GOP sees potent Trump attack line health care for immigrants

Thehill | July 03, 2019

Democrats running for president handed Donald Trump a potent attack line last week when they promised that their government health insurance plans would cover undocumented immigrants.
It merged two of President Trumps favorite campaign issues health care and immigration  and could help him in battleground states where white, middle-class voters are worried about both.
It gives Donald Trumps campaign a very simple message when it comes to health care Your plans are getting worse, your premiums and deductibles have gone up, and these Democrats say they want to raise your taxes to pay for free health care for illegal immigrants, said Scott Jennings, a GOP strategist who advised former President George W. Bush and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
The Democrats are living in a bubble on illegal immigration. They dont quite understand how its being viewed in Middle America, Jennings added.All 10 Democrats raised their hands during one of last weeks debates when asked by moderator Savannah Guthrie if their health care plans would cover people who are in the country illegally.

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Getting elderly patients home sooner, stronger and with fewer complications after emergency general surgery is the goal of an ‘elder-friendly’ emergency surgical unit now being created at University of Alberta Hospital.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Texas Children's Hospital And Baylor College of Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Technology Secures Emergency Use Authorization In India

Texas Children Hospital | December 29, 2021

Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine announced today that CORBEVAX™, a protein sub-unit COVID-19 Vaccine, whose technology was created and engineered at its Center for Vaccine Development (CVD), has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval from the Drugs Controller General ofIndia(DCGI)to launch inIndiawith other underserved countries to follow. Dubbed "The World's COVID-19 Vaccine", it uses a traditional recombinant protein-based technology that will enable its production at large scales making it widely accessible to inoculate the global population. The initial construct and production process of the vaccine antigen was developed at Texas Children's Hospital CVD, led by co-directors Drs. Maria Elena Bottazzi and Peter Hotez and in-licensed from BCM Ventures, Baylor College of Medicine's integrated commercialization team, to Hyderabad-based vaccine and pharmaceutical company Biological E. Limited (BE). CORBEVAX™ after completing two Phase III clinical trials involving more than 3000 subjects was found to be safe, well tolerated and immunogenic: CORBEVAX™ demonstrated superior immune response in comparison with COVISHIELD™ vaccine when assessed for Neutralizing Antibody (nAb) Geometric Mean Titers (GMT) against the Ancestral-Wuhan strain and the globally dominant Delta variant. CORBEVAX™ vaccination also generated significant Th1 skewed cellular immune response. CORBEVAX™ nAb GMT against Ancestral-Wuhan strain is indicative of vaccine effectiveness of >90% for prevention of symptomatic infections based on the Correlates of Protection assessment performed during Moderna and Astra-Zeneca vaccine Phase III studies. CORBEVAX™ nAb GMT against the Delta strain indicates a vaccine effectiveness of >80 percent for the prevention of symptomatic infections based on published studies. While none of the subjects who took CORBEVAX™ or COVISHIELD™ had serious adverse events, CORBEVAX™ had 50 percent fewer adverse events than COVISHIELD™. In the continuous monitoring of phase II studies, CORBEVAX™ showed high persistence of immune response as indicated by <30% drop in nAb GMT till 6 months second dose as compared to >80% drop observed with majority of the vaccines. "Protein-based vaccines have been widely used to prevent many other diseases, have proven safety records, and use economies of scale to achieve low-cost scalability across the world," said Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, Professor and Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and Co-Director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. "Our decade-long studies advancing coronavirus vaccine prototypes has led to the creation of this vaccine, which will fill the access gap created by the more expensive, newer vaccine technologies and that today are still not able to be quickly scaled for global production." The need for safe, streamlined, low-cost vaccines for middle- to low-income countries is central to the world's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Without widespread vaccination of populations in the Global South, additional virus variants will arise, hindering the progress achieved by currently available vaccines in the United States and other Western countries. "This announcement is an important first step in vaccinating the world and halting the pandemic. Our vaccine technology offers a path to address an unfolding humanitarian crisis, namely the vulnerability the low- and middle-income countries face against the delta variant," said Dr. Peter Hotez, Professor and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and Co-Director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. "Widespread and global vaccination with our Texas Children's-Baylor-BE vaccine would also forestall the emergence of new variants. We have previously missed that opportunity for the alpha and delta variant. Now is our chance to prevent a new global wave from what might follow." "Over the years, we have worked to make quality vaccines and pharmaceutical products accessible to families around the world. With this as our backdrop, we resolved to develop an affordable and effective COVID-19 vaccine. It has now become a reality. We deeply appreciate Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, Baylor, CEPI, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the government of India for their continuous support and cooperation during this journey. The combined efforts & unceasing support demonstrate that we can collectively overcome any challenge". Mahima Datla, Managing Director, Biological E. Limited ABOUT TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL Texas Children's Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children's hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children's has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women's health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Tower for pediatric research; Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children's Hospital The Woodlands, the first hospital devoted to children's care for communities north of Houston. The organization also created Texas Children's HealthPlan, the nation's first HMO for children; has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country, Texas Children's Pediatrics; Texas Children's Urgent Care clinics that specialize in after-hours care tailored specifically for children; and a global health program that's channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children's Global Health program leads efforts that advance health care equity through innovative collaboration in care, education and research for underserved populations globally. Texas Children's Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. ABOUT TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CENTER FOR VACCINE DEVELOPMENT Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development is one of the leading vaccine development centers in the world. Established in Washington DC as the Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership (PDP) in the year 2000 and after relocating to the Texas Medical Center in 2011, it rebranded as Texas Children's Center for Vaccine Development. For the past two decades it has acquired an international reputation as a non-profit PDP, advancing vaccines for poverty-related neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and emerging infectious diseases of pandemic importance. In addition, it builds and strengthens capacity for vaccine development locally and with foreign nations and leads global efforts to guide and influence vaccine policy and advocacy through "vaccine diplomacy" as an international bridge for peace and vaccine development capacity. ABOUT BCM VENTURES Baylor College of Medicine Ventures is the commercial engine of the health sciences university, created to support the translation of academic knowledge and intellectual assets for the benefit of society. We do this by engaging university innovators, entrepreneurs and industry to fully develop ideas along their best commercial path. We foster a culture of commercialization and engage with industry to identify market opportunities for collaborative ventures. ABOUT BIOLOGICAL E. LIMITED Biological E. Limited (BE), a Hyderabad-based Pharmaceuticals & Biologics Company founded in 1953, is the first private sector biological products company in India and the first pharmaceutical company in Southern India. BE develops, manufactures and supplies vaccines and therapeutics. BE supplies its vaccines to over 100 countries and its therapeutic products are sold in India and the USA. BE currently has 8 WHO-prequalified vaccines in its portfolio. In recent years, BE has embarked on new initiatives for organisational expansion such as developing generic injectable products for the regulated markets, exploring synthetic biology and metabolic engineering as a means to manufacture APIs sustainably and developing novel vaccines for the global market.

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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

Habersham Medical Center first hospital in Georgia to adopt digital diagnostic image-sharing platform, PocketHealth

PocketHealth | June 18, 2022

Habersham Medical Center (HMC) announced that it will engage PocketHealth to help make it much easier for the hospital's 80,000 patients to access, share and store their medical imaging and reports securely on any device, enabling them to be more informed and active in their own healthcare journeys. Patients will no longer need to travel to the healthcare facility to collect a CD-ROM of their records and transport it to their next appointment or hope that their critical health information makes it safely to their primary care physician. With PocketHealth, HMC's patients will be able to actively engage in their own healthcare journey by accessing and sharing their imaging reports with their physicians, caregivers, or family members from any device, anywhere in the world. Physicians and other healthcare professionals who share and receive diagnostic images with Habersham will be able to work within the medical center's existing infrastructure and won't need to worry about additional software or account setup. They will be able to view patient imaging instantly in full diagnostic quality or import those images into their local PACS for diagnosis. "We are very excited to make the healthcare experience much easier than it has been for patients at Habersham Medical Center, and in implementing PocketHealth at our hospital, we are equipping patients to be participants in their own medical journey. Until now, when medical imaging and reports were shared it required our patients to make unnecessary trips to the site. Tyler Williams, President, and CEO of Habersham Medical Center PocketHealth equips healthcare providers with the most efficient and effective way to share medical imaging while bringing patients into the center of the process, fueling better outcomes through direct access to diagnostic imaging and reports. Patients can now request all of their imaging records from HMC on the PocketHealth website and gain better insights into their reports with PocketHealth's Report Reader functionality, which breaks down and defines complex medical terms found within radiology reports. "Diagnostic Imaging is essential to understanding a treatment course or for soliciting second opinions and can often be the spark for a long-term care journey," said Rishi Nayyar, co-founder and CEO, PocketHealth. "PocketHealth is thrilled to work with Habersham Medical Center to make it easy for patients and care providers to move through an image-based journey without the unnecessary frustration that often comes with records release and CD-ROM hardware." Habersham Medical Center is focused on serving its communities by providing high quality healthcare to its patients and clinical partnerships. The Center conducts approximately 125,000 imaging exams each year. About PocketHealth PocketHealth is the world's first patient-centric image sharing platform. With PocketHealth, patients can instantly access, share and take ownership over their own medical imaging and records - anytime, anywhere, and with anyone. PocketHealth also enables direct sharing between hospitals and physicians, as well as instant DICOM retrieval and automated importing capability, creating a unified image management solution for more than 600 hospitals and imaging clinics across North America. PocketHealth believes that by placing patients at the center of their care journey, records move more ethically, easily and securely throughout the healthcare system. About Habersham Medical Center Serving over 80,000 residents across northeast Georgia, Habersham Medical Center (HMC) is a 53 licensed-bed, acute care hospital delivering exceptional care and service. As a substantial economic partner for Habersham County, HMC operates three physician practices, a comprehensive rehabilitation program, an 84 licensed-bed, skilled nursing home and the area's only hospital-based, home health service.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

UniDoc Partners with AMD Global Telemedicine

UniDoc | February 04, 2022

UniDoc Health Corp., an innovator in the telehealth sector, is pleased to advise on a commercial master distribution agreement (the “Agreement”) with Massachusetts-based AMD Global Telemedicine Inc. (“AMD Global”) for the provision of specialized products and services critical to ongoing commercialization efforts. As a pioneer of virtual care technology, and an industry leader in telehealth solutions, AMD Global has been providing quality healthcare solutions for over 30 years with product sales and registered deployments in 100+ countries. The agreement adds AMD Global as a UniDoc key supplier of telehealth solutions including virtual care software platforms, integrated medical devices, and telemedicine bundled kits. The products and services will be purposed and integrated into the UniDoc Virtual Care Solutions Model (“VCSM”), which will offer a proprietary, customizable, and comprehensive telehealth solution based on a variety of integrated physical enclosures, kiosks, and related configurable packaging designed to deliver web-based services and analytical tools in combination with access to a developing network of healthcare providers, pharmacies, and hospitals. All AMD Global products and telehealth technologies are built to provide high performance and quality, are easy to use and maintain, and operate dependably even in difficult environments. AMD Global is ISO 13485:2003 certified and runs an FDA registered facility operating within good manufacturing telemedicine best practices guidelines. The AMD platform provides UniDoc with immediate access to FDA & Health Canada approved devices (FDA Certified; ISO 13485; and FDA GMP – including all HIPPAA privacy and compliance) which support and help propel the Company’s fast-track plans for commercialization. Mr. Eric Bacon, President of AMD Global Telemedicine Inc. states, we are very pleased to have this opportunity to work with the UniDoc team. Their dedication, passion and commitment are outstanding and adds great value to their ability to drive ahead, overcome obstacles, and keep focused on achieving results. Their offering is unique in its vision and feasibility to scale. We are excited to have been chosen as UniDoc’s provider of choice for their telehealth technology needs today as well as help them extend and develop their telehealth portfolio going forward.” “We are so very delighted to have this opportunity to work with AMD Global as a key vendor of critical components and services. When we began this venture, we found a very short list of suppliers who so clearly fit our needs and timelines. It didn’t take long to determine that AMD’s medical grade instruments are integrated into high quality software. Additionally, AMD completely met our needs when it came to ensuring all required certification and compliance requirements were already in place. To everyone’s credit on both sides, the synergies were readily apparent, and it didn’t take long to come to an agreement. I’m confident that this arrangement will prove instrumental in unlocking the value of this exciting venture together.” UniDoc CEO Antonio Baldassarre About UniDoc Health Corp. UniDoc is developing a telehealth solution which is being designed as a self-contained remote virtual clinic within a private kiosk for patients to undergo full consultations as if they were present in a physician’s office. Telehealth opens the doors to a large segment of the population challenged by access, experience or understanding of online computer technology. It is the Company’s belief that physical accessibility is the key to its business proposition. UniDoc is dedicated to unlocking shareholder value by delivering an excellent product and sophisticated commercial network within an expedited timeframe.

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Spotlight

Getting elderly patients home sooner, stronger and with fewer complications after emergency general surgery is the goal of an ‘elder-friendly’ emergency surgical unit now being created at University of Alberta Hospital.

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