Dennis Dimitri – Supervised Injection Facilities

Play

Today we are joined by Dr. Dennis Dimitri, the immediate past-president of the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) and current chair of the society’s Task Force on Opioid Prescribing and Physician Communication, to discuss supervised injection facilities, or SIFs. A SIF is a location where individuals may use illegal drugs under the supervision of a medical professional ready to assist in case of an overdose requiring treatment.

Later this month, the MMS will vote on whether to advocate for a task force to assess the feasibility of a pilot SIF in the state of Massachusetts. If the proposal is approved, the MMS will become the first statewide physician organization in the Bay State to advocate for such a pilot program.

We discuss with Dr. Dimitri what it would mean should the MMS advocate for SIFs. We review the evidence on the effect of SIFs on rates of fatal overdoseuptake of Substance Use Disorder treatment, and rates of transmission of HIV and HCV. We talk about the ethical considerations of such a program, whether SIFs enable behaviors harmful to people’s health or they represent harm reduction, and the complex legal considerations involved with a potential pilot program.

Major events of the opioid epidemic in the last few years, such as business owners planning for the possibility of overdose in bathrooms and a recent HIV outbreak stemmed by a needle exchange program in Indiana, raise the potential benefits of SIFs. If you’re interested in reading more, check out recent guest Dr. Sarah Wakeman‘s compassionate and evidence-based case for SIFs in this recent NEJM article. You can also listen to our past episode Dr. Jessie Gaeta on the SPOT program (supportive place for observation and treatment) when she also gave her thoughts on SIFs.

Dr. Dimitri is a family physician and Vice Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at University of Massachusetts and the UMass Memorial Medical Center.

What do you think? In the face of the opioid epidemic, could pilot SIFs in the US also reduce overdose deaths as in Canada and Australia? Tweet us your thoughts at @rospodcast or leave a comment on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/reviewofsystems.  Or, drop us a line directly at contact@rospod.org. We’d love to hear from you – and thanks for listening.

Graphic from of Centers for Disease Control, Opioid Overdose.

Seth Berkowitz – Food Insecurity and Chronic Disease

Play

This week we are joined by Seth Berkowitz to talk about his research examining the associations between food insecurity and health outcomes. Seth is a primary care physician, Instructor of Medicine, and is on faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine and the Diabetes Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Seth’s research interests include population management, food insecurity, cost-related medication underuse and the impact of adverse social circumstances on chronic disease management. His goal is to develop and disseminate interventions and care delivery models that address social and economic needs.

Today he joins us to talk about a recent collaboration, funded by an award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Evidence for Action Program, with Community Servings. Community Servings is a Boston-based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing medically tailored meals to chronically ill adults. The study aims to assess whether individuals receiving the medically tailored meals have lower rates of inpatient hospitalization, ED utilization, and medical expenditures.

You can find a piece co-authored by Seth and David Waters, the CEO of Community Servings here, and the Health Affairs article Seth and I talked about examining the effect of eliminating use of SNAP, or food stamps, for sugary sweetened beverages here.

Lastly, if you like the show, please rate and review us on itunes or stitcher, which makes the show easier for others to find; and share us on social media. We tweet at @rospodcast and are on facebook at www.facebook.com/reviewofsystems.  Please drop us a line at contact@rospod.org. We’d love to hear from you.

 

Less AND More Are Needed to Assess Primary Care – Rebecca S. Etz et al

Play

On this week’s journal club, David Rosenthal, Audrey Provenzano, and Thomas Kim discuss Less AND More are Needed to Assess Primary Care, which was recently published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine by Rebecca Etz, PhD, Martha M. Gonzalez, BS, E. Marshall Brooks, PhD, and Kurt C. Stange, MD PhD.

The study utilized surveys to assess the lacuna between current quality measures and attributes of high quality primary care, and make the case that as policymakers and payers work to reduce the administrative burden of quality measurement more attention should be paid to measuring domains of high quality primary care.

What do you think? How do you know good primary care when you see it? How should the quality of primary care be assessed?

Please tweet us your thoughts @RoSpodcast, or drop us a line at contact@rospod.org. And, let us know what manuscripts you think we should look at in journal clubs and who we should have on to talk about their work. We look forward to hearing from you, and thanks for listening!

Andrew Schutzbank – Iora Health

Play

This week we are joined by Andrew Schutzbank, the Vice President of Product and Technology at Iora Health. His passion for revolutionizing health care began as a medical student at Tulane in pre- and post-Katrina New Orleans and continued during his Internal Medicine & Primary Care residency at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He writes at schutzblog.com and joins us today to talk his work at Iora Health.

We discuss how the idea of completely starting over brought him to Iora Health after his residency, how Iora Health’s model works and how they navigate risk, the central role of Health Coaches in the care team, what challenges Iora is still grappling with, about Iora Health’s novel EHR, Chirp, and finish up with his reflections on how software development and patient care are similar.

Please rate and review us on itunes or stitcher, and share us on social media. We tweet at @rospodcast and are on facebook at www.facebook.com/reviewofsystems.  Please drop us a line at contact@rospod.org. We’d love to hear from you.