IHA Daily Briefing: March 14

Thursday, March 14, 2019
CMS Updates Drug Dashboards with Pricing & Spending
Suicide: A Growing Problem with Preteens
Study Looks at Firearm Deaths for Young Black Men            
CMS Updates Drug Dashboards with Pricing & Spending
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its Drug Spending Dashboards to include 2017 data with information on the manufacturers that are responsible for price increases and pricing and spending data for thousands more drugs across Medicare Parts B and D and Medicaid.

The interactive dashboards focus on average spending per dosage unit for prescription drugs paid under Medicare Parts B and D and Medicaid, and track the change in average spending per dosage unit over time.

Drugs with limited to no competition can be identified using the dashboard, by sorting for drugs with few manufacturers. Information is also provided on drug uses and clinical indications, so patients and physicians can compare the list prices of different medications for a given condition.

CMS says in 2017, total gross spending on prescription drugs was $154.9 billion in Medicare Part D, $30.4 billion in Part B, and $67.6 billion in Medicaid.
Suicide: A Growing Problem with Preteens
A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study released on Monday examined on how frequently preteen youth screened positive for suicide risk in emergency departments. It found that nearly one-third of youth ages 10 to 12 years screened positive for suicide risk in emergency department settings and 7 percent of those preteens were seeking help for physical – not psychiatric – concerns. Roughly one in five (17 percent) of the preteens, specifically those who visited the emergency department for a psychiatric concern, had previously attempted suicide

According to the NIH, suicide is a growing public health problem in the U.S. Between 2008 and 2017, there was a substantial rise in the suicide rate for youth ages 10 to 12. Today, suicide is the third leading cause of death for this age group.
Study Looks at Firearm Deaths for Young Black Men
The latest available data from the Illinois Violent Death Reporting System (IVDRS) released by the Injury Prevention and Research Center at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago shows the rate of firearm homicide for black male adolescents in Chicago dropped 25 percent between 2016 and 2017. Despite this progress, black male adolescents were still 35 times more likely to die from firearm homicide in 2017 than U.S. adolescents, and 13 times more likely than all other adolescents in Chicago.

“While we see a decline  in adolescent firearm homicides in Chicago, the rates are still shockingly elevated, up by 74 percent from 2013 to 2017,” says Maryann Mason, PhD, Principal Investigator of IVDRS at Lurie Children’s and Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “This is clearly a public health crisis for adolescents in Chicago. We hope our data helps to drive change that is desperately needed.”

Between 2013 and 2017, the pattern of violence showed significant consolidation into the south and west sides of the city, as violence became overall less dispersed. The Chicago community area with the highest amount of youth firearm homicide shifted from the south side of the city (South Shore) in 2013 to the west side (Austin and North Lawndale) by 2017.

In efforts to prevent violence, Lurie Children’s convened a collaborative called Strengthening Chicago Youth (SCY) that connects and mobilizes the community to confront this critical issue. SCY also provides training, support and evidence-based strategies for violence prevention.