June 2008, Vol 1, No 5
Serious and costly performance problems riddle the $2.4-trillion US healthcare system. Because of overuse, underuse, and misuse of healthcare, researchers estimate that roughly 30% of healthcare costs are generated by poor quality.1,2 Therefore, poor-quality medical care will cost about $720 billion in 2008.1,2
The annual rate of increase in prescription drug spending has clearly tapered in recent years, and yet the share of prescription drug expenditures paid by public and private health insurers continues to grow.1 Pressures to effectively manage prescription drug costs remain as high as ever, given the many factors (eg, increasing demand, drug inflation rates, specialty drug development, and aggressive drug marketing) working collaboratively to drive even higher drug spending.
Maximizing Savings, Efficiency, and Quality when Contracting with a PBM
As was discussed in the first articles in this series (see AHDB, April, May 2008), generic medications are positively affecting trends in pharmacy spending and, ultimately, overall healthcare spending. Generic manufacturing and utilization have been increasing at a rapid pace.
Thomas McCarter, MD, FACP, Zakir Shaik, MD, MHA, Keith Scarfo, DO, MS, Laura J. Thompson, RT(R), MBA
Opioid-related respiratory depression can have tragic consequences. Failure to detect a patient's declining respiratory status before progression to respiratory depression can lead to unwarranted outcomes and possible need for critical care.1 Concerns about respiratory depression can also prevent clinicians from adequately treating postoperative pain.2 Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) is widely used for postoperative opioid administration, because of its considerable potential to improve pain management by enabling patient control of dosing frequency.
Capnography in Procedural Anesthesia: At the Edge of a "Perfect Storm"
Robert Henry: In mid-January, UnitedHealthcare announced that it was adopting the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Compendium for coverage purposes. Do you think it is going to influence physicians in the trenches? Also, many guidelines are issued, but they are often ignored. How has the NCCN reached what appears to be a consensus?
Economic/Societal Costs of Adding a Compendium to the Federal Registry
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