KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Viewpoints: Finance Autism Research With A Venture Capital Model; Former Addict Offers Thoughts On Opioid Epidemic

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

The Wall Street Journal: Autism Research Should Be Financed Like Venture Capital
We still don’t know what autism is, despite decades of research and billions of dollars spent. We don’t know what causes it or how to treat it. This lack of progress is partly the result of structural deficiencies in how autism research is funded. Fortunately, lessons from financial markets and the venture-capital industry can help solve these problems and accelerate the pace of discovery—for autism and perhaps other medical conditions. (John Rodakis, 9/28)

Los Angeles Times: Take It From A Former Addict, A Lot More Could Be Done To End The Opioid Crisis
Americans are dying. Entire towns are being destroyed. Local economies are crippled by addiction. Yet this epidemic can be stopped, it’s solvable. Trump’s opioid commission quickly submitted an interim report that spells out the right approach: It emphasizes treatment, education about pain management for doctors, research and data collection, and rational “supply reduction.” It spells out policy goals based on facts and science. The president should listen to his own experts. Now. (Nikki Sixx, 9/29)

The New England Journal Of Medicine: When Ancillary Care Clashes With Study Aims
In medical and health care studies, “ancillary care” refers to any burden or cost that researchers may take on to address study participants’ medical needs in ways not required for the study’s safety or validity. Providing ancillary care is sometimes obligatory. Its provision may, however, collide with achievement of a study’s aims. How should researchers respond when that happens? (Henry S. Richardson, Nir Eyal, Jeffrey I. Campbell and Jessica E. Haberer, 9/28)

The New England Journal Of Medicine: The Paradox Of Coding — Policy Concerns Raised By Risk-Based Provider Contracts
The medical claims that health care providers submit to insurers generally include a Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code, which describes the medical, surgical, or diagnostic service provided to the patient, as well as a series of International Classification of Diseases diagnostic codes. Under fee-for-service reimbursement, health care organizations and insurers have traditionally focused on accurate CPT coding to ensure that reimbursement matches the services provided. In recent years, however, the medical diagnoses listed in claims have taken on increasing importance as capitated and risk-based payment systems have begun to use these codes to adjust the payments made to health plans and providers. (Bruce E. Landon and Robert E. Mechanic, 9/28)

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