HHS: Here's how remaining $70B in COVID-19 funding will be distributed to providers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) | April 24, 2020

The Trump administration has laid out a plan for how to disperse the remaining $70 billion to providers struggling financially due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allocated $30 billion to providers out of a $100 billion pot passed in an economic stimulus package by Congress a few weeks ago.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said on a call with reporters on Wednesday the agency will distribute money for skilled nursing facilities and providers that rely primarily on Medicaid.
Azar added the rest will be reserved for a second tranche of COVID-19 hotspot funding and to cover the uninsured claims at Medicare rates for any providers.
The timing for when providers will get the money will depend.
HHS will launch a portal next week at hhs.gov/providerrelief where providers can submit revenue information for the $20 billion in general funds.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

UMC Health System Partners with Omnicell for Advanced Services Solutions to Streamline Medication Management & Enhance Clinical Outcomes

Omnicell | February 15, 2022

Omnicell, Inc., a leading provider of medication management and adherence tools for health systems and pharmacies, today announced that UMC Health System (“UMC”) in Lubbock, Texas, has selected Omnicell’s comprehensive portfolio of Advanced Services solutions to support key pharmacy initiatives, including acute care, outpatient, retail, and 340B program strategies. UMC has signed a 10-year sole source agreement for Omnicell’s cloud-based portfolio of solutions, including central pharmacy automation and point of care dispensing systems. The partnership is also expected to support UMC’s goals of expanding community pharmacy services through opportunities with Omnicell’s 340B services and EnlivenHealth’s patient engagement solutions, helping UMC to drive operational efficiency across its continuum of care. More importantly, these solutions will empower pharmacy staff and clinicians to focus on higher value tasks that support patient safety. As a public hospital with a 40-year tenure supporting the Lubbock community, UMC has experienced an increase in demand for its services. According to U.S. Census data, Texas has one of the highest uninsured population rates – at 18.4 percent in 2019, nearly double the national average. Programs like the federal 340B Drug Pricing Program and technology-enabled patient engagement solutions are intended to help improve health outcomes for these underserved communities. “At UMC, our top priority is patient safety and ensuring healthy outcomes for our community. Partnering with Omnicell, we are building an advanced pharmacy technology strategy that aligns with our vision to streamline and advance the pharmacy and nursing practice across our system. Most importantly, we are laying a technology foundation that will enable the best patient care.” John Lowe, vice president of Support Services at UMC Health System UMC has embraced the industry-defined vision of the Autonomous Pharmacy, a roadmap designed to develop a zero-error, fully automated medication management infrastructure. Through automation, intelligence, and expert services, the Autonomous Pharmacy is expected to drive performance and outcomes, and empower clinicians to shift their focus from manual administrative functions to patient support needs. “As medication management becomes more complex, we believe health systems need end-to-end, cloud-based solutions that will allow them to work smarter, while supporting safe, efficient pharmacy care,” said Scott Seidelmann, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Omnicell. “We’re confident that Omnicell’s partnership with UMC will provide comprehensive solutions that bridge acute and ambulatory care to help enhance performance and that are designed to deliver the highest levels of patient safety across the health system.” About UMC UMC Health System is a national award-winning health system comprised of over 4,600 team members and more than 30 care locations. We are proud to partner with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center to provide the best care to West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. Whether you are managing a chronic condition, dealing with an unexpected illness, or simply working to stay healthy, we are passionate about getting you well and helping you stay that way. At UMC, Our Passion is You. About Omnicell Since 1992, Omnicell has been committed to transforming the pharmacy care delivery model to dramatically improve outcomes and lower costs. Through the vision of the autonomous pharmacy, a combination of automation, intelligence, and technology-enabled services, powered by a cloud data platform, Omnicell supports more efficient ways to manage medications across all care settings. Healthcare facilities worldwide use Omnicell automation and analytics solutions to help increase operational efficiency, reduce medication errors, deliver actionable intelligence, and improve patient safety. Institutional and retail pharmacies across North America and the United Kingdom leverage Omnicell's innovative medication adherence and population health solutions to improve patient engagement and adherence to prescriptions, helping to reduce costly hospital readmissions.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Mednow Enters Into Agreement to Acquire Mednow East Inc in Ontario

Mednow Inc. | March 08, 2022

Mednow Inc. Canada’s on-demand virtual pharmacy, is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into a share purchase agreement on March 4, 2021 with Mednow East Inc.and the shareholders of Mednow East, pursuant to which the Company shall acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Mednow East, in consideration for an aggregate cash payment of approximately C$65,578 and the Company’s agreement to convert approximately C$1,374,422 owed by Mednow East to the Company pursuant to a pharmacy agreement dated September 15, 2020, as amended October 30, 2020 into a non-interest bearing on-demand convertible promissory note. Mednow East is an Ontario company that operates an online pharmacy, delivering prescriptions in the Province of Ontario. Mednow East has its business headquarters in Toronto and employs Mednow’s marketing and technology platform for lead generation, prescription fulfillment and customer services pursuant to the Pharmacy Agreement. Strategically, Mednow is focused on building out a national pharmacy footprint and the acquisition of Mednow East, with their presence in Ontario, helps to accelerate these goals. Prior to this acquisition, Mednow entered into the Pharmacy Agreement with Mednow East, but post-acquisition, Mednow will own 100% of a pharmacy located in Ontario, which will allow Mednow to provide free same-day pharmaceutical delivery services in the GTA and surrounding areas, and free next-day delivery in the rest of Ontario. Upon closing of the Share Purchase Agreement, Mednow East’s revenue and expenses will be consolidated with those of Mednow and the Pharmacy Agreement between the two parties will be terminated. The debt of approximately C$1,374,422 extended to Mednow East by the Company was used to fund Mednow East’s working capital and provide support for its operations. As Amir Ali Reyhany-Bozorg and Felipe Campusano are directors of the Company and Karim Nassar is the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, and each are also shareholders of Mednow East, the transaction contemplated under the Share Purchase Agreement is a related party transaction under Multilateral Instrument 61-101 –Protection of Minority Securityholders in Special Transactions. The Company is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements imposed by MI 61-101 pursuant to the exemptions in section 5.5(a) and 5.7(a) of MI 61-101, as neither the fair market value of the Shares, nor the consideration paid therefor, exceeds 25% of the Company's market capitalization. The Transaction is subject to corporate and regulatory approvals, including TSX Venture Exchange approval. About Mednow Inc. Mednow is a healthcare technology company offering virtual access with a high-standard of care. Designed with accessibility and quality of care in mind, Mednow.ca provides virtual pharmacy and telemedicine services as well as doctor home visits through an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare that is focused on the patient experience. Mednow’s services include free at-home delivery of medications, a user-friendly interface for easy upload, transfer, and refill of prescriptions, access to healthcare professionals through an intuitive chat experience, a specialized PillSmart™ system that packages prescriptions and vitamins by date and time, and doctor consultations.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Valtruis Brings Advanced Healthcare Data Analytics Capabilities Into Its Portfolio With Ursa Health Partnership

Ursa Health and Valtruis | June 28, 2022

Valtruis, a WCAS company, has entered a strategic partnership with Ursa Health, a healthcare data analytics company that brings a paradigm-breaking approach to how healthcare organizations use their data to learn, make decisions, and innovate Valtruis portfolio companies Cricket Health and Wayspring are already experiencing quantifiable advances in their data analysis and management capabilities through both the Ursa Studio no-code analytics development platform and the unusually productive training, support, and consultative relationships they have formed with Ursa Health’s team of healthcare IT and data analytics experts. “Building on the investments made in our first year – with Cricket Health, Wayspring, U.S. Medical Management (USMM) and Oncology Care Partners – we are moving quickly and strategically to realize our foundational commitment,” said Valtruis Managing Director Karey Witty. “That commitment is to accelerate the adoption of value-based care through investments in and collaboration with companies and entrepreneurs that share the vision, talent, and innovative strategies to make value-based care a reality. Ursa Health is one of those companies.” “We bring scalable innovation to healthcare. Companies driving toward meaningful strategic innovation need their data to provide richer, more nuanced answers than healthcare as an industry has historically delivered – and they need these insights at the speed of business. Ursa Studio is a technology that unlocks a fresh approach to developing trusted information. On the technical level, the platform shifts IT team time from the labor of debugging code and managing data plumbing, opening up their capacity to answer additional business questions. On the human level, the platform enables rapid iteration and collaboration between the producers and consumers of analytics, bringing teams to a successful endpoint more quickly. As a result, organizations gain the self-service capacity to fill their information gaps and guide their innovations more efficiently and effectively.” Ursa Health CEO and Co-Founder Robin Clarke, MD Early-phase successes from Valtruis’ partner companies attest to the value, intelligence, and flexibility of the Ursa Health technology and analytics approach. Adam Dunning, Chief Information and Analytics Officer at Wayspring, stated: “We needed a solution to fast-track the development of our SUD Home offering. Working with Ursa Studio, allowed us to accelerate the building of foundational data analytics structures. Our clients and staff will see notable returns as we continue to master the technology offering developed by Ursa Health.” About Valtruis Valtruis, a WCAS company, provides a unique platform that invests in and partners with disruptive leaders whose mission is to align, and transform healthcare through what is truly value-based care. Founded on a commitment to accelerate meaningful change, Valtruis brings the functional expertise, access to capital, and an expansive network that advance our partners’ evolution from early-stage development to industry-leading enterprises. Together, Valtruis and its partner companies will break through the systemic barriers in the healthcare industry to reduce costs, expand access, increase quality, and radically improve the patient experience. About Ursa Health Ursa Health is transforming analytics so innovators can transform healthcare. Our analytics development platform, Ursa Studio, combines no-code technology with healthcare-specific content, enabling health plans, providers, digital health companies, and others to take a Buy Your Build™ approach to their analytics infrastructure. With the structured adaptability of Ursa Studio, organizations can make full use of their rich data resources to accelerate growth.

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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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The first CRM launch truly changed the way sales were managed. We went from tracking customers on spreadsheets (and even in rolodexes) to tracking them and their attendant opportunities with software. It wasn’t long before reps started to feel the purpose of a CRM was more about preserving their contacts for their replacement than it was about making their lives easier. After all, back then it wasn’t much easier than updating a rolodex!

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