ABL Healthcare Member News & Industry Trendletter * May 4, 2021
    To ensure the safety of our Members, these upcoming invitation-only events will be held via ZOOM. See your Round Table invitation for participation instructions, and the ABL.org Members Only website for all the Healthcare Round Table invitation specifics. (If you haven't already received an invitation to a ZOOM Table you would like to attend, please email [email protected] for details.)

  • 5/05 - ABL-Health OC Zoom Table - Taking Healthcare AI from Potential to Reality
  • 5/11 - ABL-Health SV Zoom Table - How to Be A 'Best Place to Work'
  • 5/12 - ABL-Health SF Zoom Table - Lessons Learned from the Fine Art of FOCUSING
  • 5/20 - ABL-Health OAK Zoom Table - With COVID Receding, Let's Address Medication Errors!
  • 5/21 - ABL-Health LA Zoom Table - INTEROPERABILITY IS COMING - at last!
  • Explore Membership in ABL's Executive Round Tables >>>
Click on Headlines to Read Articles

5 Ways the COVID-19 Pandemic Changed the Healthcare Industry for the Better

                     Guest Blog by Roseanne Judson

With thanks to guest blogger Roseanne Judson, we learn of innovative approaches applied by healthcare organizations in the crucible of COVID that savvy teams will take with them into the emerging new normal. [Image credit: Unsplash]

Due to the pandemic, healthcare spending saw historic fluctuations in 2020. In fact, a recent Peterson-KFF Report reveals how healthcare spending dropped by 8.6% in the second quarter of 2020, and by 2.4% through the third quarter before finding steadier footing.

As the country slowly recovers from the ongoing effects of COVID-19, the healthcare industry learned to cope with the extreme financial fluctuations caused by the pandemic through these five key changes:

In summary, they are: Streamlined services; Expansion of virtual care and learning; Adaptive supply chain; Coordination between organizations; and More ways of working together. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST & LEAVE COMMENTS

Alvaka Networks Provides Insight on 320% Spike in Ransonware Demands

Oli Thordarson, CEO of Alvaka Networks, adds his expert opinion to a recent article from Threatpost, "Ransomware Demands Spike 320%, Payments Rise." Oli notes "a tremendous increase in ransomware attacks that started during the pandemic and continue to occur daily," and that "paying a ransom should really be the last option on the table; it's all about weighing the risks and rewards. There have been countless cases we've seen where the victim pays the ransom and doesn't receive their data back . . . It's not a decision that should be made easily [ransom payment] and should be thoroughly discussed with professionals before doing so." (Oli Thordarson, OC)

Biospectal Chosen to Represent Switzerland at Mobile World Congress in June

Eliott Jones, CEO of Biospectal, has been named to the Venture Leaders Mobile 2021 team that will represent Switzerland at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Eliott is one of 10 team members, chosen by a jury of professional investors and mobile technology experts who reviewed nearly 100 applications. The team's roadshow will introduce Switzerland's most innovative mobile startups to international investors and telecom industry leaders at the Congress's startup fair, 4YFN. Venture Leaders Mobile is organized by Venturelab and supported by Huawei, Swisscom, and VISCHER. (Eliott Jones, SV)

Choice in Aging to Host "Master Plan for Aging" Event

Choice in Aging (CiA) will host a Master Plan for Aging Local Playbook Event in coordination with the Contra Costa Advisory Council on Aging on June 24.
Meanwhile, watch recent episodes of "Dishing with Debbie" here, including CiA's "The Pandemic Response: Year in Review" series. (Debbie Toth, OAK)

Cigna + Oscar Expands Small Biz Access to Affordable Health Plans in California

Cigna and Oscar Health announced that Cigna + Oscar small business health insurance will be available in California's Bay Area, Central Coast, Greater Sacramento, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, North Bay, and San Diego regions. Cigna + Oscar brings together Cigna's nationwide and local provider networks, and Oscar's member-focused experience, to deliver small group health insurance for the unique needs of small businesses. Cigna and Oscar will share risk equally under a reinsurance agreement for solutions offered through this strategic partnership and plan to expand the partnership over time. (Chris De Rosa, OC)

Competitive Health Unveils New Video on Digital Health Solutions

Competitive Health has debuted a short new video to promote its nationwide access to digital health solutions - "whether it's companion care for seniors in need of assistance or a chronic care tool where members can educate themselves on lifestyle treatments." Competitive Health offers brokers access to a virtual marketplace of over 40 services to differentiate their product offerings, reduce employer-related claim costs, and drive higher commissions through client retention and engagement. (Kim Darling, OC)

Covered California Provides Special Enrollment Period to Accommodate American Rescue Plan

Covered California has launched a new special-enrollment period to allow Californians to benefit from lower health insurance premiums available through the American Rescue Plan - a new law that can help an estimated 2.5 million Californians by providing additional financial help. CoveredCA is taking the unprecedented action of treating the months of April through June as if it were its annual open-enrollment period. The exchange plans to spend up to $30 million on television, radio and print ads throughout the state through June. (Kathy Keeshen, JD, SF)

El Camino Health Gets 5 Stars from CMS & Named to Fortune/IBM Watson 100 Top Hospitals

CMS has updated its Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings for 2021, giving 455 hospitals the top rating of five stars - including El Camino Health's Mountain View Hospital. CMS assigned star ratings to hospitals nationwide based on their performance across five quality categories.
And, El Camino Mountain View has also been named to the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list, which recognizes excellence in clinical outcomes, operational efficiency, patient experience, and financial health.
Plus, El Camino was named as a Top 100 Everest Award winner for being one of 20 healthcare providers on the list to achieve national benchmarks for both the fastest rate of improvement during the past five years and highest current year performance. (Cecile Currier, SV)

Elemeno Health Wins 1st Place in JHF Healthcare Innovation and Safety Competition

Elemeno Health won first place in the JHF Healthcare Safety Challenge, awarded by Innovation Works and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. The competition attracted 125 submissions from 15 countries throughout the world, and awarded $25,000 to Elemeno for its customized, on-demand microlearning software solutions to today's crucial healthcare challenges. (Arup Roy-Burman, MD, OAK)

GeBBS Healthcare Addresses Coding Denials, Compliance Risk & Revenue Integrity

GeBBS Healthcare Solutions reports that denials are a leading source of revenue loss ($262 billion a year) and increased labor costs for healthcare organizations, and so offers The ABCs of Coding Denials: Avoidable, Burdensome, and Costly, its latest white paper with key points and best practices.
And, Mitigate Compliance Risk & Enhance Revenue Integrity explains how GeBBS' iCA technology and services work in conjunction with your EHR and coding platform to improve overall coding quality and compliance while providing the ability to access audited and scored records for education, review, and process improvements to achieve revenue goals. (Gabe Stein, LA )

Hospice East Bay Anticipates Annual Gala to Honor Hospice Heroes

On the evening of May 22, Hospice East Bay will present Honoring Our Hospice Heroes, a virtual gala and fundraising event. The program will include a fun interactive gathering in virtual rooms, along with inspirational stories of kindness, resourcefulness and resilience. (Cindy Hatton, OAK)

HumanGood Affiliates with Washington-state Retirement Community & Receives Grant for iPads

HumanGood and Living Care Retirement Community, a non-profit retirement community in Yakima, WA, announced their intent to join together to inspire more seniors to live their best lives possible. The affiliation, once approved by regulators, will realize greater benefits for the combined organization with greater scale for greater mission impact.
Meanwhile, First Baptist Church of Redlands has awarded HumanGood a $16,400 grant to support the Compassionate Connections programs at HumanGood's affordable housing communities in Redlands, CA, which will provide residents with access to iPads and tablet computers to improve their access to healthcare, reduce social isolation, and restart life-enrichment activities. (Tara McGuinness, OAK)

Kaiser Permanente Tackling Systemic Racism & Trauma

Kaiser Permanente (KP) is providing financial support to 13 organizations across the U.S. whose work focuses on ending the generational cycles of trauma caused by structural racism and injustice experienced by communities of color.
Also, a new KP study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that people of color were more likely to be hospitalized and to receive intensive-level care for COVID-19 compared to white patients even after adjusting for known health risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, and other conditions. (Marcos Vasconcelos, OAK)

Kencor Health Featured in Harvard Business Review

Kencor Health's SAMi digital assistant is spotlighted in a recent Harvard Business Review article, 3 Ways to Humanize the Virtual Health Care Experience, declaring it a solution that reminds patients to measure their vitals regularly, keeps them engaged with their treatment plans, and automatically shares data with their care team. (Muthu Krishnan, SV)

King & Spalding Ranked a Top Firm + Discusses Laws Regarding Medical Devices, Telemedicine & More

King & Spalding (K&S) is ranked a top 25 firm in the latest American Lawyer 100 ranking: #21 by revenue; #20 by profitability.
Meanwhile, in FDA Reverses HHS Exemption of Class I and Class II Medical Devices from Section 510(k), K&S examines the FDA's recent action to reverse a last-minute Federal Register notice published by the outgoing Trump Administration which sought to exempt 90+ medical device types from premarket notification requirements.
And, in this video, K&S discusses state and international regulatory risks facing pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, while this video covers emerging trends in telemedicine and digital health. (Marcia Augsburger, JD, SF & Travis Jackson, JD)

KMD Architects Heralds Kaiser's Next-Gen Medical Center in West Berkeley

A recent article - Next-generation Kaiser medical center to open in West Berkeley in May - features a building that represents a "next-generation type of medical office," for which KMD Architects was responsible for medical planning, interior architecture and design. Kaiser members will, for example, have the option to do an express check-in for their visit from home or from their mobile device, and there will be self-service kiosks within the medical office. (Rob Matthew, SF)

LifeLong Medical Care's Mike Stacey Interviewed About COVID Vaccine

Mike Stacey, MD, CMO of LifeLong Medical Care, was recently interviewed on KQED about the expansion of coronavirus vaccine eligibility to Californians over 16.
And, LifeLong is featured in a recent article - Program in People's Park brings vaccines to the homeless - which describes how, when homeless people became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in early March, LifeLong's mobile medicine teams jumped into action. (Mike Stacey, MD, OAK)

LigoLab Offers Automated Real-Time Software Solution for Prior Authorization Requirements

LigoLab recently announced that its LIS & RCM platform supports an automated real-time solution that reduces the administrative burden that laboratories face when attempting to meet payer prior authorization requirements. The solution helps prevent denials, speeds up prior authorization approval, and closes a coverage gap that could otherwise put the patient at risk.
Also, CEO Suren Avunjian is quoted in a recent industry journal article - Automating denials management for lab reimbursement - which examines the increasing rate of claims denials at labs and health systems, such that managing denials has become an important part of an organization's revenue cycle workflow. (Suren Avunjian, LA)

Mahmee Provides Helpful Info on Pregnancy-Related Issues

Mahmee has recently promoted several of its #MahmeeGuide articles, including Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding the First 42 Days, as well as Depression During Pregnancy and Herbal Supplements and Milk Production. Mahmee offers information on numerous topics here. (Melissa Hanna, JD, LA)

Mazzetti's Lighting Design Reduces Stress, Improves Comfort in Healthcare

A recent Electrical Contractor magazine article - Healing and Light: Reducing stress, improving comfort in healthcare - highlights Mazzetti's lighting design services, which are adding elements from the home, hotels, and the outdoors to add warmth and hospitality to healthcare facilities. (Walt Vernon, JD, SF)

MedWand Named One of 25 Healthcare Disruptors to Watch

Startups Geek has named 25 healthcare companies to watch - including MedWand - who are leading innovation in augmented reality. MedWand's handheld telemedicine physical exam device is noted for having won numerous awards, its affordability, portability, and wide range of diagnostic capabilities. (Bob Rose, OC)

On Lok Finds that PACE Keeps Seniors Safer than Nursing Homes During COVID

In PACE Keeps Seniors Safer Than Nursing Homes During COVID-19, On Lok reports that participants enrolled in the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) are at one-third the risk of nursing home residents for contracting COVID-19. On Lok continues to innovate on the model it created 30+ years ago and to adapt services during COVID-19 to meet participants' needs safely. Currently, On Lok PACE supports 1,650 eligible seniors in the Bay Area.
Meanwhile, on the evening of May 13, On Lok will present its annual On Lok Celebrates, to be held virtually this year, and at no charge. The event will feature new videos from On Lok, a live auction, and more. (Grace Li, SF)

PreludeDx PREDICT Study Demonstrates High Clinical Utility of DCISionRT

Prelude Corporation (PreludeDx) announced results for a prospective study in 44 U.S. academic and community cancer centers that evaluated the impact of the company's DCISionRT on clinicians' recommendations to administer or omit adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) following breast conserving surgery. Data published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology demonstrates that utilization of DCISionRT led to a change in recommendation for adjuvant RT in 42% of patients with DCIS. (Dan Forche, OC)

Providence Digital Innovation Group Seeks Collaboration

In Fending Off Outside Disruption through Collaboration, Marcee Chmait, of Providence Digital Innovation Group (DIG), explains DIG's tradition of inviting other health systems to engage in deep conversations on digital health. DIG's goal is to support colleagues in their journeys to become digitally ready in preparation for the digital tsunami facing all of us. (Marcee Chmait, LA)

Satellite Healthcare Launches Nephrology MSO

Satellite Healthcare has announced National Nephrology Alliance, an affiliated nephrology management services organization, which will integrate the expertise of nephrology practices with Satellite's dialysis centers to manage the overall health of kidney patients, with the goal to deliver high clinical outcomes and eliminate unnecessary costs. (Jim Glafkides, SV, & Bernadette Vincent, OAK)

Savi Group Urges Use of AI & Contactless Payments

In How AI Can Improve Medical Billing Processes, Savi Group suggests that by utilizing both human and artificial intelligence capabilities, healthcare providers can drastically improve their medical billing and coding operations while gleaning key insights to improve future performance.
And, in Why Healthcare Should Embrace Contactless Payments, Savi Group says it will be important for healthcare organizations to embrace new payment methods to satisfy the demands of an increasingly digitally-savvy patient population. (Sumit Mahendru, OC)

SimpleTherapy Partners with Healthy Business Group

SimpleTherapy has partnered with Healthy Business Group (HBG), a market leader in providing customers with access to a diverse set of innovative and disruptive health and well-being solutions. Employers that work with HBG will have the ability to provide SimpleTherapy's comprehensive musculoskeletal solution to all of their employees. (Arpit Khemka, SV)

VivaLNK Details Ambulatory Considerations for RPM Technologies

In Ambulatory Considerations for Remote Patient Monitoring Technologies, Jiang Li, Ph.D., CEO of VivaLNK, writes for HIT Consultant about several factors that can impact the overall effectiveness of monitoring patient vitals and other physiological parameters in remote, non-clinical situations. He discusses three key items that contribute to the highly variable remote environment: patient adherence; patient activity; and ambient exposure. (Jiang Li, Ph.D., SV)

Wipfli Healthcare Webinars Address Cybersecurity Compliance, PPS Reconciliations & Senior Living

On May 18, Wipfli will present a free webinar on Healthcare Cybersecurity Compliance, which will include discussion and Q&A on recent regulatory activity and more.
Meanwhile, Steve Rousso recently presented at a California Primary Care Association webinar, entitled "PPS Reconciliations: Best Practices;" a recording of it is available here.
And, download this recent Wipfli webinar: Senior Living Educational Series: Understanding accounts receivables from A-Z. (Jeff Johnson & John Dao, OAK, & Steve Rousso)

Eckert & Ziegler: Building Radiopharma Facility in Brazil; Gets Technetium Generator Licenses for Brazil

Eckert & Ziegler (EZ) is expanding in Berlin, Germany, with a manufacturing facility dedicated to late-stage investigational and commercial-stage radiopharmaceuticals, to be operational Q1 2022. Together with a new U.S.-based facility, EZ will be able to provide radiopharmaceutical development services to companies looking for Europe, US and worldwide contract manufacturing.
Also, the Brazilian regulator ANVISA has provided EZ Brasil Comercial Ltda. with a license to import and distribute technetium generators - a core component for a nuclear imaging procedure called SPECT, used for the detection of medical abnormalities. EZ already services about 500 hospitals/clinics in Brazil with medical devices and radioisotopes, and hopes to start shipping SPECT products in Q3 2021.
Meanwhile, EZ announced that it will divest its tumour radiation equipment business and, as a first step, has sold 51% of the shares in BEBIG Medical GmbH to Chinese company TCL Healthcare Equipment in Shanghai. (Frank Yeager, ABL-Tech SGV)

Tanner Research CEO to Present Virtual Nutrition Science Workshops

On the evenings of May 13 (click here) and June 2 (click here), John Tanner, Ph.D., of Tanner Research, will present free Nutrition Science Virtual Workshops, via Zoom, where he will relay to participants the scientific information they need to avoid heart disease and other leading killers with a proper diet. The group will discuss strategies for change and John will field questions, plus give a free book to participants. (John Tanner, Ph.D., ABL-Tech SGV)

White House Legislates American Rescue Plan & Unveils American Families & Jobs Plans

On April 28, the White House announced the American Families Plan (AFP), after signing the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law in March. Regarding healthcare, the AFP, according to a White House release, will extend the expanded health insurance tax credits in the ARP*. "These credits are providing premium relief that is lowering health insurance costs by an average of $50 per person per month for nine million people, and will enable four million uninsured people to gain coverage." The AFP would create a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, will "allow people to manage their health and the health of their families," and "will provide critical nutrition assistance to families who need it most and expand access to healthy meals to our nation's students." In all, the American Families Plan includes $1 trillion in investments and $800 billion in tax credits for American families, workers, and children over ten years.
*According to CBS News, the American Rescue Plan expands eligibility for subsidies to purchase health insurance to people of all incomes under the Affordable Care Act. It also incentivizes states to expand Medicaid under the ACA by having the federal government pay for new recipients. Several million people could save hundreds of dollars in healthcare costs once the bill becomes law.

Thirdly, President Biden has proposed the American Jobs Plan, which calls on Congress to put $400 billion toward expanding access to quality, affordable home- or community-based care for aging relatives and people with disabilities. "These investments will help hundreds of thousands of Americans finally obtain the long-term services and support they need, while creating new jobs and offering caregiving workers a long-overdue raise, stronger benefits, and an opportunity to organize or join a union and collectively bargain."

OIG's Top 10 Priorities, Per Principal Deputy Inspector General Grimm

Christi Grimm, HHS OIG Principal Deputy Inspector General, gave a recent keynote address wherein she highlighted 10 key compliance priorities that will drive much of OIG's work in the coming year and beyond: (1) Overseeing COVID-19 Relief and Response; (2) Realizing the Potential of Telehealth; (3) Ensuring Quality of Care and Patient Safety in Nursing Homes; (4) Advancing Health Equities; (5) Modernizing Program Integrity and Compliance Information; (6) Combating the Substance Use Disorder Epidemic; (7) Prioritizing Cybersecurity; (8) Information Blocking Enforcement; (9) Implementing Value-Based Care; and (10) Strengthening Managed Care Program Integrity. (King & Spalding Health Headlines: https://kslawemail.com/128/7829/pages/art2.asp?sid=102b39f3-70d2-4926-b432-17ab61b7cf24)

CMS Proposes to Enhance Medical Workforce in Rural & Underserved Communities

CMS has issued a proposed rule for inpatient and long-term care hospitals, including funding medical residency positions in hospitals in rural and underserved communities to address workforce shortages. CMS is proposing to distribute 1,000 additional physician residency slots to qualifying hospitals, phasing in 200 slots per year over five years. (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2021/04/27/cms-proposes-enhance-medical-workforce-rural-underserved-communities.html)

CMS to Adopt Rules to Lower Healthcare Costs in 2022 Federal Marketplace Plans

CMS has adopted new provisions to lower maximum out-of-pocket costs to consumers by $400, "while increasing competition and improving the consumer experience for millions of Americans who will rely on the Federal Health Insurance Marketplaces in plan year 2022." (https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-adopt-rules-lower-health-care-costs-2022-federal-health-insurance-marketplace-plans)

CMS Extends CJR Model for Another Three Performance Years with Changes

On April 29, CMS issued a final rule extending the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) bundled-payment model for an additional three performance years - through December 31, 2024. The Final Rule also makes a number of changes to the program moving forward, including broadening the scope of a CJR episode to include lower extremity joint replacement procedures performed in the hospital outpatient department setting. (King & Spalding Health Headlines: https://kslawemail.com/128/7861/pages/article-2.asp?sid=d2d8a24b-5af4-46a2-900d-3083858c194c)

FDA Bans Menthol, Furthers Commitment to Evidence-Based Actions

The FDA announced it's committing to advancing two tobacco product standards to significantly reduce disease and death from using combusted tobacco products, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. The FDA is working toward issuing proposed product standards within the next year to ban menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and ban all characterizing flavors in cigars. If implemented, the FDA's enforcement of any ban on menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars will only address manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and retailers. The FDA cannot and will not enforce against individual consumer possession or use of menthol cigarettes or any tobacco product. (https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-commits-evidence-based-actions-aimed-saving-lives-and-preventing-future-generations-smokers)

FDA Set to Authorize Pfizer Vaccine for Adolescents By Early Next Week

The FDA is preparing to authorize use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in adolescents 12 to 15 years old by early next week, according to federal officials familiar with the agency's plans, opening up the U.S. vaccination campaign to millions more people . . . The clearance, in the form of an amendment to the existing emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine, could come as early as late this week. If it is granted, the CDC's vaccine advisory panel is likely to meet the following day to review the clinical trial data and make recommendations for the vaccine's use in adolescents. (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/us/politics/coronavirus-vaccine-teenagers.html)
Meanwhile, Covid 'Doesn't Discriminate By Age': Serious Cases On The Rise In Younger Adults: After spending much of the past year tending to elderly patients, doctors are seeing a clear demographic shift: young and middle-aged adults make up a growing share of the patients in covid-19 hospital wards. It's both a sign of the country's success in protecting the elderly through vaccination and an urgent reminder that younger generations will pay a heavy price if the outbreak is allowed to simmer in communities across the country. (https://khn.org/news/article/covid-cases-hospitalizations-rise-in-younger-adults/)

Consequences of Skipping Doctor Appointments During Pandemic Could Have Serious Repercussions

Missed checkups and physicals. Delayed mammograms and colonoscopies. Many Americans postponed medical appointments for a year during the pandemic and the impact is just beginning to surface, doctors say. A pandemic-induced delay in screenings could lead to 10,000 breast and colorectal cancer deaths over the next decade, researchers estimate. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-consequences-of-skipping-doctor-appointments-during-the-covid-pandemic-11620067142?mod=hp_lead_pos12)

Next Generation of Covid-19 Vaccines Could Be Pill or Spray

The next generation of Covid-19 vaccines in development could come as a pill or a nasal spray and be easier to store and transport than the current handful of shots that form the backbone of the world-wide vaccination effort. These newer vaccines, from U.S. government labs and companies including Sanofi SA, Altimmune Inc. and Gritstone Oncology Inc., also have the potential to provide longer-lasting immune responses and be more potent against newer and multiple viral variants, possibly helping to head off future pandemics, the companies say. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/next-generation-of-covid-19-vaccines-could-be-pill-or-spray-11620034381?mod=hp_lead_pos7)

California's Massive UC & Cal State System, & Chapman U, to Require Covid Vaccinations This Fall

The University of California and California State University have announced that they will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff on campus properties this fall once the FDA gives formal approval to the vaccines and supplies are sufficiently available. The directive is the largest of its kind in U.S. higher education, affecting more than 1 million members of the two public university systems. It would allow for students or employees to seek an exemption based on medical or religious grounds. (https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-04-22/uc-csu-to-require-covid-19-vaccinations-this-fall ) Also, Chapman University said it will require students, faculty and staff coming to campus in the fall to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. (https://www.ocbj.com/news/2021/may/03/covid-19-oc-business-updates/)

Expected Covid Baby Boom May Be a Bust

Births for all of 2020 were down 4.3% from 2019. Births in December 2020 and in January and February 2021 - nine months or more after the spring 2020 lockdowns - were down 6.5%, 9.3%, and 10%, respectively, compared with the same months a year earlier. (Modern Healthcare Covid-19 Coverage, 4/29/21)

Buffett on Failed Haven Venture: The "tapeworm won"

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, told shareholders his company's failed healthcare venture with JPMorgan Chase and Amazon could not overcome the high cost of care in the U.S., according to Yahoo Finance. "We learned a lot about the difficulty of changing around an industry that's 17% of GDP," Mr. Buffett said. "We were fighting a tapeworm in the American economy, and the tapeworm won." Although Haven dissolved in February, Mr. Buffett said he didn't see the venture as a total loss. Focusing on healthcare costs helped his company identify inefficiencies and save money internally, he said. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/buffett-on-failed-haven-venture-the-tapeworm-won.html)

Digital Health Startups Are Booming; Some Customers "Overwhelmed"

Digital-health startups have boomed during the pandemic, raising record amounts of capital ($7 billion in the 1Q21) for a range of services. And corporate-benefits executives, the main customers for these startups, say they are excited about technology that can lower costs and improve employees' health. But they also say the explosion of activity has spawned a glut of startups pitching redundant or overpriced services, and there's no way to assess "literally thousands" of digital-health services now available. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/digital-health-startups-are-booming-their-customers-are-overwhelmed-11620039601?mod=hp_lista_pos4)

MD Ally Connects Telehealth Alternatives with 911 Calls

MD Ally, a startup that triages 911 calls and reroutes non-emergency calls to telehealth medical services, has just closed $3.5 million in seed funding led by Hemant Teneja at General Catalyst, along with Tuoyo Louis of Seae Ventures. The company formerly raised $1 million in financing last March. (https://techcrunch.com/2021/04/28/md-ally-connects-telehealth-alternatives-right-into-911-calls/)

Healthcare Is Next Wave of Data Liberation

In a recent TechCrunch article, authors David Jegen and Carl Byers ask: "Why can we see all our bank, credit card and brokerage data on our phones instantaneously in one app, yet walk into a doctor's office blind to our healthcare records, diagnoses and prescriptions? Our health status should be as accessible as our checking account balance . . . The liberation of financial data is beginning to happen with healthcare data, which will have an even more profound impact on society; it will save and extend lives. This accessibility is quickly approaching." (https://techcrunch.com/2021/04/29/healthcare-is-the-next-wave-of-data-liberation/)

207 East Memory Lane
Santa Ana, CA 92705

Phone: 714-245-2400 | Fax: (714) 245-1428
Email: [email protected]

Copyright © 2021 Adaptive Business Leaders Organization. All Rights Reserved.