Physician Practice Roundup—Another study finds no evidence of link between MMR vaccinations and autism

Another study finds no evidence of link between MMR vaccinations and autism

Doctors trying to assure parents of the safety of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine just got more evidence.

A major new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found no link between autism and the MMR vaccine. Danish researchers who studied over 650,000 children over 10 years said their study strongly supports that MMR vaccination does not increase the risk for autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children and is not associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination.

The study adds to previous research that discredits the idea that immunization is linked with autism. Recent outbreaks of measles have renewed concern about the growing resistance to vaccines among some parents. Yesterday, the American Academy of Pediatrics sent letters to the CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Pinterest urging them to combat “the dangerous spread of vaccine misinformation online.” The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is holding a hearing on vaccine-preventable diseases and the ongoing outbreaks today. (Annals of Internal Medicine study; AAP announcement)

Eli Lilly introduces lower-cost generic version of its popular Humalog insulin

Eli Lilly is planning to release a generic version of its Humalog insulin pen that’s half the price of the original.

Insulin lispro’s list price will be $137.35 per vial and $265.20 for a set of five pens. Drugmakers, including Lilly, have come under fire for insulin prices.

Lilly said it is already producing the drug and is working with its supply chain partners to make the authorized generic available as soon as possible. (FiercePharma)

Watchdog says veterans were treated by disqualified providers

A federal watchdog says the Veterans Health Administration needs to tighten up its credentialing after discovering multiple instances where veterans were being seen by providers who were disqualified from delivering patient care, according to a new report.

The Government Accountability Office said in its review of 57 providers (PDF) that it found adverse-action information from the National Practitioner Data Bank was either overlooked or was completely missed by some facilities. (FierceHealthcare)

Considering becoming an ACO? These are the common traits of those most likely to succeed

As the feds look to push accountable care organizations to more quickly take on greater risk, a new report highlights common traits of ACOs that have already successfully taken that leap. 

Leavitt Partners analyzed ACOs across Medicare, including the Medicare Shared Savings Program, Pioneer ACOs and Next Generation ACOs, to find common threads among successful programs and identify ways to better support those that are being left behind. 

The report found that larger, more experienced ACOs were more likely to switch to tracks with higher risk than younger programs. ACOs taking on greater downside risk were more likely to be in urban or metropolitan areas, according to the study. 

This suggests there’s more work to be done to support smaller, newer ACOs and those located in more remote or rural areas, the researchers said. (FierceHealthcare)