After bitter closure, rural Texas hospital defies the norm and reopens

Healthcare Finance | January 11, 2019

Five months ago, the 6,500 residents of Crockett, Texas, witnessed a bit of a resurrection -- at least in rural hospital terms. A little more than a year after the local hospital shut its doors, the 25-bed facility reopened its emergency department, inpatient beds and some related services, albeit on a smaller scale. Without a hospital, residents of Crockett, located 120 miles north of Houston, were 35 miles away along rural roads from the next closest hospital when a medical crisis struck, said Dr. Bob Grier, board president of the Houston County Hospital District, which is the county's governmental authority that oversees Crockett, a public hospital. "Someone falls off the roof. A heart attack. A stroke. A diabetic coma. Start naming these rather serious things and health care is known for its golden hour," he said.

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There is no effective antiviral treatment for rubella. Treatment of symptoms includes plenty of fluids and pain relief if required. Paracetamol may be used to reduce fever and pain. Aspirin should not be given to children under 12 years of age unless specifically recommended by a doctor.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

KLAS and Phreesia Partner to Deliver Patient Insights on Healthcare Technology

KLAS, Phreesia | May 30, 2022

KLAS, a healthcare research and insights firm, and Phreesia, a leader in patient intake, outreach and activation, are pleased to announce the release of a report that aims to shed light on patients’ preferences and expectations for the technology they interact with as a part of their healthcare experience. The report is the result of a survey designed to better understand patient sentiments on a range of topics, including how they like to schedule appointments, their participation in telehealth visits and their communication with their doctor. KLAS and Phreesia partnered together on this report because they share a common mission of improving healthcare and the patient experience, and they recognize that patients’ voices and preferences are not always reflected in healthcare technology. The two organizations leveraged the size and scale of Phreesia’s network—which performed more than 100 million patient check-ins in 2021—to get a firsthand perspective of patients’ priorities. "What do patients want?" asked Adam Gale, CEO of KLAS Research. "This report, based on a survey with nearly 13,000 patients, provides deep insights into how providers and vendors can help meet patient preferences." Phreesia surveyed patients across the U.S. over a two-week period in 2021, as they checked in to a doctor’s appointment using Phreesia’s automated intake platform. The quantitative survey asked 14 questions about patients’ experiences using healthcare technology. Respondents represented a wide range of demographic groups across age, education level, race and gender. The report includes many detailed, data-driven insights and recommendations to providers, including Digital access tools are very important to patients: Online appointment self-scheduling and check-in, price transparency and online bill pay are among the offerings patients desire most. Survey responses indicate that patients aged 18-34 are almost twice as likely to choose organizations that have digital access tools. There are gaps between what patients want and what is offered by vendors and provider organizations—for example, the ability to schedule and reschedule an appointment or request a prescription refill online. Patients are still interested in telehealth: Nearly half of respondents had at least one virtual visit in the past year. Of those who did not, 40% reported they are likely to receive care virtually in the future. Only 33% of respondents interact with a provider portal at least once a month, and 26% don’t use a portal at all, with the youngest patients (18-24 years old) most likely to fall into the latter category. The report recommends providers take a multi-pronged approach and offer technology alternatives for things like virtual care and patient communication to better engage those who rarely or never use a portal, in addition to encouraging increased portal adoption. “As the report describes, patients want to be more actively involved in their healthcare, especially since the start of the pandemic. We believe that patient-centered care is critical to the transformation of our healthcare system. It’s incredibly important to us to be able to use our insights to help providers better engage patients and improve their experience. We’re thrilled to partner with KLAS on this valuable work.” Phreesia CEO Chaim Indig This collaboration is a result of Phreesia and KLAS’ common interest in ensuring patients’ voices are heard and that technology reflects their needs and preferences. As part of the non-financial agreement, KLAS performed its own analysis of Phreesia’s data, created this report and maintains editorial rights. KLAS’ partnership with Phreesia is in no way an endorsement of Phreesia’s performance and has had no impact on Phreesia’s standing in KLAS ratings. About KLAS KLAS has been providing accurate, honest, and impartial insights for the healthcare IT (HIT) industry since 1996. The KLAS mission is to improve the world’s healthcare by amplifying the voice of providers and payers. The scope of our research is constantly expanding to best fit market needs as technology becomes increasingly sophisticated. KLAS finds the hard-to-get HIT data by building strong relationships with our payer and provider friends in the industry. Learn more at klasresearch.com. About Phreesia Phreesia gives healthcare organizations a suite of robust applications to manage the patient intake process. Our innovative SaaS platform engages patients in their healthcare and provides a modern, convenient experience, while enabling our clients to enhance clinical care and drive efficiency.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

SpineGuard Announces a New Partnership with Sorbonne, CNRS and Inserm to associate its DSG® Technology With Ultrasound and Serve Surgical Robots

SpineGuard | June 08, 2022

pineGuard an innovative company that deploys its DSG sensing technology to secure and streamline the placement of bone implants, announces the launch of a new three-year collaboration program with two labs of Sorbonne University CNRS and Inserm: the ISIR. DSG is based on the local measurement of electrical conductivity of tissues in real time without X-ray imaging, with a sensor located at the tip of the drilling instrument. Its efficacy was proven by more than 90,000 surgeries across the globe and 19 scientific publications. SpineGuard has entered in 2017 a collaboration with ISIR for the application of DSG to surgical robots and the enhancement of their safety, accuracy, and autonomy. SpineGuard and ISIR capitalize on first order outcomes published so far… At the close of a first collaboration phase, SpineGuard announced sub-millimetric accuracy experimental outcomes in bone boundary detection and automatic stop of a vertebral drilling performed by a robot using the DSG technology. These impressive outcomes were presented as they were produced successively at the Hamlyn medical robotics conference in London in May 2019, receiving the first price for best scientific paper, then in plenary session at the SMISS minimally invasive spine surgery (SMISS) in Las Vegas in November 2021, and lastly during the CRAS conference in Naples in April 2022. … and join forces with the LIB laboratory in order to add ultrasound to the project. Encouraged by this success, the research and development teams wish to go even further in surgical robots advancement: the guidance technologies that allow the robot to position itself properly relative to the patient to find the drilling entry point rely today on X-Ray imaging, dangerous for health, in combination with space-consuming optical registration. SpineGuard has long explored the possibility to use ultrasound complementarily to DSG for this preliminary step, before the tool is penetrating bone, and was granted two families of international patents on that topic. The LIB laboratory, who features an international level expertise in the field of ultrasound imaging, answered with enthusiasm the invitation to join the project. SpineGuard, ISIR and LIB thus start a new 3-year collaboration that is expected to produce breakthrough results in the field. “We are happy to launch this partnership that will allow us to go even further in improving surgical robots in orthopedics. This new phase of the project aims at enabling robots to perform bone drilling and cutting, as well as implant placement, in a secured and more autonomous manner in the human skeleton. Our goal is to implement first-class collaboration between French Research and Industry and trigger commercial ventures in the orthopedic field via strategic agreements with industry partners.” Stéphane Bette, co-founder and Deputy CEO of SpineGuard Guillaume Morel, Professor at Sorbonne University and ISIR Director, and Brahim Tamadazte, Researcher at CNRS and member of ISIR, added: “We are delighted to continue the close and dynamic collaboration initiated in 2017 with SpineGuard. The entry of robotics and associated new technologies in operating room is no doubt one of the biggest medical advances of the last twenty years. Robotic approaches often allow the surgical gesture to be less invasive, more accurate, safe and intuitive in numerous surgical procedures. The first outcomes from the previous collaboration gave us more visibility on the clinical added value that a robot with original and effective sensors can bring to Orthopedic Surgery in general and Spine in particular. This new collaboration will be about ultrasonic sensors coupled with robotics. This original and promising association will allow the surgeon to define the entry point and the pedicle screw trajectory accurately and non-invasively, without relying on ionizing or costly preoperative imaging (scanner, MRI). The association of two prestigious labs of Sorbonne University (ISIR and LIB), whose competencies are highly complementary to SpineGuard’s industrial vision constitute a stimulating work environment favorable to innovation. The journey with SpineGuard goes on for three more years with a target of several technologic and scientific innovations to serve patients and care providers.” Quentin Grimal, Professor at Sorbonne University and Manager of the team “Ultrasound and imaging for bone quality characterization” at LIB, concludes: “Using ultrasound to position a surgical tool is particularly relevant. Ultrasounds are danger free and provide real time information about interfaces, bone anatomy, even bone mechanical quality. The use of an ultrasound probe should allow to position the robotic arm in an optimal manner to place pedicle screws. In general, echography does not allow to see beyond the bone surfaces because ultrasounds are strongly reflected at the surface and strongly attenuated when propagating in bone. Low amplitude signals coming from inside bone can however be exploited through specific treatments which are a specialty of our team. Our team, pioneer in ultrasound utilization to probe bone, has introduced several approaches that offer an alternative to X-Rays for characterization of trabecular or cortical bone health. For our team, this partnership with SpineGuard and ISIR is a great fit: it will accelerate methodology and instrument developments for a broader utilization of ultrasound in orthopedic surgery. We are very happy to participate in this innovation rich project.” About SpineGuard® Founded in 2009 in France and the USA by Pierre Jérôme and Stéphane Bette, SpineGuard is an innovative company deploying its proprietary radiation-free real time sensing technology DSG® (Dynamic Surgical Guidance) to secure and streamline the placement of implants in the skeleton. SpineGuard designs, develops and markets medical devices that have been used in over 90,000 surgical procedures worldwide. Nineteen studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals have demonstrated the multiple benefits DSG® offers to patients, surgeons, surgical staff and hospitals. Building on these strong fundamentals and several strategic partnerships, SpineGuard has expanded the scope of its DSG® technology in innovative applications such as the « smart » pedicle screw, the DSG Connect visualization and registration interface, dental implantology and surgical robotics. DSG® was co-invented by Maurice Bourlion, Ph.D., Ciaran Bolger, M.D., Ph.D., and Alain Vanquaethem, Biomedical Engineer. SpineGuard has engaged in multiple ESG initiatives. About ISIR ISIR is one of the largest French Research institutions in robotics and intelligent systems, reporting mainly to Sorbonne University, CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) and Inserm (National institute for health and medical research). It regroups more than 50 teaching researchers and permanent researchers and approximately 80 PhD ad post-doc students. ISIR is structured around 6 research teams focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning, mobile robotics, small scale robotics, assistance robotics (physical therapy and mobility support), human-robot interaction and surgical gesture assistance. ISIR has a rich expertise in the design of innovative robotic architectures, simulation and control, clinical validation and transfer of high industrial potential results. Over the last 5 past years, 10 pre-clinical or clinical studies were conducted at ISIR. 8 patents were granted, and 2 start-up companies created. About LIB The Laboratory for biomedical imaging (LIB) is specialized in Fundamental and Applied Research for biomedical morphologic imaging methods, functional and molecular on small animal and human. It reports to Sorbonne University, CNRS and INSERM. It regroups 35 permanent researchers and teaching researchers, of whom half are also hospital practitioners, approximately 10 engineers and technicians and more than 30 PhD students and post-docs. LIB is structured around 6 teams whose focuses correspond to key priorities of 21st century Public Health: cancer, cardiovascular and neurologic diseases, bone quality. LIB develops new diagnostic and treatments methods exploiting various modalities: ultrasound, MRI, CT, SPECT-PET, etc. LIB has a strong commitment to technology transfer. Over the last 5 years, 6 patents were granted, 7 software were filed, and 5 startup companies launched.

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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Health Alliance Improves Outcomes and Reduces Costs Using CareSignal’s Deviceless Remote Patient Monitoring

CareSignal, Health Alliance | June 27, 2022

Health AllianceTM, the health plan of Illinois-based Carle Health, is leading the way for rising-risk populations by launching a remote patient monitoring program powered by CareSignal. This program is part of Hally® health, the member-facing telehealth app Health Alliance uses to give its members access to tools and resources for their well-being. The partnership between Health Alliance and CareSignal aims to reduce readmissions, reduce spending, and improve members’ experience while increasing health literacy and empowering members to better self-manage their chronic conditions. The partnership is serving shared Medicare and Commercial populations and is expanding to Carle Health’s Accountable Care Organization. CareSignal’s scalable remote patient monitoring technology sends evidence-based questions directly via phone call or text message to the member. Questions focus on the member’s health status and encourage adherence to their health management plan through reporting of symptoms and daily habits while monitoring changes in risk status. Indications of worsening symptoms can trigger real-time alerts to allow for intervention, including proactive health coaching and escalation of care. Health Alliance is currently prioritizing Chronic Obstructive Respiratory Disease congestive heart failure, hypertension, asthma, and post-discharge care, and is hoping to add additional populations. Health Alliance is also bolstering its care coordination team with CareSignal’s virtual care navigators enabling them to manage a larger member population without needing additional staff. VCNs are the first to intervene with members before escalating to the Health Alliance care coordination team and/or primary care physician. By handling routine review, education and scheduling tasks when needed, the VCNs enable the Health Alliance care coordination team to work at the top of their license. The program provides increased support for members without increased touch points from providers. “Our team selected CareSignal as the best fit for our Health Alliance remote patient monitoring strategy due to its clinically validated pathways, ability to scale, and ease of use for our members. We believe by adding remote patient monitoring to our population health services, we will improve quality of care and health outcomes, expand access to care management, reduce disparities in health outcomes, enhance the member experience, and reduce hospitalizations, ED visits, and readmission rates.” Margie Zeglen, MBA, FACHE, Vice President of Population Health at Health Alliance and Carle Health “The expansion of this relationship is a result of the clinical and strategic vision that Carle and Health Alliance teammates bring to our partnership,” said Blake Marggraff, CEO of CareSignal, a Lightbeam Company. “Given the ongoing, nationwide staffing challenges that healthcare organizations face, the CareSignal team is particularly proud to be able to support Health Alliance with both the technology and clinical resources required for success. I look forward to serving even more individuals’ clinical needs while simultaneously serving a terrific client-partner.” About Health Alliance Based in Champaign, IL, Health Alliance operates in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, and Washington with additional licenses in Nebraska and Missouri. Health Alliance is part of Carle Health, an integrated system of healthcare services, which includes a five-hospital system as multi-specialty physician groups, as well as Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the Stephens Family Clinical Research Institute. In Illinois, Health Alliance offers employer group plans, individual plans, Medicare plans, State of Illinois Employee plans, and State of Illinois Retiree plans through Total Retiree Advantage Illinois. In Iowa, Health Alliance offers employer group plans and Medicare plans. In Washington, we offer Medicare plans and public individual plans. And in Indiana and Ohio, Health Alliance offers Medicare plans. About CareSignal – a Lightbeam Health Solutions Company CareSignal offers Deviceless Remote Patient Monitoring® which is specifically designed for value-based care by leveraging real-time, self-reported patient data and artificial intelligence to produce long-term patient engagement while identifying clinically actionable moments for proactive care delivery. Together, Lightbeam and CareSignal align best-in-class population health capabilities with proven remote engagement and monitoring solutions serving more than 42 million patient lives across the United States. Lightbeam’s vision is to shine a light on health data using analytics, and to provide the insight and capabilities healthcare clients need to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time. Learn more about solutions specific to your organization and population by visiting our website or trying a self-guided demo.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

NeuPath Health Unveils Accelerated Growth Plan and Announces Executive Changes

NeuPath Health Inc. | July 26, 2022

NeuPath Health Inc. owner and operator of a network of clinics delivering category-leading chronic pain treatment, announced its strategic growth plan to significantly accelerate the growth of its best-in-class and coordinated continuum of care for patients across Canada who suffer from pain and pain-related musculoskeletal conditions. Chronic pain now impacts 25% of all Canadians at some point in their life and it is often a treatment pathway that is fraught with uncertainty, significant delays and difficulty navigating the system, leading to unsatisfactory outcomes for patients. NeuPath, through its significant number of highly talented, trained and specialized physicians, nurses and staff, along with an important physical footprint across numerous clinics in Ontario and Alberta, intends to expand its geographic reach and the tools available to its teams in order to further deliver the most comprehensive and coordinated treatment solutions for its patients. NeuPath intends to bring to market this expanded and augmented, multi-modal and coordinated treatment through acquisitions, partnering, joint ventures, licensing or other business arrangements that provide NeuPath’s patients with best-in-class, outcomes-driven solutions. By offering a full and coordinated spectrum of care and with easier navigation for patients, NeuPath’s patients will lead lives more fully lived. About NeuPath NeuPath is a vertically integrated health care provider utilizing research, data-driven insights, technology, and interdisciplinary care to help restore function for patients impacted by chronic pain, spinal injuries, sport-related injuries, and concussions. With equity ownership in seventeen clinics in Ontario and Alberta, NeuPath is building out a large-scale network to better serve patients across Canada. NeuPath is focused on transforming the hope of a better life into the reality of a life more fully lived.

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Spotlight

There is no effective antiviral treatment for rubella. Treatment of symptoms includes plenty of fluids and pain relief if required. Paracetamol may be used to reduce fever and pain. Aspirin should not be given to children under 12 years of age unless specifically recommended by a doctor.

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