Experts to Congress: Uptick in preventable outbreaks 'alarming,' needs more funding to address

FierceHealthcare | March 06, 2019

What's one of the best times to convince a parent to vaccinate their child? It just might be before their baby is born, Saad Omer, MBBS, MPH, Ph.D., a professor in the Emory Vaccine Center, told the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Tuesday. "There’s evidence to suggest a lot of parents are making their decision around vaccines before the baby is born," Omer said. "After the baby is born, it’s like fast-moving train and parents go through this extended jet lag." His primary message: They need to prioritize funding not only in vaccine science but also in understanding the best way to communicate with the public around vaccines. He was testifying as part of an expert panel—which included an 18-year-old who garnered national attention recently for getting vaccinated against his parents' wishes—that raised alarms about the impact of misleading information on vaccine rates and resulting upticks in outbreaks of preventable diseases.

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Dr. Edward Weldon, Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon at Straub Medical Center, assists Jackie with a stretching routine that can alleviate capsulitis in throwing athletes.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

CONVERT Clinical Trial Data Presented at ERS Demonstrates Early Success of AeriSeal System in Patients with Advanced COPD/Emphysema

Pulmonx Corporation | September 05, 2022

Pulmonx Corporation a global leader in minimally invasive treatments for severe lung disease, announces the presentation of interim results from the CONVERT Study at the 2022 European Respiratory Society International Conference. Data on the first 40 patients in the study demonstrated that treatment with the AeriSeal System successfully converted the collateral ventilation status in 78% of patients who were subsequently treated with Zephyr Valves. The AeriSeal System is used to close collateral air channels in a target lung lobe of a patient with severe COPD/emphysema, making the patient eligible to then undergo Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction (BLVR) with Zephyr Valves. Patients whose lungs have untreated collateral ventilation are currently ineligible for treatment with Zephyr Valves and have limited options once medical management alone does not control symptoms. Once the target lobe is converted from CV+ to CV-, patients can be treated with Zephyr Valves, which has been shown to improve lung function, quality of life, and exercise capacity for patients with severe COPD/emphysema. The CONVERT study uses the AeriSeal System to close collateral air flow. Once the treated lobe tests negative for collateral ventilation Zephyr Valves are implanted to address hyperinflation of that target lobe to ease emphysema symptoms without major surgery. Successfully converted patients who received Zephyr Valves had clinically meaningful Target Lobe Volume Reduction with a mean reduction of greater than one (1) liter. The CONVERT trial is ongoing and full clinical outcomes of BLVR with Zephyr Valves were not reported at this time. However, results recently published from a single-center feasibility study at Macquarie University Hospital in Australia showed that the AeriSeal System successfully closed collateral air channels and allowed for successful clinical outcomes after treatment with Zephyr Valves.2 At 6 months, AeriSeal and Zephyr Valve treated CV+ patients experienced clinically meaningful improvements similar to improvements in CV- patients treated with Zephyr Valves alone.2 Improvements included Lung function (FEV1 increase of 19.7%, Residual Volume decrease of 16.2%) Quality of life (SGRQ score decrease of 15.1 points) Exercise capacity (Six-Minute Walk Distance increase of 77.2 meters) There were no serious adverse reactions experienced by patients in the Australian feasibility study; 20% of patients in the CONVERT Study experienced an inflammatory response following AeriSeal treatment - all were transient, medically managed, and resolved. The available data suggest that patients with collateral ventilation can undergo successful BLVR with Zephyr Valves following closure of the fissure gap with the AeriSeal System. “This is very promising news for patients with advanced COPD. We know that treatment with Zephyr Valves can provide long-term improvements in lung function, breathing, and quality of life, but for patients with collateral ventilation, this minimally invasive treatment has not been available as an option,” explains Dr. Michela Bezzi, Department Head and Director Interventional Pulmonology - ASST Spedali Civili, University Hospital, Brescia, Italy. “Having a technology like the AeriSeal System to convert collateral ventilation positive patients to negative status means we can provide a treatment to patients who currently have very few options.” “This work reflects our continued commitment to developing and testing new medical technologies to help patients with severe lung disease breathe easier and have better quality of life. These early study results are encouraging and move us closer to the goal of helping severe emphysema patients who have collateral ventilation benefit from our proven Zephyr Valve treatment.” Glen French, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pulmonx About the CONVERT Study CONVERT is a prospective, open-label, multi-center, single-arm study being conducted at up to 20 investigational sites. The study plans to enroll 140 subjects with severe emphysema and collateral ventilation in the target lobe. This protocol is designed to evaluate the utility of the AeriSeal System, which uses a synthetic polymer foam to occlude collateral air channels in a target lung lobe and convert the target lung lobe to having little to no collateral ventilation. Patients will then undergo Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction with Zephyr Endobronchial Valves. Zephyr Valves are not effective if collateral ventilation (CV+) is present but once the target lobe is converted from CV+ to CV-, patients can be treated with Zephyr Valves which has been shown to improve lung function, quality of life, and exercise capacity for patients with severe COPD/emphysema. About Zephyr Valves The Zephyr Valve is a minimally invasive treatment option for severe COPD/emphysema. Zephyr Valves are placed via bronchoscopy to block off a diseased portion of the lung to prevent air from getting trapped and reduce hyperinflation, which allows the healthier lung tissue to expand and take in more air. This results in patients being able to breathe easier, be less short of breath, and have an improvement in their quality of life.1 National and global treatment guidelines for COPD include Endobronchial Valves like Zephyr Valves with the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease giving valves an ‘Evidence A’ rating. More than 25,000 patients have been treated with the Zephyr Valve worldwide. About Pulmonx Corporation Pulmonx Corporation is a global leader in minimally invasive treatments for severe lung disease. Pulmonx’s Zephyr® Endobronchial Valve, Chartis® Pulmonary Assessment System and StratX® Lung Analysis Platform are designed to assess and treat patients with severe emphysema/COPD who, despite medical management, are still profoundly symptomatic. Pulmonx received FDA premarket approval to commercialize the Zephyr Valve following its designation as a “breakthrough device.” The Zephyr Valve is commercially available in more than 25 countries, with over 100,000 valves used to treat more than 25,000 patients.

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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Health Alliance Improves Outcomes and Reduces Costs Using CareSignal’s Deviceless Remote Patient Monitoring

CareSignal, Health Alliance | June 27, 2022

Health AllianceTM, the health plan of Illinois-based Carle Health, is leading the way for rising-risk populations by launching a remote patient monitoring program powered by CareSignal. This program is part of Hally® health, the member-facing telehealth app Health Alliance uses to give its members access to tools and resources for their well-being. The partnership between Health Alliance and CareSignal aims to reduce readmissions, reduce spending, and improve members’ experience while increasing health literacy and empowering members to better self-manage their chronic conditions. The partnership is serving shared Medicare and Commercial populations and is expanding to Carle Health’s Accountable Care Organization. CareSignal’s scalable remote patient monitoring technology sends evidence-based questions directly via phone call or text message to the member. Questions focus on the member’s health status and encourage adherence to their health management plan through reporting of symptoms and daily habits while monitoring changes in risk status. Indications of worsening symptoms can trigger real-time alerts to allow for intervention, including proactive health coaching and escalation of care. Health Alliance is currently prioritizing Chronic Obstructive Respiratory Disease congestive heart failure, hypertension, asthma, and post-discharge care, and is hoping to add additional populations. Health Alliance is also bolstering its care coordination team with CareSignal’s virtual care navigators enabling them to manage a larger member population without needing additional staff. VCNs are the first to intervene with members before escalating to the Health Alliance care coordination team and/or primary care physician. By handling routine review, education and scheduling tasks when needed, the VCNs enable the Health Alliance care coordination team to work at the top of their license. The program provides increased support for members without increased touch points from providers. “Our team selected CareSignal as the best fit for our Health Alliance remote patient monitoring strategy due to its clinically validated pathways, ability to scale, and ease of use for our members. We believe by adding remote patient monitoring to our population health services, we will improve quality of care and health outcomes, expand access to care management, reduce disparities in health outcomes, enhance the member experience, and reduce hospitalizations, ED visits, and readmission rates.” Margie Zeglen, MBA, FACHE, Vice President of Population Health at Health Alliance and Carle Health “The expansion of this relationship is a result of the clinical and strategic vision that Carle and Health Alliance teammates bring to our partnership,” said Blake Marggraff, CEO of CareSignal, a Lightbeam Company. “Given the ongoing, nationwide staffing challenges that healthcare organizations face, the CareSignal team is particularly proud to be able to support Health Alliance with both the technology and clinical resources required for success. I look forward to serving even more individuals’ clinical needs while simultaneously serving a terrific client-partner.” About Health Alliance Based in Champaign, IL, Health Alliance operates in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, and Washington with additional licenses in Nebraska and Missouri. Health Alliance is part of Carle Health, an integrated system of healthcare services, which includes a five-hospital system as multi-specialty physician groups, as well as Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the Stephens Family Clinical Research Institute. In Illinois, Health Alliance offers employer group plans, individual plans, Medicare plans, State of Illinois Employee plans, and State of Illinois Retiree plans through Total Retiree Advantage Illinois. In Iowa, Health Alliance offers employer group plans and Medicare plans. In Washington, we offer Medicare plans and public individual plans. And in Indiana and Ohio, Health Alliance offers Medicare plans. About CareSignal – a Lightbeam Health Solutions Company CareSignal offers Deviceless Remote Patient Monitoring® which is specifically designed for value-based care by leveraging real-time, self-reported patient data and artificial intelligence to produce long-term patient engagement while identifying clinically actionable moments for proactive care delivery. Together, Lightbeam and CareSignal align best-in-class population health capabilities with proven remote engagement and monitoring solutions serving more than 42 million patient lives across the United States. Lightbeam’s vision is to shine a light on health data using analytics, and to provide the insight and capabilities healthcare clients need to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time. Learn more about solutions specific to your organization and population by visiting our website or trying a self-guided demo.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Software Identifies Unreported Mental Health Issues in Teens

Advanced Metrics | August 26, 2022

Advanced Metrics and Samaritan Counseling Center today announced the release of QUALO Behavioral Health, a cloud-based software designed to proactively screen teens for mental and emotional wellbeing. "An easy to implement mental health screening strategy gives schools a targeted opportunity to engage and empower students who need connected to community resources because they are struggling with feelings of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts." Steve Schedler, Samaritan Counseling QUALO Behavioral Health software revolutionizes teen mental health screening by innovatively simplifying the entire screening process. The software guides youth through industry standard screening tools to understand their current emotional wellbeing. Mental health professionals are immediately provided with data supporting an "at-risk" or "not at risk" identification and are guided through an intentional follow-up process. "With the mental health crisis facing teens today, we knew it was critical to develop a software that supports teen's mental well-being and normalizes conversations about mental health. We designed this software so schools can implement it independently or through collaboration with an outside agency. Either way, the platform will support students, inform administrators, and enhance any mental health strategy a school is implementing." Steven Herr PhD, Advanced Metrics Advanced Metrics is a Software as a Service company dedicated to improving the health of individuals and communities through science informed software and human centered data analysis. Advanced Metrics designed QUALO, a comprehensive web-based solution, to empower human service organizations to deliver services that generate quality life outcomes. TeenHope is a student mental and emotional wellbeing education and screening program in Lancaster, PA. TeenHope is supported by Samaritan Counseling Center, which provides professional counseling, consultation and education for individuals, couples, businesses, and clergy.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Leading ACOs are Choosing Innovaccer’s ACO REACH Solution Suite to Improve Population Health and Advance Health Equity

Innovaccer Inc., | August 05, 2022

Innovaccer Inc., the Health Cloud company, announced the expansion of its Solution Suite for ACO REACH participants. With its ACO REACH Solution Suite, Innovaccer has taken its entire portfolio of solutions that several leading ACOs across the country use, to help New Entrant ACOs and High Needs Population ACOs accelerate their transformation and advance health equity. Since the initial launch of the ACO REACH Solution Suite in April, Innovaccer has rapidly expanded its client base to include new entrants such as UpStream, Florence Health, and many more organizations that are accelerating their transformation to value-based care. These organizations are leveraging Innovaccer’s end-to-end technology platform to build a unified data foundation, develop population health management strategies, and better engage physicians and patients. For example, UpStream chose Innovaccer as their technology partner to get a 360-degree patient view that provides actionable insights at the point of care to help improve outcomes, employ advanced analytics to assess and predict health risks to help keep patients out of the hospital, and use clinically contextual patient engagement throughout the care continuum to help improve chronic care management and the overall patient experience. “Traditionally, many practices don’t have the experience or resources to take on the financial risks associated with value-based care models, especially for older, higher-risk populations,” said Lucas Sahm, chief information officer at UpStream. “UpStream is deeply rooted in data, which makes partnering with Innovaccer a logical step for us because we speak the same language and have the same goal: to connect, curate, and make better use of healthcare data to improve patient outcomes, improve the patient experience, while also improving financial outcomes for providers.” Innovaccer’s ACO REACH Solution Suite brings technology and services together to help providers jump-start and excel at this new value-based model: the Innovaccer Health Cloud’s Data Activation Platform, Innovaccer’s industry-leading population health management solution, Innovaccer’s world-class population health analytics; and Innovaccer’s comprehensive SDoH solution for identifying, understanding, and mitigating social determinants—an absolute essential for supporting health equity, access to care, and community health. “Through ACO REACH, the CMS is paving the way for provider organizations to advance health equity through value-based care. To succeed with this new program, they need the right people, processes, and technologies to help develop, implement, and optimize their shared savings strategies. As a technology-enabled service, our enhanced ACO REACH Solutions Suite enables providers to identify and address SDoH factors, reach vulnerable populations with remote patient monitoring, identify relevant care gaps and utilization trends, predict obstacles, and assist providers and patients in optimizing outcomes. We’ve strived to include everything a provider could need in a technology-enabled solution to succeed as a REACH ACO.” Abhinav Shashank, cofounder and CEO at Innovaccer Innovaccer has a proven history of helping health organizations succeed under risk-bearing, value-based care models. Reach out to an Innovaccer representative today to get a demo of the Innovaccer® Health Cloud’s Data Activation Platform or to find out how we are helping provider partners like you with the tools they need to reach underserved patients, identify and address SDoH, and progress in the movement toward health equity. For more information, please visit https://innovaccer.com/accelerators/aco-reach. About Innovaccer Innovaccer Inc., the Health Cloud company, is dedicated to accelerating innovation in healthcare. The Innovaccer® Health Cloud unifies patient data across systems and care settings, and empowers healthcare organizations to develop scalable, modern applications that improve clinical, financial, and operational outcomes. Innovaccer’s solutions have been deployed across more than 1,600 care settings in the U.S., enabling more than 96,000 providers to transform care delivery and work collaboratively with payers and life sciences companies. Innovaccer has helped its customers unify health records for more than 39 million people and generate over $1B in cumulative cost savings. Innovaccer is the #1 rated Data and Analytics Platform by KLAS, and the #1 rated population health technology platform by Black Book.

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