Cheaper alternative to EpiPen allergy shot approved by FDA

From the Verge:

800.0The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new allergy shot medication that will directly compete with Mylan’s EpiPen, the allergy medicine that’s been heavily criticized for being unaffordable. It’s not clear how much the new medication will cost, but manufacturer Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corporation says it’ll be a cheaper alternative to the EpiPen.

Called Symjepi, the new allergy shot also comes in two, single-dose syringes filled with the hormone epinephrine, which ends potentially life-threatening allergy attacks from bug bites, foods like nuts, and other medication. Symjepi is expected to hit the market later this year, according to the Associated Press.

Telemedicine provides cost-effective alternative to rural hospital closures

From Becker’s:

As rural hospitals continue to close across the country, communities in need of healthcare services may turn to more cost-effective alternatives such as telemedicine, according to a report out of the College Station-based Texas A&M Rural and Community Health Institute.

The report — titled “What’s next? Practical suggestions for rural communities facing a hospital closure” and sponsored by the Episcopal Health Foundation — examines rural hospital closures and alternative healthcare resources. The findings may prove particularly relevant for Texas A&M University’s surrounding community, as more than 15 percent of all U.S. rural hospital closures since 2010 have occurred in Texas.

Micro-Hospitals are Poised for Big Growth

From HealthLeaders Media:

“The goal of insurers is still to get the chain of acuity away from the hospitals and out to the constituents at a lower cost, which is exactly what micro-hospitals do,” says Johnson. “No legislation passed will negatively impact this niche.”

With advances in technology adding to the practicality of moving procedures out of the hospital, the outpatient environment is poised for growth, while inpatient may stagnate.


Georgia Agency To Monitor Blue Cross Emergency Room Policy

From WABE:

The state insurance department says it will monitor the new emergency room policy of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia “to make sure that it is not abused to the disadvantage of Georgia policyholders.”

Blue Cross recently told policyholders that starting in July, it will stop covering ER visits it considers to have been unnecessary. The health insurer, Georgia’s largest, said it’s pursuing the move involving its coverage of individual policies due to the costs of routine primary care being administered in an ER setting. Physician groups, meanwhile, have been critical of the policy.