Benefits of bundled payments turn on whether they are voluntary or mandatory: GAO

FierceHealthcare | January 24, 2019

CMS suspects Medicare could save money by adopting episode-based payment models. But according to a new report by the the Government Accountability Office, the outcome is highly dependent on the specific structure of those models. In particular, the results can change massively depending on whether the models were voluntary. GAO found (PDF) that mandatory bundles would give the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services more consistent results, because practices tend to only participate in the voluntary models when they know they can come out ahead. As a result, voluntary models tend to advantage physicians more than Medicare. "In general, stakeholders reported that voluntary models largely benefit providers. For example, these models tend to have more generous terms and providers can choose to participate in only those models where they are likely to be successful," GAO said. "On the other hand, mandatory models are more likely to give CMS generalizable evaluation results."

Spotlight

Artificial intelligence holds much promise across the healthcare industry, from helping physicians with administrative tasks to increasing efficiency during clinical trials. For health plans, in particular, AI can help them increase operational efficiency, predict and manage risk, and provide member-centric care. However, a few key challenges—especially when it comes to data and developing expertise—could prevent health plans from unlocking the complete potential of AI. In this white paper, we share how health plans can overcome these key challenges, and how to create an action plan for AI success.


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MEDICAL DEVICES

Study Reveals Florence Healthcare’s Site Enablement Platforms Can Accelerate Clinical Trials by Six Weeks and Reduce Costs by Over $1M per Study

Florence Healthcare | November 18, 2022

Florence Healthcare™, a clinical research technology company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, announced the completion of a year-long third-party study on the impact of Site Enablement Platforms™ on clinical research timelines and costs. The study by Marketcap Consulting is the first to compare how traditional site management approaches differ from site-first Site Enablement Platforms. The study looked at the impact of traditional sponsor portals and new Site Enablement Platforms on research sponsor and Contract Research Organization study timelines and budgets. “Pharma sponsors and CROs realize the importance of enabling sites to do their best work - but only recently have they discovered that traditional site portals are more hindrance than help. Yet, these organizations weren't able to measure the true impact of switching to a Site Enablement Platform. This year-long study aimed to fix that and highlight how linking fragmented workflows accelerates the full lifecycle of clinical trials.” Ryan Jones, CEO of Florence Healthcare Site enablement is a new technology category that prioritizes the needs of the site, a major shift from past technology that only looked at the experience of the sponsor. These platforms, including Florence Healthcare’s SiteLink™, insist on ease-of-use and ease-of-setup for the site, quality support, and simplified integrations. SiteLink works in conjunction with eBinders™, an electronic Investigator Site File solution used by over 12,000 research sites in 45 countries. About the Study Marketcap Consulting conducted interviews with clinical research operations leaders harnessing SiteLink, examined timelines and study costs, and analyzed the impact across the sites in the study. On average, the team found that SiteLink accelerated study start-up by four weeks and study close-out by two weeks at every site. For a 50-site study, this six-week acceleration reduced cash burn by one million dollars. “We can see a clear positive impact on study timelines and cash burn when research sponsors and CROs implement Site Enablement Platforms,” said Joel White, founder of Marketcap Consulting. “This early study reveals that by enabling sites to do their best work, the clinical research industry unlocks value across the full research cycle.” “While the financial impact of switching to SiteLink makes investing in site enablement an easy choice for sponsors and CROs, it’s really the acceleration of studies that gets our team at Florence Healthcare excited,” said Jones. “We aim to double the output of research teams by the end of the decade, and enabling sites is the way to do it.” About Florence Healthcare Florence Healthcare’s clinical trial software helps more than 12,000 research sites in 45 countries manage their documents, data, and workflows. The Florence Healthcare™ platform also provides remote access so sponsors and Contract Research Organizations can collaborate with their sites around the world. Florence Healthcare users now perform 5.8 million remote monitoring activities each month.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Annuo Med Tech Solutions Enters Partnership Agreement with WeKo GP

Annuo Medical Technology Solutions Pty Ltd | October 17, 2022

New health networking platform, Annuo™, has entered a working agreement with WeKo GP to assist with the identification and treatment of patients with chronic disease in Australia. This key partnership will facilitate the management of people living with chronic disease by General Practice teams using WeKo and Annuo™. WeKo’s Clinical System solution launched in 2019 and provides proactive chronic disease screening and detection based on patient medical data. “We believe our solutions are highly complementary and have the ability to offer an amazing patient and clinician experience,” commented WeKo Founder, Ross Hadfield. “We are excited to announce a trial partnership between Annuo and WeKo GP which will open up more possibilities for Annuo™ to help the 10.8M Australians currently living with chronic disease,” Dr Jeni Wellington, Founder and CEO of Annuo Med Tech Solutions At a high-level, the partnership will facilitate the identification and treatment of patients at high risk of chronic disease, using the Annuo platform and WeKo’s Clinical System. It will ensure patients are engaged in the creation of an agreed care plan and that the clinical teams involved are fully supported. About Annuo Med Tech Annuo Med Tech Solutions is a new Australian digital health technology company developing Annuo - a healthcare networking platform for doctors, patients and allied health professionals. Annuo™, is the first medical networking platform in Australia designed by specialists. More than that, Annuo™ is advocating for collaborative care for patients living with chronic disease in Australia. With 47% of Australians today living with one or more chronic diseases, there has never been a better time to help improve the lives of everyday people trying to navigate their treatment. Annuo™ encourages people living with chronic disease to engage with their treatment in an holistic way. Annuo promotes collaborative care for patients and is inclusive of those seeking to make diet, exercise and alternate therapies as part of their treatment planning. Annuo™ will engage with healthcare providers and enable them to better connect with their patients through the digital health space. The platform comes fully customised for each medical specialty at a competitive price.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Carestream Health Unveils New X-ray Detectors, Enhanced X-ray Rooms at World’s Largest Radiology Exhibition

Carestream Health | November 29, 2022

Carestream’s legacy of delivering quality medical imaging technology continues with the launch of new digital X-ray detectors that help improve clinical outcomes, while enhancements to its existing product portfolio reflect the company’s deep understanding of the radiology profession. At the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago, the company is displaying its expanding portfolio of medical imaging systems that provide quantifiable benefits to healthcare organizations and their patients, including New Carestream Focus HD 35 and Focus HD 43 detectors that offer higher resolution with a 100 micron pixel pitch that allows for image magnification for better visibility of small objects and microstructures. The detectors’ Cesium (CsI) scintillator is ideal for dose-sensitive pediatric patients; and the detectors have an IP56 rating for better protection against dust and fluid ingress. Next generation of long-length imaging, the Carestream DRX-LC Detector (INVESTIGATIONAL – NOT AVAILABLE FOR COMMERCIAL SALE) captures long-bone and spine images with a single exposure, making it ideal for pediatric imaging and long-bone and spine images of people with limited mobility. In contrast, the traditional multi-shot approach requires three to five exposures followed by manipulation and stitching of the images. The new detector is designed to capture the full image in a single exposure to minimize dose and mitigate motion artifact that can appear from patient movement with a multi-shot exam. The DRX-LC Detector is designed with X-Factor so the detector can be shared across different Carestream X-ray systems and is compatible with both rooms and mobile units. Enhancements to the Carestream DRX-Evolution Plus that provide improved patient comfort and a better ergonomic experience along with improved workflow for the radiographer. Its new tabletop design eliminates rails that can cause strain and discomfort for both radiographer and patient, enabling patients to be moved more smoothly and with less effort to the exam table. New features in the Carestream DRX-Excel Plus provide a better staff experience with faster workflow and better diagnostic image quality. Designed specifically for large and mid-size hospitals and medical centers, this innovative system combines fluoroscopy and general radiology capabilities in one compact unit. It delivers accelerated workflow, high-resolution images and a wide range of patient exam options. “Our commitment to quickly respond to the needs of the radiology community with ideas that clearly work is as strong as ever, and we are solidly positioned to continue developing solutions that have quantifiable benefits to our customers and their patients. Organizations can have complete confidence in our ability to provide high-value technology that helps lower costs, and improves imaging workflow for radiology departments, technologists and other healthcare professionals—all with the goal of improving patient care.” David C. Westgate, Chairman, President and CEO of Carestream About Carestream Health Carestream is a worldwide provider of medical imaging systems; X-ray imaging systems for non-destructive testing; and precision contract coating services for a wide range of industrial, medical, electronic and other applications—all backed by a global service and support network.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Signify Health Receives NCQA’s HEDIS Allowable Adjustments Certification

Signify Health | September 26, 2022

Signify Health a leading healthcare platform that leverages advanced analytics, technology, and nationwide healthcare networks to create and power value-based payment programs, has again achieved the National Committee for Quality Assurance certification for the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set. This is the second year in which the Company has received this certification. NCQA provides accreditations and certifications to evaluate a wide range of organizations across the healthcare system. More than 90 percent of health plans in the United States, covering 190 million people, rely on NCQA’s HEDIS measurement tool. The methodology that Signify Health uses to identify Medicare members who have gaps in their care and would benefit from in-home diagnostic testing was evaluated and certified by NCQA. Receiving this certification allows Signify Health to provide services that align with the industry's most rigorous data assessment processes, resulting in more accurate and timely clinical services for eligible members. “Through our comprehensive data set and analytics, Signify Health is able to effectively identify at-risk patients and connect them with the appropriate diagnostic and preventive services. We are proud to once again have achieved this NCQA certification, demonstrating our ability to effectively identify gaps in care and to support access to high-quality health services.” Marc Rothman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Signify Health NCQA HEDIS measures relate to many of the most significant chronic health conditions facing seniors in Medicare. In 2021, Signify Health announced the certifications for diabetes care, kidney health evaluation in patients with diabetes, colorectal cancer screening, and osteoporosis management in women. In 2022, Signify Health was recertified for all of the measures from 2021 that are still recognized by NCQA and expanded its certification to include osteoporosis screening as a preventive measure for older women who have not had a fracture. Osteoporosis is a serious bone disease that impacts the quality of life, especially for women aged 67-85. With the appropriate screenings and interventions, the risk of future bone fractures related to osteoporosis can be reduced. HEDIS® is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance. NCQA Measure Certification Program™ is a trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance. About Signify Health Signify Health is a leading healthcare platform that leverages advanced analytics, technology, and nationwide healthcare provider networks to create and power value-based payment programs. Our mission is to build trusted relationships to make people healthier. Our solutions support value-based payment programs by aligning financial incentives around outcomes, providing tools to health plans and healthcare organizations designed to assess and manage risk and identify actionable opportunities for improved patient outcomes, coordination and cost-savings. Through our platform, we coordinate what we believe is a holistic suite of clinical, social, and behavioral services to address an individual’s healthcare needs and prevent adverse events that drive excess cost, all while shifting services towards the home. About NCQA NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care.

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Spotlight

Artificial intelligence holds much promise across the healthcare industry, from helping physicians with administrative tasks to increasing efficiency during clinical trials. For health plans, in particular, AI can help them increase operational efficiency, predict and manage risk, and provide member-centric care. However, a few key challenges—especially when it comes to data and developing expertise—could prevent health plans from unlocking the complete potential of AI. In this white paper, we share how health plans can overcome these key challenges, and how to create an action plan for AI success.

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