ABL Healthcare Member News & Industry Trendletter * July 2, 2019

>>> Arup Roy-Burman, MD, is Co-Founder and CEO of Elemeno Health, developer of a proprietary cloud-based solution for front-line healthcare teams. Developed in collaboration with UCSF Medical Center, the Elemeno solution provides "just-in-time" training, which enables front-line medical professionals to quickly access interactive guidelines, smart checklists, and concise how-to videos from any device, 24/7. Elemeno’s solution is in use by teams in multiple large medical centers and county health systems, where it simplifies complicated best practices into bite-sized learning and includes both social and gamification elements designed to engage and motivate team members.. FierceHealthcare named Elemeno Health a "2019 Fierce 15" company, designating it as one of the most promising healthcare companies in the industry. The company is backed by Launchpad Digital Health, Y Combinator, Fenway Summer, and Berkeley Angel Network. Prior to co-founding Elemeno in 2016, Arup was Medical Director of the Pediatric ICU and Director of Transport, Access and Outreach for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. A Pediatric Intensivist, his career has also included working within Children’s Hospital Oakland, Children’s Critical Care Medical Group, and Marin General Hospital. Arup has joined the East Bay Area Round Table.

>>> Helen Adeosun is Co-Founder and CEO of CareAcademy, the home care industry’s first mobile-friendly caregiver training platform, which was born out of Helen’s firsthand knowledge and experience as a caregiver. CareAcademy’s online training helps home care agencies meet clients'needs and state training compliance requirements by providing expert-developed online training for senior home care professionals, including hour-long video courses, accessible on any mobile device, addressing critical topics such as infection control, nutrition and meal preparation, dementia, fall prevention, and safe transfers. The company provides 24/7 English and Spanish language technical support, and works with thousands of agencies, franchisors, and caregivers nationwide. Helen has made a career in driving outcomes for adult learners and finding meaningful ways for them to engage in learning, having worked with Teach For America, Boston Public Schools, and Pearson Education, as well as for a number of companies focused on caregiving issues. Investors in CareAcademy include Lumina Foundation, Techstars, University, and One Way Ventures, Revolution, and ReThink Education, where VC Michelle Dervan - who also recently invested in Eric Neuner’s Health Coast Institute, referred Helen for ABL Membership. Flying in from Boston, Helen has joined the LA Round Table.

  Swallowing Healthcare's Latest "Bitter Pill" - Transparency
by Mimi Grant

March 4, 2013 was the day the healthcare world stopped spinning. That morning newsstands across the country proclaimed on the cover of TIME in stark red and gray: "Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us." This watershed article's author, Steven Brill, won the 2014 National Magazine Award for Public Interest. All of a sudden the lid was off the exorbitant cost of healthcare - the nation's then-$3 trillion healthcare system, and how it was responsible for 60% of the nation's personal bankruptcies.

But, a not-so-funny thing happened on the way to publishing his follow-up book on the subject, America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System: Brill was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm. Suddenly, as he wrote in the book's opening chapter, "when it's your life or your child's life or your mother's life on the receiving end of those amazing things [the healthcare system can provide] there is no such thing as a runaway cost. . . Even when it's not an emergency, even those who would otherwise be the toughest customer lose their leverage." And that brings us to today's political battle raging on how to control America's now-$3.5 trillion cost of care: Medicare for All or Transparency. . . CLICK TO READ REST OF BLOG

  • 7/09 - Silicon Valley Round Table
  • 7/10 - San Francisco Round Table
  • 7/11 - East Bay Round Table
  • 7/17 - Orange County Round Table (moved from 7/3)
  • 7/19 - Los Angeles Round Table
Choice in Aging Named a California Nonprofit of the Year

Choice in Aging (CiA) has been selected as a 2019 California Nonprofit of the Year by Assemblymember Tim Grayson. Debbie Toth, CEO of CiA, joined state senators and assembly members, along with other nonprofits, at a recent luncheon at the Capitol in Sacramento. And, CiA’s preschool, Choice in Learning, just won an award as the Best Montessori Preschool in Contra Costa County from Parents Press. (Debbie Toth)

HumanGood and Presby’s Inspired Life Announce Affiliation

HumanGood, California’s largest non-profit provider of senior housing and services, and Presby’s Inspired Life, a regional leader of continuing care and affordable housing for seniors in greater Philadelphia, are joining in an affiliation that will create the sixth-largest national non-profit senior living provider. Specifically, the affiliation will allow the united organization to enhance performance and care, create more opportunities for team members across a wider network of communities, and provide greater resources for additional continuing care, affordable housing communities, new products and services. (Tara McGuinness)

Kaiser Permanente to Build New Oakland Headquarters

Kaiser Permanente (KP) has announced plans to construct a new headquarters - The Kaiser Permanente Thrive Center - in Oakland. The 1.6 million-square-foot building will accommodate KP’s 7,000+ national and Northern California regional administrative employees, and should save $60+ million per year in operational costs from avoided maintenance on the old sites and lower utility expenses from the more energy-efficient new center. The new building is scheduled to break ground in 2020 and expected to be completed by 2023. It’s also estimated that this new building will generate a one-time $23-million economic benefit in addition to $15+ million annually in local tax revenues for Oakland. (Walt Meyers)

King & Spalding to Host Webinars on Women’s Health

On July 11, at 9:30 a.m. Pacific, King & Spalding (K&S) will present a webinar - Current Issues in Women’s Health, which will discuss how the increasing focus on women’s health issues will affect the drug and device industries. And, on July 23, at 10 a.m. Pacific, K&S will present a webinar - #MeToo Risks Facing Healthcare Providers - which will discuss these risks and how to minimize them. (Marcia Augsburger & Travis Jackson)

Mazzetti Participates in Award-Winning Packard Children’s Hospital

The ASHRAE Golden Gate Chapter has honored Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford with its 1st Place Technology Chapter Award for Healthcare Facilities. The award recognizes outstanding achievements by members who have successfully applied innovative building design in the areas of occupant comfort, indoor air quality, and energy conservation. As the MEP & Sustainability Engineer on the Packard Children’s project, Mazzetti worked early and closely with its design partners to achieve a precedent-setting sustainability profile, including LEED Platinum certification, creating the second children’s hospital ever, the fourth hospital in the country, and fifth in the world to earn this certification. Mazzetti and its design partners achieved the intersection of human health and environmental health. (Walt Vernon)

Wipfli to Present FQHC Bootcamp & Examines Earthquake Regulations

Steve Rousso will serve as MC for Wipfli’s Federally Qualified Health Center Preconference Bootcamp, on July 15, which is part of the 20th Annual Wipfli National Training Conference, running July 14-19, in Las Vegas. The FQHC workshop will include sessions on governance; financial overview; HRSA program management; components of a quality program; and overview of emergency preparedness programs and requirements. Meanwhile, Tony Taddey has published California Earthquake Regulations Impact Hospitals, in which he examines the challenges facing healthcare facilities in California in meeting seismic compliance regulations. "The costs are significant and will impact budgets, but it seems unlikely any hospitals will be forced to close in 2030 for non-compliance," Tony says. "Throughout the history of seismic regulations in California, legislators have shown their willingness to amend the laws to allow more time for hospitals to meet requirements and avoid a shutdown." He also points to moving services to compliant facilities and debt financing to help with meeting the requirements. (Jeff Johnson, Larry Blitz, Steve Rousso & Tony Taddey)

ZEISS Achieves Breakthroughs in Digital Tech & High-Resolution Imaging

ZEISS Medical Technology Segment recently announced several breakthroughs in digital technologies and high-resolution imaging: the ARTEVO 800, the first digital microscope in ophthalmic surgery; CLARUS 700, the first device that combines ultra-widefield UWF imaging, excellent image quality, and a full range of fundus imaging modalities, including fundus angiography; and the completion of two million Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) treatments to date. (Angelo Rago)

Satellite Healthcare Assumes Operations of Salinas Valley Dialysis Program

Satellite Healthcare has taken over operations of the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Acute Dialysis program. Satellite is now running the PD, CRRT and Hemodialysis services within the hospital. The program consists of clinical staff, including RNs and CCHTs, as well as a Biomedical Operations team. (Rick Barnett)

VivaLNK’s Medical Sensor Platform Highlighted in Industry Journal

MedCity News recently published Silicon Valley startup VivaLNK wants to be the Amazon Cloud of remote patient monitoring, which describes VivaLNK’s range of sensor device products. "VivaLNK is currently developing a cardiac device, which is the centerpiece of a new platform with the capability to diagnose a-fibrillation more quickly and efficiently than traditional clinical standards," MedCity News reports. "The company has also made a software development kit available for the new device to allow third-parties to build in their own diagnostic and clinical decision support tools utilizing VivaLNK’s hardware in areas like stroke prevention and hypertension control. VivaLNK’s device has been submitted to regulators for marketing clearance and the first major market for its new offering will likely be Europe." (Jiang Li, Ph.D.)

CareAcademy Partners with ClearCare to Provide Home Care Skills Training

CareAcademy, a leading mobile caregiver training platform recently announced a Preferred Partner and integration relationship with Clearcare, a web-based and mobile operating platform for home care agencies. The companies are now working together to integrate their core platforms to empower home care agencies to provide just-in-time learning about client needs and state-approved compliance training. A webinar about the integration is available to watch here. Also, two national homecare and healthcare providers, Touching Hearts at Home and Phoenix Home Care and Hospice, have recently endorsed CareAcademy for online caregiver training. (Helen Adeosun)

Nelson Hardiman Examines Healthcare Trends in Print & Podcast

The Daily Journal recently published The Shift from Obamacare to Trumpcare, an article by Harry Nelson of Nelson Hardiman, in which Harry explores the recent developments in the repeal of the individual mandate, Medicaid expansion, value-based care, and insurance coverage rules. Also, Harry was interviewed by Jay Ackerman, CEO of Health Data Vision, on the "Value-Based Healthcare Podcast," where they discussed new healthcare technologies and trends. Meanwhile, The Legal 500, a leading legal search directory, recommended Nelson Hardiman as one of the top healthcare law firms in the country, particularly noting the firm’s expertise in regulatory and FCA litigation. (Harry Nelson, JD)

AgilisIT CEO Interviews Healthcare CEOs in Podcast Series

Joyce Tang, CEO of AgilisIT, has launched a podcast series, called Beating Goliath: The Blood, Sweat and Tears of Healthcare Startups, in which she interviews company founders and executives to find out how they are "punching above their weight and winning," plus insider tips from angel investors and venture capitalists. Recent episodes include interviews with Family Proud CEO Jaden Risner; WellBrain CEO Sumeet Maniar; P2B Investor Founder Krista Morgan; former VC and Founder of VAVICI Dr. Han Chiu; Purewick CEO Dr. Camille Newton; A Passion For Care CEO Patricia Melzer; and Elemeno Health founder Dr. Arup Roy-Burman. (Joyce Tang)

Alvaka Networks Offers Tips on Choosing an MSP & on Software Security Patching

In Finding an MSP to Protect Yourself from Outsourcing IT Risks, Alvaka Networks explains that managed service providers (MSPs) help fill the gaps, support strategic initiatives, and lighten the load an organization’s internal IT staff carries to make sure it protects customers from outsourcing IT risks. But due to recent high-profile attacks on local and global IT MSPs, company leaders may be concerned about the safety of working with an MSP. Alvaka provides a list of questions to ask both potential and existing MSP partners. Meanwhile, Alvaka will host a live and interactive webinar - Software Security Patching: Why you are struggling with this essential task!, on multiple dates in July and August. This webinar will take a deep dive into this complex security dilemma, what the risks are, and how you can start to solve this problem. (Oli Thordarson)

Cigna Ranked #1 for Supporting Healthy Communities & Families

Cigna ranked first in the healthcare industry, and second overall, on a new list of Top 100 U.S. Companies Supporting Healthy Communities and Families. The list, compiled by JUST Capital with support from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recognizes leading organizations that prioritize community health through supportive and sustainable business practices to improve the lives of employees, customers, and neighbors. Cigna is investing $200 million in the Cigna Foundation to improve community services, address childhood wellness issues, and help transform healthcare at societal and local levels. Meanwhile, results from Cigna's landmark U.S. Loneliness Index have been published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, as the company continues to advocate for a deeper understanding of the connectivity between physical health and emotional well-being. (Chris De Rosa )

PreludeDx Presents New Research in Luminal Stage 1 Breast Cancer Patients

Prelude Corporation (PreludeDx) recently announced its data from research on stage 1 breast cancer patients: Results of the study demonstrated that the company’s new test was able to stratify patients where those in the low-risk group had a 4% local 10-year risk of either invasive breast cancer or DCIS with surgery alone and 3% risk of local recurrence with surgery and radiation therapy. Patients in the elevated-risk group had a 15% local recurrence risk when treated with surgery alone but, after radiation therapy, had their local recurrence risk reduced to 3% at 10 years. (Dan Forche)

Catasys Adds Canary Health to OnTrak Platform

Catasys, Inc., a leading AI and technology-enabled healthcare company, has formed a strategic partnership with digital therapeutics company Canary Health, in which Catasys is piloting Canary's Better Choices, Better Health program with eligible members of one of its national health plan partners. The program is a series of peer-moderated online workshops designed to improve an individual's self-efficacy in managing chronic conditions. It's been proven effective in major studies to improve health outcomes and lower healthcare utilization and costs. The partnership provides eligible OnTrak members with a path to specifically engage in self-managing their chronic disease. (Rick Anderson, West Los Angeles Technology)

Governor Newsom Signs Largest Budget in State History

California will expand healthcare services, increase its spending on public education, and stash away more money than ever for an economic downturn under the $214.8-billion state budget signed last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the largest in state history. Included in the budget:
> 900,000+ Californians who buy their own health insurance will be eligible for new help paying their insurance premiums. The subsidies will cap premiums to a percentage of income on a sliding scale for people between 200-600% of the federal poverty level.
> California will reinstate a variety of Medi-Cal services that were deemed nonessential during the recession, such as optical services, podiatry, help for incontinence issues, audiology and speech therapy.
> Medi-Cal eligibility is being extended to adults in the U.S. illegally through the age of 25. (Read Article: Los Angeles Times, 6/27/19)

San Francisco Expands CalFresh Food Assistance Program

San Francisco has implemented an expansion of the CalFresh food assistance program to alleviate hunger for thousands living on low and fixed incomes. For the first time, 41,000 seniors and people with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment benefits are eligible for CalFresh. San Francisco is implementing California Assembly Bill 1811, which reverses the existing State policy that made SSI recipients previously ineligible for CalFresh. A 2018 assessment by the San Francisco Food Security Task Force cited concerning declines in access to nutritious foods for vulnerable residents. (Read sf.gov Press Release, 6/5/19)

House Votes to Overturn Ban on National Patient Identifier

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $99.4 billion HHS appropriations bill with several amendments, including reversing a longtime ban on developing a national patient identifier, money for hospital emergency departments dealing with opioid overdoses, and a nod to the anti-vaccination controversy. For decades, Congress has prohibited HHS from funding the development or promotion of any national program where patients would receive permanent, unique identification numbers. Lawmakers previously argued such a program could violate privacy issues or raise security concerns, while the medical community and insurers claimed the ban kept them from properly matching patients with the correct medical information. (Read Article: Modern Healthcare, 6/13/19)

Your Employee Health Plan Could Soon Look Like Your 401(k)

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, companies can provide employees with tax-free dollars to purchase an individual policy rather than offer them a traditional group-health plan. The Trump administration just laid out the final rules for the so-called Health Reimbursement Arrangements. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 6/21/19)

CMS Requests Input on Reducing 'Unnecessary Paperwork'for Providers

On June 6, 2019, CMS issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking new ideas from the public on how to decrease the administrative burden for healthcare providers, specifically the burden of "unnecessary paperwork." The RFI invites healthcare providers, patients, and the broader medical community to recommend changes to the rules, policies, and procedures that would shift time and resources away from needless paperwork and toward more patient care. The deadline to submit comments to the RFI is August 12, 2019. (Read Article: King & Spalding Health Headlines, 6/10/19)

Private Insurers Should Be Excited by Medicare For All: A CEO’s Opinion

In a recent opinion piece in Fortune, Flaviu Simihaian, CEO of Troy Medicare, says that since presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders announced his "Medicare for All" plan in early April, the health insurance industry has uniformly opposed the policy. Yet even if Sanders wins the 2020 presidential election, his Medicare for All plan, which would end the current Medicare system and replace it with a new universal one, is unlikely to be enacted. If a major healthcare overhaul is to occur, it will more likely be a drastic expansion of the current Medicare system. If that happens, private insurers should be rejoicing, because they would likely benefit greatly from such a change, Simihaian continues. "The secret few politicians share is that over 34% of the current Medicare system (20+ million people) today isn’t actually run by the government, but by private companies. This segment of Medicare is called Medicare Advantage and it is growing at an increasing rate each year. The Congressional Budget Office projects that nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries will be covered by Advantage over the next decade. . . By expanding the current Medicare system from 60 million beneficiaries today to 327 million, the Advantage market would grow nearly six times overnight." (Read Article: Fortune, 6/5/19)

Some CEOs Figure 'Medicare For All' Is Good for Business

MCS Industries CEO Richard Master explains that one of the biggest impediments to keeping labor costs in line has been the increasing expense of health coverage in the United States. Today, he’s at the vanguard of a small but growing group of business executives who are lining up to support a "Medicare for All" national health program. He argues not that healthcare is a human right, but that covering everyone with a government plan and decoupling healthcare coverage from the workplace would benefit entrepreneurship. (Read Article: Kaiser Health News, 6/7/19)

National Health Spending Grows at Slowest Pace Since 2013

National health spending grew 3.9% in 2017, its slowest pace since 2013. It reached $3.5 trillion, or $10,739 per capita, and accounted for 17.9% of GDP. Spending on healthcare is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.5% per year between 2018 and 2027. By 2027, it is expected to total $6.0 trillion and account for nearly one-fifth of GDP. (Read Article: California Health Care Foundation, 5/21/19)

When Patients Can’t Pay, Many Hospitals Sue

Carlos Ortiz underwent tests last year at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Va., for dizziness that later was linked to an inner-ear problem. When the uninsured gardener couldn’t pay his bill of about $15,000, the nonprofit institution took him to court. Mary Washington Hospital and others in Virginia were suing so many patients that day that Fredericksburg Circuit Court had cleared the docket to hear all the cases. Nonprofit hospitals - which receive significant tax breaks because of their not-for-profit status - are more likely than for-profit hospitals to garnish the wages of patients, according to a study of Virginia hospitals published in JAMA. In Virginia, where Mary Washington is based, nonprofit hospitals in 2017 filed 20,000 lawsuits against patients for unpaid debt. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 6/25/19)

Telehealth to Get $100 Million in New Funding from FCC

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has announced the agency will vote to advance a $100 million Connected Care Pilot Program, enabling telehealth expansion for low-income Americans nationwide. (Read Article: Healthcare IT News, 6/19/19)

Smart Speakers Utilized to Detect Signs of Cardiac Arrest

University of Washington researchers have devised a novel contactless system that uses smartphones or voice-based personal assistants to identify telltale breathing patterns that accompany a heart attack. The proof-of-concept strategy involved a supervised machine learning model called a support-vector machine that was trained for use in the bedroom. "Sometimes reported as 'gasping'breaths, agonal respirations may hold potential as an audible diagnostic biomarker, particularly in unwitnessed cardiac arrests that occur in a private residence, the location of [two-thirds] of all [out-of-hospital cardiac arrests]," the researchers wrote. (Read Article: MobiHealthNews, 6/19/19)

Apple Health Records Now Available to All U.S. Providers with Compatible EHRs

Apple is opening the doors to its mobile Health Records feature even wider by allowing U.S. healthcare organizations with compatible EHRs to self-register for the personal health record system. Registering a system or clinic allows patients to download their health records to the phone upon providing the credentials to their existing patient portal. The rollout of Apple Health Records had so far been exclusive to a number of partner healthcare providers and certain organizations such as the Department of Veterans Affairs. (Read Article: MobiHealthNews, 6/28/19)

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