The Catalyst

#MedicareMonday: What is CMMI?

Posted by Kelsey Lang on June 29, 2015 at 9:58 AM

This week Medicare Monday is looking at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) and why it matters to patients.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) is a government body established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to test new models for paying for and delivering health care. The ACA gives CMMI significant flexibility to test and evaluate a wide range of these “alternative payment models” (APMs) – such as accountable care organizations, bundled payments and patient centered medical homes – both in Medicare and in the private sector. If an evaluation finds the APM reduces Medicare spending while preserving or enhancing quality of care, CMMI has the authority to expand the model, including nationwide implementation in the Medicare program. The work CMMI is doing now will shape how Medicare pays for health care in the future as it seeks to shift reimbursement to “value-based” models.

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Topics: ACA, HHS, Part D, Medicare, #MedicareMonday, Congress

Week in Review: The Latest from PhRMA

Posted by Priscilla VanderVeer on June 26, 2015 at 2:19 PM

Fighting High Cholesterol: The prevalence of high cholesterol among American adults underscores the importance of continued innovation. Take a look at the new infographic on fighting high cholesterol.

Burden on Patients: In the second of our Burden on Patients Q&A series, we spoke with Carl Schmid, deputy executive director for The AIDS Institute, about access to HIV/AIDS medicines in the 2015 health insurance exchanges. Be sure to check out the fact sheet as well.  

Value in Cancer Care: This week, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released its draft conceptual framework to assess the value of cancer treatment options. PhRMA has long supported patient-centric measures and provided recommendations for moving forward.

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Topics: cancer, The Aids Institute, HIV/AIDS, ASCO, high cholesterol

ICYMI: The Importance of Enrolling in Clinical Trials

Posted by Emma Van Hook on June 26, 2015 at 11:59 AM

Clinical trials are a crucial step in the long and costly process of researching and developing a new medicine to address substantial unmet medical needs in such areas as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and many rare diseases. At the center of the clinical trial process is the patient. In an Op Ed in the New York Times, Stan Collender reflects on his own experiences as a cancer patient and the importance of participating in clinical research.

However Collender notes that only 3% of all cancer patients participate in clinical trials, which is a huge problem – the lack of patients willing to participate leads to delays in the timely completion of trials, which in turn increases the time it takes to get medicines approved and available to patients more broadly.

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Topics: Innovation, Clinical Trials, NY Times, NYT

Fighting High Cholesterol

Posted by Holly Campbell on June 25, 2015 at 9:00 AM

High cholesterol itself is not a disease, but it can lead to disease. After all, every 40 seconds, an American adult dies from a heart attack, stroke, or related vascular disease. Despite being largely preventable, high cholesterol is a main risk factor in each of them.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two in three Americans with high cholesterol do not have it under control, and that has serious consequences for patients and society. Nearly 44 percent of Americans are likely to face some form of cardiovascular disease by 2030, and the cost of the disease is projected to reach $818 billion by 2030.

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Topics: Value, Innovation, drug cost, Cholesterol

Burden on Patients: 5 Questions on Access to HIV/AIDS Medicines in Health Exchange Plans

Posted by Allyson Funk on June 24, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Patients, especially those suffering from chronic conditions, deserve access to the medicines they need to live longer, healthier lives. Today, PhRMA released a new fact sheet on access to HIV/AIDS medicines in exchange plans in 2015 (2014 fact sheet is available here). The fact sheet highlights some of the potential barriers to accessing needed treatments. Learn more on AccessBetterCoverage.org, in our patient profiles and our other fact sheets.

This is the second post in our Burden on Patients Q&A series with patient advocates. To learn more, we talked with Carl Schmid, deputy executive director for The AIDS Institute


Question (Allyson Funk): What is the AIDS Institute and who do you represent?

Answer (Carl Schmid): We’re a national public policy and advocacy organization with a focus on HIV and hepatitis issues. We were founded in Florida and still maintain our presence there, and we have our national policy office in Washington, D.C. Our goal is to make sure people with HIV and hepatitis are given the proper care and treatment they need as well as prevent new infections.

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Topics: Access, ACA, health insurance, Burden on Patients, exchanges, Access Better Coverage, ABCs of Coverage

ASCO’s Framework: Value at the Crossroads

Posted by Randy Burkholder on June 23, 2015 at 5:34 PM

Yesterday the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released its long-awaited draft conceptual framework to assess the value of cancer treatment options.

PhRMA has long supported the development and use of sound tools that enable informed decision-making by patients and providers, which is foundational for fostering efficient delivery of high-quality, patient-centered care. We also appreciate the challenges of developing sound tools – both in terms of conveying the right information at the right time, and making sure they are used to empower patient choices rather than limiting them.

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Topics: Value, cancer, ASCO

#MedicareMonday: Managing Chronic Conditions

Posted by Allyson Funk on June 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two in three older Americans live with multiple chronic conditions. Chronic conditions may include Alzheimer’s and dementia, arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, COPD, cardiovascular disease, obesity and more. For many, innovative treatments and therapies allow Americans – and seniors – to manage those conditions while continuing to live longer, healthier lives. In 2014, biopharmaceutical research companies had more than 430 medicines in development targeting chronic conditions affecting seniors.

In an effort to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries managing chronic disease, the Senate Finance Committee formed a bipartisan chronic care working group to look at current laws, discuss policy options and look for bipartisan solutions. Learn more about their initiative here.

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Topics: chronic disease, CDC, Part D, Medicare, #MedicareMonday, seniors

Week in Review: The Latest from PhRMA

Posted by Priscilla VanderVeer on June 19, 2015 at 1:10 PM

Burden on Patients: Access to medicines is important for patients who are managing chronic conditions. In the latest edition of the Burden on Patients” series, we’re taking a look at the barriers to treatments many patients face, starting with a focus on access to mental health medicines in 2015 health insurance exchange plans.

Also be sure to check out the conversation with Andrew Sperling, director of federal legislative advocacy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), for more on access to mental health treatments.

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Topics: IP, Mental Health, TPP

Burden on Patients: 5 Questions on Access to Mental Health Medicines in Health Exchange Plans

Posted by Allyson Funk on June 18, 2015 at 10:33 AM

Patients, especially those suffering from chronic conditions, deserve access to the medicines they need to live longer, healthier lives. Today, PhRMA released a new fact sheet on access to mental health medicines in exchange plans in 2015 (2014 fact sheet is available here). The fact sheet highlights some of the potential barriers to accessing needed treatments. Learn more on AccessBetterCoverage.org, in our patient profiles and our other fact sheets.

This is the first in our Q&A series with patient advocates. We talked with Andrew Sperling, director of federal legislative advocacy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).


Question (Allyson Funk, PhRMA): What is NAMI and who do you represent?

Answer (Andrew Sperling, NAMI): NAMI is the largest organization representing and advocating on behalf of people living with severe mental illness and their families. 

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Topics: Access, ACA, health insurance, Burden on Patients, exchanges, Mental Health, Access Better Coverage, ABCs of Coverage

Ask About Adherence: Q&A with PhRMA Foundation Young Investigator Adherence Grantee - Xian Shen

Posted by Samantha Dougherty on June 18, 2015 at 9:30 AM

Ask About Adherence is a blog series featuring Q&A’s with experts in medication adherence. In this post, we speak with Xian Shen, a 2015 PhRMA Foundation Young Investigator Adherence grantee about her research focused on improving adherence in Medicare beneficiaries. 

Stay tuned for the next Q&A and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you on ways to improve medication adherence!

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Topics: adherence, Medicare, #MedicareMonday, PhRMA Foundation, #Adherence123s, Ask About Adherence

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