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Technology can ease pandemic challenges faced by hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers

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To keep critical revenue flowing, hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers need to resume elective surgeries and procedures as quickly as possible and mobile apps can help by giving patients and staff vital information, provide advance symptom screening and help providers reduce elective procedure no-shows through… Read More »Technology can ease pandemic challenges faced by hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers

Augmedix goes public through reverse merger

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The company, which offers a remote scribe services, secured $25 million in private placement financing and began trading publicly on the OTC markets after a reverse merger with Malo Holdings.

Nice Healthcare brings primary care to small businesses

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Nice Healthcare, a Minnesota-based startup that offers telemedicine and primary care services, raised $5 million in seed funding. The company plans to use the funds to bring its benefits to businesses in more states.

Nebraska gets approval to add work requirements to Medicaid expansion

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After Nebraskans cast their vote for Medicaid expansion in 2018, the state is finally expanding coverage to more residents. As part of the state’s rollout, it split its expanded Medicaid plans into two tiers, with work and other requirements to access dental and vision coverage.

AI drug-discovery firm lands first partnership

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The deal with Roche subsidiary Genentech is likely not the last for Genesis Therapeutics, which is based on AI research undertaken at Stanford. Such partnerships are potentially lucrative for drug-discovery startups.

The new frontline of care: social services

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Radically improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations requires a multifaceted proactive, community-wide approach focused on better understanding social determinants of health and simultaneously addressing social and health inequalities.

Healthcare investing sets a new record in Q3

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Global healthcare funding set a new record in the third quarter, according to data from CBInsights. Healthcare companies raised a total of $21.8 billion across 1,539 deals.

Eargo goes public, raising $141.3M

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The Bay Area hearing device-maker planned to raise $141.3 million in an upsized IPO. Its stock started trading on Nasdaq under the ticker “EAR.”

Lessons learned from Verily’s Covid-19 testing efforts

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Google’s sister company launched a program in California and other states to help route patients to nearby coronavirus testing. Dr. Vivian Lee, president of health platforms for Verily, shared lessons learned from that effort and Verily’s work with schools and businesses.

A “bald-faced lie” on LinkedIn followed by revisionist history of CMMI at HLTH panel

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HLTH aimed to reflect on the success of the decade-old Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) by a panel discussion with its directors. Except the first director was never included while his successor tried claiming the mantle of the “inaugural director” riling former colleagues… Read More »A “bald-faced lie” on LinkedIn followed by revisionist history of CMMI at HLTH panel

Cue Health gets $481M to expand production of rapid coronavirus test

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San Diego-based diagnostics startup Cue Health won a $481 million from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to produce more coronavirus tests. The company received an emergency use authorization in June for its rapid molecular test.

CMS promises a plan for Medicare to cover coronavirus vaccine

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Medicare doesn’t currently cover drugs approved under emergency use designations. But  CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the agency was coming up with a plan to make sure Medicare beneficiaries were covered once a coronavirus vaccine is developed.

Teladoc, Livongo land first joint contract

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The companies made their first cross-sale to Guidewell Health, the parent company of Florida Blue. Livongo’s diabetes platform will become available to 50,000 of the insurer’s members.

Don’t miss our patient engagement conference ENGAGE at HLTH Oct. 15

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Patient engagement and experience were coming into focus as part of the overall transformation of healthcare, but the advent of Covid-19 has thrust it to the forefront. Hear from patients, providers, retailers, tech disruptors and others about why patient engagement is paramount.

Takeda strikes $1B RNAi deal with Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals

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The companies will partner on development and commercialization of ARO-AAT, Arrowhead’s Phase II RNA-interference drug for alpha-1 antitrypsin-associated liver disease, a rare genetic disorder. An analyst wrote that the deal makes sense given Takeda’s position in the AAT-augmentation therapy market.

Founders’ Story: Cancer Insights

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Cancer Insights co-founders, President and CEO Tarun Kumar and CIO Dr. Sharon Hensley Alford, discuss their company’s goals to transform the oncology care continuum.

How the value of innovation will be redefined in 2021

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While payers and policymakers took a more narrow-minded perspective on innovation value in 2020, the year 2021 will bring an increased focus on a treatment’s societal value, how innovation interacts with digital technologies, and whether new innovations are able to reduce existing health outcome inequalities.

HHS renews $10.2M TeleTracking contract for Covid-19 data collection

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HHS will renew its contract with TeleTracking Technologies for another $10.2 million. Earlier this year, HHS controversially shifted Covid-19 data collection to the company from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which would normally handle data collection.

Realizing healthcare’s robotic revolution

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Trained clinical judgment and human compassion will always be irreplaceable, but robotics and automation can also provide predictable and repeatable movements, facilitating better standardization of treatment, which allows physicians to focus on clinical decision making.

UHS breach signals grief ahead for hospitals

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A malware attack brought hospital chain Universal Health Services’ IT systems down at the beginning of the week. Cybersecurity experts said hospitals should expect more of these attacks, as recovery can be costly.

The importance of care coordination

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While providers diagnose and treat in the hospital, care coordinators go beyond the four walls of that facility, into the community, and meet patients where they are, both literally and figuratively.

Molina buys another Medicaid plan for $380M

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Molina announced it will acquire the assets of Affinity Health Plan, a New York-based Medicaid managed care organization. It’s one of several Medicaid MCO purchases the insurer has announced this year.

Premera to pay $6.85M fine for data breach

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Premera will pay nearly $7 million in a settlement related to a security breach in 2014 affecting more than 10 million people. It will be the second-largest HIPAA fine to date.

After the pandemic, hospitals should keep working together

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We’re beating Covid-19 by sharing resources. Why stop there? By pooling select healthcare resources, we could also collectively buy supplies in bulk, lowering costs for everyone and minimizing our exposure to supply chain disruptions after the pandemic.

GoodRx files to go public

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GoodRx, a digital health startup that helps users track prescription drug prices, filed for an IPO on Friday. The company hasn’t yet priced its shares, but plans to be listed on Nasdaq as “GDRX.”

Amazon tries its hand at wearables  

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The e-commerce giant made its debut in the wearables market with Halo, a fitness tracker with some unique features. Amazon said the device and its corresponding app can scan a user’s voice for emotions and measures a user’s body composition.

CMS to penalize hospitals, labs that don’t report Covid-19 data

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New rules by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services would penalize hospitals and laboratories that report Covid-19 data. Hospitals would be required to report the number of confirmed or suspected Covid-19 patient, occupied beds, and availability of ventilators and other critical supplies.

Generic drugmaker Teva indicted in alleged price-fixing conspiracy leading consumers to be overcharged by $350M

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The charges, filed in Philadelphia federal court, allege that Teva conspired with four other generic drug companies to fix prices, rig bids and allocate customers. Teva – which the Justice Department and New York’s state government also sued this month for unrelated allegations – said… Read More »Generic drugmaker Teva indicted in alleged price-fixing conspiracy leading consumers to be overcharged by $350M

Report: Hospital margins down 96% since the start of 2020

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A report by Kaufman Hall showed that while hospitals’ operating margins improved in July, they were down 96% since the start of the year. Including funding allocated through the CARES Act. Without CARES Act funding, hospital margins were still down 28%.

Verily launches stop-loss health insurance subsidiary

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Alphabet’s healthcare subsidiary, Verily, will partner with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions to create a new stop-loss insurance company. The new entity, called Coefficient, will use data analytics to help self-funded companies manage unexpected areas of cost.

J.P. Morgan on the state of life sciences and strategies to fuel innovation [Sponsored]

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In an interview, Peter Meath, J.P. Morgan’s co-head of Healthcare and Life Sciences, Middle Market Banking & Specialized Industries, says the Covid-19 pandemic has cast a bright light on the life sciences industry with startups raising venture funding at record levels as the virus has… Read More »J.P. Morgan on the state of life sciences and strategies to fuel innovation [Sponsored]

FDA’s emergency authorization for convalescent plasma in Covid-19 sparks controversy

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While the emergency use authorization granted Sunday was not seen as scientifically unwarranted, it drew concerns from some experts that it could hinder enrollment in clinical trials, while the timing and circumstances of the FDA’s move fueled suspicions that political pressure – rather than science… Read More »FDA’s emergency authorization for convalescent plasma in Covid-19 sparks controversy

Portable dialysis company Outset Medical files for IPO

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Outset Medical, a San Jose-based company making portable dialysis machines, filed the initial paperwork for an IPO. The company has not yet set a price range for its stock, but said it plans to raise roughly $100 million.

Kronos Bio raises $155M in private financing to advance lead leukemia drug into registration study next year

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The company has raised $148 million so far and plans to raise the remaining $7 million by next month. Its lead candidate is entospletinib, a SYK inhibitor acquired as part of a deal with Gilead Sciences last month, under development for patients with biomarker-defined acute… Read More »Kronos Bio raises $155M in private financing to advance lead leukemia drug into registration study next year

The e-doctor will see you now

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Fully-credentialled e-doctors still don’t exist, at least not in their entirety but major elements of the concept have already been deployed in the field, and progress toward a more comprehensive e-doc is well underway.

Why geriatric care must evolve post-Covid-19

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Even relatively healthy older adults see the benefit of receiving home-based primary care, not just because of its convenience, but because patients feel safer at home now, and more unsafe than ever in ambulatory settings surrounded by other sick patients. 

Uber launches prescription delivery in Seattle, Dallas

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Through a partnership with prescription delivery startup NimbleRx, Uber is offering home prescription delivery in Seattle and Dallas. The two companies plan to expand the partnership to other locations in the future.

Court approves Otsuka’s bid to buy Proteus for $15M

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A bankruptcy court in Delaware approved a stalking-horse bid from Otsuka to acquire Proteus Digital Health for $15 million. The company, which makes sensor that can be embedded in pills to track medication adherence, filed for bankruptcy in June.

J&J to buy Momenta Pharmaceuticals for $6.5B

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The drugmaker emphasized the full global rights it would acquire to Momenta’s lead asset, nipocalimab, which it is developing for several autoantibody-driven diseases and that in certain indications could have peak sales of more than $1 billion.

Founders’ story: Pleiogenix

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Pleiogenix is a biopharma startup developing treatments for liver diseases as well as Covid-19 and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). It recently emerged as the winner of the INVEST Pitch Perfect contest for the biopharma track.

District judge blocks HHS rule that would end transgender health protections

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A U.S. district judge blocked a rule by the Department of Health and Human Services that would end anti-discrimination provisions protecting transgender patients. In his decision, U.S. District Judge Frederic Block said that the rule violated a recent Supreme Court decision protecting LGBTQ workers’ rights.

Big profits put insurers on awkward footing 

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During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, all of the seven largest commercial insurers saw their profits rise, with some seeing their profits double. Will they have to pay some of it back? 

What would post-Covid value-based care look like?

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As virtual care is only going to grow in the coming months as a solution to pent-up demand for care that has resulted from the pandemic, focused attention is needed to address these operational and reimbursement issues.

Can Walmart change healthcare?

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Walmart caught the healthcare industry’s attention when it began opening primary care centers across Georgia, Florida and Illinois. But without its leader, will the effort still be able to keep its momentum?

Why we invested in Eden Health

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Flare Capital Partner Dan Gebremedhin explains what led the venture capital firm to invest in New York-based Eden Health and lead its recent Series B round.

How wearables can help the healthcare industry address Covid-19

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The potential that wearables have for helping detect early signs of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases, as well as monitoring patients, will make this technology a popular choice for healthcare organizations and consumers for the foreseeable future.

Why MedCity News should be your go-to advertising partner

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MedCity News has the most engaged healthcare business audience in the industry. We can collaborate with you to develop customized content or provide a platform for your business to present sponsored thought leadership content highlighting from executives in healthcare and life sciences.

Whistleblower lawsuit accuses Cigna of Medicare Advantage fraud

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A recently unsealed whistleblower case filed by the Department of Justice accuses Cigna of fraudulently overbilling for its Medicare Advantage plans. Allegations claim the company submitted unsupported diagnoses that resulted in “billions” in overpayments.

Primary care startup Oak Street Health goes public for $328M

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Oak Street Health, which operates primary care centers for Medicare patients, went public on Thursday for $328 million. Its capitation payment model has helped the company continue on where many clinics have struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic.

GSK nabs FDA approval for first-in-class multiple myeloma drug

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Blenrep, an antibody-drug conjugate, is the first drug approved for multiple myeloma that targets the antigen BCMA. Several other companies are also developing BCMA-targeting therapies for the blood cancer, including CAR-T cells and bispecific antibodies.

Trust, privacy, and our American pandemic 

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Health information exchanges know about the hard work of building trust by delivering value in healthcare. They have been in these trenches. They need a seat at the table with our state public health leaders as America works to safely reopen.

Congress, states hold the keys to telehealth expansion

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Several federal agencies, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have indicated their interest in expanding telehealth coverage after the federal emergency period ends. But to do that, they’ll need the help of states and Congress.

Merck, Hanmi sign $870M deal for NASH drug

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Hanmi will retain options for the drug, efinopegdutide, in Korea under the deal, in which Merck is paying the Seoul-based company $10 million upfront and up to $860 for development, regulatory and commercialization milestones.

Founders’ Story: Truvian Sciences

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In a Q&A, Truvian Sciences CEO Jeff Hawkins and Dena Marrinucci, founder and SVP Corporate Development and Business Operations talk about their point-of care blood testing technology.

Trump executive order targets rural telehealth expansion

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The executive order would call on the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a new pilot payment model for rural hospitals, and would set up a task force to improve broadband infrastructure in rural communities.

Report: GoodRx files for IPO

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GoodRx, a startup that makes tools for comparing the price of prescription drugs, is looking to go public, according to a report by Reuters. The company reportedly submitted paperwork to the Securities and Exchange Commission.