Challenges of Creating Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits

Medicare Advantage plans are slow in creating benefits that serve more than medical needs for severely ill members, potentially because designing and implementing a new healthcare benefit is challenging and time-intensive,  researchers from the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy found. The Medicare Advantage market is a fertile testing ground for new care delivery models for people with serious illness,” said Robert Saunders, PhD, research director at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and one of the study’s co-authors The program’s capitated payment structure encourages new approaches because plans share in cost savings, earn bonus payments, and receive rebates (that they can use to offer enhanced benefits or reduce member cost sharing) if they are able to reduce costs while maintaining or improving the quality of care delivered, as measured by Medicare’s Star Ratings program

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Aya Healthcare Expands into UK with ID Medical Acquisition

Aya Healthcare | January 17, 2024

Aya Healthcare, the largest healthcare talent software and staffing company in the United States, today announced the acquisition of ID Medical, a leading workforce solutions provider in the United Kingdom (U.K.). ID Medical brings over 20 years of experience providing the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare organizations with innovative workforce solutions, including workforce management, international recruitment and temporary healthcare staffing. As part of the acquisition, ID Medical will make Aya Healthcare’s market-leading technology available to the NHS and U.K.-based clinicians. The companies plan to share best practices from each market with their respective clients. “We are excited about ID Medical joining the Aya family of brands. We believe that we will deliver enhanced value to our respective clients and clinicians through this cross-Atlantic collaboration,” said Alan Braynin, president and CEO of Aya Healthcare. ID Medical will continue to operate as its own brand in the U.K., supporting thousands of healthcare professionals and hundreds of healthcare organizations. “We are excited to join Aya in our shared mission to transform the healthcare industry worldwide,” said Deenu Patel, CEO of ID Medical. “With Aya’s support, we’ll have access to additional resources, technology and expertise to enhance our services and expand our impact.” About Aya Healthcare Aya Healthcare is the largest healthcare talent software and staffing company in the United States. Aya operates the world’s largest digital staffing platform delivering every component of healthcare-focused labor services, including travel nursing and allied health, per diem, permanent staff hiring, interim leadership, locum tenens and non-clinical professionals. Aya’s software suite, which includes vendor management, float pool technology, provider services and predictive analytics, provides hospital systems greater efficiencies, superior operating results and reduced labor costs. While technology drives efficiency and scale, Aya’s 7,000+ global employees power the company to deliver unparalleled accountability and exceptional experiences for clients and clinicians. Aya’s company culture is rooted in giving back and supports organizations around food security, education, healthcare, safe shelter and equity.

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Digital Healthcare

Syra Health Wraps Up a Successful 2023, including New Contracts, Contract Extensions, and the introduction of new Healthcare Innovations

Syra Health | January 04, 2024

Syra Health Corp. a healthcare technology company with a mission to improve healthcare by providing innovative services and technology solutions, is excited to summarize its significant accomplishments and the introduction of its innovative solutions across the Company's six business units. Within its Behavioral and Mental Health Business Unit, Syra Health Launched Syrenity, the Company's flagship mental and behavioral product, focused on preventing mental health crises. Syrenity is evidence-based and AI-backed, offering continual monitoring and cognitive therapy interventions. Syrenity also integrates with telehealth, allowing for easy access to licensed mental health professionals when treatment is necessary. Entered into a strategic agreement with E&I Cooperative Services (E&I) which extended Syrenity's reach to over 6,000 colleges and universities nationwide, that make up E&I's membership. Secured a five-year, $4.75 million contract with the District of Columbia's Department of Behavioral Health, to support vital mental health programs in communities. Entered into a one-year agreement with the County of Camden Psychological Screening and Evaluation Services to provide mental health screening and evaluations to Camden County, New Jersey law enforcement personnel. Received a contract from the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) to provide behavioral and mental health services to the Oakley Youth Development Center and other locations as directed by MDHS. Across its Digital Health Business Unit, Syra Health Launched CarePlus, an easy-to-use, secure, and scalable electronic medical record (EMR) system for small and mid-sized healthcare organizations. CarePlus is affordable and accessible by simplifying clinical workflows, integrating labs, radiology, and telehealth. Unveiled SyraBot, a digital health product that uses human-centric AI to deliver conversational and immediate responses to inquiries made through any healthcare organization's website. SyraBot provides real-time access to information users need, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week in up to 200 languages. As part of its Population Health Business Unit, Syra Health Received a two-year contract extension, worth up to $636,000 with the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction and Family and Social Services Administration, to chair and manage the State of Indiana's Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup. Secured a five-year contract worth $275,000 with the City of San Antonio to evaluate its Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) Healthy Neighborhoods Project. Across its Health Education Business Unit, Syra Health Entered into a new strategic agreement with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health in Arizona where Syra Health experts trained over 100 public health staff on best practices for implementing health equity. As part of its Healthcare Workforce Business Unit, Syra Health Won a contract with Osawatomie State Hospital and Adair Acute Care in Kansas, to deploy licensed healthcare professionals to deliver vital social and therapy services. Secured contracts across Oklahoma, Virginia, and Alabama to deliver healthcare staffing solutions to correctional facilities. Provides on-demand temporary medical personnel, including nurses and nurses' aides, for two veteran homes in Ohio and one in Indiana. Delivers direct care staffing for the Department of Health and Human Resources Purchasing Division in the state of West Virginia. Expanded its Healthcare Workforce Solutions to include a new technology platform for employers and those seeking new positions, plus engagement and concierge services. Syra Health Announced its Expansion into Federal Government Contracts, making Federal Government Solutions the Company's Sixth Business Unit Syra Health expanded its reach beyond state and local governments to include supplying its products and services to the federal government. Milestones On September 29, 2023, Syra Health became a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq, under the ticker symbol "SYRA. In October 2023, Syra Health successfully closed on $6.7 million in IPO financing. Syra Health's third-quarter revenue increased by 4%. Importantly, the Company saw a significant rise in gross profit margins from 27.3% to 35.1% versus the same period the year prior. "2023 was a transformative year for Syra Health," said Dr. Deepika Vuppalanchi, CEO, Syra Health. "We are incredibly proud of our team's commitment which has enabled us to secure new contracts and launch innovative products. As we step into the new year, we are driven by a profound commitment to continue addressing the most significant healthcare challenges and to improving healthcare for all." About Syra Health Syra Health is a healthcare technology company addressing some of healthcare's most significant challenges in areas such as behavioral and mental health, digital health, and population health, by providing innovative services and technology solutions. Syra Health's products and services are centered on prevention, improved access, and affordable care. Syra Health supplies its solutions to payers, providers, life sciences organizations, academic institutions, and the government.

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Healthtech Security

Belong Health Launches Belong Medical Group to Help Health Plans and Healthcare Providers Address Gaps in Patient Care

Belong Health | January 10, 2024

Belong Health, a company dedicated to advancing patient-centered healthcare and reducing the cost of caring for underserved and complex populations, has announced the formation of Belong Medical Group to help its plan and provider partners address chronic gaps in patient care. Belong Medical Group supplements existing care infrastructure with virtual and community-based resources to care for every member – even those that are historically hard to reach. The team includes operators, clinicians, registered nurses, licensed clinical social workers and community health workers with extensive experience serving high-needs populations. Operating as a separate unit within Belong Health, Belong Medical Group is a transitional care organization that develops clinical programming and wraparound services to help plan partners, providers and provider groups care for members with chronic conditions during changes in their care plans. This improves patient outcomes while reducing overall costs. Bridging Gaps in Care Dual-eligible members require more specialty care, particularly in the areas of behavioral health and palliative care. Patients with mental illness combined with one or more chronic conditions average three-times the medical spend compared to patients without mental illness. Almost 45% of dual-eligible patients fall into this category. Belong Medical Group was built to serve high-needs patients, including the 11 million D-SNP members with complex issues, low incomes and pre-existing conditions, to improve outcomes and reduce costs. "The clinician shortage in the U.S. continues to worsen and existing care delivery models fail to meet the needs of patients, particularly those that are dually eligible,” said Belong Health CEO J. Patrick Foley. “Belong Medical Group is an innovative new model of care delivery that ensures the full integration of services, reduces fragmented care and drives operational efficiencies.” By providing transitional care, Belong Medical Group helps plans serving D-SNP beneficiaries and providers participating in ACO REACH by Bridging gaps in care through home-based and virtual specialty care services delivered by trusted members of Belong Medical Group’s Clinician and Care Management team. Ensuring equitable access to care in urban and rural areas by meeting patients where they are. Seamlessly integrating with the provider community to ensure that care is coordinated with their local provider for longitudinal care. Mental Health Connector Mental Health Connector is the first clinical solution available through Belong Medical Group. It serves patients without a current mental health provider or those with worsening chronic mental illness. These patients are identified during health risk assessments or hospital and ER admissions as having unmet mental health needs that require follow up. MVP Health Care, a regional not-for-profit health insurer serving New York and Vermont, is the first to offer Mental Health Connector to its members. "Since the inception of our pilot program with Belong Medical Group, we have witnessed notable improvements in the depression scores of our members who have sought care from our dedicated Mental Health Connector clinicians,” said Dr. Carl Cameron, MVP Health Care’s Chief Medical Officer. “This heartening progress reinforces our belief that collaborative efforts can truly shape a brighter future for those with diverse health care needs. Belong Health and Belong Medical Group stand as trusted partners who share our unwavering dedication to providing high-quality care to a complex population. We value their expertise and their commitment to working hand-in-hand with us, ensuring that our members receive the comprehensive support they need.” Patients enrolled in Mental Health Connector receive treatment from Belong Medical Group's clinicians for up to 90 days. The treatment plan put in place by Belong Medical Group’s psychiatrist or mental health specialist is then transitioned to either the patient's PCP for ongoing management, or to a longitudinal mental health clinician in the community. The goal is to both diagnose and address unmet mental health needs when patients need it most and then to triage the right level of care for the patient long-term once the issues are stabilized. This bridge to longitudinal care not only reduces the cost of care, it improves quality scores. “These programs are essential. We need to meet patients where they are to help them better stick to their care plans during transitional phases,” said Dr. Ramon Jacobs-Shaw, President of Belong Medical Group and Chief Clinical Officer at Belong Health. “Too many people, especially seniors and dually eligible individuals, have needs that are not met by the existing care delivery landscape. Belong Medical Group provides smarter and more targeted services to those patients to make sure their needs are fulfilled, improving outcomes and overall community health.” About Belong Health Belong Health provides a new approach to health insurance by establishing deep partnerships with providers and insurers. This innovative model empowers us to address the unfulfilled requirements of underserved and complex needs populations in a more patient-centric way. Through fully risk-bearing partnerships, Belong Health helps insurers deliver products that provide more collaborative care to the MA and D-SNP population. Belong Health is also an accredited Accountable Care Organization, dedicated to delivering value-based care for Medicare FFS. Our mission is to offer more compassionate, collaborative and smarter healthcare solutions for underserved and complex needs populations.

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Healthcare Analytics

Keystone Healthcare Partners Establishes Partnership with Trinity Medical to Expand Emergency Medicine Footprint into Louisiana

Keystone Healthcare Partners | February 05, 2024

Keystone Healthcare Partners a leading provider of emergency medicine, hospital medicine, critical care medicine, and telehealth staffing and management services, as well as revenue cycle management, recently announced that it has formed a partnership with Trinity Medical in Ferriday, Louisiana. Keystone's delivery of emergency medicine services at Trinity Medical will commence on February 1, 2024. This contract represents an exciting expansion of Keystone's regional influence into Louisiana; the company has managed contracts in Mississippi for decades. Glenn Adams, Keystone's CEO & Co-founder, notes, "We are excited to kick off another partnership with a client where we see opportunity for real impact. We've hit the ground running to shore up areas of frustration for the client and bring value-add and innovative solutions, such as Keystone Connect AI technology to the emergency medicine program." While the healthcare landscape has been challenging for rural and critical access hospitals, the two entities share a patient-centered ethos that will be paramount to the partnership. The two entities share a community- and patient-focus that is embodied by Trinity's motto, "People you know, caring for people you love." "We are very excited to start our partnership with Keystone Healthcare," states Keisha Smith, CEO of Trinity. "My goal for Trinity Medical has always been to provide our patients with the best healthcare and customer service possible in the Miss-Lou area. We feel that Keystone shares the same goals that we have and will be a true asset to our hospital. Henry Ford stated, 'Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.' We are looking forward to a long lasting, successful partnership with Keystone Healthcare." Trinity Medical, a 23-bed licensed facility, continues to grow and upgrade their services and facilities in addition to recruiting physicians to meet the growing needs of their expanding community. About Keystone Healthcare Keystone Healthcare™ is a leading provider of Emergency Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Critical Care Medicine and Telehealth clinical management services and staffing solutions for hospitals. We efficiently deliver high-quality, patient-centered care through strong physician leadership and involved management that drive our innovative and integrated business model. About Trinity Medical Trinity Medical is operated by Concordia Parish Hospital Service District No. 1. Trinity Medical, formerly Riverland Medical Center, opened in 1964 as Concordia Parish Hospital and has continuously served the residents of the area for more than 55 years. In addition to emergency and acute care, Trinity Medical offers surgical services, diagnostic imaging, infusion center, cardio-respiratory care, gastroenterology, lab services, otolaryngology, urology, and an in-hospital rehabilitation service as well as an extensive range of out-patient services, both diagnostic and for treatment.

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