ABL Healthcare Member News & Industry Trendletter * February 4, 2020

EMERGENCY: China's Incredible Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Vlog by Mimi Grant

In record time, the Coronavirus has infected 20,000+ people in over 20 countries. In a short video, Mimi overviews China's amazing response, including building a 25,000-square-meter hospital, in 10 days - and reflects on the loss in her own family, to the Spanish Flu, in 1918 . . . CLICK HERE TO WATCH MIMI'S 3:41-MINUTE VLOG


>>> Stacey Wong is VP and General Manager - Healthcare Division for Servicon Systems, Inc., which provides healthcare facilities with effective Environmental Services solutions that achieve better patient outcomes and improvement in patient satisfaction scores. Stacey's team helps hospitals achieve 100% Joint Commission pass rates, in collaboration with Nursing and Infection Prevention to lower Hospital-Acquired Infections, increase accountability through Key Performance Indicator reporting, increase bed turnover, and engage with EVS employees who care. Founded in 1973, Servicon Systems now services over 100 million square feet in California, and has become a long-term cleaning partner for organizations like Los Angeles County Department of Health Care, LAC + USC, and Martin Luther King Hospital. In addition to Healthcare, Servicon is a leading provider of cleaning services for Aerospace and Commercial facilities in California, such as Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, to name just two. Stacey has joined the Los Angeles Round Table.

AI Algorithm Detected Coronavirus Outbreak a Week Before the CDC

Six days before the CDC's Jan. 6 alert of a flulike outbreak in China, and nine days before the World Health Organization's Jan. 9 notice, an artificial intelligence-powered platform had already detected and sent warning of the coronavirus outbreak, Wired reported. BlueDot, a global health monitoring platform based in Canada, reportedly notified its clients of the outbreak on Dec. 31. BlueDot's AI algorithm analyzes global news reports, animal and plant disease networks, airline ticketing data, and official announcements to predict and detect potential epidemics. (Read Article: Becker's Health IT & CIO Report, 1/27/20)

Life Expectancy Rises in U.S. for First Time in Four Years

U.S. life expectancy increased in 2018 for the first time in four years - lower mortality from cancer, accidents, and unintentional injuries were the main reasons, according to a report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics - plus drug overdose deaths among U.S. residents fell 4%, the first such decline in 28 years. Life expectancy at birth was 78.7 years in the country in 2018, an increase of one-tenth of a year from 2017. The age-adjusted death rate for the population fell 1.1%. Women are expected to live five years longer than men, to the ages of 81.2 and 76.2, respectively, according to the 2018 figures. Life expectancy in the U.S. had fallen in two of the past three years before 2018 after hitting 78.9 years in 2014. The latest figure is the same as life expectancy was in 2010. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 1/30/20)

U.S. Cancer Death Rate Drops by Largest Amount on Record

The cancer death rate in the U.S. dropped 2.2% from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop ever recorded, according to the latest report from the American Cancer Society, continuing a longstanding decline that began a quarter-century ago. The drop is largely driven by progress against lung cancer, though the most rapid declines in the report occurred in melanoma. Advances in treatment are helping improve survival rates in the two cancers, experts say. Despite the progress, cancer remains the second-leading cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 1/8/20) MEANWHILE, Heart Disease Strikes Back Across U.S., Even in Healthy Places Americans are dying of heart disease and strokes at a rising rate in middle age, normally considered the prime years of life. An analysis of U.S. mortality statistics by The Wall Street Journal shows the problem is geographically widespread. Death rates from cardiovascular disease among people between the ages of 45 and 64 are rising in cities across the country, including in some of the most unlikely places. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 1/14/20)

California Looks to Launch Its Own Prescription-Drug Label, While Administration Blocks Collecting Taxes on MCOs

California would become the first state to contract with generic-drug manufacturers to make prescription medicines to sell to residents, under a plan proposed by Gov. Newsom that aims to control rising health costs. Newsom said it will be part of his new budget proposal. Few details were provided about how the plan would work, what kind of drugs it would produce, how much it would cost to enact, or how much it might save the state - things that are likely to be studied in more depth as debate over the state budget begins in the coming months. But with a population of 40 million - nearly 1 in 3 of whom use the state's Medicaid program for low-income people - Newsom is betting that California's purchasing power can help it offer drugs at a lower price than they are offered commercially. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 1/9/20) MEANWHILE, Trump Administration Rejects Newsom's Tax Proposal to Finance Medi-Cal The Trump administration says it will not allow California to collect a key healthcare tax on managed care organizations, a decision that could cost the state nearly $2 billion a year for low-income benefits. The news does not immediately affect California's budget because the state did not plan to receive that money this year or the budget year that begins July 1. But it could cost California $1.2 billion in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2021, California Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer said. That number increases to $1.9 billion after that. (Read Article: California Healthline, 2/3/20)

CMS Announces Plan to Issue Block Grants for Medicaid to Qualifying States

On January 30, CMS released a letter announcing a plan for states to receive block grants from the federal government. The plan is called the Healthy Adult Opportunity initiative and is designed to allow states to carry out demonstrations under section 1115(a)(2) of the Social Security Act to provide cost-effective coverage using flexible benefit designs under either an aggregate or per-capita cap financing model for certain populations without being required to comply with a list of Medicaid provisions identified by CMS. (Read Article: King & Spalding Health Headlines, 2/3/20)

Where Democratic Presidential Candidates Stand on 'Medicare For All' and "Building on the ACA"

Perhaps no issue has divided the field of Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls more than "Medicare for All." Liberal candidates favor the sweeping proposal, which would replace private health insurance with a single government-run plan. Moderate candidates have embraced less drastic measures, particularly a "public option," they say would achieve broader healthcare coverage while allowing individuals to choose their plan. Abridging the New York Times analysis, here's where the top eight contenders stand on healthcare reform. When given, all cost estimates are for additional government spending over 10 years, and the source is cited.
Bernie Sanders - His "Medicare for All" legislation would abolish private insurance in favor of a government-run plan covering every American; prescription drugs would be the only out-of-pocket cost. Cost: $30 trillion (per independent analyses). Payer: "higher taxes on families."
Elizabeth Warren - Her "transition plan" would create a public option - more ambitious than Biden's, preserving private insurance for three years before fully-implementing Medicare for All. Cost: $20.5 trillion (per campaign). Payer: higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations; "avoiding 'one penny' more in middle-class taxes."
Joe Biden - Has vowed to "build on" the ACA, by adding a public option government plan - modeled on Medicare, which beneficiaries would pay into - as an alternative to private insurance - which he'd also leave in place, expanding the ACA's subsidies for more people and lowering deductibles. Cost: $750 billion (source, not given). Payer: higher taxes on the wealthy, and potentially, lower reimbursement to providers (through its Medicare-level negotiation power). (Supplemented by Vox: Joe Biden's health care plan, explained)
Michael Bloomberg - Similar to Biden, would create a public option, but preserve the current system of private and employment-based insurance. Building on the ACA, he would also increase subsidies to cover low-income families' premiums. Cost: $1 trillion (source, not given). Payer: To Be Announced.
Pete Buttigieg - "Medicare for all who want it": while preserving the existing role for private insurers, his pubic option plan would eventually lead to a single-payer system as individuals find that Medicare is more cost-efficient than private policies. Cost: $1.5 trillion (per campaign). Payer: corporations, by rolling-back Trump's corporate tax cuts.
Amy Klobuchar - Proposes a public option available through either Medicare or Medicaid. Cost: not given. Payer: "raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans."
Tom Steyer - His public option would allow Americans to choose a "government-backed plan," while expanding on the ACA. Cost: $1.5 trillion (per campaign). Payer: not given.
Andrew Yang - Supports "the spirit of Medicare for All," but wouldn't seek to ban private insurers. His focus: issues like lowering drug costs, improving technology and transitioning doctors from a fee-for-service model to a salary-based system. Cost: not given. Payer: not given. [Abridgement by Mimi Grant] (Read Article: Reuters, 2/1/20)

Physician Burnout Widespread, Especially Among Those in Midcareer

Nearly half of Generation X physicians, ages 40 to 54, who were surveyed said they felt burned out, compared with 39% of baby boomers, ages 55 to 73, and 38% of millennials, ages 25 to 39. Roughly half of all the doctors surveyed also said that they would be willing to take a substantial pay cut to achieve a better work-life balance. Burnout is often described as long-term, unresolved, work-related stress that leads to cynicism, detachment, exhaustion and lack of a sense of personal accomplishment. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 1/15/20)

In Little-Known but Growing Practice, Docs Taking Payment Through Liens Tied to Wins in Court

One day in 2011, Dave Pebley and his wife were in their motor home on the side of the highway with a flat tire when a big rig slammed into them. The jolt sent Mr. Pebley to the hospital with injuries to his face, neck and lower back. The California resident sued the driver and his employer. But instead of using his Kaiser health insurance to continue treatment, Mr. Pebley enlisted medical specialists who treated him for no upfront cost. Instead, they agreed to recoup their fees only once his lawsuit resolved. The arrangement paid off for Mr. Pebley, his lawyers, and his doctors when a jury awarded him $3.6 million in damages, including $644,000 in past and future medical costs. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 1/8/20)

Microsoft Teams with Walgreens to Launch 'Health Corners' & Announces 'AI for Health' Initiative

Walgreens opened its first "health corners" in stores in January, roughly a year after striking a partnership with Microsoft to create the pharmacy of the future, according to Business Insider. Walgreens is piloting the health corners at 12 pharmacies in Tennessee; sites will feature two clinic-like rooms, where patients can meet with a pharmacist to discuss medications and health-tech devices. This is a different approach than Walgreens is taking with its retail clinics, which are staffed by nurse practitioners and other clinicians. As part of the partnership, Microsoft manages Walgreens' data storage, and the pharmacy chain leverages Microsoft's AI platform and retail solutions. After the health corners launch, Microsoft will help analyze the visits to develop a model that works best for Walgreens' customers. (Read Article: Becker's Hospital Review, 1/29/20) MEANWHILE, Microsoft Takes Wraps Off $40M 'AI for Health' Initiative Microsoft has announced AI for Health, a $40 million, five-year outgrowth of Microsoft's AI for Good program that aims to help apply the benefits of AI with an eye to bettering the health of the less fortunate worldwide. The initiative will focus on direct research in the medical AI field (think algorithms for automatically detecting a disease), global health studies (better understanding of how such things could be of use), and improving access (actually putting the algorithms to work). (Read Article: TechCrunch, 1/29/20)

Babylon Health is Building Integrated, AI-based Health App to Serve a City in England

After announcing a $550 million fundraise last August, AI-based health services startup Babylon Health has inked a 10-year deal with the city of Wolverhampton, England to provide an integrated health app covering 300,000 people, the entire population of the city. UK-based Babylon confirmed that the NHS is not taking a stake in the startup. The plan is to start rolling out the first phase of the app by the end of this year. Babylon is known for building AI-based platforms that help diagnose patients' issues. (Read Article: TechCrunch, 1/22/20)

MobiHealthNews' Predictions for 2020

As we enter into a new decade, the MobiHealthNews staff offers some perspectives and predictions on upcoming trends for 2020 and beyond. In summary, they include: >> Big tech isn't going away, and its healthcare moves will only get bolder; >> Data privacy will remain in the spotlight, and HIPAA won't cut it; >> Last decade's cutting-edge tech is moving into the boring, but productive, part of the hype cycle; >> More digital health-specific investor firms and funds will emerge; >> Asian digital health markets will continue to rise; and >> 2020 will be a banner year for digital health commercialization and distribution. (Read Article: mobihealthnews.com, 1/28/20)

Drugmakers Test New Ways to Pay for Six-Figure Treatments

Now that six-figure price tags for medicines are common, drug companies are finding creative ways to get reimbursed, from installment plans and subscriptions to more complex value-based contracts that tie payment to when a drug helps a patient. For years, pharmaceutical companies would typically set a price for a drug and then get paid per pill sold at that price, after any negotiated rebates. But now, for example, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals will charge full value for a nearly $600,000 new rare-disease drug only if a patient gets a benefit akin to what was seen in clinical testing. It will also make the drug cheaper for insurers if they cover more patients than expected. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 1/13/20)

Grocery Store Pharmacies Finding It Harder to Stay in Business

More grocery store pharmacies are closing as the healthcare industry consolidates, and retail pharmacy giants like CVS and Walgreens continue to dominate, The Wall Street Journal reported. The number of grocery pharmacies fell in 2017 for the first time in years, going from 9,344 in 2016 to 9,026. Such pharmacies gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s as they showed easy profits and had relatively low startup costs. But they are typically too small to negotiate competitive reimbursement rates on drugs, aren't connected to big medical networks or payers, and typically don't have walk-in clinics and other services that big retail chains offer. Customers are more likely to get 90-day supplies of their prescriptions now or get their prescriptions delivered in the mail, which may bring less foot traffic to the grocery store. (Read Article: Becker's Hospital Review, 1/27/20)

Alegre Care Shares the Ingenuity of Rocking Chair Medicine

In The Ingenuity of Rocking Chair Medicine for Seniors, Alegre Care describes how the rocking chair is not just a piece of furniture - it's also a remarkable medical device, with particular benefits for seniors. Alegre explains how rocking chairs can improve emotional well-being, help with insomnia, provide moderate exercise, improve balance, ease dementia symptoms, relieve inflammation and pain, improve blood circulation, and more. Other recent blog posts from Alegre Care include: How In-Home Caregivers Help People Recover from PTSD and Quick and Efficient Activities for Dementia Care. (Charles Symes, Bay Area)

Alvaka Networks Discusses Ransomware Considerations

In The hidden truth about ransom, Alvaka Networks concludes that antivirus software and firewalls are "ineffective table stakes in this new age of cyber-theft," and offers these guidelines to ensure your safety: Multi-factor authentication; segmentation of your network; 24/7 monitoring of your network; daily backups on a disconnected system; and keeping track of admin credentials. And, in Is It Time for Ransomware Insurance?, Alvaka warns that cyber insurance is not a "get-out-of-jail-free" card, and doesn't compensate for inadequate comprehension of even the most basic, yet necessary, cybersecurity routines. (Oli Thordarson, Orange County)

Bayer Donates Medicines & Money to Combat Coronavirus in China

Bayer is donating medicines and additional financial aid worth a total of approximately EUR 1.5 million [$1.65+ million U.S.] to support the population affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China. The donations will be made to the Chinese Red Cross, which is working together with the health authorities to coordinate the deployment of aid measures for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and containment of the coronavirus. (Dirk Schapeler, Silicon Valley)

Blue Shield of CA Promise Health Plan Awards $1.1M for Healthier Communities in SoCal

Blue Shield of California (BSC) Promise Health Plan has announced $1.1+ million support for community-based organizations to improve access to quality care in Los Angeles County. The community organizations that are receiving the funds have programs that address a range of issues including health education, mental health awareness, trauma due to violence, and food insecurities. These nonprofit groups will continue to be a hub for education and proactively drive efforts in building healthy communities. Meanwhile, BSC, along with 18 other plans in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is joining with Civica Rx to produce five to 10 generic drugs at low cost. And, BSC recently announced a $20 million contribution to the California Access to Housing and Services fund that Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed in his 2020-2021 budget. (Greg Buchert, MD, Orange County)

Cigna & Oscar Partner to Serve Small Businesses + Cigna Tackles Loneliness

Cigna and Oscar, a tech-driven health insurance company, have announced an exclusive partnership to jointly provide commercial health solutions to small businesses, under a Cigna + Oscar brand. Services will include: integrated medical, behavioral, and pharmacy services; broad access to high-performing networks of doctors and hospitals; support from a dedicated concierge team; digital-first support, featuring 24/7 telemedicine at no charge; and more. Cigna and Oscar plan to share risk equally under a reinsurance agreement. Meanwhile, Cigna is taking steps to combat the rise of loneliness and improve mental health, including: redefining and broadening the services available to address and deliver support for mental health needs; expanding access to its comprehensive network of 170,000+ mental and behavioral health care providers; creating preferred provider networks to target areas of the country where the behavioral provider industry faces a significant supply and demand issue; making it easier for customers to connect with mental health specialists virtually; and partnering with clients and school districts in select areas to provide a School Support Line. (Chris De Rosa, Orange County)

Covered California's New Enrollment Surges Past Last Year's Mark

Covered California recently announced new enrollment data as it moved into the final week of open-enrollment and continued to reach out to consumers about the new state penalty and additional financial help that went into effect with the new year. As of January 22, 318,000+ consumers had newly signed up for health insurance through CoveredCA during the open-enrollment period, which surpassed last year's total of 295,000. Having a health insurance plan in place this year is critical because of a new law that the state of California enacted that requires Californians to have coverage in 2020. Those who can afford coverage, but choose to go without it, could face a penalty when they file their taxes with the California Franchise Tax Board in 2021. (Kathy Keeshen, Bay Area)

Felton Institute / SF Suicide Prevention Announce Annual Gala & Comedy Show

On the evening of April 22, Felton Institute's San Francisco Suicide Prevention division will present Laughs for Life 2020, an annual gala and comedy show fundraiser. Proceeds from the evening will support San Francisco Suicide Prevention's 24/7 hotline and community programs which empower individuals to help themselves and each other through moments of crisis. The event will include a cocktail reception, silent auction, seated dinner, awards, and a comedy show. (Al Gilbert, Bay Area)

HumanGood's Award-Winning Rotary Terrace Highlighted in Industry Journal

Senior Housing News recently published a feature article on HumanGood's Rotary Terrace community: Best Affordable Senior Housing Design 2019: Sustainable, Mixed-Use Project Transforms a Downtown Core. Rotary Terrace is an innovative public-private partnership on an urban infill site which connects residents to services and jobs, built with sustainability and reducing greenhouse gases in mind, and designed to allow residents to age in place longer with community space that is open to public use. When construction was threatened at different points, by factors beyond the development team's control, the team got very creative with its value engineering to keep the project on track and in keeping with the development team's original vision. (Tara McGuinness, Bay Area)

King & Spalding Honored as "Practice Group of Year for Healthcare & Life Sciences"

Law360 has named King & Spalding (K&S) among its 2019 Practice Groups of the Year for Healthcare and Life Sciences, an award which honors the law firms behind the litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry in the past year. Also, K&S Partner Marcia Augsburger issued a Client Alert - HHS Issues Important Notice That It Will Not Enforce Certain Fee Limitations On Individuals' Requests To Transmit Health Records To Third Parties – which discusses the recent HHS announcement that it would not enforce the fee limitations set forth in HHS's 2016 regulation at 45 C.F.R. § 164.524(c)(4) as to individuals' requests for transmission of their Protected Health Information to third parties. HHS also reported that a federal court vacated the expanded "Third-Party Directive" described in HHS's 2013 final rule. K&S will host a roundtable on February 25 to further discuss these issues. And, Marcia participated in the issue of this Client Alert: HHS Issues Notice of Violation to California for its Universal Abortion Coverage Mandate. Meanwhile, on March 16, in Atlanta, K&S will present its 29th Annual Health Law & Policy Forum. (Marcia Augsburger, JD, Bay Area, & Travis Jackson, JD)

LifeLong Medical Care Will Present Annual Gala in March

On the evening of March 7, LifeLong Medical Care will hold its Annual Gala fundraiser, in Berkeley, which will include cocktails, auction, a seated three-course dinner, dessert, dancing, and more. The event will celebrate LifeLong's commitment to providing care and compassion to its communities for more than 40 years. (Mike Stacey, MD, Bay Area)

LigoLab Provides Insight on Laboratory Information Systems

In The four most important things to consider when modernizing a laboratory, LigoLab points to configurability, efficiency, interoperability, and transparency, explaining that, thanks to an aging population and consolidation throughout the industry, there is an ever-increasing demand for labs to handle more cases even though the reimbursement per case is shrinking. And, in A dedicated and laboratory-specific LIS is the clear winner for modern labs, LigoLab examines which laboratory information system (LIS) model is the best for long-term success. They reference a recent study by the College of American Pathologists which compared a dedicated LIS (an end-to-end platform) versus a system that incorporates laboratory modules as part of an enterprise electronic health record platform. The authors of the study concluded that a dedicated LIS solution is most often the best choice for a lab. (Suren Avunjian, Los Angeles)

Mazzetti's Sextant Foundation to Hold "Reimagining the OR" Workshop

On March 26-27, Mazzetti's Sextant Foundation and AORN will hold Reimagining the OR: Pre-op, Intra-op, and Phase 1 & 2 Recovery Workshop, in Anaheim. The program, supported by the Facility Guidelines Institute, uses elements of Human-Centered Design (empathy, define, ideate, prototype, test) and process improvement techniques to reimagine OR spaces. (Walt Vernon, Bay Area)

MedWand Wins Big at CES 2020, Including "Last Gadget Standing"

Following the recent CES 2020 event, Bob Rose, MedWand's President, wrote: "Just back from CES where we absolutely KILLED IT! We won two Innovation Awards, one for 'Tech for a Better World' and the other for 'Health & Wellness'. We won the J&J Pitch Award, and most important, we won Last Gadget Standing, which pretty much crowns the best gadget at CES overall." Former winners include Roomba, Ring, and OnStar. Bob continues: "The press response has been overwhelming, including bits on GMA, CNN, NBC, Canadian Broadcast Network, USA Today, [plus] the front page above the fold in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Interest is pouring in from all over the world and major potential partners like CVS, Amazon, Walgreens and more." The MedWand's "computer mouse-sized" device incorporates 10 of the most commonly used medical diagnostic devices and, according to Bob's MedWand partner, Samir Qamar, MD, "can be used to diagnose thousands of medical conditions; and your doctor can examine you anywhere on the planet over the internet" with the device. Click here to check out Medwand's post-CES extensive media coverage – scroll down to Media Coverage on their website. (Bob Rose, Orange County)

Nelson Hardiman Partners Named "SoCal Super Lawyers"

Harry Nelson is among the 10 Nelson Hardiman (NH) Partners that have been named to the 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers List, where each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Meanwhile, NH recently published a Client Alert - New Mandatory Reporting Requirement: Patient Allegations of Sexual Misconduct by His/Her Licensed Provider - which discusses a newly enacted California Business and Professions Code which states that when a healthcare facility receives a written allegation of a provider's sexual misconduct or sexual abuse of a patient, submitted to the facility by the patient or the patient's representative, the healthcare facility must report it within 15 days to the provider's professional licensing board, or face monetary penalties not to exceed $100,000. (Harry Nelson, JD, Los Angeles)

OneLegacy + Hospitals + Donors Break All-Time Donation Records

OneLegacy announced that 2019 marked the fifth consecutive year of record-breaking increases in lifesaving and healing organ, eye, and tissue donation. In the year just concluded, OneLegacy enabled the transplant of 1,619 organs from 557 donors, an increase of 8% over 2018. In addition, OneLegacy reported a 4% increase in tissue donors to 3,005, helping over 225,000 individuals, while sight-saving corneas transplanted increased a remarkable 25% from the prior year to 1,616. Meanwhile, OneLegacy CEO Tom Mone is Chairman of the Donate Life Rose Parade float committee, and this video is a compilation of short clips from the 2020 Rose Parade featuring all the media exposure given to that float. (Tom Mone, Los Angeles)

PSYCHeANALYTICS & LifeWIRE Forge Strategic Marketing Agreement

LifeWIRE Corp. and PSYCHeANALYTICS Inc. have announced a co-marketing agreement to move forward as a joint solution for clients. LifeWIRE's suite of personalized communications, monitoring, and data capture solutions for population management and patient self-directed care provides a unique patient engagement element for PSYCHeANALYTICS' psychosocial and behavioral health assessment tool. Integrated behavioral health is critical to improving outcomes, thus PSYCHeANALYTICS CEO Dave Haddick underscores the importance of coordinating not only the overlapping impact of psychosocial and medical problems, but also the communication between patients and providers. (Dave Haddick, Bay Area)

SafeRide Calls for a Focus on Social Determinants of Health in New Decade

In The 2020s - A Decade to Address SDOH, SafeRide Health reports that as we open this new decade, critical work driven by health plans and care providers has already started to assist with housing, employment, education, food, and social well-being programs to address social determinants of health (SDOH). And we find that transportation is a universal key to helping effectively execute these. From helping people travel in their search for adequate and convenient housing, to and from work and school, travel to family, community, sports and social activities, and access to acquiring necessities - reliable transportation is a common thread for urban and rural communities that resources like public transportation cannot always address universally and equally. This places greater importance on the reliability and integrity of non-emergency medical transportation brokers and their partners as we all unite to resolve these issues. (Robbins Schrader, Los Angeles)

SAVI Group Discusses Medical Coding Changes & Rising Use of Outsourced Billing

In Navigating Important Medical Coding Changes, SAVI Group discusses what things medical coders should look out for, and areas to focus on, to ensure your medical practice is on the right track. And, in Demand for Medical Billing Outsourcing Continues to Rise, SAVI reports that the global medical billing outsourcing market is projected to reach an estimated $15.7 billion valuation by the year 2026. (Sumit Mahendru, Orange County)

Wipfli Named to Bob Scott's Insights VAR Stars

Wipfli LLP has been named to the 2019 Bob Scott's Insights VAR Stars, an award which honors channel partners and resellers for their accomplishments, leadership, and innovations in the field of midmarket financial software. Wipfli has received this top recognition for the past several years. (Jeff Johnson & Steve Rousso, Bay Area; Larry Blitz, Silicon Valley; & Tony Taddey, L.A.)

Rick Anderson Named President & GM North America at DarioHealth Corp.

Rick Anderson was recently named President and GM North America at DarioHealth Corp., a pioneer in the global digital therapeutics market, where he is responsible for both operational and commercial development, focusing primarily on the U.S. market. DarioHealth Corp. (Nasdaq: DRIO) is revolutionizing the way people with chronic conditions manage their health. By delivering evidence-based interventions that are driven by data, high-quality software and coaching, the company empowers individuals to make healthy adjustments to their daily lifestyle choices to improve their overall health. Dario is one of the highest-rated diabetes solutions in the market, and its user-centric MyDario™ mobile app is loved by consumers worldwide. Prior to joining DarioHealth Corp., Rick was President and COO of publicly-traded Catasys, Inc., from 2008 through 2019, a leading AI and technology-enabled healthcare company that solves the hidden, high-cost problem of untreated behavioral health conditions. Rick remains in ABL's West LA Technology Round Table.

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