Cigna reports strong fourth quarter, shrugs off potential impact of drug rebate rule proposal

Insurance giant Cigna posted strong year-end results following its merger with Express Scripts. Cigna pulled in $49 billion in revenue for the year, a 15% increase over 2017. Its income from operations was $3.6 billion or $14.22 a share, up more than 30% over $2.7 billion, or $8.77 a share, in 2017. While the year-end results did not meet analysts expectations, Cigna reported a strong fourth quarter with $14.3 billion in revenue for the quarter ending Dec. 31, up more than 35% compared to revenue of $10.6 billion in the same quarter of 2017. The insurer reported earnings of $647 million, or $2.46 a share in the fourth quarter, up 33% from $483 million, or $1.83 a share in the fourth quarter of 2017. Revenue, customer, and earnings growth were driven by continued innovation across the business, said David Cordani, president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

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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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Medical Devices

Medtronic receives CE Mark for its next generation Micra leadless pacing systems

Medtronic | January 05, 2024

Medtronic plc a global leader in healthcare technology, announced it has received CE Mark for its Micra™ AV2 and Micra™ VR2, the next generation of its industry-leading miniature, leadless pacemakers. Micra AV2 and Micra VR2, the world's smallest pacemakers, provide longer battery life and easier programming than prior Micra pacemakers, while still delivering the many benefits of leadless pacing such as reduced complications compared to traditional pacemakers.2 With approximately 40% more battery life compared to previous generations,1 Medtronic projects the battery life of Micra AV2 and Micra VR2 is nearly 16 and 17 years, respectively.3 This means more than 80% of patients who receive a Micra may only require one device for life.3 This CE Mark milestone follows U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the Micra AV2 and VR2 devices in 2023. In addition to size and longevity benefits, Micra devices are also the only leadless pacemakers with remote monitoring capabilities, which allow a doctor or clinic to check on a patient's heart device without the need for a patient to travel to their clinic for an in-person appointment. Other patient benefits of remote monitoring may include a reduction in hospitalizations and increase in sense of security.4,5 "For more than eight years, our Micra leadless pacemakers have provided meaningful benefits to people in Europe who require a pacemaker. Now, these patients have access to the latest leadless pacing technology that, for most of them, may be the only device they will ever need," said Robert C. Kowal, M.D., Ph.D., general manager, Cardiac Pacing Therapies within the Cardiac Rhythm Management business, which is part of the Cardiovascular Portfolio at Medtronic. "The first generation of leadless Micra pacemakers demonstrated a significant reduction in major complications, and this next generation of Micra brings several additional benefits including greater longevity, and specifically for the Micra AV2, new algorithms to optimize AV synchrony at faster heart rates while requiring less in-office programming," said Prof. Dr. Christophe Garweg, Cardiologist at University Hospitals of Leuven, Belgium. "These advantages likely will expand the use of the leadless pacemaker to more patients." Globally, more than 200,000 patients have received Micra pacemakers.6 Comparable in size to a large vitamin, Micra pacemakers are less than one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers. Unlike traditional pacemakers, Micra pacemakers do not require leads or a surgical "pocket" under the skin, so potential sources of complications related to leads and pockets are eliminated, and there is no visible sign of the device. About Medtronic Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is the leading global healthcare technology company that boldly attacks the most challenging health problems facing humanity by searching out and finding solutions. Our Mission — to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life — unites a global team of 90,000+ passionate people across more than 150 countries. Our technologies and therapies treat 70 health conditions and include cardiac devices, surgical robotics, insulin pumps, surgical tools, patient monitoring systems, and more. Powered by our diverse knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and desire to help all those who need it, we deliver innovative technologies that transform the lives of two people every second, every hour, every day.

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Medical Devices

Medtronic Diabetes announces world's first approval for MiniMed™ 780G System with Simplera Sync™ disposable, all-in-one sensor

Medtronic | January 08, 2024

Medtronic plc a global leader in healthcare technology, today announced CE (Conformité Européenne) Mark approval for the MiniMed™ 780G system with Simplera Sync™, a disposable, all-in-one continuous glucose monitor (CGM) requiring no fingersticks or overtape. Simplera Sync™ features an improved user experience with a simple, two-step insertion process and is half the size of previous Medtronic sensors. The MiniMed 780G system with Simplera Sync™ sensor will be available in Europe via limited release in spring 2024. Medtronic will begin the phased commercial launch in Europe in the summer of 2024. Today, the MiniMed™ 780G system can be used with the Guardian™ 4 sensor. The MiniMed™ 780G system is Medtronic's most advanced insulin delivery system, automatically adjusting and correcting† glucose levels every 5 minutes.§ It's the world's only system with a Meal Detection™ feature‡ that is designed to reduce post-meal hyperglycemia when users occasionally forget to give themselves insulin or underestimate the number of carbs in their snacks or meal. The system, which is available with the world's only 7-day infusion set, also features one of the lowest glucose target settings (as low as 100 mg/dL) of any automated insulin delivery system. With this "treat to target" approach, the system more closely mirrors the glucose levels of someone not living with diabetes. With both Simplera Sync™ sensor and the Guardian™ 4 sensor, no fingersticks are required. "A challenging aspect of living with diabetes is counting carbohydrates and dosing the right amount of insulin before consuming snacks and meals. Many people underestimate their carbs, which can lead to high blood sugars (hyperglycemia). Prolonged hyperglycemia can lead to serious health problems impacting the eyes, major organs, and even cognitive function, which is particularly concerning in developing children," Robert Vigersky, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Medtronic Diabetes, Professor of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences "With its responsive algorithm, the MiniMed™ 780G system can help people living with diabetes even when they occasionally forget to bolus or undercount their carbs. The system takes on more of the work involved in diabetes management and helps alleviate mental burden." "We're incredibly proud that the MiniMed™ 780G system continues to be the most widely used automated insulin delivery system in Europe since we launched it in 2020. Real-world data on over 100,000 users on the system across many geographies and cultures shows that when using recommended settings the system is delivering an average Time in Range of nearly 80%, raising the bar on what 'good' looks like2," said Que Dallara, EVP and President, Medtronic Diabetes. "With the introduction of Simplera Sync™ sensor, we're able to offer the proven benefits of our MiniMed™ 780G system with our newest and most comfortable sensor that can be applied in under 10 seconds." The MiniMed™ 780G system with Simplera Sync™ sensor is indicated for ages 7+ and compatible with iOS and Android. Simplera Sync™ sensor is not approved by the FDA and is limited to investigational use in the U.S. Simplera Sync™ sensor is designed to leverage Medtronic's advanced AID algorithm as part of its MiniMed™ 780G system while having a similar look and feel as the Simplera™ CGM. The Simplera™ CGM for integrated use with the InPen™ smart insulin pen received CE Mark in September 2023. About the Diabetes Business at Medtronic Medtronic Diabetes is on a mission to alleviate the burden of diabetes by empowering individuals to live life on their terms, with the most advanced diabetes technology and always-on support when and how they need it. We've pioneered first-of-its-kind innovations for over 40 years and are committed to designing the future of diabetes management through next-generation sensors (CGM), intelligent dosing systems, and the power of data science and AI while always putting the customer experience at the forefront. About Medtronic Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is the leading global healthcare technology company that boldly attacks the most challenging health problems facing humanity by searching out and finding solutions. Our Mission — to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life — unites a global team of 90,000+ passionate people across more than 150 countries. Our technologies and therapies treat 70 health conditions and include cardiac devices, surgical robotics, insulin pumps, surgical tools, patient monitoring systems, and more. Powered by our diverse knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and desire to help all those who need it, we deliver innovative technologies that transform the lives of two people every second, every hour, every day. Expect more from us as we empower insight-driven care, experiences that put people first, and better outcomes for our world. In everything we do, we are engineering the extraordinary.

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Healthcare Analytics

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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