LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER: Meeting for Members and Prospective Members; End-of-life Care Planning; Breathtaking Rx Costs; November is Diabetes Awareness Month…
October 20, 2015
Sue Schettle, CEO of the Twin Cities Medical Society and executive director of Honoring Choices Minnesota
Weekly Buzz: End-of-life Care Top-of-mind
Talking about end-of-life care can be emotional and unsettling, especially when it occurs during the throes of a health crisis. There are large gaps in communication between patients and their providers and family members that need to be bridged. “The Obama administration this summer proposed reimbursing doctors for advance care planning conversations with Medicare patients. Coming seven years after the highly political ‘death panels’ debate, the Medicare decision applies to Americans age 65 and up and is slated to begin in January.” Read more in this Sunday Star Tribune article about end-of-life care.
STILL TIME TO REGISTER! October 21 Member Meeting: Opening Conversations about End-of-life Care
During our next meeting for members and prospective members, we will explore the limitations of health care delivery and what really matters in end-of-life care. Featured speakers include Steve Calvin, M.D., co-chair of the Program in Human Rights and Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Jennifer Lundblad from Stratis Health; and Sue Schettle and Karen Peterson from Honoring Choices Minnesota. (Sue’s comments were featured in the article mentioned above.) To RSVP or to view meeting details, please click here.
- Nearly 30 million U.S. children and adults have diabetes.
- Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2
- The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed
diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month!
American Diabetes Month® (ADM) takes place each November and is a time to come together as a community to Stop Diabetes.
The vision of the American Diabetes Association is a life free of diabetes and its burdens. Raising awareness of this ever-growing disease is one of the main efforts behind the mission of the Association. ADM is an important element in this effort, with programs designed to focus the nation’s attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and the many people who are affected by the disease.
To learn more, or to access free newsletter articles, fact sheets, and posters (available in English and Spanish), click here. To learn more about new evidence linking smoking cessation to lowered diabetes risk, click here.
To view Action Group tools and resources that enable employers to take action to lower the incidence and cost of diabetes, click here.
The Goose and the Elephant: A Closer Look at Breathtaking Drug Costs
“The last thing pharma wants is a vigorous, in-depth national discussion of pricing, value, what we can afford, and how other advanced countries handle drug spending. All this could kill the golden goose.” In this blog by Dr. Brian Klepper, a health care analyst and principal in Health Value Direct, he declares it “high time for public and private U.S. payers to consider both the measurable value of drugs as well as the accepted pricing of those drugs in other advanced economies.”
Dr. Klepper also discusses whether cancer care is “ground zero for reform,” in this October 13, 2015, article. “Change has been simmering in oncology for some time, but now it is coming to a boil. It is clear that cancer professionals such as physicians, researchers and society execs have felt uncomfortably complicit with a paradigm that too often extracts exorbitant sums of money for minuscule clinical benefit,” he says.
Best New Pharmacy Reads:
- Transatlantic Divide: How U.S. Pays Three Times More for Drugs. This article discusses U.S. prices for the world’s 20 top-selling medicines that are, on average, three times higher than in Britain, according to an analysis carried out for Reuters.
- Valeant’s Drug Pricing Enriches It, But Infuriates Patients and Lawmakers. Read how Valeant drug prices are spiking, devastating patients while becoming one of Wall Street’s most popular health stocks.
- New Class of Cholesterol Drugs Should Cost Much Less. According to researchers, cholesterol-lowering Praluent and Repatha cost more than $14,000 a year per patients, but would be cost effective at $2,180.
Thought for the Week
“People have priorities in their life besides living longer. They have things they live for that are bigger than themselves. The most reliable way to learn what matters most to people, what those loyalties are, is a highly technical procedure — you ask them. And we don’t ask.”
Atul Gawande, M.D. (at a recent Minneapolis Foundation conference)