How The Eastern Cherokee Took Control Of Their Health Care

khn.org | July 22, 2019

CHEROKEE, N.C. — Light pours through large windows and glass ceilings of the Cherokee Indian Hospital onto a fireplace, a waterfall and murals. Rattlesnake Mountain, which the Cherokee elders say holds ancient healing powers, is visible from most angles. The hospital’s motto — “Ni hi tsa tse li” or “It belongs to you” — is written in Cherokee syllabary on the wall at the main entrance. “It doesn’t look like a hospital, and it doesn’t feel like a hospital,” Kristy Nations said on a recent visit to pick up medications at the pharmacy. “It actually feels good to be here.” Profits from the tribe’s casino have helped the 12,000 members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opt out of the troubled U.S. government-run Indian Health Service. They are part of an expanding experiment in decentralization, in which about 20% of federally recognized tribes in Oklahoma, California, Arizona and elsewhere have been granted permission to take full control of their health care. For the North Carolina Cherokee, self-governance has meant adopting an integrated care model designed by Alaska Natives to deliver care that not only improves patients’ health, but also is tailor-made for the needs of the tribe. It has meant the opening of a 20-bed state-of-the-art facility in 2015 and the construction of an 18-bed mental health clinic scheduled to open in October 2020.

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Big Chain Pharmacy versus Independent Pharmacy what's the difference? You will soon come to realize that the attention and care you receive when you are at an independent pharmacy compensates you for your prudent decision. “Teaming up with Uber Health is just the latest example of Benzer’s commitment to the customer,” said Alpesh Patel, President of Benzer Pharmacy. “Years ago, we developed a proprietary platform for free home delivery. This agreement underscores what we’ve always done in terms of eliminating one of the most troubling risk factors for non-adherence.”


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Cardinal Health Announces Governance Enhancements and Shareholder Value Creation Initiatives

Cardinal Health | September 07, 2022

Cardinal Health announced initiatives aimed at positioning the Company for long-term success, building on Cardinal Health's previously announced growth plans. These initiatives have benefited from input received from Elliott Investment Management L.P. In connection with these initiatives, Elliott has also entered into a cooperation agreement with Cardinal Health, and Elliott's Steven Barg will join the Company's Board of Directors. As part of Cardinal Health's ongoing commitment to Board refreshment and the initiatives announced today, the Governance and Sustainability Committee of the Board has recommended and the Board has approved the appointment of four new independent directors: Steven Barg, Michelle Brennan, Sujatha Chandrasekaran and Christine Mundkur. With these immediate appointments, Cardinal Health's Board will be made up of 15 Directors, 14 of whom are independent under the Company's director independence standards. Two existing Directors – Dean Scarborough and John Weiland – have announced their intentions to conclude their Board service at the end of their previously elected terms this fall and will not stand for re-election at Cardinal Health's 2022 Annual Meeting, resulting in a 13-member Board. Following the Annual Meeting, Cardinal Health's Board will consist of 54% women and 23% racially or ethnically diverse individuals. Cardinal Health's Board has also formed a new Board committee, the Business Review Committee, to support a comprehensive review of the Company's strategy, portfolio, capital-allocation framework, and operations with the goal of maximizing Cardinal Health's potential for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Business Review Committee will be chaired by Chief Executive Officer Jason Hollar; Mr. Barg and Akhil Johri will also serve on the Committee. The Committee, with the assistance of the Company's legal and financial advisors, will make recommendations to the full Board. The Company expects to conduct an investor day in the first half of calendar 2023 to share the Board's conclusions and to provide additional guidance. "We'd like to thank Dean and John for their service to the Board. We're grateful for their leadership and contributions and wish them both the very best. We're pleased to welcome Steven, Michelle, Sujatha and Christine to the Board and believe the Company and our many stakeholders will benefit from their mix of experience, skills and leadership. We are also pleased with Elliott's confidence in, and commitment to, the go-forward long-term potential of Cardinal Health. Our Board looks forward to receiving the recommendations of the Business Review Committee and updating the market in due course, as Jason and his leadership team chart a path to deliver upon our mission for our customers and employees and drive value creation for our shareholders." Gregory Kenny, Independent Chairman of the Board of Cardinal Health "Cardinal Health's leadership team is focused on creating value for all our stakeholders, and the newly initiated Business Review Committee, as well as the new expertise and experience being added to our Board, are critical steps in this process," said Mr. Hollar, Cardinal Health's Chief Executive Officer. "I look forward to working with the Board, including our four new directors, to optimize our strategy, structure, and operations as we position Cardinal Health for long-term success." Elliott Senior Portfolio Manager Marc Steinberg said, "Our discussions with Jason and the Board have been positive and productive, and we are pleased to have worked collaboratively to reach this agreement. Cardinal Health plays a mission-critical, market-leading role in the global healthcare system, and we have been encouraged by the Company's openness to taking actions necessary to ensuring that Cardinal Health realizes its full potential. We are confident that the initiatives announced today will drive meaningful shareholder value creation, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Company." Michelle Brennan is Chair of Connect Healthcare Council for Pioneering Collective and serves on the Board of Coupa Software. Ms. Brennan spent more than 30 years at Johnson & Johnson, a leader in the field of medical devices, pharmaceutical, and consumer packaged goods, where she focused on driving growth, optimization and business transformation across diverse businesses and geographies. Most recently, Ms. Brennan served as the Global Value Creation Leader for Johnson & Johnson and as a member of the company's Medical Device Executive Leadership Team responsible for the division's value creation through cost management initiatives. Prior to that, Ms. Brennan held a number of positions at Johnson & Johnson, including Company Group Chair, Medical Devices (EMEA); President, Enterprise Standards & Productivity; Worldwide President, Ethicon Energy; as well as a variety of sales and marketing positions for other Johnson & Johnson divisions. Throughout her time at Johnson & Johnson, Ms. Brennan held significant board roles for the company, including Chairman of the Board for Medtech Europe Trading Association. She was previously a member of the UK's Office of Life Sciences Council and Chairman of the Council's Health Technology Partnership Committee. Ms. Brennan holds a B.S. from the University of Kansas. Sujatha Chandrasekaran, also known as Suja, is an advisor and independent consultant in the research and technology sectors. She currently serves on the Board of American Eagle Outfitters as well as private companies including Agendia, a molecular diagnostics company, and Blume Global, a digital supply chain platform company. Ms. Chandrasekaran has more than 25 years of experience in technology and leadership roles across the healthcare, consumer packaged goods and retail industries. Most recently, Ms. Chandrasekaran was Senior EVP & Chief Digital and Information Officer at CommonSpirit Health, one of the largest non-profit health systems in the US. Prior to that, she held a number of senior executive roles at several Fortune 500 multinational companies, including Global Chief Information Officer for Kimberly-Clark; SVP, Global Chief Technology and Data Officer for Walmart; as well as a number of C-level roles at The Timberland Company, PepsiCo and Nestlé SA. Ms. Chandrasekaran has a strong track record of delivering significant value to customers and organizations by leading global technology, supply chain and digital transformation initiatives. In 2022, Ms. Chandrasekaran was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Healthcare. She was previously a Director of Symphony Technology Group and a Director of Barry Callebaut AG as well as a Member of Advisory Board at Atmio Inc. Ms. Chandrasekaran holds an Executive Development Education Certificate from London Business School; a Master of Business Systems/M.B.A. from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia; and a B.Eng. from the University of Madras, India. Christine Mundkur most recently served as Chief Executive Officer and Non-Voting Chairman of the Board of Directors for Impopharma Inc, a developer of complex formulations focused on inhalation pharmaceutical products. Ms. Mundkur currently serves on the Boards of Lupin Limited and MannKind Corporation. While at Impopharma, she led the transition of the company from a successful clinical research organization into a generic pharmaceutical inhalation development company. She also held leadership positions as President and Chief Executive Officer for North America for Sandoz, Inc. Earlier, she served as Chief Executive Officer of Barr Laboratories, Inc. Ms. Mundkur started her career at Barr as quality and regulatory counsel. In addition, she served as a strategic advisor to clients on generics, 505(b)2, biosimilars and NDA business strategies. Ms. Mundkur holds a J.D. from the St. Louis University School of Law and a B.S. from St. Louis University. About Cardinal Health Cardinal Health is a distributor of pharmaceuticals, a global manufacturer and distributor of medical and laboratory products, and a provider of performance and data solutions for health care facilities. With 50 years in business, operations in more than 30 countries and approximately 44,000 employees globally, Cardinal Health is essential to care.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

VBA Partners With Healthcare Bluebook to Provide Enhanced Reporting of Quality Data for Physicians and Hospitals

Healthcare Bluebook and VBA | September 09, 2022

VBA, a leading-edge healthcare technology company, has teamed up with Healthcare Bluebook to incorporate Quantros quality scores for over half a million physicians and hospitals into its VBAnalytics reporting solution. This move is just one of many exciting enhancements around quality-based care reporting planned in 2022 to make VBAnalytics the premier population health and business insight solution for healthcare payers. VBAnalytics already provides robust analysis and reporting of healthcare utilization and costs and offers insight to help payers make the necessary changes to ensure their health plans are performing effectively. “As the healthcare industry continues to strive for transparency in both cost and quality, the Quantros quality data is essential for our clients to remain competitive. Being able to benchmark their results against millions of healthcare claims from all regions of the country provides invaluable insight to manage their plan performance.” Michael Clayton, President and CEO of VBA With VBAnalytics Value-Based Care Reporting, powered by Quantros, health plans can easily combine cost and quality data to determine which providers are performing the best under their value-based care arrangements. Equipped with this information, payers can make adjustments to their provider networks to ensure that patients have access to the best providers. The Quantros quality scores include important measures of physician and hospital performance including patient safety, complications from a procedure or hospitalization, mortality, and hospital readmissions. Data is combined among multiple providers to create an episode of care, which allows for a more comprehensive view of the patient’s experience. VBA has also integrated Healthcare Bluebook’s online shopping tool within its VBAGateway member portal to make it simple for members to access cost and quality information they need with just a few clicks. “When consumers are equipped with accurate information on cost and quality, everybody wins,” said Clayton. “As consumers become more educated about their healthcare decisions, it will lead to more thoughtful choices that can have a positive ripple effect throughout the healthcare system.” Providing consumers with better information also helps to reduce the overall cost of healthcare for employers, who cover a significant portion of the healthcare costs for their employees. About VBA VBA is a leading-edge healthcare technology company providing comprehensive solutions to the insurance industry. Uniquely delivered on a secure, cloud-based platform, VBA provides a suite of technology solutions for benefits administration, user experience, customer support, business insight and more. About Healthcare Bluebook Healthcare Bluebook's purpose is to protect consumers and companies nationwide from overpriced, low-quality healthcare. Since 2007, Healthcare Bluebook has helped millions of people by making it easy for them to find high-quality care at a Fair Price™.

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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Zócalo Health’s Culturally Competent Virtual Healthcare Services for Latino Communities Now Available

Zócalo Health | October 12, 2022

Zócalo Health, a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for Latino patients, announced the launch of its primary care memberships for residents across California and Texas. Starting members can access same day virtual care visits and care navigation services via Zócalo’s website, introducing the Latino community to an improved and long overdue healthcare experience built on trust, relationships, and culture. Zócalo Health, which premiered as an invite-only service to select members earlier this summer, was founded by Erik Cardenas and Mariza Hardin to strengthen the health and wellbeing of the Latino community by eliminating barriers to high-quality healthcare services. This multi-state launch demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to delivering affordable and accessible primary care that blends tradition with innovation and prioritizes trusting relationships between providers and patients. Members will have access to a range of services and care options that would typically be addressed in primary care including: mental health conditions, preventative and lifestyle needs, chronic disease management, urgent care, and other more specific health conditions. The Zócalo primary care model includes the use of community health workers (CHWs) – or as they’re known in the Latino community, promotores de salud. Research shows CHWs are crucial to helping health systems achieve their full potential, since they work to connect patients to local resources and care. At Zócalo, promotores work individually with members to coordinate their care across a team of physicians, nurses, and mental health therapists, as well as connect members to needed resources across the community. Clinicians and promotores are hired from the communities they serve and can provide culturally competent care in both English and Spanish. By building care teams that come from and look like the communities they serve, the team is better able to foster a primary care relationship with patients. Once care has been established with Zócalo Health, members have 24/7 access to chat with their promotor de salud to receive individual guidance on personal health goals and needs. “Today, I am immensely proud to open up Zócalo Health’s services to the community. As a kid, I remember the long waits in the community health clinic to see a doctor who often did not speak Spanish. I had to act as a translator for my mom about my own care and help her navigate next steps. I felt guilty that my mom had to take time off from work for my appointment and pay for any prescriptions or additional care needed. For my family, no work meant no pay, so a doctor’s visit was a heavy burden on everyone,” said Zócalo Health CEO Erik Cardenas. “As the landscape for healthcare delivery has changed with technology, our community continues to get left behind. The one-size-fits-all model for healthcare doesn’t work for everyone. I owe it to my parents and my family to do better. Zócalo Health is focused on giving our people a community built around their healthcare needs.” Despite the major cultural impact the Latino population has had on the U.S., and their increased spending power year after year, the U.S. healthcare system has been slow to adapt its services to the needs of this community’s unique health and cultural needs. Latinos still experience disproportionate barriers to healthcare access, particularly in primary care, where the average wait time to see a doctor is 24 days. This long delay, combined with fewer in-person appointments, high-deductible plans, and high out-of-pocket fees, results in many Latino patients avoiding treatment, using informal networks (family/friends), or waiting for hours in expensive emergency rooms to seek care. In addition to the existing disparities in healthcare access, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic impact have exacerbated health inequities for the Latino community, particularly when it comes to accessing high-quality primary care and preventative services. “I’ve always been community-oriented and my role as a promotora gives me the opportunity to help other Latinos manage their health and navigate a system that unfortunately has not adapted to our needs. “I’m so excited to be able to guide my community through what can often be a stressful experience in order to deliver personalized care management from someone who understands our culture and needs. Our Zócalo Health team is ready to advocate for our members and ultimately impact our community’s health, one person at a time.” Zócalo Health promotora Caroline Carbajal Zócalo Health’s membership and payment options are designed to make access to primary care easy and affordable for Latinos. Services are offered through monthly memberships, with pricing starting at $40 per month or at a discounted rate of $420 a year when paid upfront. Patients in California and Texas can now purchase a membership and schedule same-day virtual appointments by visiting zocalo.health. Zócalo Health plans to expand to other states in 2022 and beyond. About Zócalo Health Zócalo Health is a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for the Latino patient. Our primary care model blends tradition with innovation and prioritizes trusting relationships between care teams and patients. Each member of Zócalo Health is paired with a promotor de salud (community health worker) to establish a relationship to better understand members’ goals and connect them to a Zócalo Health physician. Our team of physicians, hired from the community, focus on prevention, primary care, behavioral health, and traditional practices that work together to support our members’ wellness. Operating in the states of California and Texas, Zócalo Health offers affordable and convenient care memberships that provide same-day access to culturally-aligned providers.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Alexandra Clyde appointed to Sequana Medical Board of Directors

Sequana Medical NV | August 29, 2022

Sequana Medical NV a pioneer in the treatment of drug-resistant fluid overload in liver disease, heart failure and cancer, announces the appointment of Alexandra Clyde as an independent Non-Executive Director of the Company. Ms. Clyde is a highly experienced global business executive with an exceptional understanding and track record of successfully navigating health economics and reimbursement in the medical device industry. The Company also announces that Erik Amble will step down as a member of the Board of Directors after the board meeting of 7 September 2022, and will continue to attend the meetings as a board observer in a non-voting capacity. “Alex will be a critical member of our Board as Sequana Medical prepares to expand commercialization of the alfapump. Her experience from more than 25 years at Medtronic, a global leader in healthcare technology, and her understanding of healthcare systems around the world will prove invaluable as we continue to grow our business and seek to transform the care of liver disease and heart failure. On behalf of the Board, I would also like to thank Erik for his tremendous contributions to the Company and we are pleased to still have him as an observer on the Board.” Pierre Chauvineau, Chairman of the Board at Sequana Medical Ms. Clyde added: “I believe that both of Sequana Medical’s programs – the alfapump® and DSR® therapy – have the potential to deliver tremendous benefit to patients and the healthcare community. In these two large and growing patient populations, liver disease and heart failure, drug-resistant fluid overload is a significant and burdensome challenge with limited effective treatment options. Sequana Medical is in an exciting position to help these patients and reduce the burden of disease. I look forward to working with the Board and management team to help the Company reach its potential.” Mr. Amble added: “At this time in the Company’s evolution, it is critically important that the Board brings expertise to help guide the Company’s commercial readiness activities in North America. With Doug and Alex now on the Board, I am confident that the Board is well positioned to guide Sequana Medical as it enters a period of potential exponential growth. It’s been a pleasure to work with Sequana Medical’s Board and management team for more than 15 years and I look forward to continuing my involvement as a Board observer.” Ms. Clyde is Senior Vice President of Global Health Economics, Policy, and Reimbursement for Medtronic plc. In this role, she leads a global function of more than 300 reimbursement and health economics professionals and provides company-wide leadership on health and payment policy. She is a member of the Duke Margolis Value-Based Payment and Innovative Technology Consortium, the Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) Policy Forum, and the Advisory Board for the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center. She is a former member of the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network’s Guiding Committee which is charged by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services with accelerating the health care system’s transition to alternative payment models (APMs) by combining the innovation, power, and reach of the public and private sectors. She has also participated in various Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services technical advisory councils as well as other private and public sector initiatives to improve value in health care. Alex graduated from Colgate University with a B.A. in Economics and from Harvard University with a M.S. in Health Policy and Management. Sequana Medical NV is a pioneer in treating drug-resistant fluid overload, a serious and frequent clinical complication in patients with liver disease, heart failure and cancer. Fluid overload is a well-recognized problem in these growing diseases, causing severe problems for the large number of patients for whom current medicines are no longer effective. These patients can have up to 15 liters of extra fluid in their bodies, causing major medical issues including increased mortality, repeated hospitalizations, severe pain, difficult breathing and restricted mobility that severely impacts daily life.

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Spotlight

Big Chain Pharmacy versus Independent Pharmacy what's the difference? You will soon come to realize that the attention and care you receive when you are at an independent pharmacy compensates you for your prudent decision. “Teaming up with Uber Health is just the latest example of Benzer’s commitment to the customer,” said Alpesh Patel, President of Benzer Pharmacy. “Years ago, we developed a proprietary platform for free home delivery. This agreement underscores what we’ve always done in terms of eliminating one of the most troubling risk factors for non-adherence.”

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