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McKesson to expand admin tool that augments outcomes-based medicine to eight states this year

BY Michael Johnsen

NEWTON, Mass. — McKesson on Thursday announced seven new clients for its Clear Coverage decision support solution in fiscal year 2013, with an additional seven completing the implementation process. 

New clients, such as Molina Healthcare, are now realizing the benefits of Clear Coverage, which blends coverage, medical appropriateness and provider network intelligence into a single decision stream to support evidence-based, appropriate-care delivery. 

At the same time, this approach has been shown to lower the administrative costs of utilization management by as much as 64%.

"We are expanding our use of Clear Coverage to eight states in the coming year," stated Richard Sanchez, SVP and chief medical officer at Molina. "Clear Coverage will help reduce our administrative costs and enable better collaboration with our providers while driving the consistent application of evidence-based medicine to increase the quality of care."

More than 20 organizations now license Clear Coverage, which incorporates the InterQual evidence-based clinical content portfolio in a fully automated, interactive workflow to allow shared decision-making between payers and providers. Clear Coverage can help automate authorizations, direct patients to in-network service facilities, streamline often time-consuming requirements and tasks for office staff and inform providers about eligibility and coverage specific to each patient, McKesson stated.

"We all understand that reform means having to cut costs and increase quality, but the questions are how, where and what impact will those changes have? Utilization management processes are designed to ensure appropriate care, but because they are traditionally conducted via disparate, manual processes, it takes too long, costs too much and ultimately inhibits the quality of care," commented Matthew Zubiller, VP of decision management at McKesson Health Solutions. "Our customers can use Clear Coverage to make the transition to next-generation utilization management, a prospective, exception-based process characterized by transparency, collaboration and efficiency. This means better health for our customers’ businesses and their patients."

 

 

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Study: Enforcing tobacco sales restrictions on youth reduces smoking prevalence among adults

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. LOUIS — States that want to reduce rates of adult smoking may consider implementing stringent tobacco restrictions on teens, suggested a new study released by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis on Thursday.

The researchers discovered that states with more restrictive limits on teens purchasing tobacco also have lower adult smoking rates, especially among women. And compared with states with less restrictive limits, they also tend to have fewer adult heavy smokers.

“In most states for many years, it has been illegal to sell cigarettes to people under 18, but few provisions are in place to prevent those sales,” stated the study’s first author Richard Grucza, associate professor of psychiatry at the university. “This study shows that more restrictive policies can prevent teen smoking and be beneficial down the road.”

Studying information gathered from 1998 to 2007 from 105,519 individuals ages 18 to 34 years, the researchers looked at whether people ever had smoked, whether they were currently smoking and, if they did smoke, whether they smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day.

They also looked at the smoking restrictions in place in states when the study subjects were 17 years old.

But how individual states chose to enforce the laws varied. Grucza’s team focused on nine smoking-related policies and found that in states with enforcement policies, not only did 17 year olds have more difficulty purchasing cigarettes, but when they reached their 20s or 30s, they were less likely to smoke.

“We estimated that if all states had effective policies in place, it would reduce the prevalence of smoking by about 14% and the rates of heavy smoking by 29%,” he said.

The four most effective restrictions included those on cigarette vending machines, in which the machines either were eliminated or housed in locations inaccessible to those under 18 [years old]; identification requirements for purchasing cigarettes; restrictions on repackaging cigarettes so that five or 10 could be sold at a time, rather than an entire 20-cigarette pack; and prohibiting distribution of free cigarettes at public events. “A lot of states still have not adopted all of these policies,” Grucza explained. “In 2006, which is the last year for which we have data, only four states required a photo ID, and only 20 states had any kind of identification requirements at all. So, there’s still a lot of room for improvement.”

Grucza said some states are considering restricting youth access even more. In New York, there is a proposal to raise the age for tobacco purchases to 21. Meanwhile, in Alabama, Mississippi, Alaska and Utah, the minimum age for tobacco purchases already has been raised to 19.

Researchers found the policies to restrict youth access to tobacco had a big impact on women but didn’t seem to influence smoking rates in men. “We can only speculate about why, but a number of past studies have shown that underage women and girls often have an easier time getting alcohol or tobacco than underage men,” Grucza said. “We suspect that policies like those that require checking IDs may have evened things out by making it just as difficult for underage women to buy cigarettes as it is for underage men.”

Because cigarettes have been regulated by the Food and Drug Administration since 2009, many of the more restrictive policies are in effect nationally. Grucza’s team believes future smoking rates among adults may decline at least partly as a result of those policies.

Grucza’s team evaluated data from an ongoing National Cancer Institute survey that monitors smoking behavior in all 50 states. The study was published online June 13 in the American Journal of Public Health.

 

 

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e.siax says:
Jun-17-2013 04:21 am

Smoking is really dangerous to our health, but I know some people whose addicted to it would care less about it for them its their way of a stress reliever but moderation is the key for this. At least one or two sticks a day will do or if you can no cigarettes please, Too much will kill you.
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Nutrisystem increases production of diet-aid kit to feed distribution through 3,700 Walmart locations

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. — Nutrisystem on Thursday announced that in order to meet growing consumer demand for its Nutrisystem D 5-Day Jumpstart Weight Loss Kit, the company has ramped up production and will offer its product in 3,700 Walmart stores by the end of June.  

This new retail program for the Nutrisystem D weight loss kit and its expansion marks important progress in Nutrisystem’s overall turnaround plan, led by CEO Dawn Zier. Nutrisystem D 5-day kits were first made available at retail earlier this year in 2,000 Walmart stores.

"A key element of our turnaround plan is to put a renewed focus on product and program innovation. Our Jumpstart kits embody this mandate, and we’re pleased the kits are resonating with consumers," Zier said. "We’re thrilled to offer our products at the world’s largest retailer, and we applaud Walmart for all they’re doing to help their customers live healthier lives."

The kit includes five breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners. Nutrisystem foods are intended to be combined with fresh grocery additions such as low fat yogurt, salad, fruit and vegetables. A free, sample meal planner and grocery shopping guide is included with all kits. 

Nutrisystem is a national strategic partner of the American Diabetes Association and the Nutrisystem D plan meets the nutritional guidelines of the American Diabetes Association, the company noted.

 

 

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