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Three Reasons Why Home Health Will Define Healthcare’s Future

By Karen Utterback
Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson

Home Health Will Define Future of Healthcare

If I had a crystal ball and could accurately envision what the future of healthcare will look like, I could retire a rich woman. Unfortunately, I don’t.

But I do know that home health will be central to the success of whatever may be the next trend, care model or healthcare innovation.

Here are three reasons why home health is uniquely positioned:

  • We understand our patients in a holistic way that most other care providers don’t.
  • We know about and have access to community resources.
  • We have feet on the street with a mobile workforce that can reach these patients, day in and day out, wherever they are.

That may be one reason why home health spending increased 8.4 percent from January 2012 to January 2013, according to Altarum Institute, a nonprofit health systems research and consulting organization. Admittedly, the amount spent on home care is relatively small compared to what’s spent on the big three (hospitals, physicians and prescriptions take 60 cents of each healthcare dollar). But the month-to-month percentage increase for home health was considerably higher than those other categories.

That’s not to say that we don’t face our own challenges. The biggest obstacle I see for our industry is a lack of data to show our value to care partners. If your home health agency is not partnering with other care providers, tracking key metrics and carefully observing outcomes, then you have some catching up to do. A reliable clinical management system is the best way to collect and interpret valuable home healthcare data intelligence.

This is not the time to stand by and hope the changes impacting the healthcare industry will go away. They won’t. It is the time to try new things, expand on what works and change what doesn’t. You will be judged not only on your outcomes, but on your ability to show the value that your home health agency provides.

ProPath® Celebrates the Season at the 25th Annual Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade

ParadeJoin Children’s Medical Center patients, ProPath, and Santa Claus by kicking off the holiday season at the Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade, December 1st at 10:00 A.M. in downtown Dallas. The 25th annual Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade will march through the streets of downtown Dallas to raise money for the Child Life Department at Children’s. This year’s parade will feature Nickelodeon star Liz Gillies, spirited marching bands, magical holiday floats, larger-than-life balloons and more.

The Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade is the largest one-day event in Dallas with more than 350,000 attendees. This nationally televised event is a holiday tradition for families throughout North Texas and across the country, thanks to the television syndication that reaches more than 99 million households.

ProPath is a featured balloon sponsor for this year’s parade for the third consecutive year. ProPath physicians and staff participate in the parade as giant inflatable balloon handlers. Employees become the tether and manipulators of the balloon while proudly displaying the ProPath logo as part of their uniform.

“We are proud to be a sponsor of Children’s Medical Center and the life changing work they do in our community,” said Cory A. Roberts, M.D., President and Medical Director of ProPath. “A great time is had by our physicians and staff alike each year while marching a balloon through the streets of Dallas. We hope to be a part of this joyous event for years to come”.

The Parade beneficiary is a department of Child Life experts who provide age-appropriate therapies to help children cope with their hospital stay through diagnosis-specific education, therapeutic and bedside activities, and medical play. Specialists work extensively with parents and family members to provide support as well as prepare patients for surgical procedures. Services like Child Life are not covered by insurance and are funded by philanthropy.

“Orthopaedic Nobel Prize” Awarded to Vail Knee Surgeon Dr. Robert LaPrade for Research on Treatments for Posterolateral Knee Injuries

LaPrade HeadshotThe American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, recently honored Vail knee surgeon, Dr. Robert LaPrade, with the prestigious 2013 OREF Clinical Research Award. Dr. LaPrade, who specializes in sports medicine and complex knee surgery at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, was chosen for this outstanding honor, considered the “Orthopaedic Nobel Prize”, for his submitted paper on the treatment for posterolateral knee injuries.

He will be presenting his winning paper, “Improving Outcomes for Posterolateral Knee Injuries”, at the Annual Meetings of the Orthopaedic Research Society and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2013.

The posterolateral corner (PLC) of the knee is located on the outside of the knee joint. It functions to stabilize the knee against direct or external forces and can be a complex and devastating injury for athletes, seriously impacting athletic performance. Athletes most affected by this knee injury include soccer players, football players, gymnasts, and basketball players.

Historically, a posterolateral corner of the knee injury is more complex to diagnose and treat surgically than other more common knee injuries. Dr. LaPrade, who serves as the Chief Medical Research Officer for the Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, and his team of research collaborators have intensely studied PLC diagnostic approaches, surgical techniques, and post-op protocols and tracked patient outcomes related to each over many years.

Dr. LaPrade’s collaborators on this paper include Lars Engebretsen, MD, PHD (University of Oslo, Norway), Steinar Johansen, MD (University of Oslo), Chad Griffith, MD (University of Minnesota), Benjamin Coobs, MD (University of Minnesota) and Andrew Geeslin, MD (Western Michigan University).

“I am very humbled to have been chosen to receive this award. I am also very grateful to my family for their support and to my many colleagues who have been an essential part of my research over the past 15 years,” said Dr. LaPrade.

“This award solidly validates our research strategy of defining the anatomy, developing improved means of diagnosing a problem, redefining the clinically relevant biomechanics, developing improved radiographic diagnostic measures, developing biomechanically validated ligament reconstructions, and then validating these reconstructions in patient outcomes studies.”

In addition to the posterolateral knee for which this award was based, Dr. LaPrade and his team have similar ongoing programs for the medial knee and MCL, anterior cruciate ligament, and posterior cruciate ligament.

For additional resources, see orthopedic research studies.

Novartis Pays $19.9 Million to Settle Elidel Off-Label Claims

The media spotlight is often a double-edged sword. No one knows this better than people who suffer from Elidel severe adverse events. And yet, gossip and rumor-mongering aside, the real story here is being overlooked according to Sean Burke of AttorneyOne.

As Bloomberg reported on October 30th, 2012, Novartis agreed to pay $19.9 million to the U.S. and Texas in settlement of claims it unlawfully marketed Elidel (case no. 06-3213, Pennsylvania Eastern District Court). Elidel was approved by the FDA in 2001 for the treatment of itchy, scaly, inflamed skin conditions such as eczema and atopic dermatitis. According to the lawsuit, Novartis required its sales representatives to induce doctors to prescribe Elidel in children younger than two years of age for uses not approved by the FDA.

Plaintiff Donald R. Galmines, a former Novartis medical representative, alleges fraudulent schemes by Novartis to increase the market share of Elidel, by means of an aggressive campaign to promote Elidel for off-label use in children under the age of two and its systematic payment of kickbacks to physicians as financial incentive to induce them to prescribe Elidel for off-label use.

AttorneyOne.com, a recognized authority on law, can provide helpful advice and simple solutions including how to get in contact with legal counsel so that, in case of severe adverse events from Elidel, someone can easily and inexpensively deal with it. As Mr. Burke, director of Media Relations for AttorneyOne.com, added, “What all this information really illustrates is that threat from Elidel remains. For that reason, our focus should squarely fall on getting the word out and assisting people in finding the right legal assistance.”

In January 2006, the FDA approved updated labeling for Elidel including a boxed warning about a possible risk of cancer. Use of Elidel in children under 2 years of age is not recommended.

AttorneyOne.com has further information on Elidel lawsuits including how to get in contact with legal counsel.

Headquartered in San Diego, CA Attorney One was founded in 2004 and is not a law firm. They offer a nationwide legal service which helps consumers find the best representation for their legal needs.

 

New Study Released Into Safety of Blood Thinner Pradaxa

According to a November 7, 2012 article by Eric Palmer in FiercePharma, a study by researchers at Ontario’s McMaster University has reiterated findings of the FDA just days before that Pradaxa carries the same risks for internal bleeding as traditional blood thinners.

However, the FDA study may have reached unfounded conclusions, according to a November 5, 2012 article in Pharmalot by Ed Silverman entitled Stop The Bleeding: Is FDA Pradaxa Analysis Flawed?

Pradaxa-Blood-Clots-StudyAnyone affected by internal bleeding after taking Pradaxa is still urged to speak with a lawyer about their legal options as soon as possible.

According to analysis methods outlined by the FDA’s own Observational Medical Outcomes Project, the risk analysis used in forming the recent conclusion amounts to little more than a guess, the Pharmalot article states. Also, the FDA study didn’t account for the fact that Pradaxa has no antidote for bleeding and has caused more than 500 deaths.

In September, The Journal for The American Medical Association warned that the FDA may have rushed approval of Pradaxa, overlooking key Pradaxa side effects like internal bleeding. USA Today reported on August 19th that the FDA received 3,781 reports of side effects and 542 deaths among Pradaxa users last year, leading all other medications in 2011.

Due to the number of Pradaxa lawsuits expected, a central court was recently established in Illinois to handle the claims. The case is known as MDL No. 2385, IN RE: Pradaxa Product Liability Litigation, Southern District of Illinois. Judge Herndon issued an order on July 24, 2012 that those injured by Pradaxa can proceed with lawsuits.

A report issued by the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices’ QuarterWatch (PDF) on October 3, 2012 estimates that Pradaxa is among the drugs responsible for a 37% increase in prescription drug complaints to the FDA in recent years.

Anyone affected by internal bleeding after Pradaxa use is urged to speak with a lawyer about their legal options as soon as possible. Due to the specialized nature of these federal MDL cases, the Pradaxa Resource Center only recommends lawyers who are already handling Pradaxa lawsuits.

For more information on the research, warnings, side effects and legal options relating to the drug Pradaxa, or to speak with a lawyer, visit http://www.Pradaxa-lawsuits.org.