Trust Funds $6.5 Million Initiative

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust awarded more than $6.5 million in grants to seven recipients seeking to develop new technologies to help people living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). The grants were made through the Trust’s T1D program as part of their Emerging Technology Initiative that funds earlier stage projects focused on drugs, devices, or therapies, and then moves them down the path towards commercialization. (more…)

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Minnesota to Market Exchange

Minnesota is in the process of establishing a state-based Exchange and as a result, the state is planning a statewide public education and awareness campaign aimed at reaching uninsured individuals and populations that will be the potential users of the Exchange. The Exchange is required to be fully operational beginning October 1, 2012 with the launching of the public education and awareness campaign to be launched in June 2013.

In February, the state issued an RFP which closed March 18th seeking proposals from qualified firms or contractors capable of providing a wide range of creative development, production, media buying, and marketing analysis services to design and produce a marketing campaign. (more…)

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“Triple Aim” Goes Global

The Health Affairs April Issue examines high income countries struggling to achieve the so-called “Triple Aim” to achieve better health and better healthcare at lower cost. The April issue was supported by the Commonwealth Fund, Britain’s Nuffield Trust, and the Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College of London.

Several of the articles describe the lessons learned from other countries and how these successes can help the healthcare system. For example, faced with rising prescription drug costs, Australia instituted a strategy to cover new prescription drugs that save money without compromising quality. The article “Australia’s “Fourth Hurdle” Drug Review Comparing Costs and Benefits Holds Lessons for the U.S.” authored by Ruth Lopert and Adam Elshaug, describes how the country’s four step review links prescription drug prices with their quality and effectiveness. (more…)

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FY 14 Budget for Health Technology

The FY 2014 Budget for the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT is $78 million which is an appreciable increase of $17 million above FY 2012. For FY 2014, ONC has plans to continue to promote the Meaningful Use of HIT and in FY 2014, eligible providers will begin to attest to Stage 2 of the EHR incentive Programs.

Stage 2 will have standards and specifications to support HIE across vendor boundaries and with patients, provide for new measures and enhanced measures for capturing and reporting clinical quality measure data, and provide enhanced privacy and security protections for mobile devices. (more…)

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Tele-Stroke Services Launched

C3O Telemedicine just announced the successful launch of their latest telehealth program, a partnership for Tele-Stroke services with Community Memorial Health System in Ventura California. According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and stroke-related healthcare costs a total of $73.7 billion.

C3O’s Acute Neurology Telemedicine Program designed to improve access to specialists for stroke patients and other neurocritically ill patients was successfully implemented at the health system’s Community Memorial Hospital facility. (more…)

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Accurate Data for AI/ANs

Testimony presented to the House appropriation Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on March 19th by Rex Lee Jim serving as the Navajo Area Representative to the National Indian Health Board (NHIB) and Vice President for the Navajo Nation, discussed critical healthcare needs that exist for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN).

Today, there are significant health disparities within AI/AN communities as compared to rates in the general U.S. population. The fact is that tuberculosis rates are 8.5 times higher, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis is 4.2 times higher, diabetes, 2.9 times higher, unintentional injuries 2.5 times higher, and homicide 2.0 higher. (more…)

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Helping Vulnerable Populations

The Veterans Administration’s research goal is to improve the quality and equity of health and healthcare for vulnerable populations. The primary focus is to research issues in vulnerable populations affecting racial and ethnic minorities, women, homeless, individuals with limited life expectancy, people with serious mental illnesses, TBI, and PTSD, stigmatizing or disabling medical conditions, victims of military sexual trauma, disadvantages existing in specific geographic areas, and gender minorities.

The secondary research focus is to improve the quality, safety, and value of clinical therapeutics which can include the appropriate use of medications, devices, and procedures to improve the patient’s quality of life and medical outcomes and do more to manage many chronic illnesses.  (more…)

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