NPR - President Trump announced a plan that lists dozens of "potential" steps his team may take to lower drug prices. "On the positive side, I will say that HHS does seem to be paying close attention to this issue," says HPM's WALID GELLAD. "On the negative side, it's a bunch of questions, not a specific plan for how to proceed."
For the past nineteen years, public recognition has been given to a faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to the University through service in the University Senate. Members of the Senate Executive Committee were unanimous in their selection of HPM's WES ROHRER for the 2018 award for his service as Budget Policies chair. Congratulations, Dr. Rohrer!
WESA-FM - Cultivating Health for Success is a program geared towards people that are homeless, suffering from chronic conditions, and have a history of unplanned care. “People who face housing instability often come to our health care system with high costs and high needs for care,” said ERIC ROBERTS, HPM professor. Patients in the program get housing vouchers and one-on-one help from case managers and nurses.
UPMC - “Public health emergencies are issues that every community faces,” said HPM's TINA BATRA HERSHEY. “To address these threats... We created the Tribal Legal Preparedness Project to assist tribal nations interested in expanding their legal preparedness capacity.” The project will provide free training modules and a resource library.
CNBC - New gene therapies that aim to cure hemophilia are on the horizon. Leerink analysts said the treatments could cost $1.5 million or more. Treating hemophilia can incur between $580,000 and $800,000 per year. For that reason, a potential one-time $1.5 million cost is perceived by many to be a bargain compared with a lifetime of chronic therapy. Others, like HPM's WALID GELLAD, see it as excessive.
NINA YACOVONI (MPH '18) received the prize for the master's category and RAYMOND VAN CLEVE (PHD '19) received the doctoral prize given by the Department of Health Policy and Management.
The Health Disparities Poster Competition is a University-wide event. Two students from Pitt Public Health received awards during this year's competition. Congratulations to JOHN WRIGHT CORDIER (HPM '18) and CRISTIAN CHANDLER (BCHS '18).
HEALIO - Patients treated with chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy will incur on average $30,000 to $36,000 in additional costs aside from drug expenses, according to a research letter published in JAMA Oncology. "It is important to quantify the total costs of these therapies to account for them when doing pharmacoeconomic evaluations and deciding on their coverage," said INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16).
On April 28, 2018, Pitt Public Health celebrated recent graduates with awards given upon the culmination of a degree program. Delta Omega's honor society inductees were announced and outstanding thesis/essay and dissertation awards were conferred. Outstanding Student Awards were also given at both the master's and doctoral level, as well as Dean's Service Awards.
HOME HEALTH CARE NEWS - Because of the nature of hospice being separate, Medicare Advantage plans are not as familiar with the benefit and its overall costs. “There is a fair amount of uniformity in the concerns around a carve-in…the fact this has been regulated to be off their radar, they don’t have data on [hospice],” says HPM's JULIA DRIESSEN. “[There’s] no incentive for them to understand the hospice landscape.”
BIOPHARMA DIVE - Since 2007, invoice spending has grown 60%, yet net spending rose 36%. Less clear, however, is how those dynamics weigh on patients' wallets. "This does not help us figure out what's affecting out-of-pocket costs," WALID GELLAD, HPM professor.
NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT from CNBC - Americans are filling fewer prescriptions for opioids, however, heroin and stronger synthetic opioids like fentanyl have overtaken prescription drugs as the biggest causes of overdose deaths. “One of the main [questions] that people are concerned about is whether there’s been a transition to heroin and other forms of opioids because of the reduction in prescription opioids, says HPM’s WALID GELLAD (16:45-19:30...
Faculty and alumni spoke on a panel to highlight the public health impact on global communities, including immigration crises, planetary health, climate change, and the importance of health systems. KELLY SALDANA (BCHS ’01) talked about creating resiliency and figuring out what that means both at the individual level and the systems level to help lessen negative effects of climate change.
NEW YORK TIMES - The intuitive appeal of such a system is growing, and it’s getting a test in Maryland. However, capping hospital spending raises concerns about harming quality and access. Hospital executives and patient advocates might strongly resist spending constraints. A study by HPM's ERIC ROBERTS found inconsistent evidence that changes in hospital use in Maryland could be attributed to global budgeting.
HEALTH AFFAIRS - "Identifying Gender Minority Patients' Health and Health Care Needs in Administrative Claims Data" is the title of a recent article by ANA PROGOVAC (HPM '15) appearing in the top-tier health policy journal. Progovac was also invited to speak on her work as part of a press briefing panel focused on advancing health equity.