ABL Healthcare Member News & Industry Trendletter * November 2, 2021

>>> Tarek El Nabli is Co-Founder and CEO of Parentis Health, a senior care company which provides home care, home health, residential care, hospice, health and wellness services. Tarek personally ensures that patients and families experience the highest possible level of care regardless of circumstances or income level. Parentis Health's forerunner began in 2003 when Tarek and his wife, Arda Kardjian, RN, opened Verona Court I, their first residential care home. In 2015, building on 12 years of experience caring for hundreds of people, Parentis expanded its services to its current offerings - including 13 Verona Courts. Earlier in Tarek's career, he was Managing Director at Prudential Financial, and Managing Partner at New York Life Insurance Company. Tarek and Arda also founded the Parentis Foundation, a non-profit devoted to intergenerational initiatives for the community, with focus on education. In 2017, Parentis Foundation was appointed as Orange County's affiliate host agency for the nationally acclaimed Experience Corps, an AARP Foundation intergenerational literacy program. Tarek has joined the ABL-Health OC Round Table.

  • 11/03 - Orange County ZOOM Table - "From ER & Street 2 Home: How OC is Reducing the Homeless' Impact on the Healthcare Spend" - Featured Guest Presenter: Paul Leon, CEO and President of Illumination Foundation

  • 11/10 - Silicon Valley & San Francisco Combined ZOOM Table - Fireside Chat with Bonnie Preston, Acting Region 9 Director for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

  • 11/18 - Oakland ZOOM Table - "Leveraging Home Health with Technology" - Featured Member Presenter: Mark Parinas, CEO of CVHCare Home Health

  • 11/19 - Los Angeles ZOOM Table - "The Lemonaid Story - and How Technology Outran the Regulation, Legislation, and the Medical Establishment Designed to Block It" - Featured Member Presenter: Harry Nelson, JD, Founding/Managing Partner of Nelson Hardiman

  • Explore Membership in ABL's Executive Round Tables >>>
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Recent Presentation - "Estate & Tax Planning - How to Get Savvy" - Now Available to Watch On-Demand

James L. Cunningham, Jr., the founder and lead attorney of the 12-office, estate, trust, and tax planning firm, CunninghamLegal, and author of Savvy Estate Planning, recently presented to ABL-Tech's West L.A. Round Table. His highly regarded presentation is now available to view on-demand by ABL Members. To access it, go to abl.org, click on "Members Only" on the top far right, and then on "Presentations" in the red bar on the top left. This presentation, and the others that are available on the Members Only website, were presented at ABL's confidential meetings and are meant to be viewed by ABL Members only. The major takeaway for many of us from Jim's presentation was run don't walk to your "A-Team" of Estate Planner-Tax Accountant-Insurance agent to adjust your "Tax & Estate plans" ASAP, because with all the changes afoot in Washington, 12/31/21 could well be too late.

Alvaka Networks Shares Industries Most Susceptible to Ransomware

Alvaka Networks shares some information and this graphic from Datto's Global State of the Channel Ransomware Report. MSPs were asked what industries were most susceptible to ransomware attacks due to COVID-19. Healthcare was in the top spot at 59%. Finance/insurance was in the second slot (50%) and Government in the third (45%). (Oli Thordarson, OC)

Alvaka Networks Ransomware Recovery Time Frames
Angle Health Teams with Beam Dental to Deliver Dynamic Employee Benefits

Angle Health is partnering with Beam Dental in order to attach best-in-class dental benefits to their innovative healthcare products, creating a more comprehensive and robust benefits package for employers. Beam is changing and modernizing the dental insurance industry by embracing a digital-first approach. (Andy Leeka, LA)

Anthem Blue Cross's Vivity to Serve Small Businesses in L.A. & Orange Counties

Anthem Blue Cross's Vivity Health Plan is expanding its healthcare offerings to small businesses in both Orange and Los Angeles counties beginning in 2022. Previously only available for large group employers, Vivity's small group plans offer employees low or no-cost copays, 24/7 virtual doctor visits, low-cost prescription coverage, behavioral health support, and access to Vivity's network of world-class high-quality physicians, specialists, and hospitals. Meanwhile, Anthem has launched an Alexa skill for Keck Medicine of USC to allow users to find a Keck Medicine doctor or facility, ask healthcare questions, and additional actions designed to make healthcare simpler. It's available for anyone to use, regardless of their insurance. Alexa Skills are like apps that help you do more with Alexa. (David Pryor, MD, LA)

Biospectal CEO Interviewed at Mobile World Congress

Eliott Jones, CEO of Biospectal, was interviewed at the recent Mobile World Congress 2021 - watch the 29-minute video. Eliott talks about his background, what motivated him to start Biospectal, what his company does, its milestones, its 10-year forecast, market overview, business model, as well as how to maintain good mental health while building a company, how to stay productive, maintain good work-life balance, exit or IPO?, what is a successful entrepreneur, best advice, and more. (Eliott Jones, SV)

Choice in Aging & Key Players Discuss Senior Healthcare Issues

Recent episodes of Choice in Aging's "Dishing with Debbie" video series include:
>> guest Dr. Louise Aronson, MD MFA, author of the New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist Elderhood, and a regular contributor to the NYT and the New England Journal of Medicine.
>> guest Amber Christ, Directing Attorney of Justice in Aging's Health Team, who develops and implements projects and initiatives that improve access to healthcare, long-term services, and support for low-income older adults.
>> guest Deputy Public Health Officer, Dr. Sara Levin, discussing planning for aging in the healthcare system at the county level. (Debbie Toth, OAK)

Cigna Expands MDLIVE, Makes On-Demand Virtual Care Easier, More Convenient

Cigna Health Plan is significantly expanding access to covered virtual care services for millions of customers - an early result of the acquisition of MDLIVE by Evernorth, Cigna's health services business. The integrated services will include digital-first primary, dermatology, behavioral and urgent care. Additionally, MDLIVE physicians will join Cigna's group of collaborative care providers, giving them access to patients' health information for a more connected, coordinated experience. (Chris De Rosa, OC)

Covisus Deemed a Top 10 Supply Chain Solutions Provider

Covisus has been recognized by Logistics Tech Outlook as a "2021 Top 10 Supply Chain Solutions Provider," and spotlighted in a feature article: Covisus: Digital Fingerprints for Foolproof Product Traceability. "Through vTag, we have created a physical, intrinsic, and immutable link between an article and its data to assure traceability, security, and authenticity," says Naresh Menon, Founder and CEO of Covisus and ChromoLogic. (Naresh Menon, Ph.D., LA)

El Camino & Kindred Announce Plans for Inpatient Rehab Hospital

Kindred Healthcare has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with El Camino Health to create a joint venture to construct and operate a 52-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Sunnyvale, California, in northwest Santa Clara County. The parties have identified a potential site and are working to finalize the details. The facility is expected to open in 2024, subject to necessary regulatory and other approvals. (Cecile Currier, SV)

Elemeno Health Partners with Texas Hospital Association to Aid Frontline Staff

Elemeno Health and the Texas Hospital Association (THA) have announced a partnership to offer data-driven training and support tools to THA member hospitals, which represent 85% of Texas hospitals and healthcare systems. Through its Center for Technology Innovation, THA is a champion for novel and transformational technological solutions to healthcare challenges.
Meanwhile, Elemeno has been selected as one of four finalists for the Emergency Medicine Innovation of the Year by the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Also, CEO Arup Roy-Burman participates in a recent episode of the Global Health Impact Podcast on how Elemeno helps support frontline nurse resilience. (Arup Roy-Burman, MD, OAK)

Kaiser Permanente Rated a "Best" Company for Medicare by US News & World Report

Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage health plan members receive unsurpassed medical care and exceptional service, according to U.S. News & World Report's annual study. In the online magazine's "Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage Plans 2022" report, U.S. News rated KP highest or tied for highest in all geographic areas its serves - 1.7+ million Medicare members in 8 states and Washington, D.C. (Marcos Vasconcelos, OAK)

King & Spalding Provides Key Takeaways from Recent Health Events

King & Spalding (K&S) recently held its 30th Annual Health Law & Policy Forum - here are key takeaways from the event.
Also, K&S held its 14th Annual Medical Device Summit, themed "Beyond Viral: Navigating the Post-Pandemic Crossroads" - read key takeaways.
And, recent client alerts from K&S include: Study Shows Hospital M&A Deals Linked to Improved Quality of Care, as well as HHS Continues Focus on Women's Health: AHRQ Calls for Data on Telehealth for Women. (Marcia Augsburger, JD, SF)

Life Adjustment Team Explores Foods That Help Fight Anxiety

In her recent article - The Connection Between Diet and Anxiety, Cynthia Sampson, COO of Life Adjustment Team, discusses methods of slowly switching from impulsive food selections that provide instant gratification to nourishing alternatives that sustain your mental health long-term. She notes that a healthy diet has been shown to increase the brain's neuroplasticity, or ability to change and cope with stress. (Cynthia Sampson, LA)

LifeLong Medical Care Shares the Technology Behind Its Improved Website

LifeLong Medical Care reports that it recently partnered with Exygy to rebuild its website into an accessible, intuitive site that reduces barriers to care for the patients of its community, and this article - Bringing High-Quality Websites to Under-Resourced Healthcare Systems - shares how other community clinics can also use this technology. (Mike Stacey, MD, OAK)

LigoLab Earns Higher Performer Rating in G2's LIMS Fall Grid Report

LigoLab recently earned "High Performer" status from G2 in its laboratory information management system fall rankings, largely because of customer satisfaction with its software platform. The LigoLab LIS & RCM Laboratory Operating Platform stood out among the reviewers when asked if the product was going in the right direction (100% satisfaction), if the product met their requirements (94% satisfaction), if they were likely to recommend the product to others (91% satisfaction), and if the quality of the support met their expectations (90% satisfaction). (Suren Avunjian, LA)

Mazzetti Explains the Benefits of Small Baby Units Within the NICU

In Is the Traditional NICU Delivering the Best Outcomes for All Preemies?, Mazzetti reports that most babies who are born extremely preterm have extremely low birth weight and higher risk of health complications - and may face an extended stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. They discuss Small Baby Units, a single location separated from the main NICU with their own dedicated team of professionals. They are a darker and quieter environment that also provide parents of these infants an opportunity to bond with other families sharing similar experiences. The outcomes of extremely low birth weight infants (born at 28 weeks gestation or less and weighing less than 1,000 grams) have improved greatly due to dedicated Small Baby Units. (Walt Vernon, JD, SF)

MedWand Imagines a Better Future with Smithsonian's Exploration Exhibit

MedWand Solutions will support programming at the Smithsonian's new FUTURES Exhibition located inside the Arts + Industries Building in early 2022. FUTURES will span nearly 32,000 square feet with new immersive site-specific displays, art installations, interactives, new inventors, working experiments, speculative designs, and more. It will showcase stories of future-makers who are working tirelessly towards a more equitable, peaceful and sustainable world, with a special focus on communities who may not have always had a voice in future-making. (Bob Rose, OC)

Nelson Hardiman Advises Lemonaid Health in Merger with 23andMe

Nelson Hardiman served as healthcare regulatory counsel to Lemonaid Health in connection with its $400 million merger with 23andMe. Harry Nelson has served as lead regulatory counsel to Lemonaid Health since its launch in 2014 and counseled the company through its growth on compliance with laws related to telemedicine, corporate practice of medicine, pharmacy, marketing, privacy, and data security. "We believe that by combining Lemonaid Health's telemedicine platform, including its online team of medical professionals and its pharmacy services, with our consumer business, we are taking an important step in transforming the traditional primary care experience and making personalized healthcare a reality," Anne Wojcicki, CEO and cofounder of 23andMe, said in a statement. (Harry Nelson, JD, LA)

OneLegacy: New California Law Strengthens DMV & Donate Life Partnership

OneLegacy announced that its community outreach efforts celebrated a big win when Governor Newsom signed into law AB 1374, which will create a pathway to amend the language the DMV uses for donor registration, in the hopes of encouraging more Californians to say "yes" to organ, eye and tissue donation. More info on AB 1374. (Tom Mone, LA)

Parentis Foundation Holding Charity Golf Tournament on Nov. 8

On November 8, the Parentis Foundation will present its 4th Annual Swing Fore Literacy charity golf tournament, at Aliso Viejo Country Club. The event will include golf, food, cocktails, a $5k putting contest, scratch-off contest, dinner, happy hour and live entertainment. (Tarek El Nabli, OC)

PreludeDx Proclaimed "Best DCIS Testing Solution 2021" in Industry Journal

Global Health and Pharma News has published a feature article on PreludeDx: Best DCIS Testing Solution 2021: DCISionRT; Personalizing Decision-Making for Breast Cancer Treatment. It says DCISionRT is the culmination of ground-breaking technology created by PreludeDx. Using advanced AI and machine learning, DCISionRT provides personalized results that influence physician decisions regarding the best treatment pathway for individual patients diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ, enabling more effective care and alleviating guesswork. The article delves into the science behind DCISionRT and the team leading "a revolution in cancer treatment." (Dan Forche, OC)

PRODEO CEO Warns Investors of the Dangers of Information Asymmetry

Mark Heinemeyer, CEO of PRODEO, co-authored a recent paper in Psychiatric Times - Sustaining Investment in Brain Health: The Dangers of Information Asymmetry. On LinkedIn, Mark commented: "The themes in this article are consistently reinforced by our direct experience in the market. Our concerns are candidly affirmed and amplified daily not only with clinicians and scientists, but in discussions with the most seasoned, successful venture fund executives. FOMO is driving frenetic investment activity, leading to rickety portfolios and inevitable casualties. Unfortunately, those who are left on the roadside will include companies/technologies with the highest clinical value, while those with the most hype may draw more $$$ and soar... only to burst later. These dynamics do not advance the field, or the market." (Mark Heinemeyer, OC)

Royal Ambulance Wins Awards for Talent Management, Hard Work & More

Royal Ambulance's Talent Acquisition Manager, Justin Nool, has won Lever's 2021 Rising Star Award. Under his leadership, Royal doubled its headcount from 300 to 600 at a time when hiring EMTs and nurses was impossible for most. Working in parallel, Justin simultaneously fostered a vast network of school partnerships - virtually - and recruited pivotal C-Suite executives to drive organizational growth. Also, seven of Royal's team members were recently awarded California Stars of Life Awards, by the California Ambulance Association, for their dedication and hard work throughout the pandemic. (Steve Grau, SV)

Savi Group Discusses Revenue Cycle Management + Data and Telehealth Post-COVID

In How Data Helps Improve Revenue Cycle Management, Savi Group notes that since RCM processes manage the cash flow and lifeblood of healthcare organizations, it is essential to manage them properly to ensure viability and success in all areas. Savi Group then shares how can data help improve RCM outcomes for healthcare practices.
And, in The Need for Telehealth Reimbursement Post-COVID, Savi reports that a recent survey by the Primary Care Collaborative found that 41% of clinicians are concerned their practice will no longer be able to support telemedicine if pre-Covid regulations are brought back. Many clinician groups are putting pressure on the Biden administration to make telehealth reimbursement flexibilities permanent moving forward, and they're also asking for more flexibility around mental health telehealth services. Meanwhile, CMS has proposed an extension for telehealth flexibilities through 2023. (Sumit Mahendru, OC)

Wipfli Provides Insights on Price Transparency & Cybersecurity for Health Systems

In Hospital price transparency: What CEOs need to know now, Wipfli discusses common mistakes to avoid and best practices to follow to ensure that your hospital is as compliant as possible with complex price transparency requirements.
And, in Hospitals and health systems: Cybersecurity, ransomware and how to prepare, Wipfli provides information that can be used to teach your teams how to avoid inviting bad actors into your information systems by identifying different types of threats.
Meanwhile, Wipfli has recently partnered with MuleSoft, a leader in data integration and API platform, so that Wipfli's consultants can help organizations integrate data from new and existing apps and systems more efficiently to deliver seamless digital experiences, faster. (Jeff Johnson, John Dao, & Steve Rousso, OAK)

Welcome New Member: Uri Blackman, GIDEON Informatics Inc.

Uri is Founder and CEO of GIDEON Informatics Inc., a medical decision support company whose web-based application and ebook series are deployed at hundreds of institutions, including the World Health Organization, the CDC, and prominent universities and government organizations worldwide. GIDEON is a user-friendly application for diagnosing diseases, identifying pathogens, and research - a one-stop resource for anyone with a professional interest in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. It's ideally suited for saving time in point-of-care settings while empowering clinicians to consider all possible scenarios. Additionally, it's an excellent teaching tool for biology, microbiology, public health, and medical students and residents. GIDEON significantly improves diagnostic accuracy and broadens the user's knowledge base; the application is continually updated. The company was founded in 1992 by Uri and Dr. Stephen A. Berger.
Previously, Uri was Senior VP of Applications at UberMedia, where he led the growth of the mobile apps group and tripled annual revenue. Prior to that, he was VP of Corporate Development at Speedbit, creators of Download Accelerator. His career also includes having founded a venture-backed online home-owners insurance firm; serving as Product Manager for two generations of the Netscape browser; and later managing the computing and download channels on Netscape's website and business development at AOL. Uri is a member of Tech Coast Angels, former Chairman of the Technology Council of Southern California, and has invested in a number of technology companies around the world. He was also a commander in the Israeli Defense Forces 8200 unit. Uri has joined the ABL-Tech WLA Round Table.

BCG's Harrison Barnes on: Successfully Coping with Stress

In Focus, Instead of Going Unconscious, Harrison Barnes, CEO of BCG Attorney Search, urges, "Do not be affected by stress; instead, adopt a coping mechanism to either divert or dissipate stressful energy. The threat of stress and the desire to avoid it prevents many people from reaching their full potential in many areas of their lives. Rather than succumb to stress or the fear of stress, position yourself for success by doing the things that others are unwilling to do." (Harrison Barnes, JD, ABL-Tech WLA)

GIDEON Informatics Provides Best Source for Global COVID-19 Data

GIDEON Informatics, the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Online Network, is now the only resource for comprehensive global COVID-19 prevalence and seroprevalence ["the level of a pathogen in a population, as measured in blood serum" Oxford] data. The GIDEON database identifies these data in real-time and collates all studies into interactive tables. Users can easily sort these data by city, percentage of prevalence vs. seroprevalence, and population sectors (healthcare workers, students, dialysis patients, and others). GIDEON now contains 1,000 COVID prevalence and seroprevalence surveys, from all reporting countries. GIDEON updates this information daily, and there is no other source for this type of data. As an added convenience, the GIDEON database links these seroprevalence survey lists to their primary sources. (Uri Blackman, ABL-Tech WLA)

LookinLA on: Revamping Your Business for Future Decision-Makers

Ali Payani, CEO of LookinLA, has published an article in Forbes - What Do Millennials Want? Time To Revamp Your Business For Future Decision-Makers, which explores six ways to update your operations in anticipation of the forthcoming Millennial-dominant workforce. Topics include: business values; strong online presence; cross-channel marketing; using honest language; shortening the sales process; and being a thought-leader in your field. (Ali Payani, ABL-Tech SGV)

Tanner Research CEO to Present Virtual Nutrition Science Workshop

On the evening of November 17 (click here), John Tanner, Ph.D., CEO of Tanner Research, will present his free Nutrition Science Virtual Workshop, 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)

COVID Vaccine: FDA Clears Pfizer for Adolescents; Delaying Decision on Moderna

The FDA on Friday authorized Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in children 5 to 11. About 28 million children in the group will be eligible to receive one-third of the adult dose, with two injections three weeks apart. If the CDC signs off, as is expected, they could start getting shots as early as Wednesday. (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/29/us/politics/covid-vaccine-children.html)
Meanwhile, U.S. regulators are delaying their decision on Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 17-year-olds while they study the rare risk of heart inflammation, the company said Sunday. (https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-health-public-health-coronavirus-vaccine-c03718dd76c78099193d90b208844ea7)

Vaccines Have Prevented 245,000 Deaths in the U.S., Models Show

James Doti - president emeritus of Chapman University, professor of economics, teacher of statistics, and author of econometric texts, gathered COVID-19 case and death data for all 50 states from Jan. 1 to Aug. 10 and used stepwise regression - a way to build models by controlling for variables like density, poverty and governmental COVID-19 restrictions - to find: Vaccines prevented some 16.7 million COVID-19 infections in the U.S. over those seven or so months, and prevented some 245,000 deaths, according to his models. The paper, "The Impact of Vaccinations on COVID-19 Case Rates at the State Level," from the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University, was published in the Social Science Research Network.
Doti found that for every 1% increase in a state's vaccination rate, there was a 0.7% decrease in COVID-19 case rates. California was more well-vaccinated over the time period studied than the rest of the nation. That translated into some 1.6 million fewer cases in the Golden State, according to the models. (https://www.ocregister.com/2021/10/31/vaccines-have-prevented-245000-deaths-in-the-u-s-models-show/)

Cheap Antidepressant Shows Promise Treating Early COVID-19

A cheap antidepressant reduced the need for hospitalization among high-risk adults with COVID-19 in a study hunting for existing drugs that could be repurposed to treat coronavirus. Researchers tested the pill used for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder because it was known to reduce inflammation and looked promising in smaller studies. They've shared the results with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which publishes treatment guidelines, and they hope for a World Health Organization recommendation. The pill, called fluvoxamine, would cost $4 for a course of COVID-19 treatment. By comparison, antibody IV treatments cost about $2,000 and Merck's experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 is about $700 per course. Some experts predict various treatments eventually will be used in combination to fight the coronavirus. (https://www.aol.com/news/cheap-antidepressant-shows-promise-treating-223735055-092405700.html)

President Biden Announces Healthcare Provisions in Build Back Better Framework

Last week, President Biden presented an outline of a $1.75 trillion Build Back Better (BBB) social spending reconciliation framework resulting from months of negotiations with House and Senate Democrats. Congressional negotiations continue over certain outstanding healthcare provisions, such as prescription drug price negotiation and expansion of Medicare benefits to dental and hearing (the framework included only an expansion of coverage for hearing services). With a 50-50 Senate and a three-vote majority in the House of Representatives, Democratic lawmakers continue to face a challenge in achieving unanimous support in the Senate and not losing more than three votes in the House. As a result, although there is a push to finalize the BBB framework as quickly as possible, the timing for full House and Senate consideration is uncertain. (King & Spalding Health Headlines, 11/1/21: https://kslawemail.com/128/8398/november-2021/king-and-spalding-health-headlines.asp)

Biden Abandons His Push to Lower Drug Prices

The White House is abandoning every single policy idea aimed at lowering prescription drug prices in President Biden's domestic spending package, it announced last Thursday morning. Biden is effectively admitting he can't overcome deeply entrenched pharmaceutical industry opposition to any change to the status quo, even with broad political support for the effort, and both chambers of Congress in Democratic control. The announcement came as part of an effort from Biden to put together a framework for a major domestic spending package that the entire Democratic caucus in Congress could support. (https://www.statnews.com/2021/10/28/biden-abandons-his-push-to-lower-drug-prices/)

CMS Issues ESRD PPS Final Rule

On October 29, 2021, CMS issued a final rule updating payment rates under the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for services on or after January 1, 2022. The final rule increases the ESRD PPS base rate to $257.90, which is an increase of approximately $5 over the current base rate of $253.13. CMS projects an increase in total payments of 3.3% for hospital-based ESRD facilities and an increase in total payments of 2.5% for freestanding facilities. CMS also finalized changes to the Acute Kidney Injury dialysis payment rate for renal dialysis services furnished by ESRD facilities and finalized changes to the ESRD Treatment Choices Model that are designed to help address health equity. CMS's fact sheet regarding the final rule is available here and the final rule is available here. (King & Spalding Health Headlines, 11/1/21: https://kslawemail.com/128/8398/november-2021/king-and-spalding-health-headlines.asp)

HHS Releases New FAQs Regarding CARES Act Provider Relief Funds

HHS released seven new and modified Frequently Asked Questions regarding payments distributed to providers via the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. They broadly discuss the following general categories: (1) general information; (2) terms and conditions; (3) appeals; and (4) Phase 4 distribution. Notably, the FAQs explain that providers who believe their Phase 3 distribution was miscalculated now have until November 12, 2021 at 11:59:59 pm EST to submit the Provider Relief Fund Reconsideration Request Form. HRSA encourages providers to apply early to facilitate review and expedite any revised payments. Any corrections to payment determinations are subject to the availability of funds. The FAQs also provide additional information on the Phase 4 payment methodology. (King & Spalding Health Headlines, 10/25/21: https://www.kslaw.com/news-and-insights/health-headlines-october-25-2021)

U.S. Healthcare Could Save $265B in Administrative Costs: McKinsey Report

More than 25% of U.S. healthcare administrative spending - an estimated $265 billion - could be reduced without compromising care quality or access, a new report suggests. The U.S. spent an estimated $950B on administrative healthcare costs alone in 2019, and that amount has only increased since, according to the report. Co-authored by experts from McKinsey and a Harvard economics professor, and published in JAMA Viewpoint, the research suggests 30 interventions to simplify healthcare administration and reduce healthcare spending by hundreds of billions of dollars while preserving patient care. It outlines three categories of savings, including $175B from "within" interventions inside individual organizations, like simplifying the claims submission process; $35B from "between" interventions requiring collaboration between organizations, like building strategic payer-provider platforms with proactive data-sharing; and $105B from "seismic" interventions at the industry level, like creating a centralized, automated claims clearinghouse. (https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/practices/report-u-s-healthcare-could-save-265-billion-administrative-costs)

Walgreens Doubles Stake in Provider Network VillageMD with $5.2B Investment

Walgreens is doubling its ownership stake in value-based medical network VillageMD with an additional investment of $5.2 billion, the pharmacy chain said. The major investment should accelerate the opening of 600 "Village Medical at Walgreens" primary care practices in more than 30 U.S. markets by 2025, and 1,000 by 2027. More than half of the clinics will be in medically underserved communities. (https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/walgreens-doubles-stake-in-provider-network-villagemd-with-52b-investment/608229/?:%202021-10-14%20Healthcare%20Dive%20%5Bissue:37362%5D)

Grand Rounds Health + Doctor on Demand Rebrand as Included Health

Grand Rounds Health and Doctor on Demand combined earlier this year and are now rebranding as Included Health, aiming to integrate virtual care and navigation experience for their members. The term "included" in the name takes on a dual meaning. For one, it indicates to users that a diverse array of services is included within the company's umbrella, simplifying their care journey and making it easier for them to access what they need. In addition, "included" seeks to suggest an inclusive atmosphere in which patients of all kinds are welcomed and treated with respect. (https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/digital-health/hlth21-grand-rounds-health-doctor-demand-rebrand-combined-company-as-included-health)

Digital-Twin Startup Draws Investors

Twin Health Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based startup that seeks to apply AI and digital-twin technology in efforts to treat metabolic diseases, recently raised $140 million in a funding round led by Iconiq Growth, Sequoia Capital India and Perceptive Advisors, WSJ Pro Venture Capital reports. Using sensors and other data sources, Twin Health creates a digital twin of a patient's metabolism, which it uses to generate personalized recommendations in areas such as nutrition, sleep and activities through a Twin app. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/twin-health-gathers-140-million-to-tackle-metabolic-diseases-11633528800?mod=djemAIPro)

Advice Shifting on Aspirin Use for Preventing Heart Attacks

Older adults without heart disease shouldn't take daily low-dose aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke, an influential health guidelines group said recently in preliminary updated advice. Bleeding risks for adults in their 60s and up who haven't had a heart attack or stroke outweigh any potential benefits from aspirin, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said in its draft guidance. Doctors have long recommended daily low-dose aspirin for many patients who already have had a heart attack or stroke. The task force guidance does not change that advice. (https://www.kxly.com/i/advice-shifting-on-aspirin-use-for-preventing-heart-attacks-2/)

Uber Health & Papa Announce Partnership, Addressing Isolation Among Vulnerable Populations

Papa, a nationwide provider that pairs older adults and families with Papa Pals for companionship and assistance with everyday tasks, and Uber Health, Uber's HIPAA-enabled solution for health care organizations, announced a nationwide partnership aimed at reducing barriers to transportation access and mitigating social isolation and negative health outcomes among America's vulnerable populations. (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/papa-and-uber-health-announce-partnership-addressing-isolation-among-vulnerable-populations-301401639.html)

CrossFit Launching a "Fully Digital" Primary Care Service

The fitness company CrossFit is launching a new primary care service aimed at providing an individualized approach to health, as well as personalized, precision health and preventive medicine. CrossFit is offering its new services in partnership with the Wild Health platform, which says it uses a DNA kit to "analyze the genetic advantages, predispositions, and disadvantages [making] up your human operating system." According to the website, it will connect interested users with a care team comprising a doctor, health coach and care coordinator via a patient portal. Users who need specialty or in-person care can be referred elsewhere, although CrossFit says it hopes to eventually build a CrossFit-affiliated network of specialists. The service is not covered by insurance, but its approximate $100 monthly subscription fee is eligible for Health Savings Account coverage. (https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/crossfit-launch-fully-digital-primary-care-service)

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