on the litigation fall out from the this catastrophe. Litigation is impacting the prescribing doctors on negligence and product liability theories because the compounding pharmacy quickly was shut down. . .

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