CMS asks for feedback with release of Hospital Compare data—and the industry is already not pleased

FierceHealthcare | February 01, 2019

The federal hospital ratings website Hospital Compare may be getting another revamp. After several delays, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Thursday that it has released updated hospital performance data on the consumer comparison website that uses star ratings for hospitals, as well as on data.medicare.gov. The data, collected through CMS’ Hospital Quality Initiative programs, includes specific quality measures, as well as the Overall Hospital Star Ratings. They were last updated in Dec. 2017. But CMS also announced it's looking for feedback on ways to improve how it conducts the rankings to make the data more "precise and consistent" and make more direct "like-to-like" comparisons. “These decision-making tools offer greater transparency on hospital performance for a wide variety of users—patients, caregivers, families, and the broader healthcare industry," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a statement. "We constantly aim to improve these resources with feedback from stakeholders, and we are confident this latest update of Hospital Compare data further strengthens this data."

Spotlight

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a blood clot in a vein deep in your body. DVT is treatable, but can be very dangerous and lead to life-threatening or fatal events, like a stroke or heart attack, if left unchecked. Some medical conditions, habits, and events can raise your risk of blood clots. For example, did you know that women taking birth control pills are at a greater risk, or that your risk is higher if you just had surgery? It’s important to understand the factors that make blood clots more likely, and to make healthy choices-like losing weight or quitting smoking-to help keep your risks low.


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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Astorg Completes Acquisition of OPEN Health From Amulet Capital Partners

Astorg and Amulet | July 18, 2022

Astorg and Amulet Capital Partners announced that they have completed the previously announced transaction whereby Astorg has acquired OPEN Health, a leading global provider of scientific communications and market access services to the pharmaceutical industry. Established in 2011 and with more than 1,000 employees in 15 locations and six countries, OPEN Health leverages its extensive scientific knowledge and relentless focus on quality to deliver best-in-class scientific communications, health economics and outcomes research and market access services for more than 170 life sciences customers. OPEN Health’s existing management team will continue to lead the organization, building on a strong track-record of organic growth and strategic acquisitions. “The past three and a half years have been the most successful, exciting years in our company’s history, and we are appreciative of the support and partnership Amulet has provided over the course of our relationship. We are eager to work with the Astorg team as we continue expanding our capabilities and product offerings to deliver best-in-class scientific communication services to our custome Rob Barker, CEO of OPEN Health “We are thrilled to officially welcome OPEN Health to the Astorg family and look forward to working with Rob and his talented team in continuing to build a global leader in the medical affairs and market access space,” said Judith Charpentier, Partner and Head of Healthcare at Astorg. “OPEN Health’s industry-leading expertise is only becoming more important for today’s pharmaceutical products, and we see a number of opportunities to further support the company’s diverse and growing customer base.” “Our investment in OPEN Health embodies Amulet’s comprehensive value creation approach: we partner with exceptional management teams to build industry-leading businesses in the most attractive subsectors of healthcare,” said Ramsey Frank, President and Managing Partner of Amulet. “We are pleased to complete this transaction and are confident OPEN Health will continue to experience continued growth and success in partnership with Astorg.” About OPEN Health OPEN Health brings together deep scientific knowledge, global understanding and broad specialist expertise to support our clients in improving health outcomes and patient wellbeing. We are united as one flexible organization, harnessing the power of the collective to solve complex challenges. About Astorg Astorg is a European private equity firm with over €17 billion of assets under management. Astorg works with entrepreneurs and management teams to acquire market leading global companies headquartered in Europe or the US, providing them with the strategic guidance, governance and capital they need to achieve their growth plans. Enjoying a distinct entrepreneurial culture, a long-term shareholder perspective and a lean decision-making body, Astorg has valuable industry expertise in healthcare, software, technology, business services and technology-based industrial companies. Astorg has offices in London, Paris, New York, Frankfurt, Milan and Luxembourg. About Amulet Capital Partners, LP Amulet Capital Partners, LP is a middle-market private equity investment firm based in Greenwich, CT, focused exclusively on the healthcare sector. Amulet seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation through privately negotiated investments in companies. Amulet Capital Partners focuses on those segments it believes have the most attractive long-term fundamentals with a target investment size generally between $25 million to $150 million.

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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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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

NextGen Healthcare Announces New Foster Care Functionality in Behavioral Health Suite

NextGen Healthcare, Inc. | September 15, 2022

NextGen Healthcare, Inc. a leading provider of innovative, cloud-based healthcare technology solutions, announced the newest release of its NextGen® Behavioral Health Suite. Built upon the company’s award-winning NextGen® Enterprise electronic health record and practice management system, the suite is the industry’s first platform to integrate comprehensive physical, dental, behavioral health and human services. The latest release offers tools that support the delivery of foster care services. These services benefit over 672,000 youth – most with complex health concerns – who are part of the U.S. foster care system, according to federal statistics. Additionally, NextGen Behavioral Health Suite now offers state-specific reporting, allowing behavioral health providers in states such as New York and Indiana to meet complex regulatory requirements. The release comes on the heels of recent upgrades that simplify caring for people with Intellectual & Developmental Disorders and includes residential content features. “The enhancements to our behavioral health suite were developed with our clients and the communities they serve in mind. The addition of foster care capabilities enables providers to expand care to some of the most vulnerable and precious members of our society – our children. And our new automated state-reporting capabilities enable providers to spend more time delivering care and less time on regulatory compliance.” Srinivas (Sri) Velamoor, chief growth & strategy officer for NextGen Healthcare New features in the latest release will aid providers as they work to build healthier communities Demographic Details of Foster Parents and Children – Enables foster care or adoption agencies to collect the demographic details of foster and adoptive families and children. Initial Screening of Foster or Adoptive Parents – Clinicians can document the initial screening of prospective foster or adoptive parents. Home Interview of Foster or Adoptive Parents – Users can collect in-depth interview details of prospective foster parents and determine the foster placement preferences of foster parents. Placement Dashboard of Foster Children – Providers can view availability of foster families to assign children to, and track/manage the location of each foster child within the foster care and adoption services programs. In addition to the human services enhancements, NextGen Healthcare works in unison with its client partners to create solutions tailored to their unique needs, including regulatory reporting requirements. “Through due diligence and thoughtful conversation, NextGen Healthcare weaved through the complexities of New York State legislation to create a tool that meets every requirement needed for documentation, regulatory and reporting. This is vital to the livelihood of our practices,” said Carl Coyle, chief executive officer of Liberty Resources, a NextGen Healthcare client based in Syracuse, NY. About NextGen Healthcare, Inc. NextGen Healthcare, Inc. is a leading provider of innovative healthcare technology solutions. We are reimagining ambulatory healthcare with award-winning solutions that enable high-performing practices to create healthier communities. We partner with medical, behavioral and dental providers in their journey toward whole person health and value-based care. Our highly integrated, intelligent and interoperable solutions go beyond EHR and Practice Management to increase clinical quality and productivity, enrich the patient experience and drive superior financial performance. We are on a quest to achieve better healthcare outcomes for all.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

WELL Forms Canadian Clinics Business Unit, Expands Credit Agreement, and Ramps up Clinic Growth

WELL Health Technologies Corp. | July 15, 2022

WELL Health Technologies Corp. a practitioner focussed digital health company positively impacting health outcomes by leveraging technology to empower healthcare practitioners and their patients globally, is pleased to announce it has formed a new legal entity called WELL Health Canada Clinics Inc. to house its Canadian omni-channel clinical businesses. These businesses include the Company's previous Primary Care, Allied Care and MyHealth Specialized Care business units. The Canadian Clinics Business Unit represents WELL's owned and operated fleet of Omni-Channel outpatient clinics leveraging WELL's highly integrated 'hybrid' brick and mortar and virtual service capabilities and includes the Company's primary care, specialized care, allied health, and diagnostics services but does not include the Company's TiaHealth.com service which is part of WELL's Virtual Services division. This business unit supports almost 1,300 healthcare practitioners who provide 1.87 million patient visits annually on a run-rate basis(2); over 40% of these patients are seen remotely via one of WELL's virtual or telehealth platforms, with the remainder treated in one of WELL's 81 Canadian clinics(3). This business is also expected to generate revenues exceeding $160 million with double digit operating Adjusted EBITDA(4) margins. Driven by WELL's consolidation and capital allocation efforts, this business has been experiencing organic growth rates approaching double digit percentage growth. The Canadian Clinics business unit is a key pillar in WELL's mission to empower practitioners. Dr. Michael Frankel, WELL's Chief Medical Officer, said "This consolidation of our Canadian clinics business provides WELL with the proper foundation to become a national health system providing the very best in highly integrated 'bricks and clicks' care. We are excited to provide healthcare practitioners with a compelling home where they are supported with exceptional front and back-office support and technology solutions so they can provide critical care to their patients. We intend on further developing our services from coast to coast." WELL will look to continue its consolidation and modernization of healthcare resources in Canada powered by its organic growth and with the help of its funding partners RBC, the Bank of Montreal, HSBC Bank Canada, The Toronto-Dominion Bank, ICICI Bank Canada and Laurentian Bank of Canada (collectively the "Lenders"). RBC is the Lead Arranger, Sole Bookrunner, and Administrative Agent on the financing. The Lenders have amended previous MyHealth credit facilities to include the newly formed Canadian Clinics Business Unit, as well as provided an extension of their credit commitments for an incremental year, extending the maturity to June 2026. The facilities are currently priced at an interest rate which is equivalent to SOFR/CDOR plus 1.25% to 3.25%(5), depending on the debt to Adjusted EBITDA ratio of the consolidated results for the Canadian Clinics Business Unit. WELL's goal is to continue to grow Canada's largest network of outpatient clinics using a combination of greenfield sites and new acquisitions. WELL is pleased to confirm that it has added a primary care clinic in Vancouver to its network and a new greenfield haemorrhoid treatment center in Hamilton, Ontario. The Company's combined investment to add these two clinics to the network is less than $100k. The combined annual revenues of the two clinics are expected to exceed $2 million in their first year under WELL and be profitable. The Company's recently announced acquisition of Calgary based InLiv, a premium provider of healthcare services in the Province of Alberta, will also be part of the Canadian Clinics Business Unit upon closing and is expected to exceed $7 million per year in revenues with 85% of such revenue reflecting recurring membership revenue. "We are thrilled to have the continued support of our banking partners and to announce the amendments to our existing Canadian credit facilities. Our ability to expand our Canadian credit agreement with favourable terms in the present challenging macroeconomic environment is not only a testament to the fantastic support we are receiving from our banking partners but also the strength of WELL's outpatient clinic business. The updated credit facilities allow us to more efficiently deploy capital towards our strategic priorities and generate more shareholder value by improving our revenue and Adjusted EBITDA per share metrics." Hamed Shahbazi, CEO and Founder of WELL WELL's objective is to continue to grow its Canadian Clinics Business Unit both organically and inorganically and continue to demonstrate market leadership as the country's first pan-Canadian clinical network with a highly integrated network of tech-enabled outpatient healthcare clinics across the country. About WELL Health Technologies Corp. WELL is a practitioner focused digital healthcare company whose overarching objective is to positively impact health outcomes to empower and support healthcare practitioners and their patients. WELL has built an innovative practitioner enablement platform that includes comprehensive end to end practice management tools inclusive of virtual care and digital patient engagement capabilities as well as Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) and data protection services. WELL uses this platform to power healthcare practitioners both inside and outside of WELL's own omni-channel patient services offerings. As such, WELL owns and operates Canada's largest network of outpatient medical clinics serving primary and specialized healthcare services and is the provider of a leading multi-national, multi-disciplinary telehealth offering. WELL is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WELL" and on OTCQX under the symbol "WHTCF".

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Spotlight

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a blood clot in a vein deep in your body. DVT is treatable, but can be very dangerous and lead to life-threatening or fatal events, like a stroke or heart attack, if left unchecked. Some medical conditions, habits, and events can raise your risk of blood clots. For example, did you know that women taking birth control pills are at a greater risk, or that your risk is higher if you just had surgery? It’s important to understand the factors that make blood clots more likely, and to make healthy choices-like losing weight or quitting smoking-to help keep your risks low.

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