In the News: December 29-January 4

Sg2 is dedicated to helping our clients interpret the latest news and trends in health care. Below you’ll find our analysis of this week’s key industry headlines, along with links to related Sg2 resources.

CDC Study: Heroin Is a Leading Cause of Drug Overdose

According to a recent CDC study, heroin has surpassed prescription painkillers as the leading cause of death from drug overdose in the US. From 2010 to 2014, heroin-related deaths increased disproportionately: heroin overdoses accounted for 23% of all drug overdose deaths in 2014 compared to 8% in 2010. This shift may be due to tighter clinical regulations on controlled substances, coupled with an increased supply of heroin. Medical professionals hope that this study will encourage lawmakers and insurance officials to enhance the availability of medication-assisted treatment for addiction.

At Sg2, our experts continually hear about the challenges health care providers face as they address chronic pain management. Read on for strategic insights from Sg2 Expert Kristi Crowe on building a successful chronic pain program that incorporates improved monitoring and management of opioid use for these patients.

Beyond Sg2: STAT News “Giving Newborns Medicine Is a Dangerous Guessing Game”

As highlighted in a recent STAT News article, infants admitted to neonatal intensive care units may receive up to 60 medications, yet according to a 2012 JAMA article, an estimated 90% of them are not approved by the FDA. To stimulate growth in clinical trials for newborns, the FDA has funded 2 nonprofits to provide resources on trial design and data collection. An increase in clinical trials will help providers discern which medications and doses can lead to safer, more effective treatments for newborns. To learn more about the latest trends in neonatology, check out these Sg2 resources:

HHS Selects 8 States for New Behavioral Health Demonstration Program

A recent press release from HHS announced the implementation of a 2-year Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program in 8 states (MN, MO, NY, NJ, NV, OK, OR and PA) beginning on July 1, 2017. The program incents use of evidence-based practices, reporting on quality measures, and care coordination with primary care providers and hospitals in communities served by these clinics through an approved Medicaid prospective payment system for CCBHCs. For more details, visit the SAMHSA website.

Sg2 experts have long believed that organizations should consider integrating behavioral health and primary care to improve health outcomes and reduce costs. To learn more, see pages 16 and 17 of the Sg2 publication Reconsidering Behavioral Health.

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As of February 11, 2016, Vizient, Inc. has completed its purchase of MedAssets Sg2 and spend and clinical resource management segments from Pamplona Capital Management, LLC. MedAssets revenue cycle business will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pamplona Capital Management LLP.

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