Welcome to Practice Rounds, our weekly column exploring what's being covered in the larger world of health care.
Surgeon General Makes Opioid-related Recommendation
The U.S. Surgeon General this week issued an advisory recommending that more Americans carry an opioid reversing drug, naloxone. The drug, sold under the brand name Narcan, can restore normal breathing if someone has overdosed on opioids. Jerome Adams, MD, says knowing how to use naloxone and having it available can save someone's life. "Despite evidence of the effectiveness of naloxone in reducing opioid overdose deaths, awareness of the drug’s benefits and its possession and use among patients, prescribers, community bystanders, and even first responders in some areas remains limited," Adams wrote in JAMA.
JP Morgan CEO Talks Health Venture
Few details have emerged regarding the health venture between JP Morgan, Amazon, and Berkshire Hathaway — until now. In a letter to shareholders, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon laid out a few initial plans for the venture. According to Bloomberg, Dimon said the group will aim to align incentives among doctors, insurers, and patients; reduce fraud and waste; increase access to telemedicine and better wellness programs for employees; and look into the cost of end-of-life care. Dimon said in the letter the venture will use big data, virtual tech, and customer engagement to achieve these goals. He said the venture will start small and operate on a long timeline.
HHS, ONC Release New Resource
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) jointly released a new resource for individuals, patients, and caregivers to more easily access their health information. HHS says the resource supports a goal in the 21st Century Cures Act empowering patients and improving patients’ access to their EHR via the recently announced MyHealthEData initiative. “This guide will help answer some of the questions that patients may have when asking for their health information," National Coordinator for Health IT Don Rucker, MD, said in a statement.
Quote of the Week:
"Since patients cannot purchase drugs without a prescription, nor do they have the depth of knowledge to understand the process of drug selection, I wish there were no direct to consumer ads for drugs."
Melissa Young, MD, Endocrinologist, Freehold, N.J.