Texas Health Protocol Has Cut Opioid Use by 70 Percent

Physicians at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth are using a protocol that reduces the use of opioids after a C-section called Enhanced Recovery After Surgery. Normally, a small amount of fentanyl is used in the surgery, and opioids are prescribed every three hours after the surgery, but the new protocol uses a long lasting medication called liposomal bupivacaine, which is injected into the incision and paired with oral acetaminophen and ibuprofen. The protocol allows the physicians to stay ahead of the pain and not need opioids. Though patients still have the option of taking opioids, hospital staff says… Full Story

Gift of Life Honors McKesson as Corporate Partner

McKesson Corp. was presented with the Corporate Partner Award from the Gift of Life Marrow Registry for its work facilitating bone marrow and stem cell transplants for leukemia and other blood cancer patients. Irving-based McKesson gives its employees opportunities to join the registry with a simple cheek swab throughout the year, and opens the drive to employees’ families and friends as well. Six life-saving transplants have resulted from the company’s matches. The Gift of Life Marrow Registry includes 354,000 individuals who have volunteered to donate blood stem cells or bone marrow since its inception in 1991. The group has coordinated… Full Story

Collin Allred’s Bipartisan Bill to Reduce Insulin Prices

North Texas Democratic Congressman Colin Allred is cosponsoring the Insulin Price Reduction Act, a bipartisan measure to bring down the price of insulin for millions. Additional sponsors are Colorado Democrat Diane Degette and New York Republican Tom Reed. The new bill would reduce the price of most insulin products by more than 75 percent, and gives drugmakers an incentive to keep insulin prices set at 2006 levels. It would require Medicare and private insurers to waive deductible requirements for insulin set at 2006 prices, and would give protection to drug makers who comply by allowing them to not make any… Full Story

McKesson and Aetion Partner Up for Real World Cancer Insights

McKesson and healthcare technology company Aetion have announced a collaboration to advance cancer research. The partnership is meant to advance the use of real-world evidence to aid the cancer infrastructure and help fight multiple tumor types. The Aetion Evidence Platform will work with McKesson’s iKnowMed oncology electronic health record to improve research for an FDA project at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The solution will improve insight, safety, and allow companies to assess the economic impact of treatments. Aetion analyzes health data from the real world to provide answers about treatments, costs, and outcomes for providers, payers, and regulatory agencies. “This collaboration… Full Story

$18 Billion Settlement Talks for McKesson and Other Opioid Distributors

McKesson Corp. and other drug distributors are in talks with state attorneys general to settle all opioid disputes with $18 billion over 18 years, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. McKesson and other pharmaceutical and drug distribution companies have been named in a number of lawsuits all over the country, with states and municipalities claiming the companies didn’t control the shipment of the addictive pain pills that have led to a health epidemic nationwide, with tens of thousands of overdoses each year. The companies have already settled several of these lawsuits, and a nationwide deal would simplify the legal maneuvering and… Full Story

UT Arlington Research to Avoid Medication-Related Harm

Research at the University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation is aiming to reduce the use of medications and avoid medication-related harm, which cause 700,000 emergency room visits and 100,000 hospitalizations a year. A team led by professor of nursing Yan Xiao has earned a $2.5 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct interviews and focus groups with patients and healthcare professionals all over the country and use UTA’s Smart Hospital to run simulations of interventions. A multidisciplinary team of specialists in geriatric nursing,… Full Story

CourMed Now Has Next-Day Delivery of Healthcare Items in DFW

Pharmacies and patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will now have a new option for accessing their medications and healthcare items through CourMed‘s next-day delivery. Items such as prescription medications, premium vitamins and supplements, as well as eyewear and some natural medicines will now be available for delivery directly to the patient’s home or workplace. CourMed deliveries are made through a web of crowdsourced drivers, and pharmacy patients can expect their orders by the next day, sometimes even within a couple of hours, and at no extra cost to them. The pharmacies will foot the tab for delivery while expanding… Full Story

Avoiding Hospitals When Administering Specialty Drugs Could Save $4 Billion

A new research brief conducted by UnitedHealth Group found that patients who receive specialty drugs may save significant costs on healthcare if they switch their drug infusions from hospitals to private physician offices or homes. The research finds that a total of $4 billion could be saved each year if specialty drugs were administered in physician offices or homes instead of hospital outpatient settings. Patients and employers could save an estimated $250 billion between 2020 and 2029 if hospital price increases simply slowed to physician price increase levels. UnitedHealth Group focused on the top five health conditions that make up… Full Story

How Three North Texas Docs Allegedly Defrauded the Federal Government

Three local physicians are caught up in the 58-person health care fraud indictment across the state of Texas for their relationships with marketing companies and compounding pharmacies. The charges say the doctors received kickbacks for writing prescriptions for patients covered by the Department of Defense health care program even though the doctors never saw the patients. Dallas has been a frequent target for health fraud investigations, and the region is coming off another kickback/marketing scheme in the Forest Park trial this winter. Dallas is one of the more expensive cities in the country to receive healthcare, and is a hotbed… Full Story

CareFlite Cut Prescription Spending by 40 Percent – Here’s How

CareFlite is used to saving lives in the most dire of situations, but the Grand Prairie nonprofit has also been saving on their healthcare spend. By focusing on prescription drugs, the company has saved hundreds of thousands each year on prescriptions alone. Prescriptions can represent 18 to 23 percent of total healthcare spending for companies, even though only a few years ago the took up only 10 percent of healthcare spending. In 2016, CareFlite spent $863,000 on prescriptions alone for its 660 employees. But three years ago, partially-insured CareFlite moved to an independent pharmacy benefit manager with the help of… Full Story