ABL Healthcare Member News & Industry Trendletter * March 7, 2023

>>> Roger Massengale is CEO of Eitan Medical, NA and Chief Commercial Officer at Eitan Medical, a global leader (headquartered in Israel) in advanced infusion therapy and drug delivery solutions across the care continuum. The company's product lines include the Sapphire™ infusion platform, providing connected infusion therapy systems in hospital and ambulatory settings, as well as the Sorrel™ wearable drug delivery platform, the patient-centric on-body injector for delivery of biologic treatments, and the Avoset™ infusion pump, connected infusion systems for the home care market. Throughout his career, Roger has managed a global P&L over $200M, led large sales and marketing teams and completed over 10 acquisitions and divestitures. Roger launched the ON-Q Pain Management System which, to date, has generated over $1.5B in revenues as a market-leading non-opioid pain control system. He has also been granted 100+ U.S. and foreign patents. Prior to joining Eitan in 2019, Roger was VP GM of Acute Pain at Avanos Medical; GM, Acute Pain at Halyard Health; worked for Kimberly-Clark Healthcare, ultimately as GM of Acute Pain, after spending 13+ years at I-Flow, where the ON-Q system was invented. Roger has joined ABL-Health's Orange County Round Table.

  • 3/14 - Silicon Valley ZOOM Table - "Meet HealthTap: the Provider Network Behind Amazon Clinic" - Featuring Geoff Rutledge, MD, PhD, Co-Founder & CMO of HealthTap

  • 3/16 - Bay Area ZOOM Table - "Finding a Cure for the Scourge of America" - Featuring Gene Barduson, Founder/CEO, Addiction Research Institute

  • 3/17 - Los Angeles ZOOM Table - "Here's $58M. Now, what are you going to do with it?" - Featuring Andy Leeka, President of Angle Health

  • 4/05 - Orange County IN-PERSON* FIELD TRIP, TOUR & Round Table - "Disrupting the Cycle of Homeless in O.C. and Beyond" - Featuring Pooja Bhalla, DNP, Co-CEO, Illumination Foundation [*with Zoom option]

  • Explore Membership in ABL's Executive Round Tables >>>
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Alegre Home Care Discusses How to Support Seniors Who Are Struggling with Addiction

In How to Support Seniors Who are Struggling with Addiction, Alegre Home Care notes that seniors are more likely to have access to prescription drugs and are at a higher risk of experiencing loneliness, depression, and anxiety than other age demographics. And Alegre shares some of the unique facts about seniors and addiction, as well as how in-home caregivers can offer support. (Charles Symes, Bay Area)

Angle Health Extolled by Pruven Capital

In its recent article, Why We Invested in Angle, Pruven Capital says that it's excited to support Angle Health in building the first AI-enabled, full-stack health insurance company focused on delivering a superior personalized digital member experience and better options for companies of all sizes. Pruven then shares a few insights from its deal memo highlighting why they invested. ALSO, Angle's recent $58M funding round was detailed in a MedCityNews article. (Andy Leeka, LA)

Choice in Aging Interviews Senior Industry Leaders

Recent episodes of Choice in Aging's "Dishing with Debbie" video series include:
>> Guest Sarah Steenhausen, Deputy Director of the Division of Policy, Research, and Equity at the California Department of Aging.
>> Guest Eric Harris, Public Policy Director of Disability Rights California.
>> Guest Susannah Meyer, Executive Director of Empowered Aging.
>> Guest K. Patrice Williams, JD, Fairfield City Councilmember and founder of two community-based organizations.
Click the link above to watch these episodes. (Debbie Toth, Bay Area)

Cigna Evolves Brands to Reflect Growing Portfolio & Chris DeRosa Assumes New Role

Cigna Corporation is evolving the company's brands to reflect its growing portfolio of businesses and best serve its customers and clients. The new holding company name is The Cigna Group (NYSE:CI), a global health company committed to improving health and vitality. Cigna Healthcare is the health benefits provider of The Cigna Group, serving customers and clients through its U.S. Commercial, U.S. Government and International Health businesses. Evernorth Health Services partners across the healthcare system to serve customers and clients, including health plans, employers, government entities and others. Within Cigna Healthcare, Chris DeRosa is now President, Government Business, with responsibility for all of Medicare, Medicaid and Individual Family Plans/ACA business. Chris is also a member of the Enterprise Leadership team. CONGRATULATIONS, Chris! (Chris DeRosa, OC)

Donor Network West CEO Spotlighted in Industry Journal + Writes Article on Updates to Waiting Times for Black Kidney Candidates

Janice Whaley, CEO of Donor Network West (DNW), is featured in a recent article from the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance - Janice Whaley, First Black Female CEO of an OPO, Has Clarity about Her 'Why': To Give Someone More Time with Their Family - in which she discusses her unique journey throughout her 31 years in the organ procurement industry.
PLUS, Janice has written an article - Updates to the Waiting Times for Black Kidney Candidates: What You Need To Know - which discusses the significance that on December 5, 2022, the Board of Directors of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network unanimously approved a new policy that will backdate the waiting time of Black kidney transplant candidates, who were disadvantaged by the previous use of a race-inclusive calculation to estimate their level of kidney function.
ALSO, DNW set some records in 2022: the federally designated, non-profit, organ procurement organization for northern California and northern Nevada coordinated 415 organ donors, resulting in 1,260 organs transplanted, helping provide a second chance at life to 1,108 organ transplant recipients in 2022. This is the highest number of organ donors, organs transplanted and organ transplant recipients in the organization's history. The organization also coordinated 2,051 tissue donors and recovered 6,077 research samples, also an organizational record. (Janice Whaley, Bay Area)

Eitan Medical Opens New Manufacturing Facility Bolstered by Semi-Automated Production Lines

Eitan Medical recently announced the opening of its new manufacturing facility at the company's headquarters. On-site manufacturing will support Eitan Medical's production scale of its Pharmaceutical Solutions division. The facility will manufacture the Sorrel wearable drug delivery platform across multiple device configurations, including Sorrel vial- and cartridge-based wearable injectors, pre-filled and pre-loaded in primary containers up to 50ml, as well as small volume on-body injectors. Two semi-automated production lines incorporate both fully and semi-automated technologies and processes.
ALSO, the Eitan Medical GM Pharmaceutical Solutions discusses the role of manufacturing in the development of drug delivery devices in a recent article - Enabling Drug Development Through Drug Delivery Manufacturing. (Roger Massengale, OC)

El Camino Health Named to Newsweek's "World's Best Hospitals 2023" List

El Camino Health's Mountain View hospital has been named one of the World's Best Hospitals by Newsweek for the second year in a row - an award presented by Newsweek and Statista Inc., the world's leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider. The 2023 rankings are based on a global survey of doctors, healthcare professionals, and administrators across four continents, said Newsweek. (Cecile Currier, SV)

Elemeno Health Partners with URMC Golisano Children's Hospital

Elemeno Health and University of Rochester Medical Center-Golisano Children's Hospital (GCH) have partnered to implement a user-friendly application to support perioperative staff with just-in-time resources, digital communication, and actionable insights. The Elemeno app is helping GCH maintain consistency in surgical care and workflows, improve the onboarding experience, and promote an optimal experience for patients and their families. In this 2:32-minute video, see how GCH is utilizing the Elemeno app to promote effective team communication. (Arup Roy-Burman, MD, Bay Area)

Hospice East Bay CEO Interviewed on TV Following President Jimmy Carter's Entry Into Hospice

Hospice East Bay CEO Cindy Hatton recently sat down with KTVU to talk about hospice care following Former President Jimmy Carter's hospice announcement. Watch the 3:23-minute video. (Cindy Hatton, Bay Area)

HumanGood Launches "Welcome Home" Initiative & Receives Grant

HumanGood's affordable housing team is launching a "Welcome Home" initiative which seeks to help serve the most vulnerable seniors who lack any form of housing security by providing pathways to housing at HumanGood's affordable housing communities. The first group of HumanGood affordable housing communities has begun training to help prepare to meet the unique needs that unhoused elders may present. ALSO, HumanGood has received a grant from Everett Clinic Foundation that will expand the Cupboards of Care program to Shepherd's Garden located in Lynnwood, WA. The assistance will provide food security for 11 residents in the affordable housing community. Shepherd's Garden is the 58th HumanGood affordable housing community to participate in the program. (Tara McGuinness, Bay Area)

Illumination Foundation CEOs Spotlighted in UC Irvine Interview + Looks Forward to Upcoming Gala

Illumination Foundation's Co-CEOs were recently interviewed on the Dean's Thought Leadership Series from UC Irvine - The Paul Merage School of Business, in a 32-minute video discussion.
AND, Co-CEO Pooja Bhalla has written an article - Health Equity and Policy, which she states are critical elements of the homelessness crisis.
MEANWHILE, on March 12, IF will host its 10th Annual Chef's Table Culinary Gala at the Disneyland Hotel, featuring 40 of Southern California's top chefs and restaurants. (Pooja Bhalla, DNP, OC)

LigoLab Discusses Consumerism, Best Practices, Lab Data Analytics, Pathologist Burnout & More

Suren Avunjian, CEO of LigoLab, has written an article for MedCity Influencers - Consumerism and How Clinical Labs can Take Advantage of a Growing Trend.
AND, Suren is quoted in an article in CLP - 7 Best Practices for a Successful LIMS/LIS Implementation.
PLUS, LigoLab's article, Laboratory Information Systems and the Key Role They Play in Lab Data Analytics, details the company's participation in Medical Laboratory Observer magazine's annual State of the Industry report that focused on Lab Data Analytics.
MEANWHILE, read recent blog posts from LigoLab: The Causes and Consequences of Pathologist Burnout; and Demonstrating the Power of RCM Automation in the Clinical Laboratory. AND, LigoLab plans to present a webinar on March 28 - Optimizing Lab Operations to Prevent Burnout & Shortages. (Suren Avunjian, LA)

Nelson Hardiman Examines the Peril & Promise of Chatbot Therapy

Harry Nelson, of Nelson Hardiman, has written an article - "My Therapist Sounds like a Robot" The Peril and Promise of Chatbot Therapy - which delves into how in recent years, healthcare organizations and providers are increasingly using various forms of artificial intelligence, such as chatbot technology, to interface with patients or to provide personalized communication on a larger scale. (Harry Nelson, JD, LA)

OneLegacy Teamed with NASCAR Driver, CHP & Nursing School on Special Donor Event

OneLegacy recently joined The California Highway Patrol and San Bernardino College's Nursing School to host a special event to promote the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation with local students and community members. Among the activities at the event, NASCAR driver Joey Gase's racecar was decorated with pink donor dots, representing a symbol of hope and support to 100,000+ people who are currently waiting for a life-saving organ or tissue transplant. And then Gase's decorated racecar participated in the recent NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. (Tom Mone, LA)

Onward Wins AARP's AgeTech Collaborative Competition at CES 2023

Onward won AARP's AgeTech Collaborative pitch competition at the recent 2023 CES trade show. "Onward is redefining companion transportation and redesigning end-to-end transportation management solutions for healthcare partners," said Steve Grau, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman. According to an AARP post, specially trained Onward companion drivers will enter a person's home, help them put on shoes or coats, and carry belongings ranging from walkers or wheelchairs to a gurney. Among other requirements, they must pass background checks and know CPR. At a destination, the driver may walk a client through grocery store aisles or into a health care facility. On the way home, a driver might stop at a pharmacy or pick up other essentials before safely bringing the passenger back in the house. (Steve Grau, SV)

Pangea Lab's Yap Ching Chew, PhD, Co-Authors Article in Journal of Urology

A recent article - A Urine-based DNA Methylation Marker Test to Detect Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma: A Prospective Cohort Study - is co-authored by Yap Ching Chew of Pangea Laboratory, and published by The Journal of Urology. Yap and her fellow researchers' findings show that Pangea's Bladder CARE is an accurate urine-based epigenetic test for the diagnosis of upper tract urothelial carcinoma, with much higher sensitivity than standard urine cytology. (Yap Ching Chew, Ph.D., OC)

Parentis Health Discusses Medicare's Coverage of Home Health Care & Senior Heart Health

A recent from Parentis Health - Does Medicare Cover Home Health Care for Seniors? - discusses who qualifies for home health services, how Medicare defines homebound, and more. AND, Parentis's article, Senior Heart Health: Preventing the Effects of Aging, describes how your heart changes with age, a heart-healthy diet and activities for seniors, and more. (Tarek El Nabli, OC)

Santa Cruz Surgery Center CEO Supports ASC Legislation on Capitol Hill

Lisa Cooper, CEO of Santa Cruz Surgery Center, recently went to Washington DC's Capitol Hill, along with other members of the surgery center community, for Ambulatory Surgery Center Association National Advocacy Day, to discuss the importance of the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act of 2023 plus other key ASC issues. The legislation specifically seeks to increase Medicare patients' access to ambulatory surgery centers, ensure adequate reimbursement, and provide better quality metrics across sites of care. (Lisa Cooper, SV)

Wipfli Provides Health-Related Webinars, Articles & Conference Sessions

Recent healthcare-relevant resources from Wipfli include:
>> Live Webinar: Leveraging modern, cloud-based accounting for healthcare, on March 21.
>> On-Demand Webinar: Strategic Planning - Creating a durable plan to thrive in a challenging healthcare environment.
>> On-Demand Webinar: How FQHCs can leverage technology to streamline service and meet patient needs.
>> Article: Inflation Reduction Act benefits for tax-exempt healthcare organizations.
>> Upcoming Event Participation: Steve Rousso will co-present a session at the Institute on Medicare and Medicaid Payment Issues event presented by the American Health Law Association, March 22-24, in Baltimore, MD. Steve's session will address FQHC and RHC Reimbursement and Current Updates.
(Jeff Johnson, Steve Rousso & John Dao, Bay Area)

Eckert & Ziegler's PENTIXAFOR in Advanced Clinical Test in Cardiovascular Setting

The Lausanne University Hospital has reported the initial dosing of a patient in a phase II clinical study investigating the sensitivity of PENTIXAFOR (Boclatixafotide) in a cardiovascular and inflammatory setting. It is the first time that Eckert & Ziegler's proprietary CXCR4-compound has been used in an advanced clinical test in a non-cancer indication, opening the way for a broader use of PENTIXAFOR outside of oncology. The Gallium-68 based radio-diagnostic PENTIXAFOR promises to significantly improve the sensitivity in the detection of acute myocardial inflammation, which may allow for future early clinical management of patients with myocarditis, avoiding the progression to more severe stages. (Frank Yeager, ABL-Tech SGV)


Amazon Closes $3.9 Billion Deal to Acquire One Medical

Amazon recently closed its acquisition of health care provider One Medical and its parent in a $3.9 billion deal, hours after the Federal Trade Commission said it would not challenge the purchase but that regulators were still investigating potential competitive and consumer harms of the transaction. According to One Medical, the deal will bring Amazon access to more than 200 brick-and-mortar doctors' offices, along with roughly 815,000 One Medical members. It will also allow Amazon to expand its telehealth services and acquire valuable relationships with hospital systems, industry analysts have said. (https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/22/tech/ftc-amazon-one-medical-deal/index.html)

Oak Street Health Posts $510M Loss, Outlines Risks to CVS Acquisition

Oak Street Health's losses grew in 2022 to almost $510 million as the value-based primary care company, with a network of clinics for seniors on Medicare, which is pending an acquisition by CVS Health, continued to aggressively pursue growth. In comparison, in 2021, Oak Street reported a loss of $415 million. In 2022, the company opened 40 new centers and ended the year with 169 facilities in 21 states, serving some 224,000 patients. Last month, CVS announced plans to acquire Oak Street for $10.6 billion, as it looks to create a vertically integrated healthcare business including physicians, pharmacy, a health plan (Aetna) and more. Oak Street, which was founded in 2012 and went public in 2020, has proven that its model is scalable, CVS said. The company plans to have over 300 centers by 2026, each of which can contribute $7 million in adjusted earnings at maturity. However, in the meantime, Oak Street still operates at a loss and the clinic operator isn't expected to reach profitability until 2025 at the earliest. (https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/oak-street-health-loss-risks-cvs-acquisition/643844/)

Theranica Receives FDA 510(k) for Migraine Prevention Device

Prescription digital therapeutic developer Theranica announced it has received FDA 510(k) clearance to use its Nerivio device for migraine prevention in patients 12 and older. The wearable is worn around the upper arm and controlled with a smartphone. It delivers electrical pulses to stimulate small peripheral nerves, which aims to trigger a conditioned pain modulation response to alleviate symptoms. The treatment lasts 45 minutes and can be used every other day for prevention or at the onset of a migraine for acute treatment. (https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/theranica-receives-fda-510k-migraine-prevention-device)

Is There an Alternative to Statins for High Cholesterol? Bempedoic Acid Just Passed a Key Test

More than a quarter of Americans over 40 take medications to lower their cholesterol, most of them statins. But not everyone can tolerate statins or wants to. Now a new study confirms that bempedoic acid, approved in 2020, not only lowers cholesterol but also reduces the risk for heart attack and stroke. Statins will remain the first therapy patients are given to lower cholesterol. But the news means more people will likely be prescribed a once-daily pill of bempedoic acid, which is sold under the brand name Nexletol, along with another drug, ezetimibe, as Nexlizet. from Esperion Therapeutics (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2023/03/04/statin-alternative-passes-key-test-lowers-stroke-heart-attack-risk/11392232002/)

Eli Lilly Slashed Insulin Prices: "This Starts a Race to the Bottom"

When drugmaker Eli Lilly announced last week it will slash the list price for some of its insulin products following years of criticism from lawmakers and activists that the price of the lifesaving hormone had become unaffordable, the news raised questions about what will happen to other efforts to provide low-cost insulin. However, drug pricing experts welcomed the Eli Lilly news, predicting the move won't undercut those efforts. And these other initiatives to bring lower-cost insulin to market, in turn, would put pressure on Eli Lilly to keep its prices down. Together these will help, not hamper, what could become a race to the bottom on insulin prices. (https://californiahealthline.org/news/article/eli-lilly-slashed-insulin-prices-this-starts-a-race-to-the-bottom/)

8 Cancer Breakthroughs to Watch in 2023

The City of Hope is investing $1.5 billion on a comprehensive cancer center and a planned specialty cancer hospital in Irvine, where eight of its experts predicted: #1: Increasing AI; #2: Clinical Trials Opening Up; #3: Blood Testing for Early Detection; #4: Precision Medicine's Exponential Growth; #5: Advanced Imaging Tech Integration; #6: Integrative Medicine's Growth; #7: Greater Generosity; and #8: Cancer Care Democratization. (https://www.ocbj.com/leader-board/8-cancer-breakthroughs-to-watch-in-2023/)

California Healthcare Settings Won't Require Masks, Vaccinations as of April 3

California will drop its mask and vaccination mandates for health care settings next month, the state health department announced Friday. Beginning April 3, health care workers, patients, and visitors will no longer have to wear a mask or be vaccinated to work in facilities that include hospitals and doctors' offices. The new rules also apply to correctional facilities. MEANWHILE, in a recent fireside chat with UCSF's Dr. Bob Wachter, Eric Topol of Scripps Research expressed optimism that the U.S. may be moving toward an endemic state with COVID-19 but noted there is "no guarantee" it will happen. (https://californiahealthline.org/morning-briefing/monday-march-6-2023/)

California Will Restart Medi-Cal Eligibility Review

California will soon restart its annual eligibility review for people enrolled in Medi-Cal, a process that has been suspended since the onset of the pandemic. Starting in mid-April, residents enrolled in the state's insurance program for low-income people will start to receive renewal notices in the mail. (https://calmatters.org/health/2023/03/medi-cal-eligibility-2/)

CMS Proposes Rule to Require Disclosure of Ownership & Other Financial Relationships for SNFs

On February 15, 2023, CMS published a proposed rule that would require many nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to provide more detailed reporting about their ownership structures and financial relationships. The Proposed Rule would require SNFs to report if they are owned or managed by a private equity firm or PE-affiliated real estate investment trust. It would also force the facilities to provide information about any transactions with broadly defined "related parties." Comments on the Proposed Rule are due by April 14, 2023. (https://kslawemail.com/128/9980/pages/art1.asp?sid=9685334f-4bd9-47c8-a880-fd11dbcb2cba)

ChatGPT: 10 Digital Leaders on How Hospitals Might Use It

In a little more than two months since its launch, ChatGPT passed the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam and prompted major scientific journals to ban or restrict its use in research. Now, hospital and health system leaders are trying to determine where the technology could be most helpful and where it may cause harm. The artificial intelligence-powered chatbot is being touted as a tool that could "transform" healthcare, as it is said to be capable of mirroring intuitive human conversation. According to OpenAI, the tool's creator, ChatGPT works by learning from human feedback. The tool is also said to be able to answer follow-up questions, admit its own mistakes, challenge incorrect premises and reject inappropriate requests. While the tool is still in its early stages, hospital and health system IT and physician leaders believe the technology has significant potential. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/the-promises-and-pitfalls-of-chatgpt-10-digital-leaders-on-how-hospitals-might-use-it.html)

How Doctors Are Using AI to Help Diagnose Patients

At Mayo Clinic's cardiology department, doctors use an artificial-intelligence program to help detect new heart problems. Elsewhere, a group of primary-care doctors is using it to help identify an eye condition that can lead to blindness. A number of hospitals are using it to catch patients at risk for sepsis. In such cases, AI tools use algorithms to better identify patients that might be at risk for certain conditions or diseases. Doctors aren't relying on the technology alone to diagnose patients, and their use of generative AI such as ChatGPT is largely limited to paperwork and reports, though some are testing to see if it could play a more useful role. Some doctors, however, are using AI to aid them in reaching a diagnosis, often earlier than they otherwise would have. Physicians say AI holds promise, but they are also wary of yielding to machines, both because the technology is still emerging and also because research has shown that biases in AI can harm the care some people receive. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-doctors-use-ai-to-help-diagnose-patients-ce4ad025?mod=wsjhp_columnists_pos1)

California Democrats Propose $25 Minimum Wage for Health Workers

In California, union-aligned Democratic state lawmakers recently introduced legislation that would mandate a statewide $25 minimum wage for health workers and support staffers, likely setting up a pitched battle with hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis clinics. State Sen. María Elena Durazo's bill would require health facilities and home health agencies to give raises to many support employees, including nurse technicians, housekeepers, security guards, food workers and laundry providers. The Los Angeles Democrat said workers remain underpaid even as they play a crucial role in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many who earn close to the state's $15.50 minimum wage, she said, struggle with inflation. The bill is backed by the influential SEIU-UHW West, which represents roughly 100,000 workers statewide, similar proposals have previously faced strong opposition from the health industry. If lawmakers approve the bill and Gov. Gavin Newsom signs it, one labor leader estimated, 1.5 million California workers could get a wage hike come January 2024. (https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-02-15/california-democrats-propose-25-minimum-wage-for-health-workers)

Coming Soon: Benefits & Perks Employers Will Tailor to Your Needs

The workforce of the future will be made up of a greater mix of employees of all ages as people live and work longer, economists project. As a result, companies competing for these workers are expected to offer more benefits tailored to needs at different stages of life. The Wall Street Journal anticipates these evolving work perks and benefits in the coming decade: Stints and Sabbaticals; Daycare for Your Parents; Hyper-Personalized Benefits; On-site Counselor; and Post-Parental Leave. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/five-new-benefits-and-perks-employers-will-tailor-to-your-needs-f6cebd1e)

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