Prescriptions Filled By Americans In 2018
Americans filled 5.8 billion 30-day equivalent prescriptions in 2018 (17.6 prescriptions per person), an increase of 2.7% from the prior year, according to the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science’s report, Medicine Use and Spending in the U.S. More than two-thirds of prescriptions are for chronic conditions, which increasingly are filled with 90-day prescriptions and are thought to result in better adherence to prescribed regimens. Retail and mail pharmacies dispensed 127 million specialty prescriptions last year, an increase of 15 million since 2014. While specialty drug prescriptions increased more than 5% between 2017 and 2018, these drugs make up just 2.2% of all prescriptions. The report also notes that patient out-of-pocket costs increased in 2018 to an estimated $61 billion, with Medicare patients facing higher annual out-of-pocket costs than patients in commercial plans or those enrolled in Medicaid.
Dental Care Among Adults Aged 65 And Older
Dental care often is an overlooked aspect of overall health care among older adults. In 2017, slightly less than one-third (29.2%) of adults aged 65 and over had dental insurance. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data show that overall, approximately two-thirds of adults aged 65 and over had a dental visit in the past 12 months. Older adults who were poor (42.7%) or near poor (42.8%) were less likely to have had a dental visit compared with non-poor (74.4%) older adults. Non-Hispanic black (11.2%) and Hispanic (12.3%) adults aged 65 and over were more likely to have unmet need for dental care due to cost compared with non-Hispanic white (6.8%) and non-Hispanic Asian (5.9%) older adults. The percentage with dental insurance was higher among those aged 65–74 (34.3%) compared with older age groups and lower among Hispanic adults (17.5%) compared with other race and Hispanic-origin groups.
HEALTH TECHNOLOGY CORNER
3-D Print Flexible Mesh For Knee And Ankle Braces
Limb prosthetics are medical devices that can be digitally designed and customized for individual patients, as a result of 3-D printing. Typically, they are designed to replace or support bones and other rigid parts of the body, and often are printed from solid, relatively inflexible material. According to an article published on June 19, 2019 in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have designed pliable, 3-D-printed mesh materials with flexibility and toughness they can tune to emulate and support softer tissues such as muscles and tendons. Additive manufacturing (AM) of medical devices such as orthopedic implants and hearing aids is highly attractive because of its potential to match the complex form and mechanics of individual human bodies. Externally worn and implantable tissue‐support devices, such as ankle or knee braces, and hernia repair mesh, offer a new opportunity for AM to mimic tissue‐like mechanics and improve both patient outcomes and comfort.
Using Pig Brains To Understand Human Brain Functions
An article published on May 22, 2019 in the journal Brain Connections by researchers at the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center reports on a study that shows that as a translational, large animal model, pigs demonstrate great potential for mapping connectome-scale functional connectivity in experimental modeling of human brain disorders. The investigators used an imaging method normally reserved for humans to analyze brain activity in live agricultural swine models, discovering that pig brains are even better platforms than previously thought for the study of human neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. An immediate potential application is in the study and diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive brain disease caused by a series of blunt trauma usually seen in military veterans and National Football League players. Currently, CTE can be diagnosed only through an autopsy.
More Articles from TRENDS June 2019
TENTATIVE V. DEFINING CRITERIA
Indicates how formulations, such as paradigms have the potential to blind advocates of various interventions to the actual worth of whatever is being proposed. Read More
PRESIDENT’S CORNER—ASAHP MEMBER FOCUS
Gwendolyn Mahon from Rutgers University is featured in this issue of TRENDS. Read More
SPENDING LEGISLATION TAKES SHAPE
Describes a bill passed in the House of Representatives to fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS). Read More
HEALTH REFORM DEVELOPMENTS
Discusses efforts to meet health challenges in rural areas, savings from Accountable Care Organizations, and a hearty perennial of the Affordable Care Act disputes. Read More
DEVELOPMENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Summarizes renewed efforts to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, launch of a Federal Work-Study Experiment, and proposed federal rules affecting accreditation, innovation, and other topics. Read More
AVAILABLE RESOURCES ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONICALLY
Financial Burden Of Paid Home Care On Older Adults
Faith-Health Collaboration To Improve Community And Population Health
Family Care-Giving Roles In Medical Product Development
2018 National Health Interview Survey Selected Estimates Read More
ASAHP SUMMIT ON ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND CLINICAL PRACTICE
Mentions the 2nd Annual ASAHP Summit co-hosted by Kindred Healthcare and Saint Louis University’s Doisy College of Health Sciences that was conducted on May 31, 2019 at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO. Read More
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AS A HEALTH MANAGEMENT TOOL
Refers to the use of AI to address the issue of ‘bounded rationality” in the context of antibiotic prescribing and antimicrobial resistance. Read More