ABL Healthcare Member News & Industry Trendletter * September 5, 2019

>>> Ken Graham is CEO of MayView Community Health Center, a FQHC provider with sites in Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale. In his career, Ken has served as CEO of hospitals and as a board member or advisor to dozens of healthcare organizations. Recently, Ken was the Queen's Health Systems (QHS) System Integration Advisor at North Hawaii Community Hospital, following his role as inaugural Interim President and then President of the hospital. He also advised QHS's senior leadership on their efforts to acquire, redesign, and re-activate a shuttered hospital that then became the successful Queen's Medical Center - West Oahu. Ken previously was President and CEO of El Camino Hospital, in Mountain View; CEO of Overlake Hospital Medical Center, in Bellevue, WA; and held various executive positions with Daughters of Charity Health System - West, Grossmont District Hospital, and Long Beach Community Hospital. In 2010, Ken was appointed by California Governor Schwarzenegger to serve on the California Healthcare Policy and Data Commission. Ken has rejoined the Silicon Valley Round Table.

>>> Art Hoffman is Founder and CEO of Vital Link Medical Alert Systems, a leader in the medical alert systems industry since 1981, providing high-quality products and services for seniors and persons with disabilities. The company's purpose is to help its clients live securely while maintaining their independence and peace of mind. To use Vital Link's medical alert system, the client wears a help button around their neck or wrist and presses it when needed. The system then connects with Vital Link's monitoring center, available 24/7/365, and its EMD-certified operators communicate with the client over the built-in speaker. The client can tell the operator what kind of help they need and whom they would like Vital Link to call. And if the client does not respond, Vital Link will still send help, and follow up to make sure it arrives. In addition to providing products and services that mitigate risks from falling, Vital Link has been very involved in fall-prevention education throughout the community. Art is President Emeritus of the Board of Directors of Meals on Wheels of Alameda County, where he has volunteered since 2007. He was a founding Board Member of the Medical Alert Monitoring Association. Art is also currently on the Planning Committee and Treasurer for SHARE Social and Health Resource Exchange, since 1997. Art has joined the East Bay Round Table.

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  Healthcare's Innovation Factory is Just Down the Street
by Mimi Grant

Just five years after rebranding itself as CVS Health, the retail pharmacy chain that first emerged in 1963 as Consumer Value Stores, is on the cusp of becoming the nation's largest provider of healthcare services. Number 8 among the Fortune 500, CVS is already one of the largest pharmacy chains nationally, with 9,600 stores located in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico; in fact, they're located within five miles of where 76% of the US population lives.

Back five years ago, when the company only had 7,700 stores promoting cigarettes behind their checkout counters, CVS took the bold move to stop selling cancer sticks and tobacco products in all of its CVS/pharmacy stores, even anticipating their revenues could take a $2 billion hit. But just eight months later, after launching a national smoking cessation program, states where CVS Health locations held greater than a 15% market share, cigarette pack sales went down a full 1% - five fewer packs per smoker, and 95 million packs overall. Meanwhile, nicotine patch purchases in the same states grew 4%, indicating a positive effect on attempts to quit smoking . . . CLICK TO READ REST OF BLOG

  • 09/10 - Silicon Valley Round Table
  • 09/11 - San Francisco Round Table
  • 09/12 - East Bay Round Table
  • 09/20 - Los Angeles Round Table
  • 10/02 - Orange County Round Table
Good Samaritan Hospital to Affiliate with PIH Health

PIH Health and Good Samaritan Hospital, where Andy Leeka is President and CEO, announced today that they have signed an affiliation agreement that will align the two mission-driven healthcare organizations. Good Samaritan will be fully integrated into the PIH Health system in a manner that will permanently maintain and enhance Good Samaritan's ability to provide outstanding patient care to the thousands of patients it serves each week. "PIH Health and Good Samaritan share a common commitment to the health and wellness of the residents of Southern California. We plan to expand services that will benefit even more members of our community," said Andrew B. Leeka, Good Samaritan President and CEO. "We believe that combining the resources and expertise of two of Southern California's outstanding health systems will result in enhanced care and services." "The affiliation with PIH Health will allow us to continue our 134-year-old tradition of service and innovation with a new and sustainable model well suited for our current healthcare environment," added Charles T. Munger, Good Samaritan Board of Trustees Chair. With 408 beds, and two medical office towers - including a state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery center, Good Sam will be joining the PIH system, which currently has two hospitals located in Whittier and Downey, with 732 licensed beds, 28 clinics and outpatient centers, a home care agency and hospice, and a joint venture imaging center. Governmental review and approval is expected to take about four months. (Read more here.)

Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Brings Community Art Therapy & Community Resource Centers to L.A.

An eight-week Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Community Art Therapy program was recently held in collaboration with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles, Challengers Clubhouse, and Wellnest. The project helped local youth deal with everyday trauma they face by using their creativity to help design a mural based on their hopes and aspirations. Each week, social workers and behavioral health specialists joined an accomplished artist who encouraged youth to lend their creativity as they participated in the program. Art was used as a tool to help the program participants share their feelings and talk about difficult issues in a safe, nurturing space. Meanwhile, the Plan has also announced a joint venture with LA Care to build/renovate a total of 14 Community Resource Centers throughout LA County, with each organization investing $73 million in the project. By the first quarter of 2021, the two health plans plan to open seven new community resource centers and co-brand all 14 centers with both logos. (Greg Buchert, MD)

CareAcademy Chosen as Preferred Training Provider by Home Helpers Home Care

CareAcademy has been chosen for use at Home Helpers Home Care locations, whose CEO pointed to CareAcademy's mobile-friendly, online caregiver training platform, particularly noting the automated assignment of the right classes on the correct schedule to meet annual training compliance. Home Helpers consists of independently owned and operated offices in 1000+ communities across the U.S. (Helen Adeosun)

Nelson Hardiman Provides Insights on Recent Opioid Lawsuits

Six Partners from Nelson Hardiman, including Harry Nelson, were selected by their peers for inclusion in "The Best Lawyers in America 2020," and Harry was a Finalist for a Los Angeles Business Journal "Health Care Leadership Award." Meanwhile, Harry has been recently interviewed by, and written for, a variety of publications, news programs, and podcasts on the subject of the opioid crisis and lawsuits. (Harry Nelson, JD)

Axene Health Partners' Blog Covers Variety of Healthcare Topics

Recent blog posts from Axene Health Partners include: "Should You Be Concerned About Low Rate Increases?" "Measuring ROI for a Pediatric Care Intervention Program;" "An Actuarial View of Health Care Public Policy Proposals;" "An Actuary Looks at 50;" "Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue;" "The Lionfish in ACA Markets;" and "Health Reimbursement Arrangements: Will Employers Fund Individual Market Coverage?" They can all be read here. (John Price)

Choice in Aging CEO Named to Governor's Master Plan for Aging Advisory Committee

Debbie Toth, CEO of Choice in Aging (CiA), has been asked to serve on California Governor Newsom's Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee, which will advise the Cabinet Workgroup on Aging in the development of the Master Plan. The diverse group of stakeholders will help to develop components of the Plan, to guide the work of state government, local communities, private organizations, and philanthropy to build environments that promote healthy aging. Meanwhile, CiA's 2nd annual Bedford Block Party will take place September 21, in Antioch, an event which supports the Bedford Center for Adult Day Health Care, the only adult day center serving East Contra Costa County. (Debbie Toth)

Health Coach Institute Announces "HCI Live" Event

On November 7-9, Health Coach Institute will present HCI Live: The Must-Attend Event for Coaches & Health Practitioners, in Dallas, TX. Speakers will include Eric Neuner, CEO of HCI, and topics will cover the hottest trends in the health coaching industry; emerging, lucrative coaching opportunities; and what HCI is doing to support and advocate for coaches. (Eric Neuner)

HumanGood Named One of the 2019 Best Workplaces for Aging Services

HumanGood has been named one of the 2019 "Best Workplaces for Aging Services" by Great Place to Work and FORTUNE. The ranking considered feedback representing 223,183 employees, and factors included the extent to which employees trust leaders, the respect with which people are treated, the fairness of workplace decisions, and how much camaraderie there is among the team. Meanwhile, HumanGood recently hosted Bay Area and Northern California-based policy makers and homeless advocates for its symposium addressing the challenges of delivering affordable housing and services that meet the needs of low-income older adults. (Tara McGuinness)

Kaiser Permanente Hospitals Rated Among Nation's Best

More than 30 Kaiser Permanente hospitals were recognized as "high performing" in U.S. News & World Report's 2019-20 Best Hospitals study, which analyzes 25 specialties, procedures, and common conditions to assess hospital performance. High performers are based on evaluation of the 4,500+ medical centers and designate the top 90th percentile of hospitals nationwide. Twelve KP hospitals in California are ranked among the state's best for overall care: Anaheim, Irvine, Baldwin Park, Downey, Fontana, Ontario, Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, Santa Clara, South Bay, and South Sacramento. Meanwhile, KP has demonstrated promising results in reducing secondary cardiac events and rehospitalizations by creating a virtual cardiac rehabilitation program. Increasing rates of program enrollment and completion have been key factors in the improved outcomes. (Walt Meyers)

King & Spalding to Host Webinar on "Open Borders for Rx Drugs?"

On September 12, from 10-11 a.m. Pacific, King & Spalding (K&S) will present a webinar - Open Borders for Rx Drugs? The Trump Administration's Move to Authorize Prescription Drug Importation. And, on September 23, K&S will present a webinar - Healthcare Fraud Enforcement Priorities in 2019 and Beyond, from 10-11 a.m. Pacific. You do not have to be a client to attend these webinars, and there is no charge. (Marcia Augsburger, JD, & Travis Jackson, JD)

KMD Architects Participates in Renovations of Inpatient Care Facility & ED

KMD Architects recently celebrated the ribbon cutting for a new 16-bed inpatient care facility, located in McCleary, WA, for individuals experiencing substance abuse or an acute behavioral health crisis. KMD worked with Great Rivers Behavioral Health Organization and Telecare Corporation to remodel the 1950s-era Mark Reed Hospital to serve as a new Evaluation and Treatment Center. And, KMD reports that its expansion and renovation of MultiCare Allenmore Hospital's Emergency Department in Tacoma, WA, is underway and that services will be shared with the new Wellfound Behavioral Health Hospital crisis intervention unit. (Rob Matthew)

Lifelong Medical Care Teams with East Bay Community Recovery Project

East Bay Community Recovery Project (EBCRP) has joined LifeLong Medical Care's family of services, in order to offer a fuller array of medical, behavioral health, substance-use treatment, case management, and dental services to Alameda County residents. Lifelong Medical is an innovative, non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center, and EBCRP provides comprehensive substance-use and co-occurring disorder care. (Mike Stacey, MD)

On Lok's 30th Street Senior Center to Celebrate 40th Anniversary

On the evening of September 27, On Lok will present an evening of dining, dancing, auction, and entertainment, celebrating the 40th anniversary of its 30th Street Senior Center, San Francisco's largest multipurpose senior center with programs serving 6,000+ individuals per year. Proceeds from the gala will benefit the Mission Nutrition community and home-delivered meal programs. (Grace Li)

Mazzetti Spearheads "Reimagining Critical Care Spaces" Workshop

Mazzetti's Sextant Foundation is organizing a Reimagining Critical Care Workshop, to be held on September 19-20, in conjunction with the Healthcare Facilities Symposium in Boston. Leading clinicians and representatives from healthcare-focused architecture, engineering, and design firms will gather to use process thinking and human-centered-design-inspired techniques to reimagine critical care spaces and how they are designed. Suggestions will be submitted to the Facility Guidelines Institute to potentially inform future fundamental guidelines requirements and "beyond fundamentals" ideas and insights. (Walt Vernon)

Mission Hospice Co-Founds California Hospice Network

Mission Hospice & Home Care, together with Hospice of Santa Cruz County and The Elizabeth Hospice in San Diego, have formed the California Hospice Network, a strategic partnership committed to sustaining local, nonprofit, community-based hospice care throughout California. These organizations are committed to working, sharing, and planning together to further enhance their delivery of exemplary patient care and end-of-life services. Mission Hospice will continue to operate as a distinct and independent nonprofit, mission-driven hospice and palliative care organization, while working with California Hospice Network partners to share best practices, maximize operational economies and efficiencies, and ensure long-term viability within a changing healthcare environment. (Lisa Deal, ScD)

Wipfli Announces Upcoming Healthcare Conference & Webinar

On September 10-12, Wipfli will present Critical Access Hospital and Rural Health Clinic Conference in Reno, NV, where Jeff Johnson and Steve Rousso will be speakers. Sessions are intended for all levels of critical access hospital and rural health clinic professionals. And, on September 24, Wipfli will host a webinar - Thinking about selling your healthcare facility? - to discuss the prudent assessment actions to take in preparation for a sale. Meanwhile, Wipfli has been ranked #19 on INSIDE Public Accounting's rankings of the nation's largest 400 accounting firms. (Jeff Johnson, Larry Blitz, Tony Taddey & Steve Rousso)

Bayer Acquires BlueRock Therapeutics to Build Leading Position in Cell Therapy

Bayer AG plans to fully acquire BlueRock Therapeutics, a privately held, U.S.-headquartered biotechnology company focused on developing engineered cell therapies in the fields of neurology, cardiology, and immunology, using a proprietary induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) platform. Following a 2016 joint venture with Versant Ventures to establish BlueRock Therapeutics, Bayer will now acquire the remaining stake for approximately $240 million in cash to be paid upfront at closing and an additional $360 million payable upon achievement of pre-defined development milestones. The closing of the transaction is expected during the third quarter of 2019. (Dirk Schapeler)

MayView Community Health Awarded $1.7M from Healthcare District

MayView Community Health Center has received a $1.7 million grant from the El Camino Healthcare District - the largest provided through the program to date - which will pay for doctors, nurses, and clinic staff needed to support an increasing number of patients in need of affordable healthcare. MayView is the "essential safety net" for primary care within the district's boundaries, providing services for 9,000+ primarily low-income patients. (Ken Graham)

Royal Ambulance CEO Named to Glassdoor's "Top CEOs" List

Steve Grau, CEO of Royal Ambulance, has been named to Glassdoor's "Top CEOs 2019 - Employees' Choice" list, coming in at #25 for all SMBs in the U.S. And, he has been featured in Forbes, in 5 Strategies for Increasing Employee Engagement in a Competitive Industry; and on the HIMSS National Blog, in Removing Patient Transport Barriers with Innovative Partnerships. Also, in Q&A: How to encourage employee growth and maintain high standards, Eve Grau, co-founder of Royal, shares the company's philosophy for cultivating highly motivated employees. (Steve Grau)

Alvaka Networks Presents Software Security Patching Webinars

Alvaka Networks will host a live and interactive webinar - Software Security Patching: "Why you are struggling with this essential task?!", on multiple dates in September and October. 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)

SAVI Group Examines Lean Management & Patient Payment Collection

Recent blog posts from SAVI Group include How to Implement Lean Management into Your Medical Practice, a process that eliminates waste and improves quality; and Patient Payment Collection Mistakes Your Practice Should Avoid, which discusses limited payment options; inaccurate or incomplete patient information; subpar customer service; lack of staff training; and software systems. (Sumit Mahendru)

Select Data Provides On-Demand Webinars on Documentation Requirements

Select Data provides educational webinars and training resources designed to assist clinicians with documentation requirements for ICD-10 and PDGM. Their on-demand webinars include: "Preparing Field Clinicians for PDGM;" "Understanding the HH CAHPS Survey and How it Impacts Your Home Health Agency;" "The Clinician's Role in Conditions of Participation (CoPs) Compliance;" "Developing a Thorough and Compliant Plan of Care;" and "STAR Ratings and OASIS Accuracy." The webinars are available here. (Ed Buckley & Ted Schulte)

Share Our Selves to Hold Celebrity Chef Dinner

On the evening of October 11, in Huntington Beach, Share Our Selves (SOS) will present its 29th Annual SOS Celebrity Chef Dinner, a fundraising event to benefit the many services SOS provides to meet the basic needs of homeless and low-income residents of Orange County. Take in stunning ocean views while enjoying hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine tastings, live music, silent and live auctions, and a three-course dinner in the ballroom with outstanding chefs pairing up to prepare each course. (Karen McGlinn)

Catasys Announces Addition to Russell 3000 & 2000 Indexes

Catasys, Inc., a leading AI and technology-enabled healthcare company that solves the hidden, high-cost problem of untreated behavioral health conditions, has been added to the Russell 3000 and 2000 Indexes, effective July 1, 2019. The annual Russell Indexes reconstitution captures the 4,000 largest U.S. stocks at the close of the market on May 10, 2019, ranking them by total market capitalization. Approximately $9 trillion in assets are benchmarked against Russell U.S. Indexes. (Rick Anderson, West Los Angeles Technology)

Two-thirds of Consumers Are Interested in Telehealth, but Few Have Tried It

While roughly two in three American adult consumers say they would be willing to receive care via telehealth services, just 8% report having ever having a video visit with a doctor, according to survey data from telehealth company American Well. Among respondents, willingness to use telehealth was greatest among those aged 18 to 34 years (74%) and those aged 35 to 44 (72%). Interest was lowest among seniors aged 65+ (52%). Experience with the technology ranged from 16% among that youngest demographic, to 1% among the senior population. (Read Article: mobihealthnews, 8/29/19)

Most 2020 Democrats Want a Public Option; L.A. Already Has One

L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation's largest public health insurance company, was launched in 1997 by the state to manage the healthcare of Los Angeles County Medi-Cal participants. But since 2013, it has also sold insurance to the general public through the state insurance exchange established under the Affordable Care Act. In the process, L.A. Care has directly competed with private health insurers for customers, exactly as many Democrats want a "public option" to do nationwide. The experience of L.A. Care shows the possibility of the public option to leverage change, but also the tough choices that loom in implementing the idea. L.A. Care "ended up being a good and lower-cost option, but it's not the revolution," Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a consumer-advocacy organization, said. "It shows both the potential and the limits of a public option." (Read Article: from Ronald Brownstein of The Atlantic, 8/30/19)

Health Insurers Set to Expand Offerings Under the ACA

Insurers are expanding their Affordable Care Act plan offerings for next year, with the once-troubled business now generating profits, even as the overall individual-insurance market has shrunk. Oscar Insurance Corp. is the latest to announce its expected growth for 2020, adding six new states, including Pennsylvania and Georgia, to its current roster of nine. Insurers including Cigna Corp., Bright Health Inc., Molina Healthcare Inc., and Centene Corp., the biggest seller of ACA plans, also plan larger footprints next year. Anthem Inc. is expanding in at least two of its states, California and Virginia. The insurers' moves reflect the improved finances of the business after sharp rate increases in previous years helped revenue catch up to claims costs. Premium increases for 2020 so far appear likely to be moderate in many markets, after rates were relatively flat or even down this year, analysts and insurers said. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 8/22/19)

Medicare Decides a Cost-Saving Strategy Costs Too Much

After pushing more medical care out of hospitals and into patients' homes, the federal government wants to pay less for home healthcare. Impending changes in Medicare's home health payment system would dramatically alter how agencies are reimbursed for services, cutting payments by 8%. (Read Article: Modern Healthcare, 8/19/19)

Rehospitalization Rare Following Kaiser Permanente/Samsung Digital Cardiac Rehab Program

An in-home cardiac rehabilitation program combining Samsung consumer devices, a custom patient-facing app and clinician dashboard integration achieved substantially lower rehospitalization rates among a cohort of 1,880 Kaiser Permanente patients than the national average, according to a writeup in NEJM Catalyst. The system's virtual cardiac rehab program enrolled 2,362 patients from 12 medical centers in southern California as of June 2019, with 1,880 patients having completed the eight-week program. This 87% completion rate is nearly double that of traditional site-based programs. There were 27 rehospitalizations within 30 days of the eight-week program's completion, of which 17 were related to cardiac health. The researchers noted that this rate of readmission, roughly 1.4%, is a far cry from the 10% to 15% average reported nationally. (Read Article: mobihealthnews, 8/29/19)

On-Demand Ride Services Improve Seniors' Access to Care, Reduce Social Isolation

Providing seniors with access to on-demand ridesharing services from Lyft not only facilitates access to medical appointments, but likely also reduces their social isolation and improves their quality of life, according to an independent study conducted by University of Southern California researchers. (Read Article: mobihealthnews, 8/21/19)

Therapies Using Gamification, Augmented Reality to Treat Children

A new app for asthma sufferers, aged 6 to 13, uses gamification and augmented reality to improve training and awareness of correct inhaler technique. (Read Article: mobihealthnews, 8/23/19) And, Enable My Child, a virtual pediatric therapy platform, has announced a $1.2 million seed-funding raise. The company connects children with behavioral, learning, or developmental conditions to a variety of board-certified therapists for tele-therapy. (Read Article: mobihealthnews, 8/26/19) Also, startup AmblyoPlay recently released its new digital vision therapy platform aimed at helping individuals with amblyopia, aka "lazy eye." Targeting children aged 4 to 14, it gamifies the therapy; users earn rewards, while parents and healthcare providers can monitor their child's progress. (Read Article: mobihealthnews, 8/27/19)

Blue Shield of Calif. Aims to Help Independent Doctors with Value-Based Care

Blue Shield of California unveiled new details on August 29 about the technology and services company it is launching to help physician practices remain independent while giving them tools needed to succeed in value-based care arrangements. A week after Blue Shield christened the new company Altais - named after a giant star - it announced Altais is partnering with the California Medical Association and Aledade, a Bethesda, MD-based company that helps physicians launch accountable care organizations; the company and its partners will offer independent doctors and practices tools to improve patient health outcomes while making it easier for them to focus on care instead of administrative tasks. Blue Shield also said it plans to support physicians in moving toward value-based care by investing in their practices. (Read Article: Modern Healthcare, 8/29/19)

NIH Funds Genetic Counseling Resource Ahead of Million-Person Sequencing Effort

The All of Us Research Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded $4.6 million in initial funding to Color, a health technology company in Burlingame, to establish the program's nationwide genetic counseling resource. With the goal of speeding up health research breakthroughs, All of Us plans to sequence the genomes of 1 million participants from diverse communities across the U.S. Through this funding, Color's network of genetic counselors will help participants understand what the genomic testing results mean for their health and their families. The All of Us Research Program aims to create the largest and most diverse health research resource of its kind. Participants from all parts of the country share health information over time through surveys, electronic health records, and more. Some participants also are invited to contribute blood and urine samples for analysis. Researchers will be able to use this data to learn more about how biology, behavior, and environment influence health and disease, which may lead to discoveries on how to further individualize healthcare in the future. (Read NIH Press Release, 8/21/19)

Meanwhile, more women may benefit from gene testing for hereditary breast or ovarian cancer, especially if they've already survived cancer once, an influential health group has recommended. At issue are genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 - when they're mutated, the body can't repair damaged DNA as well, greatly increasing the chances of breast, ovarian and certain other cancers. Gene testing allows affected women to consider steps to lower their risk, such as when actress Angelina Jolie underwent a preventive mastectomy several years ago. (Read Article: AARP.org, 8/27/19)

On the Opioid Lawsuit Front. . .

An Oklahoma judge ruled August 26 that Johnson & Johnson was liable for fueling the opioid epidemic in the state and ordered the drugmaker to pay $572 million, according to The New York Times. This is the first ruling in the U.S. that holds a drugmaker accountable for a role in the opioid crisis. (Read Article: Becker's Hospital Review, 8/27/19) This ruling could help shape negotiations over roughly 1,500 similar lawsuits filed by state, local and tribal governments consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio, scheduled to be heard October 21. (Read Article: Associated Press, 8/27/19) Meanwhile, the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, and its owners, the Sackler family, are offering to settle 2,000+ lawsuits against the company for $10 billion to $12 billion. The potential deal was part of confidential conversations and discussed by Purdue's lawyers at a recent meeting in Cleveland. Brought by states, cities and counties, the lawsuits - some of which have been combined into the one big case mentioned above - allege the company and the Sackler family are responsible for starting and sustaining the opioid crisis. (Read Article: NBC News, 8/27/19)

61 Health Tech Companies on Inc. 5000 List

Inc. Magazine's latest "Inc. 5000" list of the fastest-growing companies in America includes 61 digital health and health-tech companies. (Read Article: mobihealthnews, 8/23/19)

California Health Workers Split on Whether to Be Independent Contractors or Employees

California's healthcare workforce is a scramble of independent contractors, part-time workers, and full-time staff. Some people work directly for hospitals, while others work for medical groups that hospitals contract with. In clinical or group practice settings, anyone from a lab tech to a neurologist could be working independently. That's why some health professionals are taking issue with AB 5, a California bill that would require many employers to make their independent contractors employees, with a few exceptions. (Read Article: Capital Public Radio, 8/28/19)

Not a Ban, but a Suggestion from the FDA: Replace Infection-Prone Scopes with Safer Models

Companies that make reusable, snakelike cameras to examine patients internally should begin making disposable versions, because the current models cannot be properly sterilized and have spread infections from one patient to another, the FDA said recently. In the meantime, hospitals that use the instruments, called duodenoscopes, should start to transition to models with disposable components to reduce the risk of infection to patients, the agency said. (Read Article: New York Times, 8/29/19)

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