73 posts categorized "Health Policy"


Dean of Mayes College Weighs In on Affordable Care Act

APeterson_250x350Andrew Peterson PharmD, PhD, John Wyeth Dean of Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy, recently published an article titled, "Healthcare Exchanges Open for Business" in the Star Life Sciences Medical Monitor.

As of Oct 1, 2013, many U.S. citizens will be able to purchase health insurance through an online marketplace called the Healthcare Exchange. Purchasing insurance through this mechanism is not available to employees who choose to receive insurance through their employer, or citizens who receive Medicare or Medicaid. 

Click here to read the entire article...

As of today, Oct 1st, 2013, many US citizens will be able to purchase health insurance through an online marketplace called the Healthcare Exchange. Purchasing insurance through this mechanism is not available to employees who choose to receive insurance through their employer, or citizens who receive Medicare or Medicaid. - See more at: http://www.starlifebrands.com/healthcare-exchanges-open-for-business/#sthash.6jehUNdO.dpuf

The MarketPlace is Open!

Despite all the ongoing debate in DC over the Affordable Care Act, (ObamaCare),
implementation of a key component rolled out yesterday.   Now, US citizens are be able to purchase health insurance through an online marketplace called the Health Care Exchange.  Purchasing insurance through this mechanism is not available to employees who choose to receive insurance through their employer, or those citizens who receive Medicare.

A key aspect of the law is that each state has the option to setup their exchange (marketplace) or have it partially or fully run by the Federal Government.  Twenty-four states will have a State run or Partnership run marketplace and the remaining states will have a Federal Marketplace.  To qualify for as a member of the marketplace, each plan must offer a minimum set of benefits.  These benefits include Ambulatory/outpatient care, Emergency services, Prescription drugs and Preventive and wellness services as well as other essential health services.

The benefit designs are organized into one of four tiers – also called metal levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum – each differ in costs and provider networks.. In terms of deductibles, co-payments and other charges, the Bronze plan covers 60% of a patient's health costs, the Silver 70%, the Gold 80% and the Platinum 90%.    The lower tier plans offer more restrictive plans, such as HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) and the higher tier plans use less restrictive networks such as  PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations).  Patients can go to the HealthCare.gov to find out specifics for their own state. 

The purpose of the marketplace is to encourage competition, reducing the cost of health insurance all the while improving access to health care to all citizens.   However, we will not know until 2014 if the competition aspect worked and not likely for several years if the marketplace translated to more affordable insurance and cheaper health care.   See here for an entertaining and informative video of the Health Care Exchange.


Mayes College Professor Published in CEA Registry

A study published in 2012 by Amalia M. Issa, PhD, chair of The Department of Health Policy and Public Health,  titled, “Cost effectiveness of gene expression profiling for early stage breast cancer: a decision-analytic model,” has been recently included in the Tufts Medical Center Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) Registry.

Issa_PortraitThis registry is a comprehensive database of more than 3,604 English-language cost-utility analyses on a wide variety of diseases and treatments. It catalogs information on more than 9,800 cost-effectiveness ratios, and more than 13,500 utility weights published in the peer-reviewed literature. The registry also details studies published from 1976 through 2012, and is regularly updated.

Many of the articles included in the registry are used by policy makers, and are used or cited in analyses performed by the U.S. Environmental Agency, Food and Drug Administration, Institute of Medicine, Medicare Payment Assessment Commission, academia and industry. All articles undergo a rigorous screening and review process prior to their selection and inclusion in the registry.


Mayes College Student Discusses 'Time and Technology'

Andrew Lyle PhB'15, published an article in Star Life Sciences Medical Monitor on Sept. 20, 2013, titled, "Time and Technology."

Over time, new technology reaches different generations and target markets. As older doctors retire, newly minted medical professionals are taking over— and this new generation of healthcare professionals grew up with computers, video games, and cell phones.

Click here to this entire article.



Learning and Living the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in Real Time

This fall, masters and doctoral students in the Department of Health Policy and Public Health at University of the Sciences are examining the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) as it evolves in real time.

MetrauxIn the seminar course led by Steve Metraux, PhD, associate professor of health policy and public health, graduate students meet weekly to discuss topics such as the politics that led to the passage of the ACA, how the ACA fits into the history of healthcare reform in the United States, the legal and constitutional aspects of the ACA, and the nuts and bolts of the ACA.

A range of experts, both from the USciences faculty and from the greater Philadelphia region will join the seminar to lead discussions and explain how the ACA impacts particular facets of health and health care.

But beyond that, the seminar will seek to capture history-in-the-making by following the day-to-day events related to the ACA as its key component, the insurance exchanges, start their open enrollment.

Issa_Portrait“Watching the biggest health policy story in years unfold week by week adds a new dimension of excitement to studying policy,” said Dr. Metraux. “This seminar seeks to provide students with the tools not only to understand how we got here, but also to assess how such policy might likely unfold.”

Amalia M. Issa, PhD, professor and chair of health policy and public health, added, “Our students are going to be on the front lines of healthcare delivery and shaping policy. They need to have an understanding of the Act, apply their critical thinking skills to the issues, and evaluate the impact of the ACA on addressing current and future problems in health systems.”


PCP Student: High Tech Tools for Medication Adherence

Anita Pothen is currently a 6th year pharmacy student at the University of the Sciences-Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. In addition to her interests in medication adherence and writing, Anita's pharmacy-related experiences include working in retail, hospital and government agency settings. - See more at: http://www.starlifebrands.com/author/apothen/#sthash.qLh4jlSX.d

Anita Pothen PharmD'14, published an article in Star Life Sciences Medical Monitor on Sept. 18, 2013, titled, "High Tech Tools for Medication Adherence."

Medication adherence is a topic of interest for healthcare providers, caregivers, and payers — and, of course, patients. Practitioners work hard to select optimal drug therapy for their patients, but they don’t always see the expected clinical improvements.

Click here to read the full article...

Medication adherence is a topic of interest for healthcare providers, caregivers, and payers—and, of course, patients. Practitioners work hard to select optimal drug therapy for their patients, but they don’t always see the expected clinical improvements. This inefficacy in treatment often stems from patients’ inability - See more at: http://www.starlifebrands.com/author/apothen/#sthash.qLh4jlSX.dpuf


Health Tip: Skinny, Fat, Old, Young: All at Risk for High Cholesterol

image from www.gradschool.usciences.eduTo attract customers, restaurant chains have been rolling out budget deals, offering $5 pizzas, $3 meals — even $1 sandwiches. But while these new offerings are light on its customers’ wallets, they hit them where it hurts in terms of calories, fat, and sodium content.

Unfortunately, some of most common patrons of these restaurants are college students looking to get the best bang for their buck. In observance of National Cholesterol Education Month, Karin Richards, interim chair of the Department of Kinesiology and program director of health sciences at University of Sciences, addresses important heart-healthy tips to help college students avoid serious health conditions down the road.

 “Nobody can eat anything they want and stay heart-healthy because all body types are at risk for high cholesterol,” said Richards. “While overweight people are more likely to have high cholesterol, thin people should also have their cholesterol checked regularly because people who don’t gain weight easily are less aware of how much fat they actually consume.”

  1. Check your family tree. Familial hypercholesterolemia is a disorder of high LDL, or bad, cholesterol that is passed down through families, which means it is inherited. Because the condition begins at birth and can cause heart attacks at an early age, it is vital for young adults to be in tune with their families’ health backgrounds.
  2. Moderation is key. While fried and fast foods do not have to be completely eliminated from diets; they should be consumed sporadically rather than every day.
  3. Substitute foods. Because egg yolk boasts high cholesterol, opt for egg whites instead. The same concept can be applied when choosing snacks, go for air popped popcorn over potato chips. There’s a healthy alternative to every meal.
  4. Get moving. Too many people focus on their diets, and neglect exercise. Aim to “move” for 30 minutes each day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away in a parking lot, or jogging, walking, biking, and rollerblading as means of transportation. 
  5. Get screened. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the level of bad cholesterol among young adults ranges from 7 percent to 26 percent; however, the screening rate among this age group is less than 50 percent.

Richards said University of the Sciences students are offered free cholesterol and body composition screenings through its Department of Kinesiology. If abnormal results are recorded, students are encouraged to visit their primary care providers for further examination.

“Sometimes it takes eye-opening results for young adults to see that they are not invincible to potentially fatal health conditions, like heart disease. It’s never too late to start the transformation to a healthy lifestyle,” said Richards.

Richards obtained a Master of Science in sport management from Slippery Rock University, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in health policy at USciences. She is nationally certified as a wellness practitioner and wellness program coordinator by the National Wellness Institute, National Strength and Conditioning Association, and American College of Sports Medicine.


PCP Student Gains Worldview of Pharmaceutical Industry

SEP group picture

Grace Chun PharmD’16 recently traveled overseas to participate in the International Pharmaceutical Student Federation’s annual World Congress event. Here’s what she had to say:

International Pharmaceutical Student Federation (IPSF) is the only international advocacy group for the student pharmacists. IPSF aims to promote public health through wide range of global networking and initiating global health campaigns, such as World AIDS Day and World Tobacco Day. Along with close collaboration with the International Pharmaceutical Federation, IPSF holds official relations with the World Health Organization, as well. The largest meeting for the IPSF members is the annual World Congress, a conference for the pharmacy students and pharmacists from all around the globe.

This year’s 59th annual World Congress was held in Utrecht, Netherlands, from July 30 to Aug. 9. The experience as a U.S. participant at the conference was truly an asset because I broadened my scope in the pharmacy practice. At the conference, I have participated in the international patient counseling event, attended career exhibitions, and engaged in memorable networking experiences.

The highlight of the World Congress was the international night where the students gathered to express their cultures and customs through dance and delicious pastries. I was able to taste Sake from Japan and amazing chocolates from Belgium. I also learned lovely traditional Sweden dance to exciting “Gangnam Style” dance from Korea.

World Congress does not only comprise of symposiums and general assemblies but consist of true international gathering to embrace each other’s cultures. Only those who attended IPSF World Congress can understand the meaning of international pharmacy experience. It was fortunate for me and Dana Lee to participate in a great experience to represent the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. I wish I could engage more PCP students to engage in international pharmacy, as I was able to broaden my horizon. I was able to see how the government in Denmark works closely with pharmacists to improve healthcare systems, and also experience how Switzerland pharmacists work together with physicians to improve patient-care.

I have come to understand the meaning of “viva la pharmacie” thanks to this conference, and only those who attend the conference will be able to experience this motto to the fullest. As the newly elected Pan-American Regional Office (PARO) Secretary, I will continue to serve IPSF and carry out the motto, “viva la pharmacie!”

Student Exchange Program at PCP: One of the assets of IPSF is the Student Exchange Program, which allows students to explore pharmacy practice in different countries. After careful and objective analysis of each applicant, the member association of IPSF organizes the exchanges by finding the practice sites. The practice sites include community pharmacies, wholesale companies, pharmaceutical industry, government or private health agencies.

PCP is one of the few colleges of pharmacy that can host SEP students in the United States. As of last year, PCP was approved as one of few host sites in the U.S. This year was the second annual student exchange program held at PCP to allow an international student to have a chance to experience what pharmacy means outside his or her country’s practice.

On July 7, Thibault Ali, a student from Strasbourg, France, came to our institution for a month to experience community, compounding, and industry pharmacy experience through our APhA-ASP/IPSF chapter. He began his stay with a tour around USciences and a luncheon with the faculty members.

He was able to experience community pharmacy at Sunray Pharmacy, and compounding pharmacy at The Art of Medicine. Thibault also had an industry experience at Johnson and Johnson and learned about medical information and drug products. He experienced industry rotation with other sixth-year pharmacy students at PCP.

Not only he experienced pharmacy practice, he was exposed to American culture as he visited the Philadelphia Phillies game with Dr. Melody, Shakespeare play with Dr. Earl, and many other Philadelphia’s attractions with fellow IPSF members. This program not only allowed Thibault to gain an insight to pharmacy practice in the U.S., but allowed our chapter to acknowledge new ideas from understanding Thibault’s country’s practice.

Special Acknowledgement: I would like to acknowledge Dr. Hussar for advising and supporting World Congress to allow PCP students to broaden their horizon in the field of pharmacy practice. Also, I sincerely thank Drs. Schwartz, Earl, Melody, Decker, Blustein, as well as all the preceptors, professors, and dedicated IPSF members who gave tremendous support to successfully achieve Student Exchange Program at PCP. 

Someone said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” The teachers may come in many forms but the professors whom I worked together for IPSF projects were all in a single form: the inspired.


Global Access to Medicines - A Key Social Responsibility

About one third of the world’s population still has no regular access to essential medicines. Many of the world’s population does not have access to existing medicines and in some cases, medicines may not even exist to treat the conditions from which they are suffering. The pharmaceutical industry is just one of the players with a role in creating access to much needed medicines to people across the globe. Started by Dutch entrepreneur Wim Leereveld in 2008, an independent initiative called the Access to Medicine Index has been ranking pharmaceutical companies according to their efforts to make their products more available in developing countries. The Index rates the top 20 research-based pharmaceutical companies on their performance in the following 7 areas: General Access to Medicine, Public Policy and Market Influence, Research and Development, Pricing, Manufacturing and Distribution, Patents and Licensing, Capability Advancement, and Product Donations. The 2014 Index findings show that 17/20 companies are doing more than they were 4 years ago and the gap between the companies at the top and bottom is becoming narrower and that companies are becoming more strategic in their approach. Some companies are even creating departments/divisions within their organizations specifically designed to support access in developing countries.


This year’s Lois K. Cohen lecture, being presented by Dr. P. Roy Vagelos, former CEO and chairman of the board of Merck and current Regeneron Chairman of the board, will focus on how the pharmaceutical industry contributes to the healthcare of developing countries and why it is important for health practitioners to be aware of the need for pharmaceutical involvement in global health issues. Using a few past and current examples, Dr. Vagelos will describe how the biopharmaceutical industry impacts developing countries, and he will discuss the critical factors required for a public company to make important contributions to developing countries. Dr. Vagelos will also describe the benefits to a pharmaceutical company that makes a major contribution to developing countries. We encourage you to join us for this discussion on Thursday, Sept. 26, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., at USciences McNeil Science and Technology Center. For more information on how to register, watch my brief YouTube invite or visit our website.


P. Roy Vagelos to Speak at University of the Sciences

The mission of Mayes College is to insure that students and graduates are prepared to become
leaders, innovators, communicators, and collaborative practitioners in
disciplines and careers related to healthcare business, health policy, and
public health.   The Lois K. Cohen Endowed Lecture Series in Global
Health,  endowed by alumna  Dr.  Ilene Warner-Maron (PhD ’07), supports that mission.

Dr. Lois K. Cohen is a world-renowned advocate for public health, particularly in oral health.  She began her illustrious career as a research sociologist in the Division of Dental Health of the Department of Health and during her 42-year career, published more than 120 professional articles and authored four books on the social sciences and dentistry.    Dr. Warner-Maron’s donation serves as a means of paying tribute to the life achievements of Dr. Cohen by hosting an annual symposium addressing critical issues in global health and provide a meaningful forum for their discussion. 

This year’s topic, lecture, Biopharmaceutical Industry Impact on the Developed and Developing World will be presented by Dr. P.  Roy Vagelos, chairman of the board of Regeneron and former Chairman and CEO of Merck.     

During his career, Dr. Vagelos has been recognized for his contributions as a scientist, clinician, and philanthropist.  In addition to his work in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Vagelos is also serves as chairman of the Board of Advisors at Columbia University Medical Center and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.    Under Dr. Vagelo’s leadership at Merck, the company developed the Mectizan
Donation Project
 which saved the lives of millions in South Africa suffering from river blindness.  

 This is the fourth year of the symposium, with previous lecturers being Dr. Mirta Roses-Periago, former director of the Pan American Health Organization, Dr. Sonia Sachs, director of the Millenium Villages project and Sir George Alleyne, Chancellor of the University of the West Indies

This year’s program is scheduled for Thursday, September 26th, 2013 from 5:30-7:30PM.  Attendance is free.  Please register here.

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