Costly specialty drugs drive higher spending on provider-administered treatments, study finds

FierceHealthcare | February 19, 2019

Spending per member in commercial plans on medical pharmacy drugs increased by nearly 20% between 2016 and 2017, due in part to the growing number of emerging therapies with high price tags. Magellan Rx Management, the pharmacy benefit management arm of managed-care company Magellan Health, released its ninth annual trend report diving into spending on drugs administered by providers, and it found that per-member, per-month spending on these therapies increased by 18% from 2016 to 2017, reaching an average of $29.97 monthly, for people enrolled in commercial plans. Spending on provider-administered drugs in Medicare also went up, the study found. Per-beneficiary, per-month spending increased by 12% in that same window, to an average of $52.19.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Study Reveals Florence Healthcare’s Site Enablement Platforms Can Accelerate Clinical Trials by Six Weeks and Reduce Costs by Over $1M per Study

Florence Healthcare | November 18, 2022

Florence Healthcare™, a clinical research technology company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, announced the completion of a year-long third-party study on the impact of Site Enablement Platforms™ on clinical research timelines and costs. The study by Marketcap Consulting is the first to compare how traditional site management approaches differ from site-first Site Enablement Platforms. The study looked at the impact of traditional sponsor portals and new Site Enablement Platforms on research sponsor and Contract Research Organization study timelines and budgets. “Pharma sponsors and CROs realize the importance of enabling sites to do their best work - but only recently have they discovered that traditional site portals are more hindrance than help. Yet, these organizations weren't able to measure the true impact of switching to a Site Enablement Platform. This year-long study aimed to fix that and highlight how linking fragmented workflows accelerates the full lifecycle of clinical trials.” Ryan Jones, CEO of Florence Healthcare Site enablement is a new technology category that prioritizes the needs of the site, a major shift from past technology that only looked at the experience of the sponsor. These platforms, including Florence Healthcare’s SiteLink™, insist on ease-of-use and ease-of-setup for the site, quality support, and simplified integrations. SiteLink works in conjunction with eBinders™, an electronic Investigator Site File solution used by over 12,000 research sites in 45 countries. About the Study Marketcap Consulting conducted interviews with clinical research operations leaders harnessing SiteLink, examined timelines and study costs, and analyzed the impact across the sites in the study. On average, the team found that SiteLink accelerated study start-up by four weeks and study close-out by two weeks at every site. For a 50-site study, this six-week acceleration reduced cash burn by one million dollars. “We can see a clear positive impact on study timelines and cash burn when research sponsors and CROs implement Site Enablement Platforms,” said Joel White, founder of Marketcap Consulting. “This early study reveals that by enabling sites to do their best work, the clinical research industry unlocks value across the full research cycle.” “While the financial impact of switching to SiteLink makes investing in site enablement an easy choice for sponsors and CROs, it’s really the acceleration of studies that gets our team at Florence Healthcare excited,” said Jones. “We aim to double the output of research teams by the end of the decade, and enabling sites is the way to do it.” About Florence Healthcare Florence Healthcare’s clinical trial software helps more than 12,000 research sites in 45 countries manage their documents, data, and workflows. The Florence Healthcare™ platform also provides remote access so sponsors and Contract Research Organizations can collaborate with their sites around the world. Florence Healthcare users now perform 5.8 million remote monitoring activities each month.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Signify Health Receives NCQA’s HEDIS Allowable Adjustments Certification

Signify Health | September 26, 2022

Signify Health a leading healthcare platform that leverages advanced analytics, technology, and nationwide healthcare networks to create and power value-based payment programs, has again achieved the National Committee for Quality Assurance certification for the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set. This is the second year in which the Company has received this certification. NCQA provides accreditations and certifications to evaluate a wide range of organizations across the healthcare system. More than 90 percent of health plans in the United States, covering 190 million people, rely on NCQA’s HEDIS measurement tool. The methodology that Signify Health uses to identify Medicare members who have gaps in their care and would benefit from in-home diagnostic testing was evaluated and certified by NCQA. Receiving this certification allows Signify Health to provide services that align with the industry's most rigorous data assessment processes, resulting in more accurate and timely clinical services for eligible members. “Through our comprehensive data set and analytics, Signify Health is able to effectively identify at-risk patients and connect them with the appropriate diagnostic and preventive services. We are proud to once again have achieved this NCQA certification, demonstrating our ability to effectively identify gaps in care and to support access to high-quality health services.” Marc Rothman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Signify Health NCQA HEDIS measures relate to many of the most significant chronic health conditions facing seniors in Medicare. In 2021, Signify Health announced the certifications for diabetes care, kidney health evaluation in patients with diabetes, colorectal cancer screening, and osteoporosis management in women. In 2022, Signify Health was recertified for all of the measures from 2021 that are still recognized by NCQA and expanded its certification to include osteoporosis screening as a preventive measure for older women who have not had a fracture. Osteoporosis is a serious bone disease that impacts the quality of life, especially for women aged 67-85. With the appropriate screenings and interventions, the risk of future bone fractures related to osteoporosis can be reduced. HEDIS® is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance. NCQA Measure Certification Program™ is a trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance. About Signify Health Signify Health is a leading healthcare platform that leverages advanced analytics, technology, and nationwide healthcare provider networks to create and power value-based payment programs. Our mission is to build trusted relationships to make people healthier. Our solutions support value-based payment programs by aligning financial incentives around outcomes, providing tools to health plans and healthcare organizations designed to assess and manage risk and identify actionable opportunities for improved patient outcomes, coordination and cost-savings. Through our platform, we coordinate what we believe is a holistic suite of clinical, social, and behavioral services to address an individual’s healthcare needs and prevent adverse events that drive excess cost, all while shifting services towards the home. About NCQA NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Annuo Med Tech Solutions Enters Partnership Agreement with WeKo GP

Annuo Medical Technology Solutions Pty Ltd | October 17, 2022

New health networking platform, Annuo™, has entered a working agreement with WeKo GP to assist with the identification and treatment of patients with chronic disease in Australia. This key partnership will facilitate the management of people living with chronic disease by General Practice teams using WeKo and Annuo™. WeKo’s Clinical System solution launched in 2019 and provides proactive chronic disease screening and detection based on patient medical data. “We believe our solutions are highly complementary and have the ability to offer an amazing patient and clinician experience,” commented WeKo Founder, Ross Hadfield. “We are excited to announce a trial partnership between Annuo and WeKo GP which will open up more possibilities for Annuo™ to help the 10.8M Australians currently living with chronic disease,” Dr Jeni Wellington, Founder and CEO of Annuo Med Tech Solutions At a high-level, the partnership will facilitate the identification and treatment of patients at high risk of chronic disease, using the Annuo platform and WeKo’s Clinical System. It will ensure patients are engaged in the creation of an agreed care plan and that the clinical teams involved are fully supported. About Annuo Med Tech Annuo Med Tech Solutions is a new Australian digital health technology company developing Annuo - a healthcare networking platform for doctors, patients and allied health professionals. Annuo™, is the first medical networking platform in Australia designed by specialists. More than that, Annuo™ is advocating for collaborative care for patients living with chronic disease in Australia. With 47% of Australians today living with one or more chronic diseases, there has never been a better time to help improve the lives of everyday people trying to navigate their treatment. Annuo™ encourages people living with chronic disease to engage with their treatment in an holistic way. Annuo promotes collaborative care for patients and is inclusive of those seeking to make diet, exercise and alternate therapies as part of their treatment planning. Annuo™ will engage with healthcare providers and enable them to better connect with their patients through the digital health space. The platform comes fully customised for each medical specialty at a competitive price.

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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Tivic Health to Acquire Assets of Reliefband

Tivic Health | October 18, 2022

Tivic Health® Systems, Inc. a commercial-phase health technology company focused on bioelectronic medicine, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Reliefband product line for nausea treatment and all related assets from Reliefband Technologies, LLC. Reliefband has been an innovator in wearable, FDA-cleared electronic therapeutics for treatment of nausea and vomiting. Reliefband has multiple products available both over-the-counter and by prescription. “We are incredibly excited to add the full suite of Reliefband products to our commercial portfolio. The Reliefband team successfully pioneered a direct-to-consumer business model for medical products. This acquisition, when combined with our growing direct-to-consumer sales of ClearUP, will significantly accelerate Tivic’s revenue opportunities.” Jennifer Ernst, CEO of Tivic Health Recurring nausea impacts approximately 1 in 6 US adults. According to QY Research, nausea treatment is a $2.4B market in the US and $5.5B globally, growing at 6.5% CAGR. Reliefband’s wrist-worn electronic nerve stimulators have been FDA-cleared for treatment of nausea associated with seven independent clinical indications, including nausea from motion sickness, pregnancy, migraines, anxiety, chemotherapy, various medications and hangovers. The patented products are backed by 40 peer-reviewed clinical studies and have generated over 3500 Amazon reviews averaging 4+ stars. Both Reliefband and ClearUP products offer consumers ways to manage health-related conditions without the issues and side effects often associated with medication use. Both are FDA-cleared, highly effective, fast-acting, convenient, and drug-free. Both currently are sold primarily online, and both have received CE Marks allowing international expansion. In addition to the Reliefband direct-to-consumer branded products, Tivic will also acquire Reliefband’s Reletex-branded prescription nausea treatments. Reletex products are currently distributed by hospitals and medical professionals and are reimbursed under HCPCS code E0765 for certain conditions. “We look forward to growing Tivic with the addition of clinically proven, revenue-producing bioelectronic products that have seen strong customer adoption and growth,” continued Ernst. Consideration to be provided by Tivic consists of up to $33.5 million, of which up to $1.5 million can be paid, at the election of Tivic, in restricted common stock of Tivic. Consideration is subject to working capital adjustments, less Reliefband transaction expenses and any indebtedness of Reliefband at closing. The transaction is expected to be consummated in the fourth quarter of 2022 or first quarter of 2023 after the satisfaction of certain customary closing conditions, including but not limited to securing the financing necessary to pay the purchase price. Additional information on the transaction can be found in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed by Tivic with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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