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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.” 

As a young professional who wants to change health care for the better, Tomko is named Jonas Salk Activist (video)

PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - Last night the Health Activist Network named HPM student and research assistant HEATHER TOMKO as a Jonas Salk Health Activist fellow for tackling the problems and effecting change in the health care field. The expo event was held at the August Wilson Center, and brought together health professionals who accelerate health policy and care delivery improvements. 

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.” 

Dodson analysis of Pittsburgh’s open data informs opioid crisis responses

DATA-SMART CITY SOLUTIONS, HARVARD - Using Pittsburgh’s public safety open data sets, HPM and PHDL’s ZAN DODSON has been advancing the region’s response to the opioid overdose epidemic by sharing his hot-spots research results to public health officials working to coordinate their responses to the crisis. 

FDA approved digital pill: Gellad talks about pros and cons

NPR - While warning of privacy and cost concerns, HPM’s WALID GELLAD explains the upside of the newly FDA-approved “big brother” digital pill. But he warns that there are broader privacy concerns when it comes to sensors that transmit health information. “We’ve seen time and time again that stuff that’s being transmitted ends up in the hands of people it shouldn’t. There are real concerns about data security.” 

Gellad on Trump’s pick to lead Department of Health and Human Services

BLOOMBERG - Azar “is not the pick you would expect from someone who is going around calling the pharmaceutical industry a bunch of murderers,” HPM’s WALID GELLAD, who heads Pitt’s Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, said in a phone interview, referring to Trump’s “Getting away with murder” comment about the industry. 

Castle on when senior-care roommates are the abusers

STAR TRIBUNE - “It sounds awful to say this, but it’s probably going to take a senator’s mother or father to be involved in an incident like this for policymakers to wake up and take notice,” says HPM’s NICHOLAS CASTLE. “Not a lot of folks realize that the biggest threat to your loved one’s safety…could be sleeping in the room next door.” 

Jarlenski finds Medicaid expansion linked to smoking cessation

UPI - “Smoking cessation is notoriously difficult to achieve,” said senior author MARIAN JARLENSKI, HPM. “The sizable increase we found in smoking cessation might lead to significant reductions in death and diseases caused by smoking, and the taxpayer-funded health care expenditures that come with treating them.” Results were published in the December issue of the journal Medical Care . 

Gellad: A unique voice in the drug pricing debate

GENETIC ENGINEERING & BIOTECHNOLOGY NEWS - Health Policy and Management’s WALID GELLAD is a policy researcher, primary care physician, director of Pitt’s Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, music composer(!), and all-around truth-seeker. His broad expertise has made him a go-to resource on the latest health issues. 

Van Nostrand presents big data resources at APHA

Although studies show that using information technology to analyze big health datasets and guide public health decisions can improve health equity, most community health center staff report receiving little to no training in health informatics. At the American Public Health Association (APHA) 2017 annual meeting, HPM’s ELIZABETH (BJERKE) VAN NOSTRAND shared four free, open-access public health informatics tools to aid public health workers prepar... 

Alumna Shirlene Tolbert-Moten appointed medical director in NJ

CAPE MAY COUNTY HERALD — SHIRLENE TOLBERT MOTEN, MD, MPH ('93), has been appointed  medical  director for outpatient physician practice at Cape Regional Physicians Associates, a medical group of primary care physicians and specialists serving 13 locations in southern New Jersey. Dr. Moten earned her MPH from the Graduate School of Public Health and her medical degree from New Jersey Medical School.   

Jalal forecast: No end in sight to rising overdose deaths

GO ERIE - The ultimate goal of the research, says PHDL's HAWRE JALAL, is to be able to recommend solutions to communities — such as making treatment more available or distributing naloxone, an opioid-overdose reversal drug — based on localized data. 

Gellad thinks there's reason that Medicaid can't get VA drug pricing

NPR - “You can't get the VA prices if you don’t do VA things,” said HPM’s WALID GELLAD, co-director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh. “To just say, ‘We’re not going to pay more than the VA’ is difficult.” But those are nuances that are tough to explain in a radio spot or on a mailed flyer. 

Mair Facing overdoses, neighborhoods not giving up

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - “The fact that they are recognizing the challenge before them, coming together and collaborating to solve this problem, is hopeful,” said KAREN HACKER, HPM faculty and Allegheny County Health Department director. “It’s a very clear signal that’s emerging” from data on drug use, said CHRISTINA MAIR, BCHS associate professor. She has pored over hospitalization data statewide and, along with colleague JESSICA BURKE, probed ... 

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