Biden releases plan that strengthens ACA while dinging 'Medicare for All'

fiercehealthcare | July 15, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a healthcare plan Monday that boosts the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by adding a public option among other proposals, a sharp departure from several competitors in the Democratic primary for president pushing Medicare for All.
In addition to the public option, Biden’s plan would eliminate the 400% income cap to determine whether an ACA exchange customer is eligible for tax subsidies. It would also lower the limit on the cost of coverage from 9.86% to 8.5%.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

TELUS and LifeWorks receive court approval and key regulatory approvals for proposed acquisition

TELUS Corporation | August 12, 2022

TELUS Corporation and LifeWorks Inc. announced that the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has granted its final order approving the plan of arrangement in respect of the acquisition by TELUS of LifeWorks previously announced on June 16, 2022. TELUS and LifeWorks also announced that the Competition Bureau of Canada has issued a no action letter in respect of the Arrangement. Accordingly, Competition Act Approval, as defined and as required by the Arrangement Agreement previously entered into between LifeWorks and TELUS, has been obtained. In addition, the applicable waiting period in relation to the Arrangement under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, has expired with the result that the acquisition is clear to proceed in the United States as well as Canada. The Court Approval, the Competition Act Approval and the HSR Approval are significant milestones toward closing TELUS’ acquisition of LifeWorks and follows LifeWorks’ shareholder approval, which was obtained at a special meeting of LifeWorks’ shareholders on August 4, 2022. Pending receipt of regulatory approvals in the United Kingdom and Australia, and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the Arrangement is expected to proceed to closing which is anticipated to be on or about the fourth quarter of 2022. “We are pleased to have reached this significant milestone, with clearance to proceed with the TELUS – LifeWorks transaction in Canada and the United States. Importantly, we have seen overwhelming support from LifeWorks’ team members, customers and shareholders, and I am confident that the potent combination of the respective skills and capabilities of LifeWorks and TELUS Health will create a world-leading, end-to-end, digital-first employee primary and preventative healthcare, mental health and wellness platform, covering more than 50 million lives, and growing, on a global basis. We look forward to welcoming LifeWorks employees into our TELUS family so that, together, we can help even more people around the world lead their healthiest and most productive professional and personal lives.” Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS “This is an exciting new chapter for LifeWorks and together with TELUS we will be able to accelerate our shared vision of empowering individuals to take a more proactive role in the management of their health by unifying the continuum of care through digital-first innovations, as well as our unmatched in-person care,” said Stephen Liptrap, President and CEO of LifeWorks. “Our two organizations are aligned as leading purpose-driven companies that are committed to improving the lives of people around the world.” About TELUS Corporation TELUS is a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company with $17 billion in annual revenue and 17 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. Our social purpose is to leverage our global-leading technology and compassion to drive social change and enable remarkable human outcomes. Our longstanding commitment to putting our customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. The numerous, sustained accolades TELUS has earned over the years from independent, industry-leading network insight firms showcase the strength and speed of TELUS’ global-leading networks, reinforcing our commitment to provide Canadians with access to superior technology that connects us to the people, resources and information that make our lives better. TELUS Health is Canada’s leader in digital health technology, improving access to health and wellness services and revolutionizing the flow of health information across the continuum of care. TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods is a global technology provider of innovative data insights and digital solutions, creating a unified, trusted and sustainable value chain. TELUS International is a leading digital customer experience innovator that designs, builds, and delivers next-generation solutions, including AI and content moderation, for global and disruptive brands across high-growth industry verticals, including tech and games, communications and media and ecommerce and FinTech. TELUS and TELUS International operate in 28 countries around the world. Driven by our determination and vision to connect all citizens for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired TELUS, our team members and retirees to contribute more than $900 million, in cash, in-kind contributions, time and programs, and 1.8 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world. Together, let’s make the future friendly. About LifeWorks LifeWorks is a world leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals – mental, physical, financial and social. As the trusted leader in mental health and wellbeing, LifeWorks delivers a personalized continuum of care that helps our clients improve the lives of their people and by doing so, improve their business. Guided by our purpose to improve lives and improve business, we help our clients improve the wellbeing of their people, we help them improve workforce engagement and productivity, thereby improving the performance of our clients’ organizations. LifeWorks is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: LWRK). LifeWorks has approximately 7,000 employees, 25,000 clients, and serves 36 million individuals and their families in more than 160 countries.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

CONVERT Clinical Trial Data Presented at ERS Demonstrates Early Success of AeriSeal System in Patients with Advanced COPD/Emphysema

Pulmonx Corporation | September 05, 2022

Pulmonx Corporation a global leader in minimally invasive treatments for severe lung disease, announces the presentation of interim results from the CONVERT Study at the 2022 European Respiratory Society International Conference. Data on the first 40 patients in the study demonstrated that treatment with the AeriSeal System successfully converted the collateral ventilation status in 78% of patients who were subsequently treated with Zephyr Valves. The AeriSeal System is used to close collateral air channels in a target lung lobe of a patient with severe COPD/emphysema, making the patient eligible to then undergo Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction (BLVR) with Zephyr Valves. Patients whose lungs have untreated collateral ventilation are currently ineligible for treatment with Zephyr Valves and have limited options once medical management alone does not control symptoms. Once the target lobe is converted from CV+ to CV-, patients can be treated with Zephyr Valves, which has been shown to improve lung function, quality of life, and exercise capacity for patients with severe COPD/emphysema. The CONVERT study uses the AeriSeal System to close collateral air flow. Once the treated lobe tests negative for collateral ventilation Zephyr Valves are implanted to address hyperinflation of that target lobe to ease emphysema symptoms without major surgery. Successfully converted patients who received Zephyr Valves had clinically meaningful Target Lobe Volume Reduction with a mean reduction of greater than one (1) liter. The CONVERT trial is ongoing and full clinical outcomes of BLVR with Zephyr Valves were not reported at this time. However, results recently published from a single-center feasibility study at Macquarie University Hospital in Australia showed that the AeriSeal System successfully closed collateral air channels and allowed for successful clinical outcomes after treatment with Zephyr Valves.2 At 6 months, AeriSeal and Zephyr Valve treated CV+ patients experienced clinically meaningful improvements similar to improvements in CV- patients treated with Zephyr Valves alone.2 Improvements included Lung function (FEV1 increase of 19.7%, Residual Volume decrease of 16.2%) Quality of life (SGRQ score decrease of 15.1 points) Exercise capacity (Six-Minute Walk Distance increase of 77.2 meters) There were no serious adverse reactions experienced by patients in the Australian feasibility study; 20% of patients in the CONVERT Study experienced an inflammatory response following AeriSeal treatment - all were transient, medically managed, and resolved. The available data suggest that patients with collateral ventilation can undergo successful BLVR with Zephyr Valves following closure of the fissure gap with the AeriSeal System. “This is very promising news for patients with advanced COPD. We know that treatment with Zephyr Valves can provide long-term improvements in lung function, breathing, and quality of life, but for patients with collateral ventilation, this minimally invasive treatment has not been available as an option,” explains Dr. Michela Bezzi, Department Head and Director Interventional Pulmonology - ASST Spedali Civili, University Hospital, Brescia, Italy. “Having a technology like the AeriSeal System to convert collateral ventilation positive patients to negative status means we can provide a treatment to patients who currently have very few options.” “This work reflects our continued commitment to developing and testing new medical technologies to help patients with severe lung disease breathe easier and have better quality of life. These early study results are encouraging and move us closer to the goal of helping severe emphysema patients who have collateral ventilation benefit from our proven Zephyr Valve treatment.” Glen French, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pulmonx About the CONVERT Study CONVERT is a prospective, open-label, multi-center, single-arm study being conducted at up to 20 investigational sites. The study plans to enroll 140 subjects with severe emphysema and collateral ventilation in the target lobe. This protocol is designed to evaluate the utility of the AeriSeal System, which uses a synthetic polymer foam to occlude collateral air channels in a target lung lobe and convert the target lung lobe to having little to no collateral ventilation. Patients will then undergo Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction with Zephyr Endobronchial Valves. Zephyr Valves are not effective if collateral ventilation (CV+) is present but once the target lobe is converted from CV+ to CV-, patients can be treated with Zephyr Valves which has been shown to improve lung function, quality of life, and exercise capacity for patients with severe COPD/emphysema. About Zephyr Valves The Zephyr Valve is a minimally invasive treatment option for severe COPD/emphysema. Zephyr Valves are placed via bronchoscopy to block off a diseased portion of the lung to prevent air from getting trapped and reduce hyperinflation, which allows the healthier lung tissue to expand and take in more air. This results in patients being able to breathe easier, be less short of breath, and have an improvement in their quality of life.1 National and global treatment guidelines for COPD include Endobronchial Valves like Zephyr Valves with the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease giving valves an ‘Evidence A’ rating. More than 25,000 patients have been treated with the Zephyr Valve worldwide. About Pulmonx Corporation Pulmonx Corporation is a global leader in minimally invasive treatments for severe lung disease. Pulmonx’s Zephyr® Endobronchial Valve, Chartis® Pulmonary Assessment System and StratX® Lung Analysis Platform are designed to assess and treat patients with severe emphysema/COPD who, despite medical management, are still profoundly symptomatic. Pulmonx received FDA premarket approval to commercialize the Zephyr Valve following its designation as a “breakthrough device.” The Zephyr Valve is commercially available in more than 25 countries, with over 100,000 valves used to treat more than 25,000 patients.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Paradigm Oral Health Announces Acquisition by BlackRock Long Term Private Capital

Paradigm Oral Health | September 23, 2022

Paradigm Oral Health a leading oral surgery and digital dentistry platform announced that BlackRock Long Term Private Capital has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in the company from shareholders including InTandem Capital Partners. LTPC will partner with Paradigm’s executive leadership team, led by founder and CEO Dr. David Rallis, to support the company’s continued expansion and strategic growth plans. Founded in 2018, Paradigm has developed an industry-leading model designed to attract and retain best-in-class surgeons focused on delivering the highest quality of oral health care and dental implant surgery while fostering a medically-driven, patient-friendly culture of excellence. The company partners with leading oral surgery groups in markets across the United States, allowing them to maintain their unique brand identity while operating on the same platform. Paradigm’s proprietary practice management technology, Paragon, utilizes cutting-edge technology and data analytics to provide and store proprietary information and intelligence generated by the business, leading to enhanced performance as well as increased patient and provider satisfaction. Today, Paradigm and its team of over 100 surgeon partners provide patient care in 75 state-of-the-art facilities throughout the United States. “We are pleased to invest in Paradigm, which has established itself as an industry defining platform for the development and delivery of next-generation oral health solutions. Through its focus on providing superior clinical care, advanced technology, and continued training and education to its surgeon partners, the company is well positioned for long-term growth. We look forward to partnering with Dr. David Rallis and the entire Paradigm team.” Colm Lanigan, Head of BlackRock LTPC, Americas David Rallis, DDS, MD, and CEO of Paradigm Oral Health, commented, “Paradigm is advancing oral surgical outcomes and patient experience through a culture that places the needs of the patient first. At Paradigm, we validate our clinical performance through a proprietary data ecosystem and use data to reinforce our culture of excellence and accountability. Through innovation, and the rapid adoption of technology, we continue to set the standard for dental implant surgery. Aligning our company with world-class partners, first InTandem Capital and now BlackRock LTPC, has allowed Paradigm to emerge as a leader. We are humbled by the opportunity to partner with BlackRock LTPC, and excited to work with Colm Lanigan and his team as we continue to advance Paradigm as the global leader in oral surgery.” Elliot Cooperstone, Managing Partner of InTandem Capital Partners, Paradigm’s financial sponsor since 2019, commented, “InTandem Capital invests in healthcare companies that are local leaders with the ambition and potential to become a national powerhouse. Dr. David Rallis and the leadership team at Paradigm embraced our playbook for accelerated growth with amazing skill and dedication. Our deep trust in each other has allowed our partnership to flourish. My colleagues and I wish David and the Paradigm team the very best as they build on their well-deserved position as the country’s leading oral health company.” Paradigm is BlackRock LTPC’s sixth investment to date and its fourth investment in North America. Houlihan Lokey acted as financial advisor and Goodwin Procter acted as legal advisor to Paradigm. Simpson Thacher acted as legal advisor to Blackrock LTPC. About Paradigm Oral Health Paradigm Oral Health is the preeminent provider of oral surgery. Paradigm’s uniqueness comes from their ability to hire the most elite oral surgeons in the country and train them on their proprietary platform of excellence. Paradigm Oral Health continues to revolutionize and reinvent implant surgery through their ongoing technology and digital work-flow advancements. With a passion for excellence, Paradigm embraces every opportunity to meet the needs of their patients and referring dentists. About BlackRock LTPC BlackRock LTPC is an innovative private equity strategy focused on investing in high-quality businesses and value creation through active collaboration with management teams. The strategy's flexible duration and prudent approach to leverage preserve optionality for growth and help enable compounded capital appreciation. LTPC's team of 23 professionals are based in New York and London and invest across North America and Western Europe. LTPC is backed by BlackRock, Inc., which manages $320 billion in alternative investments and commitments on behalf of clients worldwide as of June 30, 2022. About InTandem Capital Partners InTandem Capital Partners is a private equity firm that invests in and helps accelerate the growth of select healthcare services companies. Its goal is to build excellent businesses of significant value working collaboratively with its management team partners. InTandem is comprised of former business executives and experienced investors, and is uniquely qualified to provide strategic, acquisition and operating expertise to help companies significantly increase their value over time. InTandem provides active support to the management of its portfolio companies directly and leverages its network of industry executives to augment its capabilities.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

BulletinHealthcare Launches Family Medicine Today in Partnership with American Academy of Family Physicians

BulletinHealthcare | August 16, 2022

BulletinHealthcare, a leading provider of news briefings for top U.S. medical associations, announced that it has launched its latest briefing for members of the American Academy of Family Physicians Family Medicine Today. Family Medicine Today is distributed via email to AAFP members by 9:00 a.m. ET every weekday morning. The publication provides family medicine physicians with relevant medical, practice management, and health policy news, delivered directly to their inbox in a concise, user-friendly format. The content of the briefings follows BulletinHealthcare's signature curation and distillation of the day's most important news stories, selected from thousands of sources by its team of healthcare analysts. "We are pleased to partner with the American Academy of Family Physicians to produce an exciting publication to serve their members. Our analyst group is unmatched in their expertise in producing handcrafted news briefings for busy healthcare professionals. And, with this new partnership, BulletinHealthcare adds a valuable new audience to the nearly one million healthcare professionals we reach each day." Danielle Sturgis, Vice President of Partnerships at BulletinHealthcare "The typical family physician sees more than 80 patients a week. As advocates for family physicians and their patients, the AAFP works to deliver high-value resources that give our members more time and energy for their patients," said Shawn Martin, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Academy of Family Physicians. "In Family Medicine Today, BulletinHealthcare will curate content specifically for family physicians, providing a quick and convenient way for our members to stay current on news and trends that affect family medicine." Advertising opportunities in AAFP's Family Medicine Today are now available, including special founding advertiser packages for 2022. About BulletinHealthcare BulletinHealthcare, a Cision® Insights solution, is a healthcare provider-focused digital publisher that – through partnerships with more than 30 leading medical associations and the Cleveland Clinic – curates and disseminates the stories and research that matter most to verified physicians, dentists, nurses, and other HCPs. BulletinHealthcare delivers nearly one million briefings every weekday to our partners' members and stakeholders. About the American Academy of Family Physicians Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 127,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that's 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America's underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine's cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

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