Business stories you may have missed – 09/17/20

Business stories you may have missed – 09/17/20

2020 has brought plenty of disruption to all of our lives and to the way we do business. It’s also brought innovation. Here are some recent business stories that show resilience and reinvention.

National Public Radio has saw an opportunity to bring more localized news to its listeners through an innovative podcast. What started as a daily coronavirus update has morphed into Consider This, a daily news brief that covers the top stories from around the world and in 12 markets in the US. In Boston, where there are two NPR stations, rivals WBUR and GBH have teamed up for the first time in their histories to bring local news to the market.

On September 4, 2020, the Fed announced that the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) is expanding to provide loans to nonprofit organizations. The MSLP is designed to stimulate the extension of credit to small and medium-sized businesses which were in sound financial condition before the Covid-19 pandemic. The recent expansion to nonprofit organizations recognizes the vital services performed by educational institutions, hospitals and social services organizations and the millions of Americans employed nonprofits.

The Boston Book Festival, which is going fully virtual this year, announced its lineup of headlining authors. From October 5-25, more than 140 authors and moderators will participate in 55 events. All events are free and open to the public.

The Boston Globe’s Jon Chesto details the future of conferences in the wake of the pandemic. The traditional in-person conference will be a thing of the past. Companies are reinventing how they approach their conferences. Many believe the hybrid approach, where attendees can participate virtually, will continue long after there is a Covid-19 vaccine.

Healthcare Provider stories you may have missed – 09/10/20

Healthcare Provider stories you may have missed – 09/10/20

Bringing the Hospital Home

Common in Australia, hospital at home enables some healthcare services to be provided to patients directly in their homes, freeing up hospital beds for more serious conditions and bringing down the overall cost of care. Seeing room to create the same result in the U.S. several hospital-at-home startups are now bringing this model to markets and patients across the country.

Read the full story at Fast Company

The Major Metric Missing from ‘Best Hospital’ Rankings

COVID-19 is shining a light on mental illness, chronic illness, and inequities. But when it comes to the various “Best Hospital” rankings, not even one considered the work hospitals do to mitigate disparities in care and outcomes.

But this could soon change as hospitals rethink and reinvent themselves in the wake of the pandemic and the social justice movement. When it comes to “measuring what matters,” providers, payers and the entire healthcare industry have a chance to develop new metrics that assess hospital contributions to community health and equity.

Dive deeper into the data with Fortune

A New Specialty Emerges

Many coronavirus patients struggle with symptoms such as muscle aches and memory loss months after contracting the virus. As this patient population grows, medical centers have begun setting up new specialty clinics. In its first three months, Mount Sinai Health System’s post-COVID-19 clinic is seeing exponential growth. The wait for treatment is now more than two months as these so-called “long haulers” continue to battle the virus.

 Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal

Mixed Results for Nation’s Largest Nonprofit Health Systems

The second quarter captured the full weight of the pandemic’s drag on hospital operations. Many health systems experienced a drop in revenue as patient volumes decreased. At the same time, expenses are rising. With cold and flu season around the corner and the pandemic waging, it will be interesting to see how hospitals remain solvent and if consolidation across the industry will continue.

Read more in Healthcare Dive










Healthcare IT stories you may have missed – 08/27/20 

Healthcare IT stories you may have missed – 08/27/20 

The impact of COVID-19 can be felt at every level in healthcare. In a short period of time, the pandemic has had a profound effect on patient care, provider well-being and technology deployment, signaling that healthcare delivery may never be the same.

The Physicians Foundation’s 2020 Survey of America’s Physicians found that the majority of doctors believe COVID-19 won’t be under control until January 2021, with nearly half not seeing the virus being under control until after June 1, 2021. Moreover, many doctors believe that the virus will severely impact patient health outcomes, as many people delayed routine care during the pandemic.

This data shows that stress associated with the pandemic on healthcare providers may only increase. Fortunately, our nation’s health systems are recognizing the toll it’s taking on the mental and emotional health of those on the frontlines and taking action. Last week, Fierce Healthcare reported that Brigham and Women’s Hospital has tapped mental health startup Rose, which uses AI and natural language processing to detect early warning signs of mental health conditions including anxiety, depression and trauma, for early intervention.

Technology vendors are doing their part in the fight against COVID-19 too. Fitbit launched a study to determine whether its wearable activity trackers could pick up on the early signs of COVID-19 and enrolled over 100,000 participants from the U.S. and Canada. Preliminary results from the study show its devices have been able to detect nearly half of COVID-19 cases at least one day before reported symptoms. While the study has not yet been peer-reviewed, early findings show potential for lightening the load of our already stressed system.

While COVID-19 rages on, healthcare stakeholders from across the continuum are lending helping hands and innovating at faster rates than ever to combat its negative effects.

Tips for planning a successful virtual fundraiser

Tips for planning a successful virtual fundraiser

2020 has upended how we do almost everything. One major impact has been on how nonprofit organizations raise funds. In-person fundraising events such as galas, 5Ks and other socially-oriented events are no longer possible.

Greenough Brand Storytellers has been advising its clients on how best to shift fundraising events to virtual gatherings or socially distant meetups. Below are a few best practices that nonprofit organizations can use as they consider their fundraising events for 2020.

Suggestions for a successful virtual fundraiser: 

  1. Make it authentic: Try to stay as true as possible to the theme and vibe of the actual event as you can in the virtual event. 
  2. Break traditions if it doesn’t serve your goal: If you’ve done something in the in-person event because that is the tradition, but it doesn’t feel right for the virtual version, don’t stay married to it. 
  3. Innovate: Per #2, if there is a way to make something better, do it! 
  4. Test everything: Trying out a new idea? Test it among a focus group. Using new technology? Test it again and again until you know it works. 
  5. Keep it succinct: Our digital attention span is very short, so introductions, speeches and transitions should be concise. 
  6. Reach for a speaker: Because speakers no longer have to travel for events and because of the state of the world, many “celebrity” speakers are more willing to participate in local events. 
  7. Air it live: If possible, the best events are those that are live and not fully prerecorded (although pre-recorded elements are welcome) 
  8. Make it interactive: For example, give an on-screen shout out to all participants. Knowing that there are people around the world tuning in to this event, acknowledge everyone on screen collectively by opening up the zoom portal for everyone to see who is on briefly (~30 seconds). Additionally, having a chat function or hosting intermittent survey questions is a nice way to keep people engaged.
  9. Send gifts to participants: Just as they would for an in-person event, mail gifts to each participant’s home so that there is a common connection and a positive feeling felt toward the organization.
  10. Have a robust social media strategy leading up to the virtual event: The most successful virtual events leverage the power of social media in the weeks leading up to the event to create a call-to-action and support the organization. Encourage participants to post their viewing parties and tag the organization and use a special hashtag. 
  11. Create a call to action: The event should end on a positive note with a call-to-action for all participants to support the organization. 
  12. Focus: Do not try to do too much. Keep your event focused by limiting speakers. Stay on message and tie back to your organization’s mission and the goal at hand.
  13. Make it memorable: With so many events now virtual, think about what you can do to make your event memorable and stand out from all the others?


See how we can help your organization!

Healthcare Provider stories you may have missed – 09/10/20

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 08/06/20

Bracing for a Fall Wave

In a livestream interview with the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned the United States will need to bring its daily coronavirus case count down to 10,000 by September to gain some level of control over the pandemic before fall.

Fauci noted that the virus follows a consistent pattern beginning with an early increase in the percentage of positive tests, followed by a surge in cases. That same “insidious increase in percent positive” that was detected across the South and the West several weeks ago is now being seen in other states, he said.

See the full interview at NBC News


Racial Disparities in Surgical Care

The novel coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement have defined 2020 and shined a spotlight on health disparities.

New analysis of seven years of Medicare records reveals broad and enduring racial inequities regarding access to surgical care. The differences were particularly striking when it came to orthopedics and cardiovascular care with Black patients receiving surgery at lower-quality hospitals than white patients.

Dive deeper into the data with U.S. News & World Report


Can the Healthcare Financing System Stay Viable?

Former secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin writes via Healthcare Dive, “Three significant shifts in healthcare financing are occurring as a result of the pandemic’s economic impact.” And the full brunt of the crisis may not be felt until 2022. From a shift in payer mix to the impending insolvency of Medicare, see how COVID-19 could challenge an already stressed healthcare system.

Get the full story at Healthcare Dive


Isolation’s Impact on Elder Health

According to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, if social stress becomes chronic in elderly adults, it can impair the immune system in as little as one month. This could have a big impact on elder care as the pandemic wages on and scientists get a clearer picture of the untended consequences of isolation.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal





Healthcare IT stories you may have missed – 07/22/20

Healthcare IT stories you may have missed – 07/22/20

The COVID-19 pandemic is underscoring the value of technology and digital capabilities in healthcare. While the virus is causing unprecedented devastation and disruption, it is also fueling rapid advancements in healthcare technology that are likely to have a lasting and positive impact on care delivery.

Becker’s Hospital Review rounded up some of the new predictive analytics tools that hospitals have developed to forecast COVID-19 cases and plan resources accordingly. Notably, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia developed a platform that utilizes temperature and humidity data from 389 U.S. counties experiencing some level of COVID-19 activity to predict the severity of future surges.

Virtual care has also exploded over the last several months with survey data indicating it is here to stay. A CVS Health survey data from 1,000 people showed 48% were more likely to connect with a provider if the conversation was through digital messaging, 32% were more likely to communicate through telehealth and 30% were willing to use a virtual office visit.

Many patients adopted virtual care during the pandemic out of necessity but now it’s clear they want those services to stick around after the health crisis is over. An Accenture survey shed light on what patients like about communicating with their doctors digitally. Many noted that virtual care was more personal, more convenient and timelier.

Lastly, hospitals have traditionally relied on human clinicians to assign patients to beds and make decisions about when to send them home or back to the hospital. Now, with COVID-19 elevating the need to keep patients out of the hospital who don’t need to be there, providers are turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) for support. STAT explored how the technology is helping them plan discharges and assess readmissions risk.