PDSA e-News: June 29, 2018

checklistDetermining Good Candidates for Splenectomy

In identifying which patients would respond best to splenectomy, researchers determined pre- and post-operative identifiers to predict best outcomes and more effectively optimize treatment plans for ITP patients. Researchers retrospectively examined literature reviews of medical histories of patients with ITP refractory to corticosteroids who have had their spleen removed. A comprehensive analysis showed the most reliable predictor for the outcome of splenectomy is postoperative platelet count. Physicians should also more favorably consider younger age and platelet elimination site when deciding whether their patient is a good candidate for splenectomy.

Mitrovic et. Al. “Predictive Factors for Successful Splenectomy Outcome.” European Hematology Association. 2018. https://bit.ly/2JwDqi4

NORD Statement on Impact of Insurance Copays on Rare Disease Patients

calculatorPDSA partner organization, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), regularly publishes statements to advocate for governmental policy on behalf of rare disease patients. Earlier this month, NORD published a statement regarding their concern over health plan copay accumulator programs for patients. These programs are relatively new and prevent pharma-provided copay assistance from applying to patients’ out-of-pocket costs and their insurance deductible, meaning the patient is responsible for more money to cover healthcare and necessary prescriptions.

NORD opposes the increasing use of these programs, as they cause unnecessary increases in health care costs for rare disease patients. Rare disease treatments typically are more expensive than other types of therapies because of smaller patient populations, meaning copay accumulator programs could disproportionately harm rare disease patients and caregivers. Research has shown that significant increases in prescription out-of-pocket costs causes patients ceasing treatment and facing worse health outcomes.

NORD provides a more detailed explanation of policy issues on their website to further educate patients and caregivers, as well as partners with patient advocacy organizations to lobby against further implementation of copay accumulation programs and other policies that disadvantage rare disease patients.

National Organization for Rare Disorders. “NORD Issues Statement on Increasing Use of CoPay Accumulator Programs in Health Plans.” June 4 2018. https://bit.ly/2sHeU2r.


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