September 2008, Vol 1, No 7
The core editorial mission of American Health & Drug Benefits is to provide a forum for a managerial discussion among stakeholders about evidence in benefit design during this crucial time in which we are witnessing the transformation of healthcare to a value-based system. Our goal is to showcase trends and innovations and examine their effects on the different participants in the process of care.
Healthcare is like a team sport with active participation from a variety of position players, including patients, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and many others. Although they each have a different responsibility, they would all agree that quality is the foundation for all their activities. The confusion arises when they are asked to define quality.
Employers around the country evaluate their company benefits package every year in the hopes of finding solutions to the ever-rising costs of health insurance premiums. For many business executives, however, the only logical choice is to pass along those increased costs to the employee.
The Lessons from Delaware's Employee Benefits Program
The total number of generic prescriptions continues to grow at a rapid pace (Table), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is having difficulties keeping up with the rate of new applications.1 In July 2008, Medco reported a record genericdispensing rate of 63.7%, which reflects a 4.8% increase compared with the second quarter in 2007.2 Keeping with this trend, on July 29, 2008, the FDA approved a generic version of yet another antiepileptic drug (AED)—Depako
The Better Quality Information to Improve Care for Medicare Beneficiaries Project: Exploring Approaches to Physician Performance Measurement
On August 22, 2006, President Bush issued an Executive Order—Promoting Quality and Efficient Health Care in Federal Government Administered or Sponsored Health Care Programs—calling on all federal agencies and those who do healthcare business with the government to engage in collaborative efforts to incorporate the cornerstones of valuedriven healthcare (Table 1). The 4 cornerstones of value-driven healthcare are1:
Medicare's Evolution from Passive Payer to Value-Driven Purchaser of Healthcare
The terms "health tourism," "medical tourism," or "health services outsourcing" are often interchangeably used to describe health service provision in another country. The more encompassing concept—"health tourism"—includes all health-seeking behaviors by consumers into another country.
On August 11, 2008, the Centers for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially changed the way the division is responding to new drug applications (NDAs), raising mild alarm in some circles by stating that in the future, rather than respond with "approvable" letters or "not approvable" letters, the division would be responding with "complete response" letters.
Health information technology, and in particular electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), is becoming a major player in any attempt to transform the US healthcare system. A lot of effort is being devoted to e-prescribing today, eliciting greater collaboration among stakeholders and charting new directions in healthcare.
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