Healthcare supply chain leaders and visionaries honored at 16th Annual
Global Healthcare Exchange, LLC (GHX) announced the GHXcellence Award
winners at the 2016 GHX Healthcare Supply Chain Summit awards banquet in
Austin, TX. The awards, presented to provider and supplier organizations for
the past 16 years, recognize the leaders and visionaries that are leveraging
supply chain automation to remove waste, cut costs and improve patient
This year GHX added the new Millennium Club award (announced April 20, 2016)
for provider and supplier organizations that generate over one million
automated transactions annually through the GHX Exchange, as well as eight
new provider awards to the 2016 GHXcellence program, which blend
quantitative and qualitative criteria to honor true healthcare supply chain
leaders and innovation. Additionally, the GHX Provider Best 50 will also be
recognized at the awards luncheon.
â€śThis is a highlight of the Summit each year, an opportunity for GHX to
recognize the professionals and organizations that are paving the way for
true supply chain excellence in healthcare,â€ť said Scott Kelley, vice
president, North America Sales and Marketing, GHX. â€śThese GHXcellence
winners represent the best and the brightest in healthcare supply chain
innovation and success. I am honored to recognize them as they facilitate
transformation within the supply chain.â€ť
GHX selected the winners based on quantifiable performance metrics around
success in automating business processes, including increases in POs and
number of trading partners. This yearâ€™s winners include:
Chain Leadership (Provider): Bill Mosser, Franciscan Missionaries of Our
Lady Health System
Chain Leadership (Supplier): Carol Stone, C.R. Bard, Inc.
of the Year (Large): Hackensack University Medical Center
of the Year (Small to Medium): Seattle Childrenâ€™s Hospital
of the Year (Large Volume): St. Jude Medical
of the Year (Small Volume): Merit Medical
Healthcare Supplier of the Year: Medtronic of Canada
Healthcare Provider of the Year: Transform Shared Service Organization
Union Healthcare Supplier of the Year: Smiths Medical International Ltd.
Partner Pair of the Year: Montefiore Health System and Zimmer Biomet
Excellence in Content Management: Integris Health
Excellence in Contract Management: Lane Regional Medical Center
Excellence in eProcurement: Berkshire Health Systems
Excellence in ePayables: Phoebe Putney Health System
Excellence in Vendor Credentialing: Sharp Healthcare
Industry Supplier for Credentialing: Teva Pharmaceuticals USA
Improved Provider: Henry Ford Health System
of the Year: Health Sciences North
For more details on award criteria, visit GHX.
Just 5% of terminally-ill cancer patients fully understand prognosis, study
Just a fraction of terminally-ill cancer patients fully understood their
prognosis according to a new small study published in the Journal of
Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cornell University
and Weill Cornell Medicine followed 178 cancer patients who were determined
to be terminally ill. They interviewed each patient to see if they
understood the gravity of their disease and their future prognosis.
Patients were asked what stage cancer they had, their current health status,
how long they expected to live and if they had recently had a
life-expectancy discussion with their doctor. Just 5 percent of the patients
accurately answered all four questions about their disease and prognosis
correctly. Additionally 23 percent of patients had a both recent and
previous discussion about their life-expectancy with their doctor, according
to the study.
Holly Prigerson, co-author and Director of the Center for Research on End of
Life Care at Weill Cornell Medical Center, said it was a "shock" to see how
few of the patients fully understood their prognoses. Prigerson said in some
cases patients may not "hear" a terminal diagnosis if their physician avoids
being blunt about their life expectancy or lack of treatment options.
She emphasized that doctors themselves have a hard time telling a patient
there's nothing left that can save his or her life, but patients should be
given all information so they can make better decisions.
Prigerson said previous studies have dispelled the idea that terminal
patients who are told the truth fare worse than other patients who aren't
given full information about their conditions.
Dr. Barbara Daly, director of our clinical ethics program, at University
Hospitals Case Medical Center, explained that these end-of-life
conversations are difficult since some patients find the information itself
"threatening." Daly also said that some doctors speak in medical terms that
can be confusing for a patient. "It takes a high level of skill to talk to
peopleâ€¦to present it in a way where itâ€™s understandable," said Daly.
"Doctors...they literally forget how to talk like a normal person."
Daly said some medical centers are now using a designated person, such as a
social worker or nurse practitioner, to talk to patients so that they fully
understand their diagnosis and can get more time to talk about their
Visit ABC News for the report.
million Americans will struggle with vision problems by 2050
As baby boomers age, the number of Americans with vision problems and
blindness is expected to double over the next three decades, a new study
suggests. In 2015, slightly more than 12 million Americans had a vision
problem. But by 2050, that number will rise to 25 million, the researchers
"This study gives us a GPS for our nation's future eye health," said lead
researcher Dr. Rohit Varma, a professor of ophthalmology at the University
of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.
"Our group and others have shown in previous studies that those who suffer
from vision loss not only have a decreased quality of life but can also
experience both physical and mental health decline, including an increased
risk for chronic health conditions such as diabetes, depression and even
death," he said.
The economic burden from vision loss and eye problems in the United States
was estimated to be over $139 billion annually in 2013, Rohit said.
More education and screenings are critical for both younger and older
Americans to prevent vision impairment that can dramatically affect quality
of life, he added.
Regular eye exams, especially for those 40 and older, is an important tool
for catching eye problems such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration
and cataracts. Routine screening also ensures your eyeglass prescription is
"The earlier we can diagnose and treat potentially blinding eye diseases,
the greater the likelihood that more people will have the chance to live
longer lives without the physical limitations and emotional challenges of
vision loss," Rohit said.
For the study, Rohit and colleagues analyzed data on men and women aged 40
and older from six studies on vision loss and blindness. Then they estimated
the prevalence of these problems through 2050. U.S. Census data was used to
project vision impairment and blindness by age, sex, race and ethnicity and
In 2015, whites, women and older adults had the highest prevalence of vision
problems, and that will still be the case in 2050, the researchers
By 2050, the highest prevalence of visual impairment among minorities will
shift from blacks -- 15 percent in 2015 to 16 percent in 2050 -- to
Hispanics -- 10 percent in 2015 to 20 percent in 2050, according to the
The researchers also estimated that people in Florida and Hawaii will have
the most vision problems, and people in Mississippi and Louisiana will have
the highest prevalence of blindness.
Breaking it down by type of vision impairment, the researchers estimated
that by 2050: 2 million Americans will struggle with blindness; 7 million
will have glaucoma, which damages the optic nerve, or age-related macular
degeneration, which destroys the retina; and 16 million will have the wrong
Visit HealthDay for the study.
U.S. smoking rate does something it hasn't in years
The nation seems to be kicking its smoking habit faster than ever before.
The rate of smoking among adults in the U.S. fell to 15 percent last year
thanks to the biggest one-year decline in more than 20 years, according to a
new government report.
The rate fell 2 percentage points from 2014, when about 17 percent of adults
in a large national survey said they had recently smoked.
The smoking rate has been falling for decades, but it usually drops only 1
point or less in a year.
The last time there was a drop nearly as big was from 1992 to 1993, when the
smoking rate fell 1.5 percentage points, according to Brian King of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC reported the new statistic Tuesday. It's based on a large national
survey that is the government's primary measuring stick for many
Smoking is the nation's leading cause of preventable illness, causing more
than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States, the CDC estimates.
Why the smoking rate fell so much in 2015 - and whether it will fall as fast
again - is not quite clear.
About 50 years ago, roughly 42 percent of U.S. adults smoked. It was common
nearly everywhere - in office buildings, restaurants, airplanes and even
hospitals. The smoking rate's gradual decline has coincided with an
increased public understanding that smoking is a cause of cancer, heart
disease and other lethal health problems.
Experts attribute recent declines decline to the mounting impact of
anti-smoking advertising campaigns, cigarette taxes and smoking bans.
The increased marketing of electronic cigarettes and their growing
popularity has also likely played a role. But it is not yet clear whether
this will help further propel the decline in smoking, or contribute to an
increase in smoking in years to come.
Visit CBS News for the report.
the USDA is putting a new warning label on beef, starting this week
new USDA-mandated label will start appearing on cuts of beef this week,
noting whether the meat was run through a machine that uses blades or
needles to pierce and break down the muscle fibers and make it easier to
chew. But it also means the meat has a greater chance of being contaminated
and making you sick.
The process, which has been used for years, increases the chances of
pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella from being passes from one
piece of meat to the next. Plus, because the machine digs into the meat, the
bacteria can be pushed further inside the meat â€” meaning it has to be cooked
to a higher internal temperature, 145 degrees, to kill it.
â€śBlade tenderized,â€ť that label might read, followed by safe cooking
instructions: â€śCook until steak reaches an internal temperature of 145
degrees Fahrenheit as measured by a food thermometer and allow to rest for 3
If pathogens like E. coli or salmonella happen to be on the surface
of the steak, tenderizing transfers those bacteria from the surface to the
inside. Since the inside takes longer to cook and is more likely to be
undercooked, bacteria have a higher chance for survival there. And without a
label, you canâ€™t tell if you need to be especially careful with your steak.
Mechanical tenderizing is not an unusual occurrence. FSIS estimates that 2.7
billion pounds, or about 11 percent, of the beef labeled for sale has been
mechanically tenderized. The new labels will affect an estimated 6.2 billion
servings of steaks and roasts every year, according to FSIS.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tracked six
outbreaks of foodborne illness since 2000 that were attributable to
mechanically tenderized beef products prepared in restaurants and consumersâ€™
In 2009, 21 people in 16 states were infected with the most common strain of
dangerous E. coli called O157. Nine had to be hospitalized, and one
victim developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal kidney
disease. USDA food safety officials connected the illnesses to
blade-tenderized steaks from National Steak and Poultry, and the company
recalled 248,000 pounds of beef products.
Before the label became a requirement, Costco had been voluntarily labeling
its meat. According to Consumer Reports, the grocery giant began labeling
its mechanically tenderized beef in 2012 after an E. coli outbreak in
Canada was linked to their blade-tenderized steaks.
Visit Sacramento Bee for the article.
Anthem, Cigna merger squabbles could delay antitrust approval: WSJ
Quarrels have broken out behind the scenes of Anthem's proposed acquisition
of Cigna, as the health insurers seek regulatory approval for their landmark
deal, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.
The newspaper said the squabbles could delay or derail antitrust approvals,
though the deal does not appear to be in danger of imminent collapse.
Sources familiar with the matter confirmed the citations in the Journal
In a series of letters between top officials including their chief
executives, the Journal said Anthem and Cigna accuse each other of
violating the July merger agreement and fumbling submissions to regulators.
A key point of contention is Anthem's lawsuit against Express Scripts, a
middleman for prescription drugs, according to the newspaper. The suit
accuses Express Scripts of overcharging Anthem for drugs.
Cigna Chairman Isaiah Harris Jr., in an April 9 letter to Anthem's board,
said the suit could hurt the prospects for regulatory approval and the
combined company's value, the Journal said. Anthem responded to
Cigna's board that it had alerted Cigna to the possibility of a lawsuit
early in their merger talks, and that getting better prices from Express
Scripts could only be beneficial, the newspaper reported.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Cigna said that the
deal may close in 2017, rather than in 2016 due to the complexity of the
Anthem, meanwhile, said it had not changed its expectations on timing.
Visit CNBC for the article.
Shoulder surgery is the new testing ground for painkiller alternatives
common shoulder surgery has become a testing ground for some novel
painkilling techniques as doctors seek to reduce the use of prescription
narcotics known as opioids.
Rotator-cuff surgery, which aims to repair a shoulder tendon that can get
torn from sports, a bad fall or simple wear and tear, is among the most
painful for patients to recover from. If nonaddictive painkilling techniques
can be shown effective with this surgery, doctors hope they will be more
widely adopted especially by orthopedic surgeons, who are among the most
frequent prescribers of opioids.
The techniques might include injecting a nonaddictive anesthetic at the base
of the neck to block pain signals, or sending a patient home with a catheter
implanted under the skin to deliver doses of anesthetics for several days.
Wearable icing devices and mechanical stimulation of the surgical site can
reduce pain and swelling during physical therapy. And drug regimens seek to
steer patients within a few days toward common medications such as Tylenol.
Some of the techniques to control pain have been around in some form for
years. But their use in combination, known as multimodal management, is
gaining popularity amid mounting concern about an epidemic of opioid
addiction. A July 2015 study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found one in
four people who were prescribed a narcotic painkiller for the first time
progressed to long-term prescriptions, putting them at risk for dependence
and dangerous side effects.
â€śAs a profession we prescribe too many narcotics for too many patients,â€ť
says Andrew Rokito, chief of the division of shoulder and elbow surgery at
NYU Langone Medical Centerâ€™s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in New York.
â€śBarring unusual circumstances, we should be able to get a good handle on
patientsâ€™ pain after surgery and minimize their opioid use.â€ť
Catheters can be a problem for some patients, Dr. Rokito says. The devices
donâ€™t always stay in place and having a catheter protruding from the neck
for several days can be â€śintimidatingâ€ť for some people. Patients also must
get used to having their arms numb and weak for several days.
More often, Dr. Rokito says he uses single-dose injections of nerve blocks
that can last up to 24 hours. He advises patients to start on a short course
of opioid medication before the block wears off to ease the transition.
After three or four days, Tylenol is generally sufficient.
Risks from injections include nerve damage and complications from leakage of
the anesthetic. Local anesthetic also can be toxic to cartilage. But Dr.
Rokito says the blocks are safe because they are directed at the nerves that
supply the shoulder region and arenâ€™t placed directly in the surgical site.
In a study of 85 patients, published online in April in the journal
Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic & Related Surgery, researchers
at the University of Chicago reported that a group sent home with a
three-day continuous nerve block had better pain control, used fewer opioids
and slept better than patients given a single injection at the time of
Tariq Malik, lead author of the study and assistant professor of anesthesia
and critical care at University of Chicago Medicine, says the three-day
block allows patients â€śto get over the hump of the worst pain so the
inflammation subsides enough to make it more manageable.â€ť
Operations to repair torn rotator cuffs, which attach the upper arm to the
shoulder blade, have increased sharply over the last two decades, in part as
the aging population seeks to maintain an active lifestyle. Nearly two
million patients a year seek help for rotator-cuff injuries, and about a
third of those require surgery, according to the American Academy of
study in January in the American Journal of Orthopedics estimated
outpatient surgical costs for rotator-cuff repair at close to $6,000.
Proponents of alternative-pain-control approaches say they would add
minimally to the costs and could save in the long run due to the high costs
related to narcotic overuse.
Visit the Wall Street Journal for the report.
Jump Technologies, Inc. and BIG Inventory announce partnership
Jump Technologies, Inc., a software company with solutions that improve
supply management and BIG Inventory, an inventory service company that helps
hospitals conduct physical inventory in all medical-surgical and clinical
areas, announced a partnership to help health systems improve end-to-end
inventory visibility and management, while increasing efficiency and cost
Supply chain costs represent the second largest and fastest growing area of
expense for hospitals. With the ever-increasing need for greater cost
reductions, improving the management of inventory presents a significant
opportunity. As many hospitals continue to rely on par approaches to
inventory replenishment, which grow less accurate over time due to ongoing
estimation of supplies, conducting an expert, accurate physical inventory to
understand supply levels, then managing supplies with accurate tracking and
velocity reporting, can help healthcare systems reduce inventory levels by
as much as 20 percent.
With this partnership, BIG Inventory and Jump Technologies are aligning
their resources to help provider organizations improve the management of
supplies, from the time they enter the health system until they are used in
BIG Inventory brings resources to plan and conduct an organizationâ€™s
physical inventory throughout the hospital, including all medical-surgical
and clinical areas. Working with BIG Inventory, hospital supply chain
leaders can manage this labor-intensive task without tying up internal
resources. Then with an accurate picture of on-hand inventory, hospitals
more efficiently shoulder the ongoing management of supplies using
JumpTechâ€™s cloud-based solutions, which provide visibility from
demand-to-use, increasing the accuracy of supply replenishment and helping
eliminate overstocking and stock-outs.
Visit Jump for the release.