Understanding the Opioid Epidemic with Dan Ciccarone

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The opioid epidemic is the greatest public health crisis of our time. It is estimated that about 64,000 people died of opioid overdoses in 2016 – more than died in the Vietnam war or in 1 year at the height of the AIDs epidemic. Dan Ciccarone, our guest this week, and a Professor at UCSF School of Medicine, has spent his career trying to improve our understanding of substance use disorders and their health consequences. He and his collaborators look at this question both up-close, through ethnographic research in the community, and hours and hours of interviews with people who use injection drugs, and also by stepping back and sifting through huge datasets, looking at the larger epidemiologic and economic forces shaping the epidemic. He has spent years studying heroin specifically, and is currently the PI of the Heroin in Transitions study, which continues this vital work.

We talk specifically about a study led by one of his collaborators, Dr. Sarah Mars, “Every ‘Never’ I Ever Said Came True”: Transitions from opioid pills to heroin injecting; his group’s study of trends in hospitalizations and what that tells us about the epidemic in a 2013 Plos One publication, Intertwined Epidemics: National Demographic Trends in Hospitalizations for Heroin- and Opioid-Related Overdoses, 1993–2009. We also discuss his recent look at some of the larger factors influencing the epidemic with collaborators Nabarun Dasgupta and Leo Belitsky in Opioid Crisis: No Easy Fix to Its Social and Economic Determinants.

You can find more information about the book Dr. Ciccarone mentioned, Dreamland by Sam Quinones, here. And you can find the American Society for Addiction Medicine’s waiver training here.

If you enjoyed the show, please give us 5 stars wherever you listen. Tweet us your thoughts @RoSpodcast and leave us a message on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/reviewofsystems. Or, you can email me at audreyATrospod.org. We’d love to hear from you, and thanks for listening.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity. Photo courtesy of Dr. Ciccarone.

Andrew Bazemore – Community Vital Signs: Achieving Equity through Primary Care Means Checking More than Blood Pressure

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“How do we get the data and the information necessary to address health?”

In this episode, another in a series with speakers from the 2017 second Starfield Summit, we talked with Dr. Andrew Bazemore about how primary care occupies the juncture between public health and health care. Andrew believes achieving health equity necessarily involves harnessing the democratization of data by pairing aggregated population health data to patient data in EHRs. We talked about his vision of Community Vital Signs and the challenges to getting there; the legacy of Sidney Kark, H. Jack Geiger, Gene Farley, and Curtis Hames and how they would drool at modern geographic information systems; how Community Vital Signs could help triage patients and help them achieve better health; and the potential for ecological fallacy in the work.

Andrew Bazemore is a practicing family physician and the Director of the Robert Graham Center, which he joined in 2005. He oversees and participates in the Center’s research with a particular interest in access to care for underserved populations, health workforce & training, and spatial analysis. He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications, while leading the Center’s emphasis on developing tools that empower primary care providers, leaders, and policymakers.  He also serves on the faculties of the Departments of Family Medicine at Georgetown University and Virginia Commonwealth University, and in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University School of Public Health. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine(NAM), and appointed member of the federal Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME).

The Starfield Summit brought together leaders in primary care, clinicians, experts, advocates, patients, and community members in 2017 to collaborate in paving paths towards health equity and social accountability. The Summit was primarily sponsored by FMAHealth, OH&SU, and OCHIN.  Stay tuned in upcoming weeks for more speakers from the Starfield Summit.

If you enjoyed the show, please give us 5 stars wherever you listen. Tweet us your thoughts @RoSpodcast and leave us a message on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/reviewofsystems. Or, you can email me at thomasATrospod.org. We’d love to hear from you, and thanks for listening.

This interview was edited lightly for length and clarity.

Journal Club Lightning Round: evidence based policy and vaccine rates, municipal non-health spending and health rankings, and is less really more?

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For this week’s journal club, David, Thomas, and Audrey bring listeners short overviews of three articles. Audrey discusses an article published in the journal Pediatrics Dec 18 2017, called Exemptions from Mandatory Immunization After Legally Mandated Parental Counseling by Saad Omer, Kristen Allen, DH Chang, Beryl Guterman, Robert Bednarczyk, Alex Jordan, Alison Buttenheim, Malia Jones, Claire Hannan, Patricia deHart, and Daniel Salmon. David chats about the Dec 14, 2017 commentary published in New England Journal of Medicine by Dr. Lisa Rosenbaum entitled The Less is More Crusade – Are we Overmedicalizing or Oversimplifying. And Thomas shares a Health Affairs article, Government spending health and nonhealth sectors associated with improvement in county health rankings, published in their November 2016 issue.

If you enjoy the show, please give us 5 stars wherever you listen. Tweet us your thoughts @RoSpodcast and leave us a message on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/reviewofsystems. Or, you can email me at audrey@rospod.org. We’d love to hear from you, and thanks for listening.

Reprise – Population Health Management with Dave Chokshi

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This week, we are joined by Dave Chokshi. Dave is the Chief Population Health Officer of OneCity Health and Senior Assistant Vice President at New York City Health + Hospitals—the largest public health care system in the U.S. He practices primary care at Bellevue Hospital and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Population Health and Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.

We talk about what population health is, how it is distinct from public health, and what value it adds to our healthcare system. We also talk about how in some ways it might contribute to the erosion of relationships between primary care providers and patients, how that can be remedied, and how the small 1 or 2 doctor practice may fit into a population health management vision. We talk about a piece he wrote with Neil Calman and Diane Hauser about what they call the “expanded denominator,” and how that may further goals of public health and accountable care. Lastly, we talk about population health approaches in urban and rural settings, and how we should think about the opioid epidemic from a population health vantage point.

We reference a few articles throughout our conversation: Christine Sinsky’s already classic Annals paper detailing that physicians spend two hours on administrative tasks for every hour they see patients, and our journal club on that paper. Robin Williams’ and colleagues Health Affairs blog on utilizing the HIV cascade of care to battle the opioid epidemic, and Lawrence Casalino and colleagues work calculating what we spend measuring the care we provide. In addition, we reference the Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s landmark report on addiction.

A quick note about a word we use frequently but didn’t pause to define for listeners – attribution. Attribution is the assignment of a specific patient to a specific primary care physician in a health system. Once a patient is attributed to a PCP or health system, that PCP and health system is held accountable for the patient’s quality measures and healthcare costs within ACOs or other alternative payment contracts. This still applies patients who do not frequently access the healthcare system through traditional channels or most frequently see specialists, who perhaps have never seen the assigned PCP, and is therefore at times controversial.

A little more background on Dr. Dave Chokshi: He was Assistant Vice President of Ambulatory Care Transformation at NYC Health + Hospitals and director of Population Health Improvement at NYU School of Medicine. In 2012-13, he served as a White House Fellow at the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, where he was the principal health advisor in the Office of the Secretary. His prior work experience spans the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, including positions with the New York City and State Departments of Health, the Louisiana Department of Health, a startup clinical software company, and the nonprofit Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, where he was a founding member of the Board of Directors.

If you enjoy the show, please rate and review us wherever you listen, and share us on social media. Tweet us your thoughts @rospodcast and check out our facebook page at www.facebook.com/reviewofsystems. Or, you can email me at audreyATrospod.org. We’d love to hear from you, and thanks for listening.

Partnering Primary Care & Public Health — Lloyd Michener

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Can we solve chronic disease using a medical model? In this episode, the first in a series with speakers from the 2017 second Starfield Summit, we talked with Dr. Lloyd Michener – the principal investigator of the Practical Playbook, which facilitates the integration of primary care and public health – about why primary care clinicians need to collaborate with public health agencies to tackle chronic disease, how to look at data differently to identify what’s really happening in our communities, and how primary care can be a better partner in community collaborations.

Lloyd Michener is a professor of Community and Family Medicine at Duke, the department’s former chair, and one of the country’s pre-eminent authorities on reducing health disparities through community health, community engagement, and practice redesign. Lloyd also leads the technical support service of the BUILD Health Challenge (bold, upstream, integrated, local, and data-driven), a national competitive award program aimed at improving hospital, community, and public health collaborations that improve health. He has also served as President of the Association for Prevention Teaching & Research, Chair of the Council of Academic Societies and as a member of the Board of the Association of Academic Medical Colleges. You can also learn more about his personal and professional journey here.

The Starfield Summit brought together leaders in primary care, clinicians, experts, advocates, patients, and community members – this year in order to collaborate in paving paths towards health equity and social accountability. The Summit was primarily sponsored by Family Medicine for America’s Health, Oregon Health & Science University, and OCHIN.  Stay tuned in upcoming weeks for more speakers from the Starfield Summit.

This interview was edited lightly for clarity.

Photo credit: Duke