Data Exchange; Discounted Pharmacy; and Healthcare Antitrust Push
Doctors Are Exchanging Data, but Challenges Remain
Sixty-five percent of office-based physicians used some form of health information exchange (HIE), according to a new study.
What was shared: Types of communication included sending or receiving health information with providers outside physicians’ organizations or querying them about that information.
What it means: Eighty-four percent of physicians engaging in HIE reported improved quality of care. The vast majority also reported improved care coordination, reduced duplicate test ordering, and increased efficiency.
Challenges of HIE: Some providers had difficulty exchanging information with referral networks. Other hurdles included costs and limited IT staff.
Mark Cuban Discounted Pharmacy Offers Medications at a Lower Prices
Entrepreneur Mark Cuban launched a company that offers generic medication at lower prices than the current market listing.
The company ― called the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company (MCCPDC) ― sells more than 100 generic prescription drugs at the cost of ingredients and manufacturing, along with a 15% margin, a $3 pharmacy dispensing fee, and a $5 shipping fee.
Consumer savings: The top 14 discounted medications save consumers more than $500 each for a 30-count supply.
Bigger picture: Billions of dollars could be saved if Medicare used the online pharmacy, according researchers at Harvard University.
Future plans: MCCPDC is building a pharmaceutical facility in Dallas, Texas, to produce its own high-quality medications at lower prices.
Antitrust Push in Healthcare Looks at the Human Cost
President Biden gave new orders to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to combat consolidation in the healthcare industry.
The rationale: Biden said consolidation is driving up prices for consumers and is limiting access to care.
The FTC signaled that it will be looking at traditional mergers among hospitals and healthcare providers and also legal theories of antitrust enforcement that are less frequently used.
The “biggest takeaway”: “The biggest takeaway…is the impact that mergers have on actual people…and how this can affect their lives. It’s a reminder that if we’re not careful, we can lose sight of the human impact of a merger,” said Mark Seidman, an assistant director in the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.
Kaitlin Edwards is a staff medical editor based in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @kaitmedwards. For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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