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Special Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation conference to focus on issues surrounding addiction

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's Professionals in Residence program in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and the Scaife Family Foundation will host a special conference June 20-21 in Minnesota for primary health care providers to learn more about the issues surrounding addiction. [More]
Research roundup: Palliative care and ACOs; employers and Supreme Court case on contraception

Research roundup: Palliative care and ACOs; employers and Supreme Court case on contraception

In preparation for the new ACO environment, leaders recognized the contribution palliative care can make to health care "value," especially in the care of our sickest (and most expensive) patients ... [More]

Pairing school and home programs most effective in curbing teen prescription drug abuse

Programs that aim to curb teen prescription drug abuse have vastly differing effectiveness, ranging from big drops in drug abuse to no measurable effect, according to a new study of 11,000 teenagers by researchers at Duke and Pennsylvania State universities. [More]
Viewpoints: Health law distorting--or 'undistorting' the labor market; gas stations should follow CVS' lead; ways to fight heroin

Viewpoints: Health law distorting--or 'undistorting' the labor market; gas stations should follow CVS' lead; ways to fight heroin

On Wednesday, Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said the obvious: losing your job and choosing to work less aren't the same thing. [More]
Scientists investigate factors that influence choice of abused drugs

Scientists investigate factors that influence choice of abused drugs

Prescription opioid abuse has reached epidemic levels in the past 15 years. Scientists investigating why people favor one drug over another have found that oxycodone and hydrocodone are the drugs of choice for 75% of opioid-dependent individuals. [More]

FDA takes steps to restrict the use of pain meds

The Food and Drug Administration will require a class-wide label change for long-acting opioids aimed at limiting use of these drugs to patients with severe, refractory pain. [More]

First Edition: September 11, 2013

Today's headlines include reports that some House GOP lawmakers are taking a hard line against funding for the health law in the ongoing debate about raising the nation's debt limit. [More]
Reformulated OxyContin®: an interview with Dr. Paul Coplan, Executive Director, Risk Management and Epidemiology, Purdue Pharma

Reformulated OxyContin®: an interview with Dr. Paul Coplan, Executive Director, Risk Management and Epidemiology, Purdue Pharma

OxyContin contains oxycodone, which is an opioid agonist. It is used for the management of moderate to severe pain when a constant opioid analgesic is needed for a prolonged period of time. [More]

Viewpoints: Medicare's lessons for the health law; Krauthammer says Obama shouldn't try to write his own laws

As a Sept. 30 budget deadline approaches, many in the Republican Party are pushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. The law's most radical opponents are even threatening to shut down the government by refusing to pass a continuing resolution, which would fund existing government programs at current or slightly adjusted levels. [More]
State highlights: Texas waits for feds' ok on higher Medicaid payments

State highlights: Texas waits for feds' ok on higher Medicaid payments

California schools may give students insulin injections and other medications without having to call in licensed nurses, the state's highest court ruled Monday. … The unanimous decision was a defeat for the powerful California Nurses Assn., which had argued that only licensed health care workers could administer medicine under a state law that bars the unauthorized practice of nursing (Dolan, 8/12). [More]
State highlights: Hundreds lost D.C. Medicaid without cause, some allege; N.Y. firms accused of political wrongdoing in Medicaid; unions fight NYC health care plan

State highlights: Hundreds lost D.C. Medicaid without cause, some allege; N.Y. firms accused of political wrongdoing in Medicaid; unions fight NYC health care plan

A selection of health policy stories from the District of Columbia, New York, California, Florida, North Carolina and Colorado. [More]
First Edition: Aug. 12, 2013

First Edition: Aug. 12, 2013

Today's headlines include reports about state action on the health law's implementation and other news from the health insurance marketplace. [More]

State highlights: D.C. to use cash reserves to pay Medicaid providers off; Texas, Planned Parenthood reach overbilling settlement; Veteran health centers at colleges

How do you spend $48 million in unbudgeted taxpayer money without getting an OK from elected lawmakers? In the District of Columbia, there's pretty much only one way, and that's the way Mayor Vincent C. Gray is proposing to settle a high-stakes dispute with D.C. Chartered Health Plan. Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro confirmed Wednesday that the plan is to pay the District's share of the settlement -- a little over $35 million, with federal Medicaid dollars accounting for the rest -- out of the city's contingency cash reserve (DeBonis, 7/24). [More]
Poor, less educated patients are less likely to receive opioid pain medications in emergency rooms

Poor, less educated patients are less likely to receive opioid pain medications in emergency rooms

Patients in moderate to severe pain in emergency rooms across the U.S. are less likely to receive opioid pain medications if they are black, Hispanic, poor, or have less education, compared to more affluent patients, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center study reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. [More]
Viewpoints: Mich. gov. says Medicaid expansion would save money, lives; CMS on making medical devices affordable

Viewpoints: Mich. gov. says Medicaid expansion would save money, lives; CMS on making medical devices affordable

The people of Michigan elected the members of the state Senate to be leaders, not vacationers. Unfortunately, the Senate forgot that Thursday and adjourned for its summer vacation. It left Lansing without voting on a bill that would provide health care coverage to nearly half a million working Michiganders. Ensuring access to affordable, quality health care is one of the most significant challenges facing Michigan. The Healthy Michigan plan developed over the past several months is a plan that addresses many of the state's needs and reflects the state's values (Gov. Rick Snyder, 6/23). [More]

CLAAD urges FDA to implement Obama administration's policy on safer opioid medications

The Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence joined in signing a Citizen Petition filed today urging the Food and Drug Administration to fully implement the Obama administration's policy supporting a market transition to safer opioid medications. [More]
Novel approach to pain therapy paves way for lower dosage painkillers

Novel approach to pain therapy paves way for lower dosage painkillers

For patients managing cancer and other chronic health issues, painkillers such as morphine and Vicodin are often essential for pain relief. The body's natural tendency to develop tolerance to these medications, however, often requires patients to take higher doses - increasing risks of harmful side effects and dependency. [More]
1 in 4 teens misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime

1 in 4 teens misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime

New, nationally projectable survey results released today by The Partnership at Drugfree.org and MetLife Foundation confirmed that one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription (Rx) drug at least once in their lifetime - a 33 percent increase over the past five years. [More]

Neura Therapeutik plans to speed up development of abuse-deterrent, generic extended-release opioids

Neura Therapeutik announced today that they will be accelerating the development of their abuse-deterrent brand and generic extended-release opioids. [More]

First Edition: April 18, 2013

Today's headlines include reports from Capitol Hill about one Democratic senator's poor reviews of the Obama administration's progress in implementing the health law. [More]