United States health care spending consumes nearly a fifth of the GDP . While, in many respects, the U.S. health care system is enviable and highly innovative, it is also characterized by elements of ineffectiveness, inefficiency, and inequity. These aspects, resulting from pre-existing vulnerabilities within the system and interactions between the various stakeholders, were acutely highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As health product manufacturers and innovators (HPMI) took steps to mitigate the immediate crisis and simultaneously begin to develop a longer-term sustainable solution, six common themes arose as areas for transformational change: support for science, data sharing, supply chain resiliency, stockpiling, and surge capacity, regulatory and reimbursement clarity and flexibility, public- and private-sector coordination and communication, and minimizing substandard care offerings. Within these categories, the authors of this paper suggest policy priorities to increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of the HPMI sector and writ large across the U.S. health care system. These priorities call for increased scientific funding to diversify the pipeline for research and development, strengthening the nation’s public health infrastructure, building and maintaining “ever warm” manufacturing capacity and related stockpiles, instituting efficient and effective regulatory and reimbursement frameworks that promote innovation and creativity, devising structures and processes that enable more efficient collaboration and more effective communication to the public, and implementing rewards that incentivize desired behaviors among stakeholders. This assessment draws from the collective experience of the authors to provide a perspective for the diagnostics, hospital supplies and equipment, medical devices, therapeutics, and vaccines segments. While the authors of this paper agree on a common set of key policies, sub-sector-specific nuances are important to consider when putting any action priority into effect. With thoughtful implementation, these policies will enable a quicker, more robust response to future pandemics and enhance the overall performance of the U.S. health care system.
General practitioners (GPs) play a crucial role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as the first point of contact for possibly infected patients and are responsible for short and long-term follow-up care of the majority of COVID-19 patients. Nonetheless, they experience many barriers to fulfilling this role. The PRICOV-19 study investigates how GP practices in 38 countries are organized during the COVID-19 pandemic to guarantee safe, effective, patient-centered, and equitable care. Also, the shift in roles and tasks and the wellbeing of staff members is researched. Finally, PRICOV-19 aims to study the association with practice- and health care system characteristics. It is expected that both characteristics of the GP practice and health care system features are associated with how GP practices can cope with these challenges. This paper describes the protocol of the study.
Using a cross-sectional design, data are collected through an online questionnaire sent to GP practices in 37 European countries and Israel. The questionnaire is developed in multiple phases, including a pilot study in Belgium. The final version includes 53 items divided into six sections: patient flow (including appointments, triage, and management for routine care); infection prevention; information processing; communication; collaboration and self-care; and practice and participant characteristics. In the countries where data collection is already finished, between 13 and 636 GP practices per country participated in the study. Questionnaire data are linked with OECD and HSMR data regarding national policy responses to the pandemic and analyzed using multilevel models considering the system- and practice-level.
To the best of our knowledge, the PRICOV-19 study is the largest and most comprehensive study that examines how GP practices function during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its results can significantly contribute to better preparedness of primary health care systems across Europe for future major outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Background: Accepting community health nursing in the primary care system of each country and focusing on creating a position for community health nurses is of significant importance. The aim of this study was to examine the stakeholders' perception of the requirements for establishing a position for community health nursing in the Iranian primary health care system.Methods: This qualitative study was done using 24 semi-structured interviews conducted from May 2020 to February 2021 in Iran. The participants were selected through purposive sampling and consisted of nursing policy makers, the policy makers of the Health Deputy of Ministry of Health, the managers and the authorities of universities of medical sciences all across the country, community health nursing faculty members, and community health nurses working in health care centers. After recording and transcribing the data, data analysis was performed in MAXQDA10 software, using Elo and Kyngas's directed content analysis approach and based on WHO's community health nursing role enhancement model. The statements for each main category were summarized in SWOT classification. To examine the trustworthiness of the data, Lincoln & Guba's criteria were used.Results: By analyzing the interviews 6 main categories identified consist of creating a transparent framework for community health nursing practice, enhancing community health nursing education and training for practice in the primary health care system and community settings, seeking support, strengthening the cooperation and engagement among the key stakeholders of the primary health care system, changing the policies and the structure of the health system, and focusing on the deficiencies of the health system. Each main categories including the subcategories strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT).Conclusions: Based on the participants' opinions, focusing on the aforementioned dimensions is one of the requirements of developing a position for community health nursing within the Iranian PHC system. It seems that correct and proper implementation of these strategies in regard with the cultural context of society can help policymakers manage challenges that prevent the performance of community health nursing in the health system.
Background: Myocardial infarction (MI) occurs frequently and requires considerable health care resources. It is important to ensure that the treatments which are provided are both clinically effective and economically justifiable. Based on recent new evidence, routine oxygen therapy is no longer recommended in MI patients without hypoxemia. By using data from a nationwide randomized clinical trial, we estimated oxygen therapy related cost savings in this important clinical setting.Methods: The DETermination of the role of Oxygen in suspected Acute Myocardial Infarction (DETO2X-AMI) trial randomized 6,629 patients from 35 hospitals across Sweden to oxygen at 6 L/min for 6–12 h or ambient air. Costs for drug and medical supplies, and labor were calculated per patient, for the whole study population, and for the total annual care episodes for MI in Sweden (N = 16,100) with 10 million inhabitants.Results: Per patient, costs were estimated to 36 USD, summing up to a total cost of 119,832 USD for the whole study population allocated to oxygen treatment. Applied to the annual care episodes for MI in Sweden, costs sum up to between 514,060 and 604,777 USD. In the trial, 62 (2%) patients assigned to oxygen and 254 (8%) patients assigned to ambient air developed hypoxemia. A threshold analysis suggested that up to a cut-off of 624 USD spent for hypoxemia treatment related costs per patient, avoiding routine oxygen therapy remains cost saving.Conclusions: Avoiding routine oxygen therapy in patients with suspected or confirmed MI without hypoxemia at baseline saves significant expenditure for the health care system both with regards to medical and human resources.Clinical Trial Registration:ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT01787110.
Health care providers hold negative explicit and implicit biases against marginalized groups of people such as racial and ethnic minoritized populations. These biases permeate the health care system and affect patients via patient–clinician communication, clinical decision making, and institutionalized practices. Addressing bias remains a fundamental professional responsibility of those accountable for the health and wellness of our populations. Current interventions include instruction on the existence and harmful role of bias in perpetuating health disparities, as well as skills training for the management of bias. These interventions can raise awareness of provider bias and engage health care providers in establishing egalitarian goals for care delivery, but these changes are not sustained, and the interventions have not demonstrated change in behavior in the clinical or learning environment. Unfortunately, the efficacy of these interventions may be hampered by health care providers’ work and learning environments, which are rife with discriminatory practices that sustain the very biases US health care professions are seeking to diminish. We offer a conceptual model demonstrating that provider-level implicit bias interventions should be accompanied by interventions that systemically change structures inside and outside the health care system if the country is to succeed in influencing biases and reducing health inequities. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Public Health, Volume 43 is April 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
Background: Although focused practice within family medicine may be increasing globally, there is limited research on the factors contributing to decisions to focus practice. Aim: We aimed to examine the factors influencing resident and early-career family physician choices of focused practice across three Canadian provinces. Design and Setting: We analyzed a subset of qualitative interview data from a study across British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. Method: A total of 22 resident family physicians and 38 early-career family physicians in their first 10 years of practice who intend to or currently practice in a focused area were included in our analysis. We compared participant types, provinces, and the degree of focused practice while identifying themes related to factors influencing the pursuit of focused practice. Results: We identified three key themes of factors contributing to choices of focused practice: self-preservation within the current health care system, support from colleagues, and experiences in medical school and/or residency. Minor themes included alignment of practice with skills, personal values, or ability to derive professional satisfaction; personal lived experiences; and having many attractive opportunities for focused practice. Conclusion: Both groups of participants unanimously viewed focused practice as a way to circumvent the burnout or exhaustion they associated with comprehensive practice in the current structure of the health care system. This finding, in addition to other influential factors, was consistent across the three provinces. More research is needed to understand the implications of resident and early-career family physician choices of focused practice within the physician workforce.
Introduction:Aducanumab was granted accelerated approval with a conflicting evidence base, near-unanimous FDA Advisory Committee vote to reject approval, and a widely criticized launch price of $56,000 per year. The objective of this analysis was to estimate its cost-effectiveness.Methods:We developed a Markov model to compare aducanumab in addition to supportive care to supportive care alone over a lifetime horizon. Results were presented from both the health system and modified societal perspective. The model tracked the severity of disease and the care setting. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated, and a threshold analysis was conducted to estimate at what price aducanumab would meet commonly used cost-effectiveness thresholds.Results:Using estimates of effectiveness based on pooling of data from both pivotal trials, patients treated with aducanumab spent four more months in earlier stages of AD. Over the lifetime time horizon, treating a patient with aducanumab results in 0.154 more QALYs gained per patient and 0.201 evLYGs per patient from the health care system perspective, with additional costs of approximately $204,000 per patient. The incremental outcomes were similar for the modified societal perspective. At the list price of $56,000 per year, the cost-effectiveness ranged from $1.02 million per evLYG to $1.33 million per QALY gained from the health care system perspective; and from $938,000 per evLYG to $1.27 million per QALY gained in the modified societal perspective. The annual price to meet commonly used cost-effectiveness thresholds ranged from $2,950 to $8,360, which represents a discount of 85-95% off from the annual launch price set by the manufacturer. Using estimates of effectiveness based only on the trial that suggested a benefit, the mean incremental cost was greater than $400,000 per QALY gained.Discussion:Patients treated with aducanumab received minimal improvements in health outcomes at considerable cost. This resulted in incremental cost-effectiveness ratios that far exceeded commonly used value thresholds, even under optimistic treatment effectiveness assumptions. These findings are subject to the substantial uncertainty regarding whether aducanumab provides any true net health benefit, but evidence available currently suggests that an annual price of aducanumab of $56,000 is not in reasonable alignment with its clinical benefits.
Objectives People with chronic illness are particularly dependent on navigating and using the health care system. This requires navigational health literacy (HL-NAV). The article aims to examine the distribution and predictors of HL-NAV in a sample of chronically ill individuals. Methods Data of 1,105 people with chronic illness from the general population in Germany were collected in December 2019 and January 2020. HL-NAV was assessed by 12 items (score 0–100). Bivariate and multiple linear regression analysis were performed. Results HL-NAV score was 39.1 (SD 27.3). In bivariate analyses, HL-NAV was lower among chronically ill persons aged 65 or above, with low education, limited functional health literacy, low social status, financial deprivation, poor social support, multiple chronic conditions, and an illness duration of 6–10 years. In multivariate analyses, advanced age, lower education, less functional health literacy, lower social status, and less social support remained associated with lower HL-NAV. Discussion The results underline the importance of promoting HL-NAV among people with chronic illness. Strategies should aim at strengthening individual competencies taking into account the social and situational factors but also at reducing the demands placed on chronically ill people by providing user-friendly and trustworthy information on the health care system along the illness trajectory.