Coronavirus pandemic puts focus on strengths, weaknesses of EHRs

HealthcareIT News | March 26, 2020

A central problem the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted is the fact that EHR systems are large, slow monoliths that don’t quickly adapt to new, emergent demands on their design and workflow. Future planning will also need to include routine practice run-throughs for building rapid-alternative-care sites, as many hospitals are setting up alternative patient-care sites during this pandemic. Most EHR systems, however, are very location-based. "EHR disaster preparedness testing in the future will need to be able to simulate large volumes of patients over long periods of time," Dana Bensinger, RN-BC, informatics nurse specialist and client-solution executive with CTG, told Healthcare IT News. Every hospital has disaster plans that typically involve how to handle a large influx of patients during a disaster, and these plans are tested on a regular basis." Bensinger noted, however, that organizations are not always set up to test the EHR during these exercises

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. to Launch State of the Art Technology for Diabetic Foot Ulcer Management

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. | January 13, 2022

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. (Alkem) hereby announces to launch a unique patented technology for the treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcer (DFU) in India. The solution would be based on disruptive 4D Bioprinting technology, which would be used to treat deep, non-healing chronic wounds and is expected to be launched in the Indian market in the latter half of 2022 post regulatory approval. This advanced technology for DFU management has a high scope of preventing amputations in diabetic patients. This technology will be available at affordable rates to Indian patients at a time when there is no definitive treatment for DFU in India. India currently has approximately 77 mn diabetes patients, the second highest in the world. A diabetic foot ulcer is one of the most significant and devastating complications of diabetes and is defined as a foot affected by ulceration that is associated with neuropathy and/or peripheral arterial disease of the lower limb in a patient with diabetes. Approximately, 12-15% with diabetes suffer from DFU at least once in a lifetime. 5–24% of them will finally lead to limb amputation within 6–18 months after the first evaluation. The risk of foot ulceration and limb amputation increases with age and the duration of diabetes. Alkem has collaborated with Rokit Healthcare Inc. to commercialize the technology in India to help reduce amputation amongst DFU patients considering the negative impact of amputation on a patient's quality of life and the associated economic burden on the healthcare system. "In India, Diabetes is one of the major healthcare challenges. The challenge in itself is so huge that diabetic foot ulcers often get ignored. Approximately 1 lac people have to undergo amputation every year and compromise on their quality of life. To address the problem, Alkem has collaborated with Rokit Healthcare Inc., a global regenerative solutions company, to bring out novel solutions for the management of diabetic foot ulcers." Mr. Sandeep Singh, Managing Director, Alkem Laboratories Ltd Adding further, Mr. Sandeep asserted, "Alkem, over the years, has always been at the forefront in delivering high-quality patient care, through its innovation and patient-centric initiatives." About Alkem Laboratories Ltd Established in 1973 and headquartered in Mumbai, Alkemis a leading Indian pharmaceutical company with global operations, engaged in the development, manufacture, and sale of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. The Company produces branded generics, generic drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and nutraceuticals, which it markets in India and International markets. With a portfolio of more than 800 brands in India, Alkem is ranked the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in India in terms of domestic sales. The Company also has presence in more than 40 international markets, with the United States being its key focus market.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Mental Health Provider Meru Health collaborates with Tech-Savvy Health Insurance Company Evry Health To Deliver Outcomes-Based Mental Healthcare

MERU HEALTH | January 18, 2022

Meru Health, the most comprehensive mental health solution in the market with industry-leading outcomes, and Evry Health, a modern business-to-business health insurance company announced today that they will partner on delivering Meru Health's solution to Evry Health's members in Dallas, Texas starting January 2022. The Meru Health online mental health solution will be embedded as part of Evry Health's tailored wellness plans that come at no cost to the employer or their employees. These specialized, optional wellness solutions provide a wide range of resources, tools and rewards that are different from other health insurance plans, including benefits such as mental health support through Meru Health. Members will be recommended to the program based on pre-screening criteria as well as Evry Health's data analysis. For example, if Evry Health receives a claim for cancer screening and oncologist claims, this is a flag to proactively loop the member into Meru Health's mental health program and support cycles. The partnership will focus on delivering outcomes-based mental healthcare and it rewards members for following their personalized care pathways. A member who completes Meru Health's 12-week Therapy program can get up to $100 reward for doing so. "This is a completely new way of delivering mental healthcare and we are proud to partner with Meru Health to together change how the system works," said Chris Gay, Evry Health CEO. "Focusing on outcomes is the way mental healthcare – and healthcare in general – should be delivered now and in the future. We are confident our members will get the best possible value-based care, and see their mental health improve as they go through the Meru Health program." Incentivizing members to take care of their mental health can lead to major cost savings down the line. According to data from BCBS, people with major depression are on average nearly 30 percent less healthy than those without depression. This decrease in overall health translates into increased costs: a depressed person has $6,390 more healthcare costs than nondepressed people every year. Evry Health incentivizes participants to focus on better mental health through its voluntary wellness plans. Rewards are deposited to an Evry Health Reward Card that members use like any other credit card. Meru Health is focused on delivering the best long- and short-term outcomes in the market. After program completion, 75% of people are in depression or anxiety symptom remission and 85% of people show clinically significant improvement, measured on industry standard PHQ-9 (depression) and GAD-7 (anxiety) scales. The Meru Health Program is one of only digital mental health interventions with published research that shows that these treatment gains last 12 months after the end of treatment. "We could not be more excited to partner Evry Health, who is changing health insurance just like we are transforming mental healthcare. Together we can really deliver patient-centric care that ensures that people prioritize their mental health. Health plans and employers would benefit a lot focusing more on outcomes. The question we should be asking is are people getting better and staying better after the treatment? I believe trailblazers like Evry Health will be a role model in the industry to start focusing more on care outcomes." Kristian Ranta, the CEO of Meru Health About Meru Health Meru Health is setting the new standard in mental healthcare with the most comprehensive online solution that combines licensed therapists and psychiatrists, a smartphone-based treatment program, biofeedback training, anonymous peer support, and habit-changing activities for sleep, nutrition, and more. The company is committed to evidence-based care and has published groundbreaking clinical outcomes with Stanford, Harvard, and UC Davis that show promising clinical effectiveness and lasting results. Meru Health offers a convenient, accessible, side-effect-free mental health treatment option in contrast to the standard of care in the U.S. today. Meru Health partners with major health insurance providers like Cigna, Humana, and Moda Health, as well as leading businesses that want to provide best-in-class mental health care for their employees or members. About Evry Health Headquartered in Dallas, Evry Health is not your standard health plan. We're on a mission to make healthcare affordable, transparent and high quality again by providing expanded benefits at an affordable price, lowering premiums by up to 20%. We're building the health insurance we've always wanted for ourselves, with a high-tech, mobile-first experience focused on helping people live better, healthier lives.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Ascensus Closes Newport Merger Agreement

Ascensus | April 11, 2022

Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—and Newport, the Walnut Creek, California-based retirement services provider—announced today that the two companies have closed their previously announced merger, the first step in their journey together as a combined organization. The union combines the capabilities and talents of two market leaders in tax-advantaged savings and related services, serving more than 15 million savers and overseeing more than $745 billion in assets under administration as of December 31, 2021. Together, the unified company employs more than 5,400 employees across the U.S. David Musto, president and chief executive officer of Ascensus, will serve as CEO of the combined company. Laura Ramanis, who has served as interim CEO of Newport since the announcement of the transaction last fall, and Kurt Laning, executive vice president of Newport Non-Qualified and Insurance Solutions, will join the Ascensus executive leadership team, reporting to Musto. "With today's announcement, Ascensus and Newport have taken an important step in our journey towards a stronger, unified company. Clients across our lines of business will benefit from our expanded capabilities—accelerated investments in technology, data analytics, and user experiences—and broadened expertise. And both Ascensus and Newport associates can look forward to new opportunities for personal growth and enhanced career development." Musto "Ascensus and Newport share a passion for helping people save for their futures and supporting the growth and success of our partners," said Ramanis. "We look forward to continuing that mission as a combined company." With industry-leading qualified and non-qualified retirement plan services, corporate and bank-owned life insurance (COLI and BOLI) practices, fiduciary and trust solutions, and other total rewards capabilities, Newport expands the services and expertise Ascensus provides to its clients and advisor partners. Newport's clients will benefit from greater access to unique tax-advantaged savings solutions across retirement, education, and health provided by Ascensus. The combined company's investments in technology, digital capabilities, and analytics will deliver enhanced value to clients, expand client relationships, and create even better outcomes for savers. Both the Ascensus and Newport brands remain in use at closing, with the Ascensus brand representing the unified company. "Our goal over the next several months is the successful unification of our company—built on the principle of 'best of the best' and our shared cultural attributes, and executed with the interests, quality, and stability of our client relationships foremost in mind," added Musto. "As a unified organization, Ascensus and Newport share a strong commitment to serving our clients and offering more—across the tax-advantaged retirement, education, and health savings expertise for which Ascensus is known, and capitalizing on Newport's well-established qualified and non-qualified retirement services, and fiduciary and COLI/BOLI capabilities as well." Evercore acted as exclusive financial advisor to Newport in connection with the transaction. Goldman Sachs Bank USA, SPC Financing Company LLC, and KKR Capital Markets LLC led the financing consortium. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as transactional counsel to Ascensus and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as financing counsel to Ascensus. Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP acted as legal counsel to Newport. About Ascensus Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Through co-branded, private-labeled, and other governmental partnerships, our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is a leading recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. About Newport Headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, Newport is a leading retirement services provider that helps employers—and the advisors who serve them—prepare employees for a more financially secure retirement. The company has more than $150 billion in retirement assets under administration and more than $300 billion in corporate retirement and insurance assets. Newport maintains investment objectivity, fee transparency and a commitment to flexible, responsive service. Staffed by an exceptional team of nearly 1,500 retirement, insurance, and consulting professionals, the company provides retirement solutions tailored to the needs of employers of every size, from small businesses to the Fortune 1000.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Hero and AdhereHealth Establish Strategic Partnership to Improve Medication Adherence Among Vulnerable Patients

AdhereHealth | December 18, 2021

AdhereHealth, a healthcare technology leader in medication adherence insights and health outcomes, has entered into a strategic partnership with Hero, the market leader in digital in-home care. This new agreement enables AdhereHealth to deploy Hero's digital in-home care platform to help high-risk, high-cost, chronically ill patients adhere to complex medication regimens. Hero's platform includes a connected smart pill dispenser, which automatically sorts and dispenses medications according to a patient's unique medication schedule. Hero's connected app then tracks what a patient took and when, and sends real-time alerts to the patient's care team if a dose is missed or a medication is ready for refill. Hero continually monitors the patient's medication inventory and facilitates real-time medication reconciliation and synchronization. "Combining Hero's industry-leading medication management platform with AdhereHealth's advanced technologies and its nationwide AdhereRx digital pharmacy creates the first complete lifecycle medication management service," said Kal Vepuri, founder and CEO of Hero. "Our partnership will also simultaneously improve patient safety by focusing on medication management, further support caregivers and help people take more control of their health," added Mr. Vepuri. AdhereHealth's digital pharmacy, AdhereRx, leverages data analytics to identify and prioritize vulnerable populations most at risk for nonadherence or drug safety problems. Trained pharmacists then connect via phone with patients to conduct comprehensive medication reviews and address social determinants of health (SDOH) that might get in the way of medication adherence. "Hero's patient-centric technology will enable care managers, providers and health plans to remotely monitor medication intake, providing real-time visibility into how patients are adhering to medication regimens at home. Combined with our medication synchronization technologies and our nationwide AdhereRx digital pharmacy solution, we can drive better patient experience and improve value-based outcomes for vulnerable populations." Jason Z. Rose, CEO of AdhereHealth Poor medication adherence is a leading cause of re-hospitalizations and ER visits, especially among the elderly and those with chronic conditions. The financial impact is significant: medication nonadherence accounts for 16% of U.S. healthcare spending annually, accounting for more than half a trillion dollars. About Hero Hero is a leading digital in-home care platform delivering the first end-to-end medication management service for patients and caregivers. Hero's solution includes its award-winning smart pill dispenser, medication management app, automatic refills with free delivery and 24/7 live support. Since launching in 2018, Hero has dispensed more than 70 million medications. Hero is used as a care management solution by individuals, caregivers and medical providers. About AdhereHealth™ AdhereHealth delivers purpose-built, innovative technology solutions to improve quality of care, medication adherence, and cost outcomes – all with an emphasis on overcoming social determinants of health (SDOH) and improving patient experience. AdhereRx, an AdhereHealth digital pharmacy, provides high-risk, underserved patients with personalized pharmacy services that drive medication compliance and reduce unnecessary utilization costs. This unique combination of predictive analytics, intelligent clinical workflow software and proactive telepharmacy outreach performed by a nationwide team of licensed clinicians addresses an estimated half a trillion dollars of unnecessary annual medical costs attributed to medication adherence issues. Today, the Adhere™ Platform touches nearly 30 million patients across dozens of health plans, self-insured employers and other risk-bearing entities.

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According to The Lustgarten Foundation, more than 280,000 individuals worldwide will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year. Watch this video to learn more about this deadly disease, hear personal stories, and learn about the importance of supporting research to find a cure.

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