Physician on a Mission: Prescribing Timely FDA Reforms to Ensure Patient Safety
Dr. Reshma Ramachandran’s professional pursuits and passion for justice converged the week of May 16 in Washington, D.C., when she met with members of Congress, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Food and Drug Administration on the progress of a must-pass bill — the Prescription Drug User Fee Act — which provides roughly half the FDA’s budget.Source: Arnoldventures.org
Patients may face higher insurance premiums if Congress doesn’t approve more vaccine funding
The Biden administration warned that 100 million Americans could be infected with COVID-19 as we head into the fall and winter. We may also see “a new generation of vaccines” later this year, but the White House’s COVID response team says it lacks the funding to ensure they’re accessible to all Americans.Source: Marketplace.org
Journal Club: “In Medicaid Managed Care Networks, Care Is Highly Concentrated Among A Small Percentage Of Physicians”
The centerpiece of the Health Affairs Journal Club meeting in May is, “In Medicaid Managed Care Networks, Care Is Highly Concentrated Among A Small Percentage Of Physicians.” Using data from four states, Avital Brena Ludomirsky and coauthors found that, of those that contracted with Medicaid, on average just 25 percent of primary care physicians provided 86 percent of care and 25 percent of specialists provided 75 percent of care. On top of that, the study confirmed that inadequate or outdated provider directories vastly misrepresent the availability of care. The result, the authors argue, is that current network adequacy standards may not reflect actual access to the Medicaid program; and that new methods that account for beneficiary preferences and physician willingness to serve Medicaid patients are needed to enforce these standards.Source: HealthAffairs
Fellow Focus - GIM Section
Thanks to the wonderful faculty of the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP) and especially my mentor, Joseph S. Ross, MD, MHS, I have learned how to wield research to effect policy change that is meaningful for patients. The focus of my work has been primarily on realigning incentives toward ensuring patients equitable access to truly safe and effective health technologies.
Yale NCSP Scholar Destiny Tolliver Named to Prestigious Health Affairs Equity Fellowship
The Health Equity Fellowship for Trainees (HEFT) helps to increase the quantity and quality of manuscripts published by researchers of color, while cultivating future health equity research leaders. The program provides multi-layered mentorship to early career health equity researchers who belong to historically marginalized racial groups which are also underrepresented in Health Affairs' authorship. As part of the program, HEFT fellows receive mentorship from experienced Health Affairs authors and editorial staff for one year as the fellows prepare for their manuscripts to be published in Health Affairs or another journal.Source: Health Affairs
55 years to fulfill a records request? Clearly, the FDA needs serious reform of its data-sharing practices.
If the Food and Drug Administration had its way, it would take 55 years or longer to fulfill a Freedom of Information Act request to review and release the vast amount of data it has on the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.Source: The Washington Post
David Silvestri, MD, MBA, Mhs, Appointed Systemwide Assistant Vice President of Emergency Management
NYC Health + Hospitals today announced the appointment of David Silvestri, MD, MBA, MHS as systemwide Assistant Vice President of Emergency Management. In this role, Dr. Silvestri will be responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing emergency and disaster response systemwide, including the ongoing COVID-19 efforts. Dr. Silvestri, an emergency medicine physician at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, has served in various leadership roles within the Office of Quality & Safety and Office of Ambulatory Care since his arrival to the public health system in 2019.Source: NYC Health + Hospitals
Researchers explore disparities in vaccine acceptance
COVID-related deaths in Black and Latinx communities are double that of their white counterparts, relative to population share. During the pandemic, racial and ethnic disparities have been found in vaccination rates and vaccine access in these very same communities.
Yale study finds Black children most likely to be physically restrained in emergency department visits
A new paper by Yale researchers finds racial disparities in the use of physical restraints on children who are admitted to the emergency department. Black children are more likely than White children to be subdued with restraints during ED visits, the study finds. Published September 13 in JAMA Pediatrics, the study looked at data from 11 EDs across New England between 2013 and 2020. Their sample included over 551,000 visits of patients ages 0 to 16, in which physical restraints were used 532 times. According to their analysis, Black pediatric patients were 1.8 times more likely to receive a physical restraint than a White patient. Boys were more likely than girls to be restrained. The results mirror those in another Yale-led study that looked at the use of restraints on adults in the ED, and found that Black males who lacked insurance were more likely than patients of other racial demographics to be physically restrained.
Are nonprofit hospitals holding up their end of the tax-free bargain?
Tax exemptions are estimated to save nonprofit hospitals over $24 billion annually. In return, the hospitals are expected to invest these would-be tax dollars into caring for underserved patients (“charity care”) and improving the health of their communities.Source: The Hill
Biden Announces New COVID-19 Vaccination Initiatives and Mandates
President Joe Biden announced new vaccination incentives and mandates this Thursday,1 stressing the need to depoliticize vaccinations and avoid moving backward in the course of the pandemic. “Look, this is not about red states and blue states,” Biden said. “It’s literally about life and death.”Source: Very Well Health
Opinion: The FDA is in desperate need of some soul-searching
Ordinarily, the approval of a new drug for a dreaded disease affecting millions of Americans would be a cause for celebration. But aducanumab, which the Food and Drug Administration approved last week to treat Alzheimer’s disease, is no ordinary drug. It encapsulates everything that ails the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry and is a grim reminder of the soul-searching about the FDA’s integrity that’s desperately needed.Source: The Washington Post
New Alzheimer's drug sets dangerous precedent
Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved aducanumab as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease -- a historic decision not because it addresses the longstanding need for a safe and effective cure of a devastating disease that affects nearly 6 million Americans, but because of the unprecedented irregularities of the agency's actions, undermining its mission to protect public health and ensure the "safety, efficacy, and security" of treatments made available in the United States.Source: CNN
COVID-19 lesson: New FDA chief, when chosen, must crack down on clinical trial transparency
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in instilling trust in authorized and approved therapies and vaccines. Recent, repeated missteps from AstraZeneca surrounding its characterization of COVID-19 vaccine trial results, as well as possible safety concerns, have led to a clamoring call for increased FDA scrutiny of and transparency around AstraZeneca’s clinical trial data.Source: The Baltimore Sun
What is Health Equity?
Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to live their healthiest lives possible. If that sounds like a no-brainer, it may be surprising to learn just how much disparity exists in health outcomes and access to treatment at a societal level.Source: YaleNews
Study Finds Prolonged and Inequitable Length of Stay in Emergency Department for Children Seeking Mental Health Care
The length of time that children and teens spend in an emergency department for a mental health issue has increased over time, and Hispanic children are nearly three times as likely to have a prolonged visit than non-Hispanic children, according to a Pediatrics study.Source: AAP News