HPM Faculty News

Gellad speaks on Trumps abandonment of promise to lower drug prices during the state of the union address

VOX – In his first State of the Union address, Donald Trump abandoned his pledges to bring down the cost of America’s medicines. Lowering the out-of-pocket costs that normal people feel is worthwhile but that won’t bring down the gross costs of prescription drugs. “They’re just going to raise premiums, or try to offset it another way,” HPM’s WALID GELLAD said of insurance plans. “Someone’s gonna pay the price if the price doesn’t come down.”  

Roberts analyzes Maryland's global budget program

THE COMMONWEALTH FUND - HPM'S ERIC ROBERTS examined changes in hospital and primary care utilization among fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland and control counties outside the state. The researchers aimed to pinpoint utilization changes linked solely to the global budget intervention and not related to prior trends. To this end, the authors compared utilization before Maryland launched the program and during the first two years of... 

Gellad on Trump’s failure to attack drug prices as promised

CNBC - “The administration has not lived up to the hype I think people expected around drug prices,” said HPM’s WALID GELLAD of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh. “They’ve done a few things, but it hasn’t lived up to the hype.” 

Gellad on formation of hospital generic drug maker to manage capricious pricing practices

STAT - “The market has spoken,” said WALID GELLAD of HPM and Pitt’s Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing. “The key issue for success and sustainability will be how the generic manufacturers and trade groups respond, and also how other hospital groups might respond. It’s a new world. Insurers become hospitals. Hospitals become pharmaceutical manufacturers. At some point, manufacturers will become insurers and providers.” 

Roberts shows Maryland meets goals of cutting health care costs without achieving changes in care delivery

BALTIMORE SUN - “The takeaway so far may be that when hospitals change the way the health care delivery system works, you don’t necessarily get a broader transformation that people had hoped for,” said lead author, HPM’s ERIC ROBERTS. There may be several reasons, including that doctors are not yet widely provided incentives to participate in Maryland’s program. 

Dodson on the importance of fresh data for Peduto's increased transparency

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER - There are a number of areas statistics are being used for actual changes on the ground. One example is related to the opioid crisis. HPM’s ZAN DODSON, a postdoctoral researcher with the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory, used data on the concentration of opioid-related arrests to see which areas could use more “clean needle exchanges, Narcan kits, and readily available medical aid.” 

Angus: Three ways to improve post-hospitalization sepsis care

BECKER'S HOSPITAL REVIEW -  Derek C. Angus (BCHS '92), HPM faculty member and Pitt Med's director of the Clinical Research, Investigation and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness laboratory, has developed an evidence-based approach for managing post-hospitalization sepsis. “We need to focus not only on saving the patient’s life, but on ensuring the patient will have the best possible quality of life after leaving the hospital.”  

Sabik says Medicaid expansion leads to increase in early cancer detection

90.5 WESA - Health policy researcher LINDSAY SABIK said that more cancer screenings may be driving these results, but added “there’s also the possibility that people do have symptoms and they go to see their health care provider soon after the symptoms begin, instead of putting off care because of concerns of costs or an inability to get recommended treatment.” Her research should be considered as the country debates the future of the Medicaid an... 

States with expanded Medicaid had increased early cancer diagnoses, saving lives and costs

POST-GAZETTE - “Policymakers considering cuts to or restrictions on public insurance such as Medicaid should take into account the access to important screening and diagnostic health care provided by insurance coverage,”says HPM’s LINDSAY SABIK, co-author of a study published in the American Journal of Public Health . “Our findings suggest that Medicaid coverage can improve early detection of cancer, which may have important benefits for individ... 

Pittsburgh employs FRED for disease modeling as part of DASH grant

HEALTHCARE INFORMATICS - Pittsburgh is 1of 4 city grantees of Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH). At their 12/14 meeting, KAREN HACKER, ACHD director and HPM faculty, reported on use of the Framework for Reconstructing Epidemic Dynamics (FRED) to predictively model infectious disease outbreaks.  

Gellad on proposed CVS-Aetna merger (video)

C-SPAN - Doctor and HPM professor WALID GELLAD discussed the potential impact of the proposed CVS-Aetna merger with Washington Journal host Kimberly Atkins. He says it might mean a fundamental transformation of how health care is delivered... and the transition has been happening for decades. 

Roberts finds that top five commercial insurers increasingly rely on public programs

MEDSCAPE - People who haven’t had insurance recently need help understanding their options, help that the ACA’s health care navigator program provided, says HPM’s ERIC ROBERTS. But the federal government has made steep cuts to that program’s funding. “This is a complex market to enter A well-informed individual guiding someone through the process is often the best solution, but that requires investment from the federal government and states.” 

Roberts says Medicare pay-for-performance didn’t deliver

HEALTH LEADERS MEDIA - “As long as these programs do not account adequately for patient differences, which is very difficult to do, they will further deprive practices serving low-income populations of important resources,” said ERIC ROBERTS, assistant professor of health policy and management at Pitt Public Health and lead author of the study. 

Roberts’ study says when parents are on Medicaid, kids get better health care, too

91.5 WESA - When a parent has health insurance through Medicaid, their child is 29 percent more likely to receive an annual physical exam. That’s according to a new study designed by HPM researcher ERIC T. ROBERTS, who calls this correlation between pediatric care and parental health insurance a spill-over effect. “We can’t look at individuals in isolation,” he explained. “When we help parents, we can help their kids.” 

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