CVS, Walmart make nice, reach new multi-year deal to keep retail giant in Caremark’s network

FierceHealthcare | January 18, 2019

Just days after Walmart announced it would pull out of CVS Caremark’s network, the two sides have resolved their differences and reached a new contract agreement.  CVS Health announced Tuesday that Walmart had opted to exit Caremark’s pharmacy benefit management and Managed Medicaid retail pharmacy networks in a dispute over PBM pricing. Walmart took a potshot at CVS’ business practices in a statement, saying it was “standing up” to the company for practices that put undue pressure on pharmacies and disrupt care. On Friday, CVS revealed that the two parties had reached a multi-year deal that would keep Walmart in those networks. Walmart and CVS had a separate agreement for participation Caremark’s Part D plans.

Spotlight

Long a part of the backwaters of antitrust enforcement, vertical mergers have recently attracted the attention of academics and enforcers. The Federal Trade Commission’s hearings on vertical merger policy and the issue of whether to publish new Vertical Merger Guidelines,2 along with recent cases including the Department’s unsuccessful challenge to AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner3 and speeches by enforcement officials4 illustrate a renewed focus on vertical combinations. It is widely recognized that the Department of Justice Non-Horizontal Merger Guidelines are out of date and do not reflect modern economic thinking or government enforcement policy. Indeed, a large body of theoretical and empirical work has served to undermine the economic foundations of the laissez-faire approach that has characterized government policies over the last thirty years.


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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Tebra CTO Kyle Ryan Named to the Healthcare Technology Report’s List of Top Healthcare Technology CTOs of 2022

Tebra | November 22, 2022

Tebra, a leader in practice growth technology and cloud-based clinical and financial software, announced that its Chief Technology Officer Kyle Ryan was named in the Healthcare Technology Report’s list of Top 25 Healthcare Technology CTOs of 2022. The annual list recognizes the most accomplished executives in healthcare technology who are leading teams in delivering cutting edge products that boost operations and improve efficiency for their customers. The CTOs on this year’s list have a wide range of impressive backgrounds, but each is the driving force behind their company’s technology innovations, ensuring software functionality and effectiveness. Read the full report here. “Kyle has been an integral part of the executive leadership team at Tebra and has built a strong partnership between product management and the technology team within the organization. He has vast knowledge about healthcare IT and how it applies to solving business problems and is keenly customer focused and is always taking time to understand customer needs at a deeper level. Kyle’s an outstanding ambassador for the company and prides himself on developing a healthy and high-performance culture.” Dan Rodrigues, CEO of Tebra Kyle is responsible for all areas of technology with a focus on the vision and strategy for Tebra’s suite of products and services. He believes that great products are created through a keen customer focus, groundbreaking ideas, precise engineering, and efficient execution. “I am honored to be included in this list of prestigious technology leaders,” Kyle said. “This recognition also highlights the technology team’s passion for improving healthcare and the company’s mission of providing independent practices with digital tools and support to thrive in a new era of healthcare.” About Tebra In 2021, with a combined mission to unlock better healthcare, Kareo and PatientPop joined forces to form Tebra — the operating system for the connected practice of the future. With an all-in-one, purpose-built platform to drive practice success and modernize every step of the patient journey, Tebra provides digital tools and support to attract new patients, deliver modern care, get paid quickly, and operate efficiently.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Philips advances AI-powered diagnostic systems and transformative workflow solutions at RSNA 2022

Royal Philips | November 28, 2022

Royal Philips a global leader in health technology announced its portfolio of smart diagnostic systems and transformative workflow solutions featured at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting. Powered by AI, the company will showcase its latest systems and informatics solutions designed for providers to efficiently deliver patient-centric, high-quality imaging services. Overwhelming volume of radiology data compounding staff shortages and burnout Radiology plays a critical role in diagnosing and guiding patients into the right treatment plans. However, with increasing staff shortages and workloads, radiologists and staff continue to struggle to manage and interpret the huge volume of data captured to provide quality care for each patient. In the recent Future Health Index 2022 report commissioned by Philips, 24% of radiology leaders surveyed stated that managing the sheer volume of data available to them is their top data-related issue, with nearly two-thirds (65%) indicating their staff are overwhelmed by data overload. “With 47% of radiologists experiencing burnout [1], our customers are looking for innovations to help reduce their workloads and seamlessly integrate into their day-to-day operations. With smart intelligence built into imaging systems and informatics across the radiology workflow, Philips’ integrated solutions condense large volumes of data into patient-centric actionable insights for earlier and more definitive diagnosis and treatment.” Kees Wesdorp, Chief Business Leader of Precision Diagnosis at Philips AI-powered solutions enhance operational efficiencies and simplify complex workflows Some of the biggest challenges facing radiology leaders today are driven by managing complex, disconnected workflows which can negatively impact patient care, staff experience, outcomes, and cost. Visitors to the Philips booth at RSNA will see how the company’s latest interoperable and vendor-neutral operational solutions and strong portfolio of smart connected imaging systems help streamline and transform the radiology workflow to improve patient and staff experience; advance clinical and diagnostic confidence for better health outcomes; and drive a sustainable, resilient diagnostic infrastructure to help lower the cost of care. Featured at RSNA will be Philips’ AI-enabled technology [2] that automates and accelerates routine and repetitive tasks to generate patient-centric insights from large volumes of data to help improve productivity. Solutions include Philips Imaging Orchestrator – ROCC and Philips Ultrasound Collaboration Live, both pioneering the virtualization of radiology, extending care and collaboration beyond traditional models. Philips Imaging Orchestrator – ROCC, a vendor-neutral, multi-modality, multi-site telepresence solution provides advanced tele-acquisition capabilities and seamlessly connects imaging experts at a command center with technologists at scanning locations across an organization. Philips Ultrasound Collaboration Live tele-ultrasound, available on Philips ultrasound systems – EPIQ Elite and Affiniti – allows teams to securely video stream from their ultrasound system to a PC or mobile device for remote, on-demand access to clinical expertise regardless of location. Philips will also introduce the latest in AI-enabled image interpretation to help prioritize patient worklists based on clinical outcomes and expand diagnostic capabilities with its new Philips Advanced Visualization Workspace, with enhanced features to automate reporting and help drive earlier and more definitive diagnosis. Also featured is Philips Enterprise Performance Analytics – PerformanceBridge – to enhance operational decision-making through a vendor-neutral, real-time data analysis solution to help improve productivity and reduce costs. Smart connected imaging systems advance clinical and diagnostic confidence New at RSNA, Philips’ AI-powered MR SmartSpeed is designed to increase speed, image quality, and productivity and drive diagnostic confidence with improved image resolution via the AI reconstruction algorithm. It utilizes Philips’ state-of-the-art speed engine and an award-winning [3] AI reconstruction technology delivered at the source of the MR signal to ensure no data loss. SmartSpeed joins the company’s expanding portfolio of AI-driven MR solutions which includes AI-based touchless patient sensing, SmartExam, and MR Workspace. Philips will also showcase MR 5300, Philips’ newest BlueSeal Magnet, and industry-first wide bore helium-free operations system design for sustainable imaging at lower site costs without image quality or clinical compromises. Philips will spotlight its award-winning Spectral CT 7500, the company’s latest dual-detector CT system helping radiologists better characterize disease and reduce scan times at the same dose levels as conventional scans. Used in oncology imaging, cardiac imaging, and interventional radiology, the system has demonstrated a 34% reduction in time to diagnosis, a 25% reduction in repeat scans and a 30% reduction in follow-up scans [4]. Philips will also demonstrate its latest innovations in minimally-invasive care with the company’s SmartCT 3D suite of interventional tools including its Azurion 7 C20 with FlexArm Image-Guided Therapy System and Zenition 70 Mobile C-arm with Flat Detector. Philips will also introduce the Ultrasound Compact 5000 Series system and the Philips Lumify Handheld Ultrasound, now featuring pulse wave Doppler for all physicians – from cardiologists and radiologists to emergency care – to quickly assess hemodynamics in cardiac function anytime, anywhere. Also making its first appearance at RSNA is Philips Fluoroscopy 7000 N – ProxiDiagnost N90, combining digital radiography and high-end nearby fluoroscopy to help enhance clinical confidence and improve patient and staff satisfaction. About Royal Philips Royal Philips is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2021 sales of EUR 17.2 billion and employs approximately 79,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Carestream Health Unveils New X-ray Detectors, Enhanced X-ray Rooms at World’s Largest Radiology Exhibition

Carestream Health | November 29, 2022

Carestream’s legacy of delivering quality medical imaging technology continues with the launch of new digital X-ray detectors that help improve clinical outcomes, while enhancements to its existing product portfolio reflect the company’s deep understanding of the radiology profession. At the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago, the company is displaying its expanding portfolio of medical imaging systems that provide quantifiable benefits to healthcare organizations and their patients, including New Carestream Focus HD 35 and Focus HD 43 detectors that offer higher resolution with a 100 micron pixel pitch that allows for image magnification for better visibility of small objects and microstructures. The detectors’ Cesium (CsI) scintillator is ideal for dose-sensitive pediatric patients; and the detectors have an IP56 rating for better protection against dust and fluid ingress. Next generation of long-length imaging, the Carestream DRX-LC Detector (INVESTIGATIONAL – NOT AVAILABLE FOR COMMERCIAL SALE) captures long-bone and spine images with a single exposure, making it ideal for pediatric imaging and long-bone and spine images of people with limited mobility. In contrast, the traditional multi-shot approach requires three to five exposures followed by manipulation and stitching of the images. The new detector is designed to capture the full image in a single exposure to minimize dose and mitigate motion artifact that can appear from patient movement with a multi-shot exam. The DRX-LC Detector is designed with X-Factor so the detector can be shared across different Carestream X-ray systems and is compatible with both rooms and mobile units. Enhancements to the Carestream DRX-Evolution Plus that provide improved patient comfort and a better ergonomic experience along with improved workflow for the radiographer. Its new tabletop design eliminates rails that can cause strain and discomfort for both radiographer and patient, enabling patients to be moved more smoothly and with less effort to the exam table. New features in the Carestream DRX-Excel Plus provide a better staff experience with faster workflow and better diagnostic image quality. Designed specifically for large and mid-size hospitals and medical centers, this innovative system combines fluoroscopy and general radiology capabilities in one compact unit. It delivers accelerated workflow, high-resolution images and a wide range of patient exam options. “Our commitment to quickly respond to the needs of the radiology community with ideas that clearly work is as strong as ever, and we are solidly positioned to continue developing solutions that have quantifiable benefits to our customers and their patients. Organizations can have complete confidence in our ability to provide high-value technology that helps lower costs, and improves imaging workflow for radiology departments, technologists and other healthcare professionals—all with the goal of improving patient care.” David C. Westgate, Chairman, President and CEO of Carestream About Carestream Health Carestream is a worldwide provider of medical imaging systems; X-ray imaging systems for non-destructive testing; and precision contract coating services for a wide range of industrial, medical, electronic and other applications—all backed by a global service and support network.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE, MEDICAL DEVICES

mPulse Expands Streaming Engagement Capabilities for Consumer-Focused Digital Health Content

mPulse Mobile, | December 16, 2022

mPulse Mobile, a leader in conversational AI and digital engagement solutions for the healthcare industry, announced the launch of new content capabilities and streaming courses that address health literacy barriers in a consumer-friendly format. Several solution advances continue mPulse’s focus on integrating streaming content into digital health engagement strategies, creating an industry-leading combination of conversational AI that drives two-way SMS messaging campaigns and powerful health streaming content to engage, delight, and move consumers to adopt healthy behaviors. “Stories” Video Format mPulse launched the stories video format to deliver more impactful content experiences in consumer-focused outreach programs. The format adapts video “stories” commonly seen in social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels to deliver captivating content on important healthcare topics. mPulse’s Health Activation Platform tailors the stories content to the individual to address important engagement challenges such as medication adherence, gaps in care, and health plan navigation. “These new video capabilities are proof that mPulse Mobile continues to pioneer category-defining member engagement technology. Our highly tailored, consumer focused content is a powerful tool that creates culturally sensitive digital experiences to address health disparities, encourage healthy behaviors, and drive member outcomes. The stories format allows us to be more impactful when consumers engage, and our initial results show they have a significant impact on program goals.” Bob Farrell, CEO of mPulse Mobile The format drives increased engagement and improved health outcomes among targeted populations. mPulse deployed the stories format in a diabetes eye-screening outreach program. The program included 200,000 Medicare Advantage members, with a subset of 100,000 members receiving the streaming content, delivered in a stories format. This cohort showed a 274% higher Call to Action completion rate than members who did not receive the stories-formatted content. Leveraging conversational outreach, consumers are prompted on the issues that might be preventing them from completing a given action. When they respond via text to identify a barrier, tailored streaming content is delivered instantly and in real-time via an embedded link to address the barrier. New Health Educational Courses mPulse has also launched new streaming health courses that address key health issues and improve health literacy in a consumer-friendly digital format. Produced with proven learning techniques and behavioral science, these courses allow healthcare organizations to extend the digital experience from initial outreach to deep, relationship-building experiences. “Our product strategy aims to offer the most effective technology at delivering health engagement, and core to mPulse’s value is meaningful digital content, which elevates engagement experiences to a new level,” said Sanjeev Sawai, Chief Product and Technology Officer at mPulse Mobile. “Members are in need of better educational content that they find engaging and worth their time. We use short, captivating content to get members' attention and motivate them to act in healthy ways - ways that help them build their health literacy, prevent diseases, manage conditions, and foster wellbeing. Our approach offers innovative frictionless ways to encourage members to engage deeply in their own health and healthcare.” About mPulse Mobile mPulse Mobile is reimagining health engagement to inspire healthier lives and deeper relationships between healthcare organizations and their consumers. A leading healthcare Conversational AI platform combines with award-winning health education for the streaming age to deliver tailored digital health engagement that nurtures, educates, and activates healthcare consumers. With more than a decade of experience, 150+ healthcare customers and 1 billion conversations annually, mPulse Mobile has the data, the expertise, and the solutions to drive healthy behavior change.

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Spotlight

Long a part of the backwaters of antitrust enforcement, vertical mergers have recently attracted the attention of academics and enforcers. The Federal Trade Commission’s hearings on vertical merger policy and the issue of whether to publish new Vertical Merger Guidelines,2 along with recent cases including the Department’s unsuccessful challenge to AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner3 and speeches by enforcement officials4 illustrate a renewed focus on vertical combinations. It is widely recognized that the Department of Justice Non-Horizontal Merger Guidelines are out of date and do not reflect modern economic thinking or government enforcement policy. Indeed, a large body of theoretical and empirical work has served to undermine the economic foundations of the laissez-faire approach that has characterized government policies over the last thirty years.

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