Government payment policies tied to hospital performance fail to improve patient safety

Healthcare Finance | February 07, 2019

Value-based incentive programs, or VBIPs, aim to drive improvements in quality and reduce costs by linking financial incentives or penalties to hospital performance. But a new study has found no evidence these programs have any measurable association with changes in catheter-associated urinary tract infection rates in U.S. hospitals. It touts itself as the first study to look at how these federal payment programs impact healthcare-associated infections. In 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services implemented VBIPs to financially reward or penalize hospitals based on quality metrics. These programs targeted hospitals' rates of certain healthcare-associated infections that were deemed preventable.Previous studies demonstrated minimal impact of these payment programs on measures of hospital processes, patient experience and mortality. But their impact on patient safety metrics, including healthcare-associated infection rates, had been unknown.

Spotlight

The involvement of patients in their care is a top priority for the NHS, highlighted in the NHS Constitution  and the NHS Five Year Forward View. Healthcare providers are encouraged to develop different relationships with patients and communities to help empower them and engage them in their care. This same approach applies to patient safety in healthcare where greater engagement of patients is seen as one of the building blocks for improvement. Indeed, a checklist for safety improvement produced by the Health Foundation in 2015 includes supporting patients, carers and families to play an active role in patient safety.


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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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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE, MEDICAL DEVICES

Swisslog Healthcare Elevates Cory Kwarta to CEO

Swisslog Healthcare | December 19, 2022

Swisslog Healthcare, a leading supplier in healthcare technology solutions of both medication management and transport automation, has appointed Cory Kwarta as its CEO. Kwarta, who was appointed as CEO of the Swisslog Healthcare – TransLogic division earlier this year, is now entrusted to oversee the global organization, guiding both the company’s TransLogic® and Medication Management divisions. “Since I started at Swisslog Healthcare, my goal has always been to help improve efficiencies in the healthcare industry. As CEO of the company, I will remain dedicated to our organization’s commitment of helping our customers and partners provide the highest quality healthcare.” Cory Kwarta Cory Kwarta was also recently named as a member of Swisslog Healthcare’s Board of Directors. The move came as a result of Kwarta’s recent prior promotion to CEO of Swisslog Healthcare – TransLogic and his 15 years of service with the organization. Kwarta has a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Denver. Swisslog Healthcare’s TransLogic division works with healthcare facilities to develop custom-designed pneumatic tube systems which automate their needs to transport materials from station to station. The Medication Management division of Swisslog Healthcare assists healthcare facilities with automating and managing the pharmaceutical workflow, including preparation, patient-specific dosing, delivery, and storage. Both divisions deliver operational cost reduction by enabling the redeployment of personnel to patient-facing activities. About Swisslog Healthcare Swisslog Healthcare provides integrated medication supply chain solutions to hospitals and health systems to assist providers in treating patients across the continuum of care. Integrating transport and pharmacy automation, value-added services, and intelligent software, Swisslog Healthcare enables healthcare providers to respond to patient’s needs quickly and with greater accuracy. The company minimizes many sources of operational waste, so providers achieve higher levels of productivity to impact the well-being of patients in positive ways.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Asep Medical Holdings Inc. Announces Grant of Stock Options

ASEP Medical Holdings Inc | November 25, 2022

Asep Medical Holdings Inc. is pleased to announce that, for recruitment, incentivization, and retention purposes, it has granted to certain officers and advisors an aggregate of 1,080,000 stock options to purchase up to 1,080,000 common shares of the Company of which 200,000 are exercisable at a price of $0.30 per Share until September 29, 2032, 200,000 are exercisable at a price of $0.30 per share until October 1, 2032, and 680,000 are exercisable at a price of $0.30 per share until November 24, 2032. ABOUT ASEP MEDICAL HOLDINGS INC Asep Inc. is dedicated to addressing antibiotic failure by developing novel solutions for significant unmet medical needs. The Company is a consolidation of two existing private companies that are both in the advanced development of both proprietary diagnostic tools, enabling the early and timely identification of severe sepsis as well as broad-spectrum therapeutic agents to address multidrug-resistant biofilm infections. Sepset Biosciences Inc. is developing a diagnostic technology that involves a patient gene expression signature that predicts severe sepsis, one of the significant diseases leading to antibiotic failure since antibiotics are the primary treatment for sepsis. Despite this, sepsis is responsible for nearly 20% of all deaths on the planet. The semester test is a blood-based gene expression assay that is straightforward to implement, and results are obtained in about an hour in the emergency room or intensive care unit. This proprietary diagnostic technology differs from current diagnostic tests in enabling diagnosis of severe sepsis within 1-2 hours of first clinical presentation while other diagnostics only provide diagnosis after 24-36 hours. Asep Inc. believes this will enable critical early decisions to be made by physicians regarding appropriate therapies and reduce overall morbidity and mortality due to sepsis. ABT Innovations Inc.'s peptide technology covers a broad range of therapeutic applications, including bacterial biofilm infections anti-inflammatories, anti-infective immune modulators, and vaccine adjuvants.

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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Intuit to Acquire Financial Health Startup SeedFi

Intuit | December 02, 2022

Intuit the global financial technology platform that makes TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp, announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire SeedFi, the partner behind Credit Karma’s Credit Builder1, which helps low, or no-credit borrowers build credit while saving money, all for free. Credit Builder offers a line of credit and a secured savings account enabling members to build their credit while building up savings. By combining SeedFi’s Credit Builder technology with Credit Karma’s long standing relationships with credit bureaus and others in the credit ecosystem, Intuit will be able to move with greater speed and scale to help Credit Karma members make financial progress. Late last year, Credit Karma entered into a partnership with SeedFi to offer Credit Builder to its members, enabling them to make regular payments, starting with as little as $20 per month or $10 per paycheck. By reporting these payments to the credit bureaus, members took steps toward improving their financial health. Through this partnership, members increased their score by an average of 21 points in as little as 30 to 45 days2 and built up over $10 million in savings. This acquisition will enable Credit Karma Money to continue to build on that momentum and help put more members on a path to financial security. “Credit Karma Money was built to change consumers’ relationship with money and help them develop responsible financial habits, like staying on top of their bills and spending within their means. With Credit Builder, we are able to differentiate ourselves as one of the best accounts for building credit. We have long standing relationships with credit bureaus and others in the credit ecosystem, and SeedFi has built great technology, so when combined, we will move even faster and build products to help more members, including those who need it the most.” Poulomi Damany, SVP and GM for Credit Karma Money and Tax A recent study from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau showed that nearly three-quarters of Americans with no emergency savings have credit scores below 660. The correlation between low credit scores and lack of emergency savings persists over time, and SeedFi takes that problem head-on. Similar to Credit Karma, SeedFi’s mission is to break the cycle of debt and help Americans realize their financial potential. “We have already been working with the Credit Karma Money team for over a year to help members build their credit score and have been impressed with how Credit Karma’s mission comes through in everything the company does. SeedFi has a similar mission to help consumers become financially fit, so joining forces just makes sense,” said SeedFi co-founder and CEO Jim McGinley. “Together, leveraging Credit Karma’s resources and scale, we will be able to accelerate the momentum of Credit Builder and SeedFi’s technology capabilities to help more consumers improve their financial health.” The transaction between Intuit and McBurberod Financial, Inc. which does business as SeedFi, is subject to closing conditions, and is expected to close in the coming months. Upon close, SeedFi will become part of Intuit’s Credit Karma business. The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on Intuit’s operating results for the full fiscal year 2023. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. Intuit Ventures was an investor in SeedFi’s last financing round. About Intuit Intuit is the global financial technology platform that powers prosperity for the people and communities we serve. With more than 100 million customers worldwide using TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to prosper. We never stop working to find new, innovative ways to make that possible. Please visit us for the latest information about Intuit, our products and services, and find us on social. About Credit Karma Founded in 2007 by Ken Lin, Credit Karma, an Intuit company is a consumer technology company with nearly 130 million members in the United States, U.K. and Canada, including almost half of all U.S. millennials. While best known for pioneering free credit scores, the company’s members turn to Credit Karma for everything related to their financial goals, including identity monitoring, applying for credit cards, shopping for loans auto insurance, savings accounts and now checking accounts through our bank partner, MVB Bank, Inc., Member FDIC — all for free.

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Spotlight

The involvement of patients in their care is a top priority for the NHS, highlighted in the NHS Constitution  and the NHS Five Year Forward View. Healthcare providers are encouraged to develop different relationships with patients and communities to help empower them and engage them in their care. This same approach applies to patient safety in healthcare where greater engagement of patients is seen as one of the building blocks for improvement. Indeed, a checklist for safety improvement produced by the Health Foundation in 2015 includes supporting patients, carers and families to play an active role in patient safety.

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