FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Change Healthcare and Optum Extend Merger Agreement

Optum | April 06, 2022

Change Healthcare

Optum, a diversified health services company, and Change Healthcare a health care technology leader, have agreed to extend their merger agreement to December 31, 2022.

The extended agreement reflects our firm belief in the potential of our combination to improve health care, and in our commitment to contesting the meritless legal challenge to this merger.”

In a joint statement, the companies

Change Healthcare and Optum share a vision for achieving a simpler, more intelligent and adaptive health system for patients, payers and providers. The combination of Optum and Change Healthcare will connect and simplify the core clinical, administrative and payment processes health care providers and payers depend on to serve patients. Increasing efficiency and reducing friction will benefit the entire health system, resulting in lower costs and a better experience for all stakeholders.

Change Healthcare and Optum will detail the benefits of this combination at a two-week trial scheduled to begin on August 1. The U.S. Department of Justice’s attempt to block the combination is without merit and serves only to delay improving the experience and outcomes for all participants in the health system.

As part of the extension, Optum will pay a $650 million fee to Change Healthcare in the event the merger is unable to be completed because of the court’s decision. Change Healthcare will pay a special cash dividend of $2.00 per share to its shareholders at or about the time of the closing.

About Optum

Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. With more than 190,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernize the health system and improve overall population health. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group. 

About Change Healthcare

Change Healthcare is a leading healthcare technology company focused on insights, innovation, and accelerating the transformation of the U.S. healthcare system through the power of the Change Healthcare Platform. We provide data and analytics-driven solutions to improve clinical, financial, administrative, and patient-engagement outcomes in the U.S. healthcare system.

Spotlight

Each day, more than 32,000 caregivers across Aurora Health Care help people live well.Aurora Cancer Care is the leading provider of cancer care in Wisconsin. 1 of every 4 patients treated for cancer in the state receive care at an Aurora facility.This is a day in the life of Aurora Cancer Care and Dr. Papenfuss.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Easterseals and the Abbott Fund Join Together to Advance Education and Health Equity

Easterseals | June 23, 2022

Easterseals announced today that it has received a grant of $750,000 from the Abbott Fund, the foundation of the global healthcare company Abbott, to pilot the Project on Education and Community Health Equity from now through 2025. The three-year project aims to address systemic barriers to high-quality education and healthcare experienced by children and families in underinvested communities. Research shows that many young children, particularly children with disabilities and children of color, face significant gaps in access to crucial health and social services that can provide the targeted support they need to be prepared to succeed in school. One example: according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Black children with autism and other disabilities are diagnosed an average of more than three years after their parents expressed concerns about their development. This delay in diagnosis means these children miss out on age-appropriate care and the chance to improve their health and cognitive skills, often resulting in them entering kindergarten with knowledge and skill deficits that many are not able to overcome throughout their K-12 educational journey. The Project on Education and Community Health Equity will create an integrated system that addresses the educational and healthcare needs of children to help them be kindergarten ready and reach their full potential. This includes work in three areas: expanding access to essential physical and mental health screenings and care for children; providing targeted social services to help families overcome gaps in basic needs, nutrition, transportation, and other social and economic barriers; and ensuring that early childhood administrators and educators have the right training to identify and address health and social challenges and provide culturally appropriate support for children. The project will be implemented at Easterseals Childhood Development Centers in Southern California, Atlanta and North Georgia, and the greater Washington, D.C., area. "Addressing the healthcare needs of infants and toddlers as early as possible in their lives is one of the critical ways in which Easterseals serves young children and families across the country. The Project on Education and Community Health Equity will allow us to better address healthcare disparities experienced by young BIPOC children and their families in historically underserved and marginalized communities, and to better understand the connection between more equitable access to healthcare and kindergarten readiness. Centering communities of color in our efforts is a critical strategy to close the gap. Outcomes from the project promise to inform its future expansion to early childhood and early education programs throughout the Easterseals Network of 70 affiliates in communities nationwide." Erika L. Watson, National Director of Childhood Development, Education and Equity at Easterseals "We're proud to support Easterseals' important work to help close equity gaps in education and community health," said Melissa Brotz, president of the Abbott Fund and vice president of Global Marketing and External Affairs at Abbott. "We're committed to advancing health equity and fighting racial health disparities, and our partnership with Easterseals will help reduce barriers to care for children, their families and their communities." The Project on Education and Community Health Equity builds on results seen through another Easterseals program, the Black Child Fund. Launched in 2021 with support from the Abbott Fund and others, the Black Child Fund advanced early identification and interventions among Black children with autism and other disabilities to reduce health disparities often experienced in early childhood. The Abbott Fund investment launched pilots at Easterseals locations serving Chicagoland and Greater Rockford, DuPage and the Fox Valley Region (IL), and Kansas City and St. Louis (MO). Through these pilot programs, an 87% increase in the number of Black families seeking services and support was realized, with more than 300 Black children screened for early diagnosis of autism and other disabilities in just one year. Of these children, 80% were five years old or younger, with 75% requiring and receiving additional services through Easterseals. An important outcome of these pilots has been the strengthening of relationships within Black communities across these Easterseals service areas to ensure more equitable and more culturally responsive services and supports to young children of color with disabilities and their families. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data revealing that during the pandemic public health emergency, rates for primary and preventive services among children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) declined substantially. This decline in care for millions of children from low-income families will potentially have a significant impact on long-term health outcomes for the nearly 40 million children in the U.S. who rely on Medicaid and CHIP, including three-quarters of children living in poverty and many with special healthcare needs including infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities. "Through the Project on Education and Community Health Equity, it is Easterseals' intention to address the disparities in healthcare among young children in low-investment communities and to understand the connection between health equity and early childhood educational attainment. We intend to center the experiences of children of color and their families, for whom inequities have only been exacerbated because of the pandemic," Watson concluded. The Abbott Fund's partnership with Easterseals supports Abbott's 2030 Sustainability Plan, which aims to advance health access and equity through partnership. Abbott's ongoing commitment to address health equity challenges includes targeted programs to increase diversity in clinical trials, create opportunities in STEM for women and underrepresented groups, and empower communities to break down social and economic barriers to better health. About Easterseals Easterseals is leading the way to full equity, inclusion, and access through life-changing disability and community services. For more than 100 years, we have worked tirelessly with our partners to enhance quality of life and expand local access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities. And we won't rest until every one of us is valued, respected, and accepted. Through our national network of Affiliates, Easterseals provides essential services and on-the-ground supports to more than 1.5 million people each year – from early childhood programs for the critical first five years, to autism services, medical rehabilitation and employment programs, veterans' services, and more. Our public education, policy, and advocacy initiatives positively shape perceptions and address the urgent and evolving needs of the one in four Americans living with disabilities today. Together, we're empowering people with disabilities, families, and communities to be full and equal participants in society. About Abbott and the Abbott Fund Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 113,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Tebra Secures More Than $72 Million at Over $1 Billion Valuation to Expand Digital Healthcare Technology Platform

Tebra | July 08, 2022

Tebra, the digital backbone for independent healthcare practices, announced that it has closed more than $72 million in funding at a valuation greater than $1 billion. Golub Capital led the investment which includes both growth equity and debt financing. Late last year, Kareo and PatientPop, cloud-based leaders in clinical, financial, and practice growth technology, joined forces to form Tebra to support the connected independent practice of the future and modernize patient care. This capital infusion will accelerate Tebra’s merger plans including expanding market share, developing and launching the combined product line and advancing the new branding for the company. Tebra supports over 100,000 providers who are delivering care to more than 90 million patients in the U.S. A New Era of Healthcare Consumers expect digital access, simplicity and convenience in all aspects of their lives. You can quickly research and order a meal online, hail a ride, and buy a car from your smartphone. Meanwhile, healthcare has been left behind in a sea of complexity and fractured solutions. Tebra is simplifying and modernizing this experience through a platform of tools built for the new era of healthcare. The platform connects patients to the best providers in seconds and delivers a modern, digital-first patient experience. Tebra is the Digital Backbone for the Connected Healthcare Practice Tebra provides independent healthcare practices with a complete operating system for practice success. Built through the combination of Kareo and PatientPop, the offering includes modern websites, messaging and scheduling, telehealth, EHR, care delivery, practice management, billing, payments, and analytics. Since the companies merged in late 2021, the company has successfully built and launched a two-way product integration that allows both platforms to share scheduling information and physician availability. The integrated solution also reviews appointment information and sends out surveys for better reputation management. Over 800 providers now use the combined operating system, and the company plans to grow significantly both into their existing base and the healthcare industry at large. “With this new investment from Golub Capital, we’ll be able to accelerate Tebra’s mission to unlock better healthcare by helping independent practices bring modernized care to patients everywhere. Simultaneously, we will broaden our market reach and launch new solutions, helping an even larger number of physicians with digital tools and support to attract new patients, get paid quicker, and operate their practice more efficiently.” Dan Rodrigues, Co-Founder and CEO of Tebra From practice growth technology to clinical and financial software, Tebra’s complete operating system is structured to modernize every step of the patient journey and support the connected practice of the future. Headquartered in Southern California, the company currently has over 1,000 employees. Golub Capital’s Late Stage Lending team was administrative agent and led the investment. Golub Capital also supported the 2021 merger with $65 million in growth funding, bringing its total commitment in the last year to more than $137 million. “We are delighted to be a long-standing financing partner to Tebra, supporting them through multiple growth phases, add-on acquisitions and new product development since 2017,” said Peter Fair, Managing Director at Golub Capital’s Late Stage Lending team. “Our mission is the success of our clients and being able to offer flexible solutions that meet the changing goals of their business.” Golub Capital is one of Tebra’s top-tier institutional investors, which also includes CommonFund, HLM Venture Partners, OpenView Venture Partners, StepStone Group, Stripes Group, Montreux Equity Partners, Toba Capital, Transformation Capital and Vivo Capital. About Tebra In 2021, with a combined mission to unlock better healthcare, Kareo and PatientPop joined forces to form Tebra — the operating system for the connected practice of the future. With an all-in-one, purpose-built platform to drive practice success and modernize every step of the patient journey, Tebra provides digital tools and support to attract new patients, deliver modern care, get paid quickly, and operate efficiently. Tebra’s all-in-one platform includes a fully certified Electronic Health Record (EHR), scheduling, insurance billing, patient payments, telehealth and more. About Golub Capital Late Stage Lending Golub Capital is a market-leading, award-winning direct lender and experienced credit asset manager. The firm’s Late Stage Lending group provides flexible growth capital to venture-backed, late stage SaaS companies. Our custom financing solutions are designed to help proven SaaS businesses accelerate sales growth, drive new product development, pursue strategic acquisitions and provide shareholder liquidity. As of April 1, 2022, Golub Capital had over 620 employees and over $50 billion of capital under management, a gross measure of invested capital including leverage. The firm has lending offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and London.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Vitestro unveils autonomous blood drawing device, combining artificial intelligence, ultrasound imaging and robotics

Vitestro | May 31, 2022

Vitestro, a Dutch medical robotics company, unveiled the world's most advanced autonomous blood drawing device at the annual meeting of the Netherlands Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine in Rotterdam. Vitestro's device combines AI-based, ultrasound-guided 3D reconstruction with robotic needle insertion, ensuring accurate and secure blood collection. The venipuncture technology is adaptable to patients of 16 years of age onwards, comorbidities, and puncture difficulty. From 2023, Vitestro will initiate pivotal clinical studies for regulatory approval in Europe. EU-market introduction is anticipated in 2024. Healthcare shortages spark revolutionary developments Within healthcare, the clinical laboratory is the driving force. Accuracy and timeliness of laboratory tests are critically important, as they shape approximately 70% of all medical decisions made by physicians. It is unsurprising that blood collection is the most common invasive medical procedure, performed billions of times per year globally. Blood collection holds a pivotal role in clinical diagnostics yet is also burdened by the scarcity of skilled workers. By automating this labor-intensive procedure, we can transform the quality of care and create a sustainable healthcare system. Proprietary laboratory automation technology standardizes handling of the blood sample while the blood is collected. The device allows almost complete automation of the pre-analytical phase. This has the potential to reduce high blood test error rates, mainly caused by manual variability. In clinical studies, Vitestro already performed 1,500 automated blood draws in more than 1,000 patients with its prototype. Toon Overbeeke, Vitestro's Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer said: "The mounting shortage of healthcare personnel is imminent. The pandemic has further led to loss of workforce, causing a bleak outlook for hospital output around the globe, and leading to reduced access and continuity of care. That's why revolutionary automation like our blood drawing device is inevitable to solve the industry's biggest problem." Outpatient phlebotomy care is redefined At first, Vitestro will implement the device in outpatient phlebotomy departments. Patients will have the option to choose between Vitestro's venipunture device or standard method. The device is intuitive to use, empowering patients to be self-reliant in the full blood collection procedure. In previous clinical trials, patients of all ages showed a high degree of openness, enthusiasm and willingness to adopt the innovation. A trained healthcare professional is able to supervise several devices, managing multiple patients simultaneously. The increased efficiency enables hospitals and clinical laboratories to address workforce shortage or even free up staff and deploy them where they are really needed. "We have spent nearly five years on the development of this breakthrough medical device. All relevant disciplines are represented in our dedicated, specialized team of 35 people. To prepare for production and commercialization, the team will double in size in the next two years. We have clear momentum in the market and will be the first to bring autonomous technology to European hospitals. With our technology we can help to build a more robust and resilient healthcare system." Toon Overbeeke, Vitestro's Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Anja Leyte, Director OVLG Laboratories, participating in clinical studies commented: "By introducing automated blood drawing, high quality as well as capacity is guaranteed in our laboratories. Vitestro's technology helps solving staffing shortages at our blood drawing department and improving sample standardization. Patients are also very enthusiastic." About Vitestro In 2017 Vitestro's founders rose to the challenge to create a better blood drawing experience. Today Vitestro is well underway to achieve its goal with a committed team of 35 highly skilled people with a track record in medical robotics, imaging software, AI, QA/RA and business development. Vitestro is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Vitestro is well funded by private investors and government subsidies.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Dalrada Accelerates Its National Healthcare Model With Acquisition of Watson Rx Solutions

Dalrada Corporation | June 09, 2022

Dalrada Corporation announced that it had acquired the pharmacy, Watson Rx Solutions, Inc. The move highlights Dalrada’s aggressive growth plans within the healthcare sector and paves the way for a total end-to-end total healthcare solution. Adding the 10-year-old pharmacy to Dalrada Health’s comprehensive model expands the subsidiary’s synergies with potential opportunities across its products and services portfolio and offers another solution to meet patient requirements. Dalrada envisions a comprehensive healthcare solution for all Dalrada Health clients with unique offerings that will now include: a pharmacy to facilitate prescription processing, physicians and clinicians at treatment clinics, expanding into telemedicine, engagement of Dalrada-owned testing facilities and laboratories, and utilization of Company-specific technologies to facilitate immediate growth of the business. “Watson Rx has a long history of providing excellent pharmacy services. This acquisition allows Dalrada to expand its healthcare footprint and continue to build a total health management solution on an already successful turnkey operation. As a result, the Company will be able to successfully address the health needs of even more patients.” CEO and Founder, Brian Bonar Through comprehensive prescription management, education, nursing, and total health management, Watson Rx Solutions' leadership team holds more than six decades of combined experience in various complex pharmacy disease states and retail services, always putting patients first. Dalrada plans on entering the pharmaceutical space with an accelerated strategic plan to leverage the Company’s existing capabilities. Research reveals that the U.S. online and mail-order sales of drugs, health, and beauty aids were valued at 75.5 billion USD in 2020. Additionally, E-commerce pharmaceutical sales and beauty aids increased from 51.7 billion USD the year prior. Online, E-commerce, and mail-order sales increased from around 31 to 38 percent during the same period. Pharmacy and drug store sales reached 300 billion USD in 2020, with over-the-counter (OTC) medication accounting for over 36 billion USD in sales during the same year, the highest-selling year to date for the OTC segment. Dalrada and its subsidiaries provide value by making timely and impactful products and services available within health, technology, and clean energy markets. About Dalrada Dalrada Corporation drives innovation that positively impacts people, businesses, and the planet. With subsidiaries that are firmly positioned in the world’s top three-growing industries of healthcare, clean energy, and technology, Dalrada creates solutions that are sustainable, affordable, and accessible. The company works continually to produce disruptive products and services that accelerate positive change for current and future generations. Dalrada’s global solutions directly address climate change, post-pandemic gaps in the healthcare industry, and technology solutions for a new era of human behavior and interaction, ensuring a bright future for the world around us.

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Spotlight

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