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Academic Detailing, Barriers to Children's Health Care, Patient Safety and More

Health Policy Reports

  • The AARP has just released a report that focuses on academic detailing programs that improve access to effective and affordable prescription drugs. In the current issue of the AARP Rx Watchdog Report, "Academic Detailing in Practice: A Tale of Four States" gives an overview of academic detailing (also known as prescriber education), the practice of sending trained clinicians to prescribers' offices to provide them with independent, objective, scientific information about prescription drugs -- as opposed to drug company marketing materials.  The report cites best practices and education materials from Prescription Policy Choices (PPC), one of PSN's close allies, in promoting academic detailing as one strategy for improving access to safe, effective, and affordable prescription drugs.  PSN's model bill creating a prescriber education service is a tool available to all of our legislators to introduce in their states.
  • According to a January 2010 issue brief from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute's Center for Children and Families, as fiscal pressures continue to mount, states may consider adopting policies that erect barriers to coverage for children and their families in order to save money.  But to the contrary, evidence confirms that introducing barriers to coverage and care is not a wise strategy.  In fact, erecting barriers not only keeps eligible children and families from receiving necessary coverage, it creates administrative burdens for both the state and the families and drives up costs in the long run.  The Center's brief highlights five reasons that states should not add red tape to child and family health programs.
  • The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) focuses on patient safety in their January 2010 policy brief that recognizes "Opportunities and Recommendations for State-Federal Coordination to Improve Health Systems Performance."  From a NASHP roundtable of state and national health policy leaders in October 2009, who gathered to discuss opportunities for federal and state governments to develop congruent patient safety policies, this brief summarizes how participants identified four criteria to use in selecting issues for state-federal coordination: (1) degree of readiness for change, (2) symbolic value and potential to send broad messages about priorities, (3) potential to avoid harm from non-aligned policies, and (4) potential for cost savings.
  • This week Stateline.org reported that as Congress works to meld House and Senate health care bills into a single blueprint, anxiety is mounting in the states in the advent of the federal government's health care bill.  Of particular concern is the protest from some states that the legislation’s efforts to set national minimum standards for health insurance coverage will reward low-performing states, while penalizing others that have already expanded their eligibility for Medicaid.  State leaders are bracing themselves against the potential costs to states that they say could devastate already battered budgets.