Hospital profitability, volumes struggled during 2018, with a few exceptions

Healthcare Finance | January 14, 2019

With 2018 now in the books, it's possible to see how certain trends played out in the world of healthcare. Kaufman Hall was certainly interested in examining the year that was, and in looking back, the firm found that while 2018 got off to a bad start, hospital volumes and profitability rebounded here and there -- though not nearly enough to make it a banner year. The summer months tended to be stronger on the profitability front, but Kaufman Hall's December Flash Report found it was the second month in a three-month period in which profitability declined. Operating EBITDA margin declined 54 basis points and operating margin declined 83 bps. This performance is being driven, in part, by declining volumes and utilization, increasing lengths of stay, and increasing expenses -- particularly for supplies and purchased services.

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Deepening its existing relationship with Vizient has enabled Memphis-based Baptist Memorial Health Care—a 22 hospital healthcare system in Tennessee, Mississippi and
Arkansas—to develop a strategic partnership. 


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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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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE, DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

BioNJ Hosts Its Inaugural Health Equity in Clinical Trials MBA Business Plan Case Competition

BioNJ | December 07, 2022

BioNJ, New Jersey's life sciences trade association, hosted an Inaugural Health Equity in Clinical Trials MBA Business Plan Case Competition on Saturday, December 3, at Rutgers Business School. BioNJ's Business Plan Case Competition, which is part of a broader BioNJ strategic initiative of Health Equity in Clinical Trials, was designed to promote the next generation of diverse clinical trial innovators and identify innovative approaches and successful models that can be used nationally to strengthen diversity in clinical trials and expand health equity. BioNJ believes that health equity in clinical trials is critical to deepening the understanding of the safety and efficacy of medicines in under-represented populations, expanding access to medical innovation for these populations and increasing dialogue and trust among the biopharma industry, communities and healthcare systems. By discovering new approaches, utilizing new technologies and developing new business standards to make trials more accessible, we can work to create more agile, efficient and Patient-centered medical research. Eight teams, competing for more than $20,000 in prize money, were tasked with developing a business plan defining a new solution, application or technology to help address this important and challenging problem. Teams identified one particular type of health disparity on which to frame their proposed solutions and connected with community-based organizations to better understand the real-world barriers that exist for their chosen populations to engage in clinical trials. The disease areas on which the respective teams focused included Alzheimer's, heart failure, multiple sclerosis, diabetes type 1 and type 2, colorectal and cervical cancers, and oncology. "There is an urgent need to bring more diversity to clinical trials in order to better serve Patients and their communities…thereby helping to address health inequities. Only by improving diversity in clinical trials will we be able to deepen our understanding of the safety and efficacy of medicines for all populations. I am extremely proud of our teams. Each of the business plans offered a unique out-of-the-box solution – helping advance our ambition to have no Patient left behind." Amadou Diarra, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Global Policy, Advocacy & Government Affairs for Bristol Myers Squibb; BioNJ Board Member and Chair of the BioNJ Health Equity in Clinical Trials Initiative Live pitch presentations were made throughout the day to a Panel of Judges comprised of industry experts Naikia Atkinson, Director, U.S. Clinical Trials Diversity and Inclusion, Sanofi Schylr Greggs, Director, Technology Operations, Medidata Sharon Hanlon, Head, Clinical Trial Engagement & Enrollment, Bristol Myers Squibb Maribel Hernandez, Vice President, Clinical Operations & Special Projects, PTC Therapeutics Jack Rosenberg, Manager, Investments and Business Development, TrialSpark Del Smith, Co-Founder & CEO, Acclinate Lolita Smith, Program Manager, Rare Disease Diversity Coalition, Black Women's Health Imperative Matt Walz, CEO, TrialBee "Although ultimately three winning teams were presented with cash prizes, each team has made a difference for Patients by offering new solutions and technologies to better serve Patients, build community trust and address gaps in health care delivery," said Paul Howard, Ph.D., BioNJ Business Case Competition Steering Committee Chair and Senior Director, Public Policy for Amicus Therapeutics. "This is just the start as we work to share these proposals more broadly." A white paper with all of the presentations will be published in April and rolled out during BioNJ's acclaimed BioPartnering Conference – which brings together more than 500 industry professionals from around the globe. The three winning teams will present their plans during the April 18 BioPartnering Conference and all of the students are invited to attend to meet the community. About BioNJ BioNJ is the life sciences trade association for New Jersey, representing close to 400 research-based life sciences organizations and stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem from the largest biopharmaceutical companies to early stage start-ups for nearly 30 years. Because Patients Can't Wait®, BioNJ is dedicated to ensuring a vibrant ecosystem where Science is Supported, Companies are Created, Drugs are Developed and Patients Have Access to Lifesaving Medicines.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE, HEALTHCARE ANALYTICS

Juno Medical Raises $12M Series A Led by NEXT VENTURES and Serena Ventures; Funding Will Fuel Juno's National Expansion

Juno Medical | December 12, 2022

Juno Medical, the modern doctor's office that's designed for the 99%, today announced $12 million in Series A funding co-led by Julian Eison, Managing Partner at NEXT VENTURES, and Serena Williams, Managing Partner at Serena Ventures. Juno’s comprehensive tech-enabled healthcare model is designed to meet the everyday healthcare needs of "the 99%,” with a specific focus on revitalizing neighborhoods across the United States and delivering a beautiful environment, transparent pricing, and exceptional care. The funding will support Juno’s continued development of its technology platform and expansion into new markets, including Atlanta, Georgia, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Los Angeles, California. Other notable participants include Vast Ventures, which led Juno’s seed round, Empire State Development’s New York Ventures, TXV Partners, Genius Guild, Gaingels, and previous investors Atento Capital and Humbition. Juno’s team has unmatched healthcare, technology, and business expertise. Juno Founder and CEO Dr. Akili Hinson’s background spans medicine and business. He is a physician by training and former McKinsey & Company consultant with expertise in payment innovation, value-based care delivery, and digital transformation. Juno’s medical leadership team includes Chief Health Officer Dr. Aarti Agarwal, an internist and epidemiologist with expertise in global health and value-based care, as well as Juno’s two founding physicians, Dr. Shante Hinson, a rheumatologist and preventative health expert dedicated to bridging the healthcare gap in underserved communities, and Dr. Candice Fraser, an OB/GYN with over a decade of experience as a trusted guide in women's health. “Juno’s vision is to reimagine the future of healthcare by finally making exceptional, family-centered care accessible and affordable for the 99% all across the United States. At Juno, we’ve designed healthcare that people love by providing the highest quality care and incredible service in a beautiful environment that feels like a place to belong—all powered by modern technology. We are honored by the support of the thousands of patients who have trusted us with their care and our investors who believe in us — we could not be more excited to bring Juno to more neighborhoods and communities all across the country.” Dr. Akili Hinson Juno’s products and services are designed for the family’s “Chief Caregiver” by bringing the best of primary care, pediatrics, women's health, same-day care, and virtual care into one thoughtfully designed experience. “It brings joy to my heart knowing Juno is on a mission to bring exceptional healthcare to cities and developing areas of our nation where suboptimal care, facilities, and services have been tolerated out of necessity for way too long," said Julian Eison, Managing Partner of NEXT VENTURES. “I believe Juno’s hybrid approach leveraging brick and mortar clinics paired with digital access is an enduring model that will serve as the fundamental basis to build community trust and outcomes to match. It’s an honor to have partnered with such an esteemed team, attacking one of the largest problems of our time.” Juno accelerated the opening of its first location in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City to see patients in April 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic devastated New York and many physician offices were closed. In addition to providing COVID testing and care to hundreds of residents, Juno continued to offer in-person preventive care during the pandemic which led to the identification of treatable cancers and previously undiagnosed chronic conditions in asymptomatic women and men — which may have been missed in the absence of the founding team’s commitment to serve. “We are honored to partner with Juno to expand upon their inclusive, full-service healthcare home model where people from all backgrounds feel seen, heard and welcome,” said Serena Williams, Managing Partner of Serena Ventures. “There is a serious need to address equity issues in healthcare, mental health and wellness services that many communities face. Juno and its talented team have the vision, model and track record to disrupt the unacceptable status quo in healthcare.” Juno’s approach and presence in underserved communities is part of the solution to a growing challenge of healthcare disparities that exist across the United States. A recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation outlined race-based disparities in maternal and infant health and mortality. The markets in which Juno will expand have their own unique health care challenges. On November 1, Atlanta Medical Center closed its doors, leaving an already-strained healthcare system with one less option and exacerbating concerns about the future of safety net hospitals in the region and state. In North Tulsa, where Juno’s clinic will be located, residents have a life expectancy 13 years shorter than their neighbors in South Tulsa. “Empire State Development’s New York Ventures exists to partner with promising startups that are working to solve the world’s most important challenges, and we are proud to support Juno Medical as they strive to provide exceptional healthcare to New Yorkers, especially in areas that are often overlooked or left behind,” said Hope Knight, President, CEO and Commissioner of Empire State Development. “Juno’s success in New York State is a road map for the future and a proven model for delivering quality, affordable healthcare for all.” Unlike recent trends in concierge medicine and digital health, Juno’s model is designed to work with nearly all types of insurance—including commercial plans, Medicare and Medicaid—without initial barriers or exclusive membership fees. Juno is taking a different approach to meet the needs of busy households by offering additional plans that start at $20 per month per person or $50 per month per family that complement its core services with added conveniences like night and weekend appointments, savings, and unique events and experiences. Juno’s hybrid model includes both in-person options for patients and a robust e-health platform, which includes an app that allows patients to make appointments, manage care information, and keep in touch with their care team. As part of its mission to create a healthier world, Juno will use this funding to expand into new markets and recruit the highest-caliber provider talent in Atlanta, Tulsa and Los Angeles. Juno’s new clinics will be located in the historic yet overlooked neighborhoods of East Atlanta, Greenwood (Tulsa), and Inglewood (Los Angeles). The funding will also support the continued expansion of Juno’s robust technology platform for both patients and healthcare providers—a critical component of Juno’s innovative model. About Juno Medical Launched in April 2020, Juno Medical is a tech-enabled healthcare service provider designed for you and yours. The company offers exceptional hospitality, modern technology, and transparent prices that won't break the bank and brings the best of adult primary care, pediatrics, women's health, and same-day care into one thoughtful and beautifully designed place.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE, MEDICAL DEVICES

Optimize your time and investment by downloading a networking info app for the 41st Annual JP Morgan Health Care Conference

Novateur Ventures | December 13, 2022

Novateur Ventures, a leading global life sciences advisory firm and Biotechnology Innovation Organization the world's largest advocacy association for biosciences, research and academic institutions, launched an industry networking information app, Event Guide to JPM 2023, which provides listings for an anticipated >200 satellite networking events taking place during the 41st Annual J.P. Morgan Health Care Conference on January 9-12, 2023, in San Francisco, CA. The Event Guide to JPM 2023 app, developed by Novateur Ventures and co-managed by BIO, features event search and filter capabilities, provides links to event and registration information, and in the case of in-person events, loads mapping software for directions to the event. Organizations can also use the app to list their scheduled events being held during the conference timeframe. "It was important for me to develop an app that allowed life science professionals to make important industry connections because, over my career, some of the most transformational relationships I have developed are the direct result of industry networking events. Novateur is delighted to be collaborating with BIO, to give the app a global reach," Ali Ardakani, Founder and Managing Director of Novateur Ventures “I see the app as a natural addition to BIO Partnering at JPM Week. We’re always working to help the industry partner more easily and effectively, and I’m excited to bring the whole JPM Week networking landscape to the palm of your hand. We are excited to be partnering with Novateur on managing and launching this app,” says Mackensie Vernetti, BIO’s Director of Partnering Operations. About Novateur Ventures Novateur Ventures is an established life sciences advisory and investment firm with extensive experience in business development and product development of therapeutics, medical devices, and digital health products. About Biotechnology Innovation Organization BIO is the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. Good Day BIO is the only daily newsletter at the intersection of biotech, politics and policy. Subscribe here.

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Spotlight

Deepening its existing relationship with Vizient has enabled Memphis-based Baptist Memorial Health Care—a 22 hospital healthcare system in Tennessee, Mississippi and
Arkansas—to develop a strategic partnership. 

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