ABL Healthcare Member News & Industry Trendletter * August 2, 2022

>>> Pooja Bhalla, DNP, RN, is Co-CEO of Illumination Foundation (IF), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides targeted, interdisciplinary services for the most vulnerable homeless adults and children, to disrupt the cycle of homelessness. IF provides a full continuum of care from street to home, including case management, medical coordination, behavioral health and substance use counseling. It also provides housing navigation to its vulnerable clients in shelters/navigation centers, family emergency shelters, recuperative care/medical respite facilities, and permanent supportive housing. In July 2022, IF, along with CalOptima and Orange County Health Care Agency, were selected as one of eight teams to join Partnerships for Action: California Health Care & Homelessness Learning Collaborative (more information about this below in ABL-Health Member News). Pooja joined IF in 2017 as Executive Director of Healthcare Services, and more recently was named COO, prior to becoming Co-CEO in 2022. She has created a highly advanced approach to addressing the healthcare needs of the homeless population, including creating an innovative partnership with the Illumination Foundation Medical Group. Prior to joining IF, she served the homeless population with Boston Health Care Homeless Program for 20 years, at the beginning of her nursing career. Pooja has joined ABL-Health's Southern California Round Tables.


  • 8/03 - Orange County ZOOM Table - Extended Discussion Topic: "Adapting to Changing Times & Trends Impacting Healthcare"

  • 8/09 - Silicon Valley ZOOM Table - Discussion Topic: "Lessons Learned from Leading Multiple Businesses" - Featured Member Presenter: Nick Focil, CEO of FOMAT Medical Research & Chairman/Co-Founder of Febo

  • 8/18 - Bay Area (OAK+SF) ZOOM Table - Discussion Topic: "Technology That's Reshaping Healthcare" - Featured Member Presenter: Barry Clark, President and CEO of WestFax

  • 8/19 - Los Angeles ZOOM Table - Discussion Topic: "Technology That's Reshaping Healthcare" - Featured Member Presenter: Barry Clark, President and CEO of WestFax

  • Explore Membership in ABL's Executive Round Tables >>>
Click on Headlines to Read Articles
Change Healthcare Provides Interactive Map that Tracks E-Prescription Mandates

Change Healthcare reports that E-prescribing has undergone major changes, including federal and state governments introducing new Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) mandates. To help providers, digital health, telehealth, EHRs, and EMRs comply, Change Healthcare has created an interactive map that tracks EPCS mandates. Any organization serving providers can also quickly integrate e-prescribing into their PMS or EMR with Change Healthcare's Clinical Exchange ePrescribe offering, bringing benefits that include pharmacy connections, workflow efficiencies, prescribing accuracy, and patient safety.
ALSO, watch Change Healthcare's on-demand webinar - CMS Audit Recovery Programs - How CMS Audit Programs Work, which can help providers with compliance and audit prevention. (Marcia Augsburger, JD, Bay Area)

Choice in Aging CEO Named to California HSA Committee on Disability & Aging Community Living

Debbie Toth, CEO of Choice in Aging (CiA) has been appointed to California Health and Human Services Agency's Disability and Aging Community Living Advisory Committee (formerly known as California Olmstead Advisory Committee). The committee will help advance community living, inclusion, and integration in California, including advising state agencies on policies and programs.
MEANWHILE, the Pleasant Hill Foundation recently gave CiA $10,000 for their Aging in Place Campus, which when coupled with the $10 million from Senator Bill Dodd in the recent California budget, brings CiA ever closer to its "dream of a community where people age safely with dignity and choices." CiA says it's more than halfway there. (Debbie Toth, Bay Area)

El Camino Health Gets 5 Stars from CMS + Named to 2022 Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals

For the third consecutive year, El Camino Health (ECH)'s Los Gatos and Mountain View hospitals earned five stars, the highest ranking possible, from CMS. The national average among hospitals is three stars. In CMS's program, the more stars, the better a hospital performed on the available quality measures of mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care, and efficient use of medical imaging. AND, for the fifth time, ECH has been named to the 2022 Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals list, as one of the top-performing large community hospitals in the U.S. ECH is also the only large community hospital in California to earn an additional distinction as an Everest Award winner, having set national benchmarks for both the fastest rate of improvement during the past five years and highest current year performance. (Cecile Currier, SV)

Hospice East Bay Debuts "Pet Peace of Mind" Care Program for Patients' Pets

Hospice East Bay has launched a Pet Peace of Mind program to offer pet care to patients and their families. The program includes feeding, delivery of food and supplies, cleaning up pet waste, dog walking, cat playing, transportation to vet and grooming appointments, temporary housing, and assistance with permanent adoption when the time comes. (Cindy Hatton, Bay Area)

HumanGood Launches Affordable Housing Website + Wins Award

HumanGood has launched a new website that will be a resource for seniors seeking affordable housing information, as well as a digital home for partnerships and charitable giving programs.
AND, HumanGood recently received a number of awards and recognitions in the National Mature Media Awards. Top honors were won for the company's guide to life plan communities and for its website, mobile resources, and more. (Tara McGuinness, Bay Area)

Illumination Foundation Selected for Statewide Initiative to Improve Health & Housing Outcomes

Illumination Foundation along with CalOptima and Orange County Health Care Agency were selected as one of eight teams to join Partnerships for Action: California Health Care & Homelessness Learning Collaborative. This new initiative will support partnerships between healthcare and homeless service organizations to pilot projects focused on improving care delivery and health and housing outcomes for Californians experiencing homelessness. It will also address new opportunities made possible through CalAIM, the state's ambitious Medicaid transformation effort that is focused on redesigning healthcare delivery for high-need populations. (Pooja Bhalla, OC)

Kaiser Permanente Achieves Top Ratings in US News' Best Hospitals Report

All 39 Kaiser Permanente (KP) hospitals earned "high performing" recognition in U.S. News & World Report's 2022-23 Best Hospitals rankings. The annual rankings analyze how well hospitals perform when it comes to 35 specialty care areas, common procedures, and common patient conditions. U.S. News evaluates more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide. High performers are among the top 10% to 20% of all hospitals rated.
MEANWHILE, because debt, bad credit, and other money matters can affect a person's physical and mental health, KP has granted $2.5 million to Change Machine, an organization that connects people to financial coaching. (Marcos Vasconcelos, Bay Area)

Life Adjustment Team Discusses Assertive Community Treatment & Coping Kits

In When Do You Need Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) for Mental Health, Life Adjustment Team explains that an ACT program is a structured, evidence-based therapeutic program designed to improve outcomes for people with severe mental illness who are at risk of psychiatric crises and hospitalizations, as well as incarceration. The ACT model involves the cooperative efforts of a multidisciplinary team and active outreach to support an individual's development within the community. People with severe symptoms of mental illness have been shown to benefit from ACT through reduced hospitalizations, increased housing stability, and the improved quality of life that an ACT program can help foster through therapy, education, and developing skills. In addition, ACT may reduce staff burnout and increase client satisfaction, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.
AND, in What is a Coping Kit and How Can It Help, Life Adjustment Team shares that an on-the-go coping kit is one way to help manage anxiety and depression. It is a collection of items that can include a stress ball, headphones, a journal, a list of coping strategies, and any personal items that may be soothing to you. When you're feeling anxious or down, take a few minutes to look through your kit. Find a tool that will help you relax and get back in the right frame of mind. Make it part of your strategy to overcome difficult situations. This can help people to feel more in control of their mental health and better equipped to manage difficult emotions. (Cynthia Sampson, LA)

LifeLong Medical Care Presents Video of Its Heart 2 Heart Team in Action

LifeLong Medical Care partnered with The Praxis Project to document the incredible work of LifeLong's Heart 2 Heart team. This team exemplifies what it means to be of service to the community by meeting patients where they are and increasing access to Lifelong's many services for those who otherwise would not receive the care they need. Click to watch the 8-minute video. (Mike Stacey, MD, Bay Area)

LigoLab Describes Role of Anatomic Pathology Software in Optimizing Lab Workflow

In Role of Anatomic Pathology Software in Optimizing Lab Workflow, LigoLab says that anatomic pathology is considered the most direct method to diagnose complex health issues. Along with clinical testing, it builds the foundation of diagnostic medicine. Collecting tissues, preparing microscope slides, examining samples, capturing findings, and producing results is a long process that asks for the utmost precision and efficient coordination. An anatomic pathology laboratory information system (LIS) helps speed up this process by automating it. Pathology lab reporting software solutions are designed to facilitate improved communication and collaboration between professionals handling the specimen at different stages of clinical testing and diagnosis. The software helps with patient management, data tracking, and quality assurance.
MEANWHILE, the LigoLab LIS & RCM Laboratory Operating Platform and its TestDirectly DTC Portal were both featured in the July issue of Clinical Lab Products (pages 54-55). (Suren Avunjian, LA)

Mazzetti Among First Signers of HHS Health Care Sector Climate Pledge

Mazzetti is among the first 61 organizations to sign on to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Care Sector Climate Pledge, and shares that the White House and HHS have re-opened the opportunity to make pledges through the fall.
MEANWHILE, in Five Things Healthcare Business Executives Should Know About ESG, Mazzetti states that the World Health Organization says climate change is the "single biggest health threat facing humanity," and notes that healthcare organizations have historically embraced the social pillar of environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. The healthcare industry will feel the impact of climate change consequences more than other industries because it's a societal safety net, according to Mazzetti. "Given your board's fiduciary responsibilities, its members may already be pushing for your system to tackle ESG. Here are some of the issues healthcare executives need to understand to work alongside board members in reducing climate change risks to the organization and the communities it serves." (Walt Vernon, JD, Bay Area)

MedWand Now Commercially Available, After Receiving FDA 510(k) Clearance

The FDA has granted 510(k) clearance to the MedWand from MedWand Solutions. Immediately available is the MedWand Evaluation Kit, which includes a MedWand device, and an Android OS medical tablet that is pre-configured with VirtualCare application software and private access to the cloud based VirtualCare telemedicine platform. This Evaluation Kit allows potential end-users to perform clinical evaluation of the MedWand device itself and explore advanced telemedicine workflows enabled by the VirtualCare platform. The company is also accepting orders and production slot reservations for their MedWand Mobile Clinic and Remote Clinic configurations.
ALSO, MedWand CEO Bob Rose is the featured guest on a recent Revenue Maze podcast episode - "Creating a Closed Loop," in which Bob shares tips on how companies can grow their revenue. (Bob Rose, OC)

Nelson Hardiman Examines Regulators Turning Attention to Telehealth-Related Fraud; Also Announces Telemedicine Abortion Webinar on August 17

In its Priority Telehealth Update, Regulators Turn Their Eyes to "Tele-Fraud," Nelson Hardiman (NH) reports that on July 20, 2022, the OIG for the Department of HHS announced a Special Fraud Alert on the subject of "tele-fraud" (telehealth-related fraud). In part, this can be seen as part of the "normalization" of telehealth across multiple government agencies. From CMS to the DOJ, there appears to be recognition that, in the post-pandemic era, telemedicine will be a permanent feature of government-funded U.S. healthcare. The recent Special Fraud Alert follows months of investigations, trial convictions, and reports related to telemedicine providers utilizing inducements and kickbacks to incentivize providers into ordering various medical tests and billing services that are deemed neither medically necessary nor clinically appropriate. The Alert details multiple types of "suspicious" activities that could signal fraudulent behavior.
PLUS, NH will present Part 3 of its Telemedicine Abortion Webinar Series on August 17, at 11 a.m. Managing Partner Harry Nelson will be a presenter.
AND, Harry was interviewed on NTD News discussing a House panel investigation into health data sharing, and on Newsy TV News regarding ambiguity with abortion laws when it comes to medical emergency. (Harry Nelson, JD, LA)

OneLegacy's Tom Mone Talks Equity & Innovation in Donation with LA Business Journal

OneLegacy's Tom Mone recently spoke with the Los Angeles Business Journal (LABJ), discussing the critical work his organization is doing to advance health equity in the communities it serves and providing a glimpse at how pandemic-spurred innovations are helping reshape organ, eye, and tissue donation. Tom will also join LABJ on August 25 for the Healthcare Care Leadership Symposium, where he will take part in a roundtable discussion on Southern California's healthcare system and its impacts around the County.
MEANWHILE, OneLegacy recently launched its One of Eight video campaign with the goal of inspiring the nearly 20 million Californians who are not registered as donors to "get the dot." (Tom Mone, LA)

Parentis Health Acquires Quality Life Homes, Expanding Residential Care Division

Parentis Health has acquired Quality Life Homes licensed residential home care facilities for elderly and memory-impaired individuals. The Quality Life facilities, all located in Laguna Niguel, will transition to the Verona Court brand, expanding Parentis Health's footprint.
ALSO, Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, recently joined Parentis Health CEO Tarek El Nabli for a video conversation about the future of healthcare, the continuity of care, and what it means to be a clinician in today's world. Rajagopal, a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, has been called the "Father of Palliative Care." (Tarek El Nabli, OC)

PreludeDx's On-Demand Webinar: Experts Discuss DCISionRT in Clinical Practice

In this on-demand webinar from PreludeDx - Experts in Surgical Oncology and Radiation Oncology Discuss Evaluation, Application and Results of DCISionRT in Clinical Practice, Troy Bremer, PhD; Julie Margenthaler, MD, FACS; and Chirag Shah, MD, discuss the evaluation and use of DCISionRT in real-world settings, the resulting changes in practice of precision medicine, and the introduction of DCISionRT with novel residual risk subtype. (Dan Forche, OC)

Satellite Healthcare Partners with Modulim + Opens East San Jose Center

Satellite Healthcare and Modulim, a health technology company that delivers point-of-care microvascular and data insights to save limbs and improve lives, have announced a strategic partnership to standardize use of Modulim's Limb Assessment, Management, and Preservation (LAMP) solution. The partnership will establish a first-of-its-kind peripheral arterial disease (PAD) Center of Excellence using Clarifi technology at the Tri-County Vascular Access Center in San Jose, CA. The LAMP solution is being implemented at Satellite's dialysis and vascular access centers over the course of the next 12 months and is aimed at reducing hospitalizations related to foot complications for chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease patients.
ALSO, Satellite Healthcare recently celebrated the opening of its newly constructed, state-of-the-art dialysis center in San Jose, immediately adjacent to Regional Medical Center's San Jose Hospital, for patients who receive kidney care treatment. (Jeff Goffman, SV, & Bernadette Vincent, Bay Area)

SAVI Group Shares Ways to Improve Medical Practice Operations

In The Benefits of Outsourcing Medical Operations, SAVI Group suggests that medical practices and healthcare organizations can reap many benefits when deciding to outsource certain tasks and operations traditionally done by in-house staff members. This is especially applicable when it comes to medical billing and coding work, as experts in this field can do many things to help medical practices save money and run more financially savvy organizations.
AND, in Simple Ways to Improve Medical Practice Operations, SAVI Group delves into investing in proper scheduling and communicating proactively with patients. (Sumit Mahendru, OC)

Wipfli Reports on Payment Reductions for SNFs & Competitive Employee Benefits + Named a Top 100 VAR

In its article - Medicare sequestration is back: Payment reductions for skilled nursing facilities in 2022, Wipfli looks at the reinstatement of sequestration, along with some other reimbursement reductions for 2022 and a list of annual changes Wipfli expects. According to Wipfli, the key to success in not having to deal with that pesky AR balance after full payment is to accurately maintain and update your EMR software to coincide with these annual and off-cycle updates.
ALSO, watch Wipfli's on-demand webcast - Recruiting and Retaining with Competitive Employee Benefits.
MEANWHIILE, Wipfli has been named to Accounting Today's 2022 Top 100 VAR list, an annual ranking of the leading value-added resellers in the accounting space. This is the 12th time Wipfli has been recognized by Accounting Today as a top VAR. (Jeff Johnson, John Dao & Steve Rousso, Bay Area)

Zymo Research's DNA/RNA Shield Inactivates Monkeypox for Collection of Samples

Zymo Research, in collaboration with the Institute of Virology, University Medical Center Freiburg, Germany, demonstrated data showing their DNA/RNA Shield inactivating transport medium completely inactivated recent Monkeypox virus isolates. This data comes at a critical time as Monkeypox cases continue to climb worldwide and scientists are seeking methods to safely collect and transport samples without compromising the genetic integrity. (Yap Ching Chew, Ph.D., OC)

Eckert & Ziegler Becomes Contract Manufacturer for Clinical Development Candidates Based on Lutetium-177 and Actinium-225

Eckert & Ziegler (EZ) has signed an agreement with the U.S. pharmaceutical company Ratio Therapeutics Inc. for the joint development and manufacture of innovative radiopharmaceutical products based on Lu-177 and Ac-225. The agreement covers the development of a validated manufacturing process as well as the GMP-compliant production of clinical investigational products. EZ offers both regional and global pharmaceutical companies a one-stop service for a variety of radiopharmaceutical services under GMP and cGMP conditions. These include complete early development services including process development and scale-up, CMC manufacturing and packaging, product release and stability programs. EZ is able to produce small batches for Phase I, II and III clinical studies and large commercially applicable batch sizes. (Frank Yeager, ABL-Tech SGV)

Profi Scheduling Software Recognized as a Leader & High Performer by G2 Analysts 2022

Profi scheduling software has been recognized as a "Leader," "High Performer," and chosen by users and customers as a scheduling software users love in G2's Patient Scheduling Summer 2022 Report.
ALSO, Profi CEO Alina Trigubenko has written an article for Forbes - How To Scale Your Coaching Practice From Solo To Team.
AND, watch a replay of Profi's recent Pro Beyond: Fireside Chat with Chester Elton - How to Build Your Coaching Business and Brand. (Alina Trigubenko, ABL-Tech WLA)

California Governor Declares State of Emergency Over Monkeypox; NYC Does as Well

As cases continue to rise, California Gov. Newsom declared a state of emergency Monday over the growing monkeypox outbreak. According to a statement from Newsom's office, the proclamation aims to bolster the state government's response to the outbreak along with expanding vaccine efforts. "California is working urgently across all levels of government to slow the spread of monkeypox, leveraging our robust testing, contact tracing and community partnerships strengthened during the pandemic to ensure that those most at risk are our focus for vaccines, treatment and outreach," Newsom said. As part of the proclamation, EMS personnel are being authorized to administer monkeypox vaccines, similar to the authority given to pharmacists to administer the shots. The announcement comes as cases climb within California and across the country. As of Thursday, at least 786 cases were reported statewide. (https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/monkeypox-gov-gavin-newsom-state-of-emergency-california/)

ALSO, New York City declared a local state of emergency in response to the ballooning monkeypox outbreak on Monday, with Mayor Eric Adams signing the latest in a series of executive orders as efforts intensify to stem the tide. As of Monday, NYC has reported 1,472 monkeypox cases, a widely believed well-underreported number that accounts for 28% of the CDC's also likely underreported 5,189 national case count. (https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/nyc-declares-state-of-emergency-over-monkeypox-what-it-means-and-how-it-differs-from-public-health-order/3803490/ )

HHS Expands Availability of Monkeypox Vaccine to More Than 1.1 Million Doses

HHS recently announced plans to allocate an additional 786,000 doses of JYNNEOS vaccine, dramatically increasing the supply of monkeypox vaccine doses to states and jurisdictions. The additional vaccine allocation adds to the more than 340,000 doses of JYNNEOS vaccine that have already been delivered to jurisdictions. JYNNEOS vaccine is manufactured by Bavarian Nordic and approved by the FDA to prevent smallpox and monkeypox. The plan for allocating the doses takes into account two key factors: the total population of at-risk people and the number of new cases in each jurisdiction. The strategy ensures that jurisdictions have the doses needed to complete the second dose of this two-dose vaccine regimen for those who have been vaccinated over the past month. As of July 29, states and jurisdictions can order additional vaccine doses through HHS. (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/07/28/hhs-expands-availability-of-monkeypox-vaccine-to-more-than-1-million-doses.html)

House Passes Bill Extending Telehealth Waivers Through 2024

The House has passed a bill that extends telehealth flexibilities under Medicare that were initially authorized during the public health emergency of COVID-19. H.R. 4040, Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2022 now moves to the Senate for approval. The bill would allow federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics to serve as the distant site, that is, the location of the healthcare practitioner; it would allow beneficiaries to receive telehealth services at any site, regardless of type or location; it would allow any type of practitioner to furnish telehealth services, subject to approval by CMS; and it would continue coverage for audio-only evaluation and management and behavioral health services. (https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/house-passes-bill-extending-telehealth-waivers-through-2024)

Hospitals Get 4.3% Increase in Inpatient Payment Rates in CMS Final Rule; ALSO, Rehab, Psychiatry & Hospice Get Medicare Pay Hikes

The Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule released late Monday increases hospital operating payment rates by 4.3% for 2023. "This is the highest market basket update in the last 25 years and is primarily due to higher expected growth in compensation prices for hospital workers," CMS said. (https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/hospitals-get-43-increase-inpatient-payment-rates-cms-final-rule)

ALSO, the 2023 hospice payment update is 3.8%, which is expected to result in an increase of $825 million in payments from 2022. Inpatient psychiatric facilities payments are expected to increase by 2.5%, or $90 million, in 2023, compared to 2022. The Fiscal Year 2023 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Prospective Payment System final rule updates inpatient rehab facility payments by 3.9%, with estimated overall payments to increase by 3.2% after productivity and outlier adjustments. (https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/final-rules-hospice-inpatient-psychiatric-and-rehab-increase-payment-above-proposals)

New Numbers Show More Californians are Getting Reinfected With COVID-19

New state of California numbers show one out of every seven new cases in July was a reinfection and infectious disease specialists say the highly transmissible variant BA.5 is playing a big role in the increase in reinfections. According to the new state health department numbers last month, at least 50,000 people came down with COVID for a second time. Dr. Monica Gandhi, UCSF infectious disease specialist, said: "I think it's just that BA.5 evades antibodies and that's what protects us from getting infections in our nose and mouth so we are seeing so many more infections with BA.5." The Biden administration is pre-purchasing tens of millions of newly formulated "BA.5 specific" boosters expected to be ready for approval in September. (https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/california/covid-reinfections-california/2966036/)

Amazon to Buy One Medical for $3.9 Billion, Expanding Healthcare Footprint

Amazon recently said it has entered an agreement to acquire primary healthcare company One Medical in an all-cash deal valued at approximately $3.9 billion. One Medical is a membership-based primary care service that promises customers "24/7 access to virtual care." The company operates in a dozen major US markets, according to its website, and works with over 8,000 companies to offer One Medical health benefits to their employees. Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, said the e-commerce giant thinks "health care is high on the list of experiences that need reinvention." (https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/21/tech/amazon-one-medical/index.html)

Blue Shield of CA, Walgreens Aim to Serve Healthcare Deserts in LA & Bay Area with New "Health Corners"

Blue Shield of California and Walgreens are launching new Health Corners in 12 Walgreens stores in the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles County. At these locations, Blue Shield members and customers will be able to connect with health advisers who can offer simple in-store care as well as assistance with preventive screenings, chronic care management and medications. The health advisers have clinical backgrounds, such as pharmacists or nurse practitioners. (https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payers/blue-shield-california-walgreens-team-new-health-corner-locations)

Mental Health Startups Still Attracting Investor Attention

While funding for digital health has slowed, mental health startups are still attracting investor attention, according to Dr. Justin Norden, partner at GSR Ventures, who in this 9-minute video predicts what's next for the sector and discusses some takeaways from Rock Health's H1 2022 digital health funding report. (https://www.healthcareitnews.com/video/funding-digital-health-has-slowed-how-come)

Study: Low Health Literacy, Poorer Neighborhoods Associated with Audio-Only Telehealth Use

Patients with lower health literacy and those who lived in more socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods were more likely to participate in an audio-only telehealth visit, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. Researchers analyzed more than 18,000 scheduled telehealth visits from outpatient clinics that are part of a large health system. The visits happened early in the COVID-19 pandemic, between March and July 2020. They found low health literacy and a higher area deprivation index (ADI) were associated with audio-only visits, and higher ADI was also associated with a higher likelihood of not showing up to the telehealth appointment. (https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/study-low-health-literacy-poorer-neighborhoods-associated-audio-only-telehealth-use)

Traveling-Nurse Bubble Bursts - Temp Nurses' Average Salaries are Falling

Nurses willing to pack up and travel to a new hot spot every few months earned as much as $10,000 a week at the height of the pandemic to fill in a shortage of medical staff. The economics of nursing was further thrown out of whack by federal subsidies, which allowed hospitals to pay distorted wages, briefly creating a new class of highly paid nurses. But the traveling-nurse market might finally be coming back down to earth. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/traveling-nurse-bubble-bursts-11658919781)

LA County General Hospital Set to Become Affordable Housing

Los Angeles County officials are moving forward with a plan to convert the mostly vacant General Hospital building, on the site of L.A. County-USC Medical Center, into 184 market-rate units and 371 affordable housing units. (https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-27/los-angeles-county-general-hospital-affordable-housing-project)

AARP: Many Baby Boomers Will Soon Need Adult Supervision: Shortage of Caregivers for the Elderly is Becoming a Crisis

According to AARP, 70% of people over 65 will need long-term services and support, but many won't get it because there aren't enough caregivers. This shortage, per AARP, is going to get worse, ending the decade with a national shortage of 151,000 caregivers by 2030. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/many-baby-boomers-will-soon-need-adult-supervision-caregivers-mental-physical-health-medicare-support-network-11657475582?mod=hp_opin_pos_2#cxrecs_s)

New Outpatient Services Will Lower Costs & Improve Care

In a recent Wall Street Journal Opinion piece, Bobby Jindal and Neil M. Gheewala wrote that CMS recently approved 14 new reimbursement codes for outpatient ambulatory surgical centers with more codes likely to be approved in the coming years. The reimbursement rates for these new codes are an average of 50% cheaper for ASCs than they are for hospital outpatient departments. In addition to significant savings for payers, patients will benefit from fewer physician visits, same-day treatments and better outcomes. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-revolution-is-coming-to-heart-care-cardiac-hospital-systems-asc-outpatient-market-11657744203?mod=opinion_lead_pos8)

Looking Beyond "Pharmacy Benefits" Can Save Patients Real Money

WSJ Opinion writers Joe Grogan and Casey B. Mulligan urged patients to use real-time drug-cost calculators to understand what a particular medication will cost them before they arrive at the pharmacy counter. Companies such as GoodRx, Pharmacy Checker, and SaveonMeds add transparency to the system and give patients the option to access affordable medication outside their pharmacy benefits. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-defense-of-pharmacy-benefit-managers-drugs-rebates-patient-costs-premiums-transparency-innovation-regulation-ftc-11657571932?mod=opinion_lead_pos9)

Americans Got Fat Because of Marketplace Innovations - But They Can Help Us Slim Down, Too

Tomas J. Philipson opines in the WSJ that there's an economic explanation for America's obesity problem that afflicts 42% of the U.S. population: high-calorie foods are cheaper than ever, and changes in the way we work have created a sedentary nation. Agricultural innovations have increased output and cut the price of food dramatically. Happily, the market is generating a solution: medical innovations that can reduce obesity. But insurers and the government limiting coverage for these treatments is due to shortsighted business calculations. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/economics-of-obesity-medical-innovation-wegovy-tirzepatide-insurance-incentives-sedentary-11656452712?mod=hp_opin_pos_5#cxrecs_s)

Mental-Health Care Is Increasingly Being Treated with Telehealth

By 2021, after a year of the pandemic, only 5% of most doctors' visits were via telehealth compared with 40% of mental-health visits, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation and Epic Research, which has a database of electronic health records. Telehealth also has the benefit of broader geographic reach. However, it can have critical shortcomings, too. For example, WSJ reported that one in six calls to the recently launched "988," the national suicide-prevention lifeline, were abandoned before they were answered, because the call centers were understaffed and overstretched. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/mental-health-care-shortage-is-being-treated-with-outdated-ratios-11657877400?mod=wsjhp_columnists_pos1)

Copyright © 2022 Adaptive Business Leaders Organization. All Rights Reserved.