CMS seeks feedback on selling health plans across state lines

CMS | March 07, 2019

CMS is seeking feedback on ways it can make it easier for payers to sell insurance across state lines. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued (PDF) a request for information Wednesday evening, and in the document the agency said that it’s especially looking for recommendations on how states can take advantage of a regulatory framework in the Affordable Care Act that would allow for plans to be sold across state lines. The RFI was mandated in an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in October 2017. “Americans are in desperate need of more affordable health insurance options,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. “Eliminating barriers to selling health insurance coverage across state lines could help provide access to a more competitive and affordable health insurance market.”

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A stroke is a brain attack. A stroke is caused by a sudden blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain (ischemic), or bleeding into or around the brain (hemorrhagic). Most strokes (85%) are ischemic.


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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

HONEYWELL AND NARAYANA HEALTH PARTNER TO EXPLORE CO-CREATION OF HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGIES

Honeywell | May 27, 2022

Honeywell announced the signing of a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Narayana Hrudayalaya Limited to identify, assess and collaborate on opportunities for the latter's digital transformation journey. This will enable Narayana Health to offer technology-driven, affordable and accessible healthcare for all. The MoU is subject to definitive agreements to be executed between Honeywell and Narayana Health. "These are times of great promise and even greater opportunities in healthcare innovation. At Honeywell, we recognize this and have pivoted towards the development of technologies that will shape the future of healthcare delivery. The MoU with Narayana Health – one of India's foremost healthcare service providers – offers us an opportunity to create a strategic technology development roadmap that will eventually transform India's healthcare industry," said Suresh Venkatarayalu, Chief Technology Officer, Honeywell. "Sensors and digital technology will disrupt health care delivery. Narayana Healthcare is delighted to work with Honeywell to develop digital technologies for making health care safer, more accessible, and more affordable," said Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman and Executive Director, Narayana Healthcare. Honeywell's Advanced Sensing Technologies (AST) healthcare business builds on the company's global leadership in sensors to offer devices and software for hospitals, clinics and elderly care facilities to improve communication, collaboration and coordination of clinical care. "The pandemic made it abundantly clear that healthcare organizations need technology that can be seamlessly integrated into existing systems and processes to streamline error prone tasks, enhance patient experience, and improve organizational agility," said Robert Robinson, Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Sensing Technologies Healthcare, Honeywell. Based on the terms of the MoU, Honeywell and Narayana Health will work towards co-innovation and introduction of new products, establish technology development centers, co-create joint capabilities in technology development and research, and undertake the development of fire safety codecs that ensure an end-to-end life safety system to make hospitals safer. As a technology partner, Honeywell will also help enhance and optimize Narayana Health's digital processes and offer training to its employees. The healthcare industry is continuously evolving to keep up with increasing regulatory pressures, while maintaining an environment where patients and staff feel safe. COVID-19 highlighted the need for bringing efficiencies in healthcare delivery to enable fewer personnel to do more onsite. The growth in telemedicine also opened newer avenues for hospitals to manage patient care. Healthcare providers often struggle with developing the right approach to stay ahead of these changes. To help meet some of these challenges, last year Honeywell launched its Real-Time Health Monitoring System (RTHMS). This is a smart edge-to-cloud communication platform for remote and real-time patient monitoring that acts as a bridge between caregiver and patient. This offering integrates hardware and software to improve care delivery, enhance healthcare worker productivity, and enable process efficiency. By digitizing and automating critical tasks, RTHMS can reduce hospital administrative tasks by 35%.1 "Narayana Healthcare has made remarkable progress in using technology to improve clinical outcomes and increase healthcare delivery efficiency. Honeywell's sensor-based applications will complement our efforts in real-time patient monitoring and fire safety, raising the bar for others to meet," Dr. Emmanuel Rupert, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Narayana Hrudayalaya Limited Honeywell has a robust portfolio of healthcare technologies – from a patient's first visit, to diagnosis, and returning home from care, Honeywell has the technologies to help healthcare providers increase productivity, efficiency, and shape the future of their organizations. About Honeywell Honeywell is a Fortune 100 technology company that delivers industry-specific solutions that include aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings and industry; and performance materials globally. Our technologies help aircraft, buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywell.com/newsroom.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

MCI Onehealth Partners with MDClone to Accelerate Research through Global Clinical Intelligence Offering

MCI Onehealth Technologies, Inc. | July 29, 2022

MCI Onehealth Technologies Inc. a clinician-led healthcare technology company focused on increasing access to and quality of healthcare, and MDClone, a digital health company and leader in synthetic data, are pleased to announce an advanced clinical intelligence offering for their global partners. This offering combines real-world health insights with mirrored synthetic data to power deeper research and inspire novel therapeutic development. “MCI’s collaboration with MDClone will provide our partners with greater access to high-value data-insights-as-a-service for an array of research, clinical and data science needs. Whether through MCI’s clinic network, international healthcare providers, or pharmaceutical, life sciences and biotech partners, our mutually enhanced insights will help to quickly translate healthcare data and research into improved health and quality of life for patients.” Dr. Alexander Dobranowski, MD, Chief Executive Officer of MCI The real-world patient health journeys that MCI’s tech-enabled network is able to capture offer a comprehensive picture to researchers, who can benefit from a fuller perspective. The partnership between MCI and MDClone will leverage MDClone’s technology to load, organize and protect MCI-generated patient data and use this data to help find insights to improve care. In addition, MCI and MDClone intend to work together to improve data collection and curation to better serve the needs of applied healthcare research. MDClone offers clients robust, detailed data for thorough end-to-end, real-world analysis. Using the MDClone ADAMS Platform analytics tools and synthetic data capabilities, clinicians, researchers, and healthcare professionals can explore healthcare data more efficiently to accelerate real-world evidence processes. With synthetic data capabilities at the forefront, users can leverage self-service tools to access, analyze, and share information without privacy concerns. Additionally, the real-time identification and extraction of information about a specific population of interest allows users at healthcare systems to overcome some of the common barriers that can slow clinical data projects’ progress. “We’re thrilled to partner with innovators like MCI in the healthcare and life science industries and beyond. Together, we can provide tailored clinical insights that meet clients’ needs, and from those insights, MDClone can generate synthetic data that researchers can use to better understand disease progression, enhance care delivery, and develop new products that can improve patient outcomes,” said Josh Rubel, Chief Operating Officer of MDClone. In keeping with its objective to be a preeminent health technology leader, MCI nurtures international opportunities to leverage its vast pool of high-quality structured clinical information. The MDClone ADAMS Platform’s unique ability to convert datasets and cohorts of interest into synthetic files that are statistically comparable to the original data, but composed entirely of artificial patients, aids in broader and more secure access and opens the doors to third-party access and larger-scale research impact. MCI’s audience for health insights continues to grow in Canada and will further benefit from access to MDClone’s global roster of top-tier health system and pharma relationships. The collaboration with MDClone will accelerate MCI’s entry into the clinical insights and analytics sectors in the United States of America and Israel, including potential access to headquarter-level decision-makers of global pharma and life science leaders. “Through this commercial arrangement, we each have the benefit of immediate introduction to the active client rosters of the other, and we each gain a superior — and unique — offering to acquire new partners, fueling the expansion of MCI’s health insight services into international markets,” added Dr. Dobranowski. About MCI MCI is a healthcare technology company focused on empowering patients and doctors with advanced technologies to increase access, improve quality, and reduce healthcare costs. As part of the healthcare community for over 30 years, MCI operates one of Canada’s leading primary care networks with nearly 260 physicians and specialists, serves more than one million patients annually and had nearly 300,000 telehealth visits last year, including online visits via mciconnect.ca. MCI additionally offers an expanding suite of occupational health service offerings that support a growing list of nearly 600 corporate customers. Led by a proven management team of doctors and experienced executives, MCI remains focused on executing a strategy centered around acquiring technology and health services that complement the company’s current roadmap. About MDClone MDClone offers an innovative, self-service data analytics environment powering exploration, discovery, and collaboration throughout healthcare ecosystems cross-institutionally and globally. The powerful underlying infrastructure of the MDClone ADAMS Platform allows users to overcome common barriers in healthcare in order to organize, access, and protect the privacy of patient data while accelerating research, improving operations and quality, and driving innovation to deliver better patient outcomes. Founded in Israel in 2016, MDClone serves major health systems, payers, and life science customers in the United States, Canada, and Israel.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Astorg Acquires Majority Interest in Avania

Avania | June 21, 2022

Avania, the preeminent, full-service global MedTech contract research organization announced that Astorg has acquired a majority stake in the company. Astorg, together with Kester Capital current investor who intends to retain a minority stake will actively support management’s plans to advance Avania’s development as a MedTech solution provider. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Avania was formed in March 2020 from the combination of five complementary businesses and started a successful journey to establish a fully integrated platform to serve sponsors worldwide in advancing medical technology products from early development to post-market ensuring customized, scalable solutions that optimize efficiencies and streamline the advancement of medical technology. Astorg brings an impressive global network of relationships in the MedTech space which will strengthen Avania’s pipeline and broaden its customer base while the capital access will help accelerate its growth, both organically and via acquisitions. “The platform we have built has positioned us ahead of our competition in the MedTech CRO space, and this deal will bring additional investment to strengthen our infrastructure, capital for acquisitions, and added support as we continue to grow Avania into the clear market leader. The largest CROs do not have the specialization that we bring, and the regional niche providers do not have the scale and reach of Avania. This unique positioning, along with the continued changes to the MedTech regulatory landscape, will allow us to push ourselves to the next era of growth.” Sapna Hornyak, president and CEO of Avania “We are extremely pleased to partner with Sapna and her team, as well as Kester, on this transaction,” said Managing Partner of Astorg Mid-Cap Edouard Pillot. “Being one of the global leaders in a profitable and fast-growing niche market, Avania squarely fits with Astorg’s investment criteria, and we are delighted to have Avania as our first Mid-Cap Healthcare deal, sitting within Astorg’s broader healthcare portfolio.” About Avania Avania is a leading, global full-service contract research organization focused on the management of clinical studies for medical technology, IVDs, biologics, and device-drug combination products internationally. Avania supports products from the first-in-human phase through the post-market phase with the same customized approach. When you need to advance your medical technology, it takes Avania. Avania’s vision is to be your trusted global partner in the evolution of your medical technology from innovation to commercialization to improving patient health and well-being. About Astorg Astorg is a leading private equity firm with over €17 billion of assets under management. We work 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 goals. Astorg enjoys a distinct entrepreneurial culture, a long-term shareholder perspective, and a lean decision-making body. We have valuable industry expertise in healthcare, software, business-to-business professional services and technology-based industrial companies. Astorg has offices in London, Paris, New York, Frankfurt, Milan and Luxembourg. About Kester Capital Kester Capital is a primary buy-out specialist. Kester focuses on the healthcare, data & information and technology sectors, targeting businesses that require capital in order to unlock their potential.

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