Aetna, IBM launching new blockchain healthcare network

FierceHealthcare | January 28, 2019

A group of leading health insurers including Aetna, now owned by CVS Health, launched a collaboration with PNC Bank and IBM to design a blockchain healthcare network that will improve transparency and interoperability in the industry. The initiative—which also includes Anthem and Health Care Service Corporation—will focus on using the technology to address a range of industry challenges, including “promoting efficient claims and payment processing, to enable secure and frictionless healthcare information exchanges, and to maintain current and accurate provider directories," officials said. The aim is to create an inclusive blockchain network that can benefit multiple members of the healthcare ecosystem in a highly secure, shared environment, they said.

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In May 2015, Talbert House served as the lead agency for the Hamilton County Summer Youth Employment Program, a collaboration of several agencies providing services to eligible youth referred by Hamilton County Department of Job & Family Services.


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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Virta Health Highlights Lasting, Transformative Health Improvements In 5-Year Diabetes Reversal Study

Virta Health | June 07, 2022

Virta Health, the leader in type 2 diabetes reversal, revealed preliminary five-year results from its landmark clinical trial at the American Diabetes Association 82nd Scientific Sessions. Presenting four unique abstracts, Virta highlighted myriad, lasting health improvements for people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, including blood sugar control, clinically-significant weight loss, reduced inflammation, and improvements in other markers of cardiometabolic health. These transformative health outcomes coincided with medication reduction or elimination for many trial patients, including Jane Ann Dimitt. For over two decades, Jane Ann was prescribed increasing levels of medications as her blood sugar and weight continued to climb. By the time she joined Virta in 2015, her A1c had reached 11.4%; the next step was insulin. Through Virta’s treatment, Jane Ann lowered her blood sugar to 5.5% (below even the prediabetes threshold) and lost over 50 pounds, while drastically reducing her reliance on medications. She also saw improved mobility, decreased inflammation and neuropathy, and now has the energy to play with her grandchildren—all without needing the insulin doctors said was imminent. The outcomes of Jane Ann and Virta’s other trial patients contradict the belief that progression of diabetes—and a lifetime of increasing medications—is inevitable. One-fifth of Virta patients completing five years of treatment saw full remission. One-third of patients achieved A1c below 6.5% without any diabetes medications, or only requiring Metformin. Notably, inflammatory markers, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol all improved significantly. These outcomes, in conjunction with previous research demonstrating improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors, depression symptoms, sleep, and knee pain, establish the promise of Virta’s approach to impact a wide range of conditions amid America’s metabolic disease epidemic. In the U.S., costs are rising as patient outcomes continue to worsen, including surges in amputations, hyperglycemic events, and diabetes-related deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, getting patients to stick with an intervention remains a significant challenge in diabetes therapy. Rates of medication adherence—that is, whether patients take their medications as prescribed—fall as low as 34% over the first three years for those starting insulin. For the National Diabetes Prevention Program, considered the gold standard in lifestyle interventions, only 13% of patients were retained at one year. In contrast, in Virta’s trial nearly 50% of participants with type 2 diabetes were retained at five years. Of those who continued past year two, 72% remained for an additional three years to year five. For Kim Shepherd, who lost 55 pounds, eliminated 10 different medications, reversed her diabetes, and even saw her GERD (acid reflux) and plantar fasciitis disappear, the reasons to stick with the treatment are clear. “Diabetes runs in my family, and I know that this disease can rob you of your whole life; it can take your eyes, your feet, and your kidneys. I have 4 kids and 9 grandkids to keep up with. I’ve learned to love hiking and biking. Nothing is worth losing all of that and going back to how I was before.” Additional key outcomes demonstrating the success of Virta’s approach at five years include Sustained blood sugar control. Virta patients experienced persistent improvements in blood sugar on average, while requiring significantly fewer medications. Medication deprescription. Half of patients prescribed insulin at the start of the trial no longer needed it at five years. Across all diabetes drugs, prescriptions were reduced by nearly 50%. Weight loss. Average weight among Virta participants decreased by 7.6%, exceeding the 5% benchmark for clinically significant weight loss by more than 50%. Broad improvement in cardiometabolic health. In addition to improvements in triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and markers of inflammation, patients even showed encouraging signs in reversing the progression of chronic kidney disease. “Virta’s patients are helping redefine what long-term success can look like in type 2 diabetes care. The patient outcomes set a new standard for real-world applications of diabetes treatment." Dr. Alan Moses, former Senior Vice President and Global Chief Medical Officer of Novo Nordisk, and Virta advisor Trial participants with prediabetes also saw meaningful improvements, with progression rates far below what has been demonstrated in other studies. Further, Virta patients sustained 6% weight loss over five years, exceeding the clinically-significant benchmark for diabetes prevention and far surpassing the 2% weight loss observed in the NIH Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle intervention. The study is also notable for its longevity. Five-year published results are extremely rare in digital health, where most studies follow populations for no more than a year, and usually significantly less. For many Virta patients, the five-year clinical trial has facilitated a lasting lifestyle change, improving not only traditional markers of health but overall mood, quality of life, and outlook on the future. Says patient Denise Lamb, who has maintained diabetes reversal alongside a nearly 70 pound weight loss, “My journey has been phenomenal. The Virta program has not only helped me achieve healthy blood glucose, but also attain a far better weight, normal blood pressure, and better understanding of my body. Virta’s lifestyle changed my lifestyle!” About Virta Health Virta Health helps people reverse type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions. Current approaches manage disease progression through increased medication use and infrequent doctor visits. Virta reverses type 2 diabetes through innovations in technology, nutrition science, and continuous remote care from physicians and behavioral experts. In clinical studies, 94% of patients reduce or eliminate insulin use, and weight-loss exceeds FDA benchmarks by nearly 150%. Virta works with the largest health plans, employers, and government organizations and puts 100% of its fees at risk based on clinical and financial outcomes.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Leading ACOs are Choosing Innovaccer’s ACO REACH Solution Suite to Improve Population Health and Advance Health Equity

Innovaccer Inc., | August 05, 2022

Innovaccer Inc., the Health Cloud company, announced the expansion of its Solution Suite for ACO REACH participants. With its ACO REACH Solution Suite, Innovaccer has taken its entire portfolio of solutions that several leading ACOs across the country use, to help New Entrant ACOs and High Needs Population ACOs accelerate their transformation and advance health equity. Since the initial launch of the ACO REACH Solution Suite in April, Innovaccer has rapidly expanded its client base to include new entrants such as UpStream, Florence Health, and many more organizations that are accelerating their transformation to value-based care. These organizations are leveraging Innovaccer’s end-to-end technology platform to build a unified data foundation, develop population health management strategies, and better engage physicians and patients. For example, UpStream chose Innovaccer as their technology partner to get a 360-degree patient view that provides actionable insights at the point of care to help improve outcomes, employ advanced analytics to assess and predict health risks to help keep patients out of the hospital, and use clinically contextual patient engagement throughout the care continuum to help improve chronic care management and the overall patient experience. “Traditionally, many practices don’t have the experience or resources to take on the financial risks associated with value-based care models, especially for older, higher-risk populations,” said Lucas Sahm, chief information officer at UpStream. “UpStream is deeply rooted in data, which makes partnering with Innovaccer a logical step for us because we speak the same language and have the same goal: to connect, curate, and make better use of healthcare data to improve patient outcomes, improve the patient experience, while also improving financial outcomes for providers.” Innovaccer’s ACO REACH Solution Suite brings technology and services together to help providers jump-start and excel at this new value-based model: the Innovaccer Health Cloud’s Data Activation Platform, Innovaccer’s industry-leading population health management solution, Innovaccer’s world-class population health analytics; and Innovaccer’s comprehensive SDoH solution for identifying, understanding, and mitigating social determinants—an absolute essential for supporting health equity, access to care, and community health. “Through ACO REACH, the CMS is paving the way for provider organizations to advance health equity through value-based care. To succeed with this new program, they need the right people, processes, and technologies to help develop, implement, and optimize their shared savings strategies. As a technology-enabled service, our enhanced ACO REACH Solutions Suite enables providers to identify and address SDoH factors, reach vulnerable populations with remote patient monitoring, identify relevant care gaps and utilization trends, predict obstacles, and assist providers and patients in optimizing outcomes. We’ve strived to include everything a provider could need in a technology-enabled solution to succeed as a REACH ACO.” Abhinav Shashank, cofounder and CEO at Innovaccer Innovaccer has a proven history of helping health organizations succeed under risk-bearing, value-based care models. Reach out to an Innovaccer representative today to get a demo of the Innovaccer® Health Cloud’s Data Activation Platform or to find out how we are helping provider partners like you with the tools they need to reach underserved patients, identify and address SDoH, and progress in the movement toward health equity. For more information, please visit https://innovaccer.com/accelerators/aco-reach. About Innovaccer Innovaccer Inc., the Health Cloud company, is dedicated to accelerating innovation in healthcare. The Innovaccer® Health Cloud unifies patient data across systems and care settings, and empowers healthcare organizations to develop scalable, modern applications that improve clinical, financial, and operational outcomes. Innovaccer’s solutions have been deployed across more than 1,600 care settings in the U.S., enabling more than 96,000 providers to transform care delivery and work collaboratively with payers and life sciences companies. Innovaccer has helped its customers unify health records for more than 39 million people and generate over $1B in cumulative cost savings. Innovaccer is the #1 rated Data and Analytics Platform by KLAS, and the #1 rated population health technology platform by Black Book.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Camelot Wins Cue Health Omnichannel Media Buying & Planning Business

Camelot | June 06, 2022

After a rigorous agency selection process, Camelot Strategic Marketing & Media has been chosen as media buying and planning agency for healthcare technology company Cue Health (“Cue”) as it aims to pioneer the digital transformation of healthcare, beginning with diagnostics. The scope of Camelot’s work for Cue includes integrated media planning and buying across Cue’s growing diagnostic platform, aimed at providing better patient outcomes by delivering on the promise of timely, informed, and connected healthcare. “There is no question that Cue Health is on the leading edge of healthcare technology. We’re thrilled to align our passion for innovation, deep data and analytics, and creative digital media and marketing strategy to help drive their success into the future.” Sam Bloom, CEO of Camelot Strategic Marketing & Media Cue empowers people to live their healthiest lives by giving individuals and their healthcare providers easy access to lab-quality diagnostics anywhere, anytime, in a device that fits in the palm of the hand. Cue launched the first FDA-authorized COVID-19 molecular test for at-home and over-the-counter use as well as professional point-of-care use. Outside the U.S., Cue Health has received the CE mark in the European Union, Interim Order authorization from Health Canada, regulatory approval from India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, and PSAR authorization from Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority. The company is developing future care offerings across several categories, including respiratory health, sexual health, cardiac and metabolic health, women's health, men's health, and chronic disease management. Within the health and wellness space, Camelot also works with Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest not-for-profit​ healthcare system in Texas and one of the largest in the U.S., and Glo, a digital health platform and app providing live and on-demand yoga, meditation, Pilates and fitness classes. About Camelot Celebrating 40 years in the media and marketing industry, Dallas-based Camelot Strategic Marketing & Media, is a fact-based, bottom-up, independent agency with 150 employees in cities across the U.S. – including Dallas, New York, Los Angeles and Baltimore. We partner with a select group of the world’s biggest brands – from TurboTax to Whole Foods to Michaels – to provide media-agnostic, transparent, insight-driven media and marketing strategy and execution.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

KAID Health Technology Demonstrates the Value of Natural Language Processing to Improve Preoperative Care

KAID Health | August 02, 2022

KAID Health, an AI-powered health care data analysis and provider engagement platform, announced the results of a study that validates the potential utility of its Natural Language Processing technology to improve provider efficiency and care quality. The peer-reviewed “doctor vs. artificial intelligence” paper found that KAID Health’s NLP technology greatly aligned with the clinician reviewers in completing a pre-operative checklist, and further was able to identify 16.6% of instances where the presence or absence of a specific condition was not found by the anesthesiologist. The research study was undertaken at UCSD’s Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Perioperative Informatics. The authors of the manuscript were Harrison S. Suh, BS, Jeffrey L. Tully, MD, Minhthy N. Meineke, MD, Ruth S. Waterman, MD, MS, and Rodney A. Gabriel, MD, MAS. “We have demonstrated that NLP technology can help identify critical medical conditions relevant to preanesthetic evaluation. Key to this was KAID Health’s ability to utilize unstructured free-text input from the electronic medical record to flag critical medical conditions for anesthesiologists,” researcher and senior author Dr. Rodney Gabriel explained. “This research shows that NLP may be a useful tool to aid preoperative anesthesia providers in screening and evaluation of surgical patients.” For each of the 93 patients in the study, researchers collected all pertinent free-text notes from the EMR. The free-text notes were then processed by a Named Entity Recognition pipeline, which incorporated an NLP machine learning model developed by KAID Health. The model recognizes and labels spans of text that correspond to medical concepts. Medical concepts were then mapped to a list of medical conditions that were of interest for a preanesthesia evaluation. The most common conditions that the NLP pipeline captured that the anesthesiologist did not include cardiac arrhythmias, angina, anticoagulation, peripheral vascular disease, obstructive sleep apnea, and neuromuscular disease. “We are proud that leading academic institutions, such as UCSD, are partnering with KAID to ensure our NLP and AI models meet the demanding accuracy and usability standards required of the industry. KAID Health’s NLP technology played a vital role in this study in identifying pertinent preanesthesia history to optimize efficiency for anesthesiologists. Our model demonstrated that NLP holds the potential to reduce clinician workloads, improve profitability, and, most importantly, make surgery safer.” Kevin Agatstein, CEO of KAID Health The International Anesthesia Research Society published the study, “Identification of Preanesthetic History Elements by a Natural Language Processing Engine,” in its journal, Anesthesia & Analgesia, one of the leading anesthesiology journals in the world. About KAID Health KAID Health makes care delivery more efficient, effective, and profitable for providers and their payers and Accountable Care Organization partners. Its Whole Chart Analysis platform extracts all relevant data from electronic medical records, including structured data and text, using artificial intelligence and natural language processing. The solution identifies the patient care interventions needed for providers to achieve their clinical, financial, or operational objectives. In parallel, KAID Health extends to payers a comprehensive view of members’ health by combining claims and EMR data. Today, KAID Health’s technology is used by leading providers, health systems, academic medical centers, and payers to automate a variety of workflows, including coding accuracy, quality measurement, prior authorization support, and pre-operative assessment. The company was founded by a veteran team of healthcare information technology and population health innovators. It is based in Boston, MA.

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In May 2015, Talbert House served as the lead agency for the Hamilton County Summer Youth Employment Program, a collaboration of several agencies providing services to eligible youth referred by Hamilton County Department of Job & Family Services.

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