Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 02/27/20

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 02/27/20

CDC: Start Prepping for a Coronavirus Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that it expects the coronavirus to begin spreading at a community level in the United States. There have been 14 cases of the virus diagnosed in the U.S., all in people who traveled recently to China or their close contacts. But as the virus spreads to other countries like Iran, South Korea and Italy, we could see a bigger outbreak within our borders.

Check out the CDC’s recommendations for American businesses and families in Stat. 

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Insurer-owned Clinics Threaten Hospitals and Physician Practices

Large health insurers like UnitedHealthcare and Aetna are capitalizing on recent mergers and acquisitions by steering patients toward clinics they now own, controlling both delivery and payment for healthcare. But according to Chas Roades, a consultant at Gist Healthcare, “It’s very worrisome for hospitals. Suddenly, the plan you’re relying on for payment is also competing with you at the front end of the delivery system.”

Read more in the Wall Street Journal

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Beneath the Hospital Gown

In stark contrast to the meaning and feelings conveyed by the doctor’s white coat, hospital gowns make patients feel exposed, vulnerable and stripped of their identity. In this op-ed, Dr. Ersilia M. DeFilippis writes, “It’s as if the concept of the hospital gown is so irrevocably tied to what it means to be a patient that we haven’t considered the patient experience without it. We could empower patients and family members to bring in their own clothes, in the same way that we encourage them to bring in pictures or other mementos. This small act can go a long way with respect to physical and emotional healing.”

Dive deeper in The New York Times.

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What’s Behind America’s High Maternal Mortality Rate?

The maternal death rate and heart disease are inextricably linked, but according to Nandita Scott, at Massachusetts General Hospital it’s not standard for cardiologists to be trained on pregnant women. Why not? And what’s being doing to combat this alarming trend?

Learn more in Bloomberg

Healthcare Information Technology stories you may have missed – 02/06/20

Healthcare Information Technology stories you may have missed – 02/06/20

Healthcare and technology industries respond to the coronavirus

The global coronavirus outbreak, now a declared public health emergency, is motivating organizations from in and outside healthcare to lend a helping hand. In a recent article, Becker’s writer Andrea Park looks at the ways that tech companies like Facebook and Google are responding to the epidemic.

She writes that Facebook is labeling false claims about the disease as inaccurate, attaching “fact checks” and deprioritizing the posts in users’ feeds, and that Google has reportedly completely shut down its China offices.

Inside healthcare, pharma companies Johnson & Johnson and Inovio Pharmaceuticals are racing to develop a viable coronavirus treatment and tech innovators like Wolters Kluwer are providing easier access to the latest tools and resources for frontline clinicians and medical researchers.

Read the full article in Becker’s Health IT & CIO Report.

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Pressure mounts over proposed data-sharing regulations

More than two dozen companies sent a letter to federal officials calling for proposed data-sharing regulations to be published “without further delay.” Notably, no EHR companies signed. The news comes on the heels of highly publicized objections by EHR giant Epic.

The rules are intended to help improve the exchange of electronic health records and give patients access to their health data, while preventing healthcare organizations from using information blocking tactics.

Industry groups that signed on in support included the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), Boston Children’s Hospital, Missouri Health Connection, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), and The CARIN Alliance.

Get an overview of industry support and objection to the rules in Fierce Healthcare.

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ACP endorses single-payer, public options plans

Modern Healthcare broke the news in January that, for the first time in its history, the American College of Physicians (ACP) endorsed a single-payer health plan as a potential strategy to fix the U.S. healthcare system.

According to the article, the second-largest physician organization in the country envisions a limited role for private insurance companies in a single-payer system – as providers of supplemental coverage.

As healthcare is increasingly politicized, it’ll be interesting to see what influence ACP will have.

See more of what ACP had to say in Modern Healthcare.

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 01/30/20

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 01/30/20

Coronavirus Outbreak Worsens

Chinese officials confirmed more than 7,000 cases of the mysterious illness and the death toll continues to climb. Foreign governments are airlifting citizens out the hot zone and international airlines cancelled flights to China. This week the World Health Organization will again consider whether to declare the Wuhan outbreak a public health emergency as the virus show signs of spreading overseas.

For live updates on the outbreak, check out The New York Times

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Does Care Improve Post-Merger?

Hospital consolidation continues to surge and executives leading the merger-and-acquisition activity often make the case that greater size will boost quality of care. But new research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that’s not the case. In fact, patient-satisfaction scores worsened at acquired hospitals, on average.

Dive deeper into the data with the Wall Street Journal

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Can I Get a Lyft to the Hospital?

The ride-sharing company Lyft and Northern California hospital giant Sutter Health recently announced a new partnership to customize “individual transportation programs” for the hospital’s patients and health system employees. During a “test run” of the program, patients discharged from Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center Pacific campus emergency department were offered rides “to a location of their choice,” and the program cut wait times from 23 minutes to just three minutes.

Check out the full story in Forbes

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The Next Phase of Value-Based Care

We’re a full decade into the value-based care transition and progress is still slow. One in three healthcare payments flow through an APM, according to the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network (LAN). But fee-for-service still dominates, so what does the next-phase of value-based care look like?

Experts explore what the future holds for alternative payment models in RevCycle Intelligence

Life Science stories you may have missed – 01/23/20

Life Science stories you may have missed – 01/23/20

Coronavirus and “shoe-leather epidemiology”

Wired’s Megan Molteni has a way of pulling readers inside her stories with colorful and pointed observations. In her piece on 1/21, notes that despite considerable technology advancement since SARS “figuring out how new diseases spread is still an exercise in shoe-leather epidemiology.” Viral DNA analysis is – and perhaps always will be – only one part of an epidemiological picture.

Read more in Wired

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Precision medicine mustn’t be about drugs alone

On its surface, Vinay Prasad’s piece in Nature is a story of two ships passing in the night. His ship, enlightened public health policy, is often overshadowed by the bright lights of blockbuster drugs, at least in popular media.  The “concepts” of population health and social determinants of health are esoteric by comparison. But these two ships aren’t on different courses. Medicine isn’t about drugs alone, nor should precision medicine, and Vinay is on to something worth closer scrutiny.

Read Vinay’s piece in Nature

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Cardiff University scientists discover T-cell receptor that recognizes and kills multiple cancers

On Monday, researchers from Cardiff University published a study in Nature Immunology about the discovery of a new T-cell receptor (TCR) that “exhibits pan-cancer cell recognition” and could make a patient’s T-cells capable of killing autologous melanoma without affecting healthy cells. The research is still early, but the potential for “pan-cancer, pan-population immunotherapies” to improve health outcomes and health economics is significant.

See study in Nature Immunology

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Healthcare Information Technology stories you may have missed – 02/06/20

HIT headlines you may have missed

AI investment by health systems continues to grow

Administrative process improvements across healthcare are desperately needed, and more health systems are investing in artificial intelligence to help facilitate change.

As Healthcare IT News reporter Nathan Eddy points out, many in the healthcare ecosystem are already well on their way. An October Optum survey of 500 U.S. health industry leaders from hospitals, health plans, life sciences and employers, found 22% of respondents are in the late stages of AI strategy implementation.

As AI benefits accrue across the healthcare ecosystem, real savings are possible. According to an Accenture report, key clinical health AI applications could potentially create $150 billion in annual savings for the U.S. healthcare economy by 2026.

Read more in Healthcare IT News

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Healthcare makes good on addressing social needs

In 2019, the phrase “social determinants” dominated headlines. Fortunately, this wasn’t a case of all talk, no action.

Steve Ross Johnson of Modern Healthcare recently wrote, “From affordable housing initiatives to funding economic revitalization of impoverished communities, the year saw industry leaders make some of their biggest investments yet toward addressing socioeconomic factors tied to improving patient outcomes.”

Some suspect that swift progress in addressing the social needs of patients through targeted interventions may be a response to a reimbursement landscape that’s encouraging providers to take on more risk.

Learn more about strides made in 2010 in Modern Healthcare

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Tech Giants Shake Industry with Big Moves in 2019 

The nation’s biggest technology companies, including Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft, all made significant healthcare plays in 2019, and this shows these nontraditional competitors are here to stay.

Apple’s consumer- and enterprise-facing health projects are especially notable. Business Insider recently reported that Apple has even more planned for 2020, a sign of its deliberate and aggressive strategy. In fact, some industry projections have Apple’s healthcare division generating $313 billion in revenue by 2027.

Get a glimpse into what Apple has planned in the new year at Business Insider

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Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 01/30/20

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 12/18/19

Providers Say Price Transparency Rule Violates First Amendment

Earlier this month, hospital groups gave a glimpse into their legal strategy as they fight back against the Trump administration’s new price transparency rule. In the lawsuit, providers argue that the disclosure would be compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment and that the order goes beyond the statutory intent of the Affordable Care Act. The groups are also asking for an expedited decision, saying hospitals could otherwise spend needless time and resources preparing for a rule that may be invalidated by the court.

Check out the Wall Street Journal to learn more about what’s at stake

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A Sobering Look at the Hospital E.R.

Yale New Haven Hospital E.R. doctor Gina Siddiqui offers an unfiltered view of the challenges facing emergency physicians and the patients they treat. In this New York Times piece, she writes: “We tell ourselves the E.R. is meant only to stabilize patients, that someone else will handle the rest. But the problems I punt in the E.R. are also punted by the hospital’s doctors upstairs and by primary care doctors outside. No matter where I send patients, these gaping holes in care fester, like bed sores tunneling to bone.”

Read the full story at The New York Times

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Cost vs. Care

Interesting new insights from Gallup show that Americans are putting off medical treatment in record numbers because of cost. Highlights from the study include:

  • A third of U.S. adults say their family couldn’t afford care in past year
  • One in four say care was deferred for a serious medical condition
  • Lower-income adults and Democrats most likely to report delayed care

Dive deeper into the data with The Washington Post

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Predictions for the Future of Healthcare

What can we expect to see next year in healthcare? As this decade winds down, two healthcare investors from Venrock discuss how the election will influence policy, the future of primary care in hospitals and why they think big tech (Google, Amazon and Apple) will deprioritize healthcare disruption to deal with other more pressing issues.

Check out all the predictions in Fortune