ABL Healthcare Member News & Industry Trendletter * October 5, 2023
  • 10/04 - Orange County ZOOM Table - Discussion Topic: "From Angels and VCs to PE, What Do Healthcare Investors Want Now?" - Featuring George Carpenter, President of CGI Biomed Investments

  • 10/19 - Bay Area ZOOM Table - Discussion Topic: "Using Technology to Expand the Reach of Your Healthcare Business" - Featuring Susan Armiger, President & CEO of Catalight Foundation and XOLV Technology Solutions

  • 10/20 - Los Angeles ZOOM Table - Discussion Topic: "Preparing for an Exit ... And What's Next!" - Featuring David Bell, CEO of GrandCare Health Services

  • 11/14 - Orange County IN-PERSON AI EVENT:
    "Supercharge Your Company's Game to Survive the Growing AI Wave"

  • Featured Presenters: Thomas Leffler, President, Project Insight - sharing his "AI-in-healthtech" perspective.
    And Tech Members, presenting their AI experiences: Satnam Gambhir, CEO of Envision Financial Systems; Greg Lebsack, on Using AI for Exponential Business Growth; Ali Payani, founder of growth marketing agency, LookinLA; Marisa Brutoco, Sheppard Mullin Partner (formerly in-house counsel at Google, Amazon and Apple) and Member of the Technology Transactions Team, on how AI is transforming Entertainment, Technology, and Advertising; and ABL’s Bob Kelley.

  • Explore Membership in ABL's Executive Round Tables >>>
Click on Headlines to Read Articles
Click on Headlines to Read Articles
Addiction Research Institute (Gene Barduson) Offers New Podcast Episode: Is There a Cure?

Addiction Research Institute has published a new podcast episode - Dr. Danielle M. Dick: Is there a cure? - which explores the ever-evolving landscape of addiction research, the promising avenues for finding a cure, and the challenges that lie ahead. (OC) (OC)

Catalight (Susan Armiger) Looks at 50 Years of Laws that Advance People with Autism

Catalight's recent article - 50 Years of Change: Looking at the Laws that Protect and Advance People with Autism - explores some of the laws that have increased their ability to access healthcare, education, employment, housing, plus exciting changes coming soon.
ALSO, read What's in a Name? The History of Autism Spectrum Disorder. (BA)

Choice in Aging (Debbie Toth) Anticipates October 7th "Flamingo Fiesta"

Choice in Aging's 6th Annual Bedford Block Party will take place on Saturday afternoon, October 7. "Flamingo Fiesta" will include live music, libations, a delicious Mexican feast, bocce ball tournament, and online auction. Proceeds will support The Bedford Center in Antioch, funding scholarships, meals, program activities, art, music, physical and occupational therapies. For decades, The Bedford Center has provided services for adults with disabilities, Alzheimer's disease, and other chronic conditions.
ALSO, click here to watch the latest episodes of Dishing With Debbie video interview series with senior industry leaders. (BA)

Donor Network West's Janice Whaley Featured in Article + DNW Unveils New Foundation

Rolling Out's recent article - Donor Network West CEO Janice Whaley is saving a life, 1 day at a time - spotlights Janice and her company: "this sister with superpowers is on the front lines helping those in need of an organ. A committed advocate for donation, Janice Whaley knows what her purpose is and is determined to educate, inform, and inspire others around her who want to know the importance of National Multiethnic Donor Awareness Month."
ALSO, DNW, the federally authorized organ procurement organization for northern California and northern Nevada, has launched the Donor Network West Foundation, which will support the needs of organ donor families and transplant recipients as well as further clinical innovation, research and community education initiatives for organ, eye and tissue donation throughout its region. (BA)

Elemeno Health (Arup Roy-Burman, MD) Named a Quarterfinalist for Digital Health Awards

Elemeno Health was selected from thousands of companies as a Quarterfinalist for The Digital Health Hub Foundation's Digital Health Awards 2023 for Best in Class - Patient Safety. This awards program recognizes the achievements of innovative tech companies in the digital health industry. (BA)

Anthem Blue Cross (David Pryor, MD) Foundation Provides $1.2M to Address Mental Health & Substance Abuse Disorders in California

The Anthem Blue Cross Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the Elevance Health Foundation, has awarded $1.2 million in substance use disorder grants to five California-based organizations. The multi-year grants will help those experiencing mental health and substance use disorders transition from treatment, incarceration, or other high-risk settings to stable housing environments and provide access to evidence-based resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery in Los Angeles, Fresno, and San Francisco counties. (LA)

FOMAT Medical Research (Nick Focil) Partners with AAIM Group & AlzWell a Finalist for Innovation Award

FOMAT Medical Research has announced its partnership with AAIM GROUP, a rapidly expanding practice group specializing in immunology, asthma, allergy, and dermatology care. This strategic collaboration signifies a significant advancement in research capabilities and innovation within these critical therapeutic areas. The partnership showcases FOMAT's commitment to expanding its presence and providing valuable opportunities for sponsors and patients in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and LA Counties.
ALSO, AlzWell, where Nick Focil is Founder/Chairman, has been selected as a finalist for the Society for Clinical Research Sites Site Tank competition, which recognizes innovative technology concepts that enhance clinical research operations. Finalists will present their ideas at the upcoming 2023 Global Site Solutions Summit. (LA)

Kaiser Permanente (Marcos Vasconcelos) Teams with National Academy of Medicine on Climate & Health Solutions + KP Tops NCQA Ratings

Kaiser Permanente (KP) is supporting the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) with a grant to build and expand the evidence base of solutions to protect against climate change's negative impacts on health and health equity, and to inform future climate research, strategies, and policies. Ultimately, research will provide a resource with evidence-based information that allows communities, policymakers, and researchers to pursue the most effective solutions.
MEANWHILE, in the 2023 National Committee for Quality Assurance's annual report, released in September, KP's private (commercial) and Medicare plans were rated highest among competitors' plans or tied for highest in every geographic region KP serves - with more 5-star and 4.5-star plans than any organization. (BA)

Life Adjustment Team (Cynthia Sampson) Discusses Core Principles of Psychosocial Rehabilitation

In Navigating the Path of Healing and Empowerment: Core Principles of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Life Adjustment Team (LAT) shares that the principles of psychosocial rehabilitation illuminate the intricate and often winding path toward healing and empowerment. Deeply rooted in empathy and insight, these 10 principles lay the groundwork for transformative change, and LAT discusses each one. (LA)

LucidAct Health (Grace Chen) Joins CalAIM to Deliver Expert Consulting Services on Enhanced Care Management

LucidAct Health has announced its participation in the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) Marketplace. LucidAct is now a vetted provider of consulting services, specializing in the setup and operation of Enhanced Care Management (ECM) for Managed Service Organizations and Community Health Centers in California. ECM is an innovative approach designed to revolutionize the way healthcare is delivered to underserved populations. Through ECM, organizations can optimize care coordination and patient engagement, enhance overall health outcomes and promote the wellbeing of the community. (BA)

MedWand (Bob Rose) Highlighted in "10 Ways Technology is Changing Healthcare"

The Medical Futurist includes MedWand in its recent article, 10 Ways Technology is Changing Healthcare, which reports on 10 groundbreaking technologies that "will strongly determine how medicine will be practiced in the future." Article author Bertalan Meskó, MD, PhD, director of The Medical Futurist Institute, says "our task is to turn to technologies with an open mind and to prepare for the changing world with as much knowledge as possible." (OC)

Mission Hospice & Home Care (Dolores Miller) to Merge with By the Bay Health

Not-for-profits Mission Hospice & Home Care and By the Bay Health (BTBH) have signed a Letter of Intent to merge. Together, the two organizations will increase access to and strengthen high-quality NFP services including hospice, home health, palliative care, transitional care, pediatric care for children with chronic and serious illness, and Mission House - the only residential hospice house on the Peninsula. The new organization would be uniquely positioned to serve more patients and families throughout the Bay Area and beyond with its unified mission-driven approach, and legacies of providing compassionate care to the community for nearly 50 years. It's anticipated that the new organization would serve nearly 1,000 patients per day, supported by 400+ volunteers and 500 multidisciplinary staff.
ALSO, Mission will hold its Auxiliary Fall Gala on the evening of October 14, at the Grand Bay Hotel in Redwood City. Mission's biggest fundraiser of the year will include dinner, dancing to a live band, an auction, and more. (BA)

PreludeDx (Dan Forche) Presents Comparative Data Validating DCISionRT

Prelude Corporation (PreludeDx) recently presented data using DCISionRT to identify limitations in current clinicopathologic factors alone to predict radiation benefit in women with ductal carcinoma in situ, at the 65th Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology Meeting. The new data further validates the value of DCISionRT in guiding treatment decisions for DCIS patients. (OC)

Royal Ambulance's Steve Grau Helps Create Leadership in Equity Award

CARESTAR Foundation has announced The Leadership in Equity Award, which celebrates exceptional individuals and teams from California Ambulance Association (CAA) member organizations, who have actively championed greater racial equity in EMS, striving to eliminate racial disparities, challenge systemic barriers, and promote cultural humility. CARESTAR thanked Steve Grau of Royal Ambulance, along with several others, for working with the organization to create the new award, for which nominations will open in early 2024. (BA)

WestFax (Barry Clark) Explores the Rise of Online Cloud Faxing & Its Role in HIPAA Compliance

In The Rise of Online Cloud Faxing and its Role in HIPAA Compliance, WestFax explains how in the digital age of 2023, while many traditional technologies have faded into obscurity, faxing has not only survived but thrived, thanks to its evolution into online cloud faxing. This modern iteration of the classic fax machine offers numerous advantages, especially for sectors that prioritize data security, like healthcare.
ALSO, in Fax and Sustainability, WestFax details the positive environmental impact of its 25 years of converting healthcare organizations from paper fax machines to Secure Cloud Fax, and its partnership with the National Forest Foundation. (OC)

Wipfli (Jeff Johnson) Shares How Tech is Transforming Care Delivery for FQHCs + How Growth in Managed Care Impacts Senior Service Providers

In its article, 6 ways technology is transforming care delivery for FQHCs, Wipfli states that digital solutions are central to how FQHCs can adapt, evolve and continue providing unmatched care in the face of challenges. Wipfli examines multiple ways an FQHC can use technology to innovate.
AND, Wipfli has made its recent webinar - How growth in managed care impacts senior services providers - available to watch on-demand. (BA)

Eckert & Ziegler (Frank Yeager) Collaborates with RefleXion Medical & Telix Pharmaceuticals

Eckert & Ziegler has entered into a comprehensive collaboration agreement with RefleXion Medical and Telix Pharmaceuticals to jointly develop a new concept - Satellite Hot Labs (SHLs). SHLs are designed specifically for radiolabeling, quality control and storage of molecular targeting radiotracers, referred to as BioGuides, that are used in biology-guided radiotherapy to direct the radiation beam to indicated solid tumor cancers. (LA)

GIDEON Informatics (Uri Blackman) on: How Infectious Diseases Spread + eBooks Available for Libya & Morocco

In How Do Infectious Diseases Spread?, GIDEON Informatics examines the various types of infectious diseases and their modes of transmission; unveils the powerful role of prevention strategies; and celebrates the unmatched impact of vaccines and immunization that have historically controlled and combated some of history's most formidable diseases.
MEANWHILE, in the wake of recent devastating natural disasters in Libya and Morocco, GIDEON has been making its infectious diseases ebooks for these regions available to healthcare and frontline workers at no cost. (LA)

Costco Members Now Have Access to $29 Online Healthcare Visits

Costco is now offering members online health checkups for as low as $29. The retailer is offering the new service in partnership with Sesame, a direct-to-consumer health care marketplace that connects medical providers nationwide with consumers. Costco members can book health care visits directly through their memberships in all 50 states. Sesame said its platform doesn't accept health insurance because it primarily caters to uninsured Americans and those with high-deductible plans who prefer to pay cash for their health care. It said its model helps keep prices of services low for its users. The services listed on Costco Pharmacy's homepage include virtual primary care visits for $29, health checkups (a standard lab panel and a virtual follow-up consultation with a provider) for $72, and online mental health visits for $79. (https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/25/business/costco-online-healthcare-members/index.html)

Best Buy Health Shows First Signs of Success with Geek Squad Helping At-Home Patients

As part of a pilot partnership with Geisinger Health System to help monitor patients with long-term chronic illnesses, Geek Squad members were able to significantly reduce the amount of time it took to set up a patient's at-home care while at the same time increasing their use of the monitoring devices. This has helped validate Best Buy's decision to start a health division so it can leverage its knowledge and technology as an asset to health care providers while branching beyond the electronics and appliances for which it's known. (https://www.startribune.com/best-buy-health-shows-first-signs-success-geek-squad-helping-at-home-patients-geisinger-electronics/600304197/)

The New Science on Making Healthy Habits Stick

Any healthy choice seems doable for a day. Building consistent good habits around exercise, sleep and nutrition in the long term is harder. Recent research is uncovering how long it takes to cement different kinds of habits - and gives fresh insight into how to make them stick. Simple health habits like handwashing, for instance, take a couple of weeks to develop, while more complicated ones like going to the gym take four to seven months, according to a recent study. One big lesson if you're trying to establish a new healthy habit: You will have better luck if you can simplify the process and repeat it often. Finding ways to make it fun and setting realistic expectations about how long it will take to establish the habit will help too, other research has found. A recent Wall Street Journal article shares some of the best science-backed strategies that can help you build healthy habits more efficiently. In summary, they are: simplify and repeat; plan but be flexible; expect to feel worse at first; and make it fun. (https://www.wsj.com/health/wellness/healthy-habits-research-science-7f373f67)

CDC Recommendations & GoodRx Information re Latest Flu Shots, High-Dose Vax & COVID-19 Boosters

The CDC now recommends everyone six months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the potentially serious outcomes of COVID-19 illness this fall and winter. This is the first fall and winter virus season where vaccines are available for the three viruses responsible for most hospitalizations - COVID-19, RSV, and flu. (https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2023/p0912-COVID-19-Vaccine.html)
AND, GoodRx has some useful information for us. Including:
>> Do You Need a High-Dose Flu Vaccine?
>> 6 Common Flu Shot Side Effects and How to Relieve Them.
>> Which Is the Best COVID-19 Booster Shot.

California Lawmakers Approve Nation-Leading $25 Minimum Wage for Health Workers

A sweeping agreement between labor and the health industry would gradually raise the minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of health workers in California to a nation-leading $25 an hour while ending a years-long battle over dialysis clinics. The pact approved recently by state lawmakers would phase in the wage increase for hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical and psychiatric services providers. A spokesperson for Gov. Newsom said the governor will evaluate the bill on the merits before his Oct. 14 deadline to act on the legislation. [The issue is complicated by the state's Medicaid program, which is the main source of revenue for many hospitals. The Newsom administration has estimated the wage increase would cost the state billions of dollars in increased payments to health care providers. Labor unions that support the wage increase point to a study from the University of California-Berkeley Labor Center that said the state's costs would be offset by a reduction in the number of people relying on publicly funded assistance programs].

As part of the deal, in a separate memorandum of understanding, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West would drop its effort to impose regulations on dialysis clinics through legislation and at the ballot box. Voters defeated all three ballot initiatives, most recently last year, but the fight has cost the dialysis industry hundreds of millions of dollars. (https://californiahealthline.org/news/article/california-lawmakers-approve-nation-leading-25-minimum-wage-for-health-workers/)

Administration Announces $600M to Produce Covid Tests + Will Reopen COVIDTests.gov to Order Them

The Biden administration recently announced that it is providing $600 million in funding to produce new at-home COVID-19 tests and is restarting a website allowing Americans to again order up to four free tests per household - aiming to prevent possible shortages during a rise in coronavirus cases that has typically come during colder months. HHS says orders can be placed at COVIDTests.gov, (https://apnews.com/article/covid-tests-free-online-order-winter-6de740359e7648a85184dcac47aa96fa)
MEANWHILE, After Pfizer and Moderna hiked the prices of their Covid-19 vaccines this year, the federal government will now pay nearly three times more than it did previously for each dose. The change is partly because the federal government ran out of money to continue to buy the vaccines in bulk to distribute across the country, so the vast majority of vaccine purchases are instead flowing through normal channels and will be paid for by a variety of different insurance plans this year, including Medicare and Medicaid. (https://www.statnews.com/2023/09/28/covid-vaccines-higher-price/)

California's CARE Court Program to Tackle Mental Illness Started October 1

California's controversial new CARE Court program, meant to address serious mental illness and the state's homelessness crisis, went into effect October 1. Under CARE (Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment), the court, family and others can file a petition in civil court if they believe a loved one is suffering from severe symptoms of an untreated psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia. The program, however, does not cover other mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. A judge can then order a care plan for the person for up to 12 months, with renewal for an additional 12 months. The person will be set up with a team that will prescribe individualized treatment along with supportive services and a housing plan. The counties will be required to provide the services but are receiving additional funding from the state government, including for new housing units, treatment slots and behavioral health services. The court can order medications, but it cannot be forcibly administered and if a person refuses to take it, they will not receive a penalty. Seven pilot counties - Glenn, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Stanislaus and Tuolumne - were required to launch CARE Court by Oct. 1. The remaining counties will be required to do so by December 2024. (https://abcnews.go.com/Health/californias-care-court-program-tackle-mental-illness-starts/story?id=103461370)

CMS Announces Changes to ACO REACH Model

CMS recently released guidance on changes to the Accountable Care Organization Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (ACO REACH) Model starting in performance year 2024. The changes came about in response to stakeholder and participant feedback. (https://www.sheppardhealthlaw.com/2023/09/articles/centers-for-medicare-and-medicaid-services-cms/cms-announces-changes-to-aco-reach-model-for-2024/)

Oregon Becomes 3rd in Nation to Seek Federal Approval for a Basic Health Program

Oregon is asking CMS to approve a basic health program for lower-income individuals who make too much to qualify for Medicaid. According to a Sept. 12 press release from the Oregon Health Authority, coverage will be similar to that provided through Oregon Health Plan, the state's Medicaid program [expanded to include] for individuals with incomes between 138% and 200% of the federal poverty level. The program will help prevent people from cycling on and off Medicaid coverage as their incomes fluctuate, the state said. Insurers in the state have objected to the proposal, according to a July 10 report from Oregon Public Broadcasting. The basic health program will drive up premium costs on the state's ACA exchange, insurers say, by shifting thousands of people, and federal subsidies, out of the market. If approved by CMS, Oregon would be the third state to implement a basic health program, after Minnesota and New York. (https://www.beckerspayer.com/policy-updates/oregon-to-establish-basic-health-program-for-lower-income-adults.html)

The FTC and Department of Justice Share Concerns Re Hospitals Merging Across Markets

Cross-market deals accounted for more than half of all hospital mergers and acquisitions during the last decade, according to a paper from experts on antitrust law. Today, nearly 60% of health systems operate multiple hospitals in different geographic markets. Not only are such deals more common, but they can also increase costs for patients. Merged hospitals in the same state but in different markets raised prices as much as 10% compared with other hospitals, researchers found after analyzing past deals. A separate study found stand-alone hospitals raised prices 17% after they were acquired by a hospital company in another market. Draft merger guidelines, designed by the FTC and the Justice Department, are designed to crack down on mergers in multiple sectors, including health care. It's not yet clear if or how cross-market hospital mergers within a state could be affected. Still, the draft says consolidation should not "entrench or extend a dominant position" by extending into "new markets." (https://californiahealthline.org/news/article/hospital-cross-market-mergers-acquisitions-state-regulation/)

HHS Requests Public Input on Coverage of Over-the-Counter Preventive Services

The Departments of HHS, Labor, and the Treasury are seeking public input on how best to ensure coverage and access to OTC preventive services, including the benefits of requiring most health insurance plans to cover these services at no cost and without a prescription by a health care provider. Items would include preventive care that can be purchased without a prescription, including contraceptives, tobacco smoking cessation products, folic acid during pregnancy, and breastfeeding supplies. Under the ACA, most plans and issuers must cover certain recommended preventive items and services at no cost, but are not required to be covered without cost sharing unless prescribed by a health care provider. (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2023/09/29/hhs-requests-public-input-coverage-over-the-counter-preventive-services-including-contraception-tobacco-cessation-breastfeeding-supplies.html)

Indiana Employers Are Fighting Mad About Healthcare Costs

The fight started with the simple goal of helping Indiana employers learn what they were spending on hospital services received by their workers. Gloria Sachdev, who is CEO of the Employers' Forum of Indiana, launched research that produced a stunning takeaway: They paid the most out of all the states studied. "Employers were literally pounding-on-the-table mad." 'A drive for legislation, ultimately supported by companies including the engine maker Cummins and Chrysler's parent Stellantis, turned into a brawl, when an employer-backed group targeted patients' phones with digital ads about high prices when they visited hospitals. Hospitals warned of cuts to crucial medical services and government price fixing. The resulting law, passed with bipartisan support, contained significant actions for tackling high healthcare costs. Now the Indiana campaign is getting attention well beyond the state. In places including Texas, Florida and Maine, employer groups are pushing for legislation blunting hospital costs, saying they are fed up with increasing rates and fees, as well as the failure of private efforts to contain them. (https://www.wsj.com/health/healthcare/these-employers-took-on-healthcare-costs-and-the-fight-got-nasty-54674114?mod=hp_listb_pos1)

Going Where the Money Is: US Hospitals Paid Russian Ransomware Hackers $100 Million

The Justice Department revealed U.S. hospitals have paid millions of dollars in ransom to a cybercriminal network with suspected ties to Russian intelligence, according to CNN. Healthcare companies overall are spending more than any other industry to recover from cyberattacks, according to an IBM analysis reported by The Wall Street Journal. Healthcare companies spend on average nearly $11 million to recover from a cyberattack, compared to around $6 million for financial companies and $3 million for retailers. The report also noted there have been more than 400 cyberattacks on healthcare companies and 61 million people have had their medical data stolen or exposed online in 2023 so far, which is up from previous years. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/cybersecurity/us-hospitals-paid-100m-to-russian-ransomware-hackers.html)
EDITOR'S NOTE: After reading the above article, ABL Member Oli Thordarson, CEO of Alvaka, commented, "I can concur that our healthcare cases have been among our highest billing and generally about twice the billing expense of clients in non-healthcare sectors."

Transparent PBMs Form Coalition to Advance Industry Reforms

A group of transparent PBMs, called Transparency-Rx, have formed a coalition to push for changes to the PBM model that would likely ruffle feathers at the industry's biggest companies. These include a ban on spread pricing as well as reforms to the rebate model that include the impact of group purchasing organizations. However, the initial coalition members represent only14.5 million lives across all 50 states, and Transparency-Rx is looking to continue to add new voices. (https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payers/transparent-pbms-form-coalition-advance-industry-reforms)

Family Members Starting to Fill Nursing Gaps

The national nursing shortage is prompting states - including California, Arizona, Colorado, California, Florida, Indiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania - to tap family members to provide home-based care for children with complex health needs. CMS has permitted states to offer home health services for children with medically complex conditions under Medicaid since October 2022. However, the national nurse shortage is hindering states' ability to provide home-based skilled nursing care. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 193,100 openings for RNs and 209,000+ openings for nursing assistants in the U.S. Now, a handful of states are working to close this care gap by allowing family members to become certified nursing assistants or home health aides to provide in-home care for children covered under Medicaid. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/nursing/how-family-members-are-filling-nursing-gaps.html)

RIFs Are Impacting Thousands of CommonSpirit and Centene Employees

CommonSpirit Health implemented workforce reductions in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ending June 30, resulting in about 2,000 job cuts. CommonSpirit has 150,000+ employees and 25,000+ physicians and advanced practice clinicians total, in 24 states, Overall, CommonSpirit posted an operating loss of $1.4 billion for the fiscal year ending June 30, compared to a $1.3 billion loss the year prior, as increasing costs and labor challenges affected its financial picture. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/commonspirit-cuts-2-000-jobs.html)
ALSO, health insurer Centene is laying off approximately 2,000 workers, or about 3% of its total workforce. Employees will first be notified Oct. 2, and their last day of work will be Dec. 8, as first reported by Health Payer Specialist. Centene said it will support impacted employees with severance packages and outplacement services. (https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payers/centene-lay-2000-employees)

Return to the Office? These Workers Quit Instead

As more companies enforce their office mandates, some workers are choosing to quit instead of complying and returning to the office. Even companies at the forefront of remote work during the pandemic, such as Meta, Google, Amazon and Zoom, are getting stricter about office returns. They say workers are more productive, collaborative and engaged in-person. Indeed, the percentage of remote workers in America's workforce is declining - from 17.9% in 2021 to 15.2% in 2022, according to the latest census data. However, workers are pushing back, penning letters to executives, staging walkouts and quitting despite the tight labor market. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/09/21/return-office-mandates-employees-quit/)

Scripps Sees MyChart Messages Increase by 50%

Scripps Health said it saw a 50% increase in patient messages since the onset of COVID-19, the San Diego Business Journal reported. "There are 44 messages per day received on average, with some physicians receiving over 100 per day," David Wetherhold, MD, chief medical information officer of ambulatory systems at Scripps Health, said. "Each message takes 30 to 120 seconds to review and complete. This has some physicians spending an hour per day just on messages." Dr. Wetherhold said this task is one of the top five complaints that his physicians express. In order to help reduce this administrative burden, the health system is piloting generative AI in responding to patient messages. The health system is working with Epic Systems to refine the AI tool through weekly check-ins and clinician feedback. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/ehrs/scripps-sees-mychart-messages-increase-by-50.html)

ChatGPT's Developer Gets Into Medical Transcription

ChatGPT developer OpenAI has rolled out a new medical transcription service with Hint Health, a digital health company focused on direct primary care. The generative AI-based platform records and transcribes patient visits before generating a summary with OpenAI's large language models, which also power ChatGPT. Hint AI launched in beta mode Sept. 21 in the startup's clinical platform. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/digital-health/chatgpts-developer-gets-into-medical-transcription.html)

Six Health Systems Teamed with Amazon, Apple, Google/YouTube, Meta + Microsoft

Big Tech companies continue to assist health systems with their digital transformations. Here are nine collaborations from the past month:
1.) Dozens of hospitals and health systems, including Cedars-Sinai and Kettering Health Dayton, are using Meta's virtual reality headsets to train clinicians on complex procedures.
2.) Mayo Clinic said it created an AI algorithm that can take EKG data from an Apple Watch and predict if a patient has a low ejection fraction.
3.) YouTube said it's partnering with content creators including Mass General Brigham to make health information available to more people through AI.
4.) Leaders from Cedars-Sinai and Geisinger joined a Microsoft Health executive to advise a new generative AI collaborative from Avia.
5.) HCA Healthcare started using generative AI technology from Google to document ER visits and speed up nurse handoffs. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/digital-health/which-health-systems-teamed-up-with-amazon-google-microsoft.html)

Cedars-Sinai Gets $25M for New Innovation Center

Cedars-Sinai received a $25 million gift from Alfred E. Mann Charities to create a precision medicine innovation center that will work to advance single-cell biology research. Researchers at the Alfred E. Mann Single Cell Precision Medicine Center at Cedars-Sinai will look to identify the cause and develop treatments for developmental, neurological, immunological, cardiovascular, pulmonary and gastrointestinal diseases. (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/capital/cedars-sinai-gets-25m-gift-for-new-innovation-center.html)

Copyright © 2023 Adaptive Business Leaders Organization. All Rights Reserved.