FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE
Trillium Community Health Plan | June 03, 2022
Trillium Community Health Plan is pleased to announce it has successfully closed the Tri-County Expansion Corrective Action Plan (CAP) with Oregon Health Authority effective June 1, 2022. As a result of this process, Trillium has implemented many practices that have further strengthened the plan's ability to coordinate high-quality healthcare and services, with a special focus on increasing access to care and addressing social determinants of health for Oregon Health Plan members in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties.
In September 2020, OHA issued a CAP for Trillium's Medicaid plan as a condition of expansion into the Tri-County service area. OHA asked Trillium to focus on specific improvements to its network, health equity and language access, community engagement, and intensive care coordination. Leveraging the extensive expertise of its many work groups, committees, and community partnerships, including the Network Adequacy Collaborative and Health Equity Strategy Committee, and with contributions from tribal liaisons, traditional health worker liaisons, and the development of the Community Advisory Council, Trillium has addressed and resolved all CAP requirements.
Today, Trillium serves more than 28,000 members in the Tri-County area. Through the CAP, the health plan made several improvements to enhance access to care and services for all members, including
The creation of a fully compliant and engaged Community Advisory Council, made up largely of Trillium members representing diverse demographics and lived experience;
New partnerships with the regional health equity coalition, tribal organizations, and community-based groups, which further support Trillium members with access to culturally sensitive healthcare, food insecurity, and other investments
A robust behavioral health provider network to meet the needs of members;
The Network Adequacy Collaborative to ensure all network related issues, including health equity, are identified and addressed promptly; and,
A renewed internal committee structure to align plan efforts and center equity on strategic planning.
"Trillium is committed to providing equitable, culturally sensitive, integrated care for all of our members in Oregon. We want to thank OHA for their continued partnership throughout this process, which has allowed us to enhance our systems, processes, and partnerships, improving our ability to identify local needs, remove barriers to care, develop service innovations, and collaborate across organizations to enact lasting change within our communities."
Justin Lyman, Interim President and CEO of Trillium
Trillium extends its appreciation to OHA for its partnership throughout this process.
About Trillium Community Health Plan
Trillium Community Health Plan serves Oregon Health Plan members through the CCO model, which began in 2012. Trillium is a recognized leader for outstanding coordination of care. It was first awarded a contract with the state of Oregon to help manage care for the Oregon Health Plan in 1999. Trillium partners with an extensive group of providers to improve care and access to services for OHP members.
FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE
Virta Health | June 07, 2022
Virta Health, the leader in type 2 diabetes reversal, revealed preliminary five-year results from its landmark clinical trial at the American Diabetes Association 82nd Scientific Sessions. Presenting four unique abstracts, Virta highlighted myriad, lasting health improvements for people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, including blood sugar control, clinically-significant weight loss, reduced inflammation, and improvements in other markers of cardiometabolic health.
These transformative health outcomes coincided with medication reduction or elimination for many trial patients, including Jane Ann Dimitt.
For over two decades, Jane Ann was prescribed increasing levels of medications as her blood sugar and weight continued to climb. By the time she joined Virta in 2015, her A1c had reached 11.4%; the next step was insulin. Through Virta’s treatment, Jane Ann lowered her blood sugar to 5.5% (below even the prediabetes threshold) and lost over 50 pounds, while drastically reducing her reliance on medications. She also saw improved mobility, decreased inflammation and neuropathy, and now has the energy to play with her grandchildren—all without needing the insulin doctors said was imminent.
The outcomes of Jane Ann and Virta’s other trial patients contradict the belief that progression of diabetes—and a lifetime of increasing medications—is inevitable. One-fifth of Virta patients completing five years of treatment saw full remission. One-third of patients achieved A1c below 6.5% without any diabetes medications, or only requiring Metformin. Notably, inflammatory markers, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol all improved significantly.
These outcomes, in conjunction with previous research demonstrating improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors, depression symptoms, sleep, and knee pain, establish the promise of Virta’s approach to impact a wide range of conditions amid America’s metabolic disease epidemic. In the U.S., costs are rising as patient outcomes continue to worsen, including surges in amputations, hyperglycemic events, and diabetes-related deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, getting patients to stick with an intervention remains a significant challenge in diabetes therapy. Rates of medication adherence—that is, whether patients take their medications as prescribed—fall as low as 34% over the first three years for those starting insulin. For the National Diabetes Prevention Program, considered the gold standard in lifestyle interventions, only 13% of patients were retained at one year.
In contrast, in Virta’s trial nearly 50% of participants with type 2 diabetes were retained at five years. Of those who continued past year two, 72% remained for an additional three years to year five. For Kim Shepherd, who lost 55 pounds, eliminated 10 different medications, reversed her diabetes, and even saw her GERD (acid reflux) and plantar fasciitis disappear, the reasons to stick with the treatment are clear.
“Diabetes runs in my family, and I know that this disease can rob you of your whole life; it can take your eyes, your feet, and your kidneys. I have 4 kids and 9 grandkids to keep up with. I’ve learned to love hiking and biking. Nothing is worth losing all of that and going back to how I was before.”
Additional key outcomes demonstrating the success of Virta’s approach at five years include
Sustained blood sugar control. Virta patients experienced persistent improvements in blood sugar on average, while requiring significantly fewer medications.
Medication deprescription. Half of patients prescribed insulin at the start of the trial no longer needed it at five years. Across all diabetes drugs, prescriptions were reduced by nearly 50%.
Weight loss. Average weight among Virta participants decreased by 7.6%, exceeding the 5% benchmark for clinically significant weight loss by more than 50%.
Broad improvement in cardiometabolic health. In addition to improvements in triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and markers of inflammation, patients even showed encouraging signs in reversing the progression of chronic kidney disease.
“Virta’s patients are helping redefine what long-term success can look like in type 2 diabetes care. The patient outcomes set a new standard for real-world applications of diabetes treatment."
Dr. Alan Moses, former Senior Vice President and Global Chief Medical Officer of Novo Nordisk, and Virta advisor
Trial participants with prediabetes also saw meaningful improvements, with progression rates far below what has been demonstrated in other studies. Further, Virta patients sustained 6% weight loss over five years, exceeding the clinically-significant benchmark for diabetes prevention and far surpassing the 2% weight loss observed in the NIH Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle intervention.
The study is also notable for its longevity. Five-year published results are extremely rare in digital health, where most studies follow populations for no more than a year, and usually significantly less. For many Virta patients, the five-year clinical trial has facilitated a lasting lifestyle change, improving not only traditional markers of health but overall mood, quality of life, and outlook on the future.
Says patient Denise Lamb, who has maintained diabetes reversal alongside a nearly 70 pound weight loss, “My journey has been phenomenal. The Virta program has not only helped me achieve healthy blood glucose, but also attain a far better weight, normal blood pressure, and better understanding of my body. Virta’s lifestyle changed my lifestyle!”
About Virta Health
Virta Health helps people reverse type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions. Current approaches manage disease progression through increased medication use and infrequent doctor visits. Virta reverses type 2 diabetes through innovations in technology, nutrition science, and continuous remote care from physicians and behavioral experts. In clinical studies, 94% of patients reduce or eliminate insulin use, and weight-loss exceeds FDA benchmarks by nearly 150%. Virta works with the largest health plans, employers, and government organizations and puts 100% of its fees at risk based on clinical and financial outcomes.
Nomi Health | July 14, 2022
Everyone Health has agreements with self-funded employers and third-party administrators for pre-negotiated, all-inclusive prices that save employers up to 70% relative to commercial fee-for-service rates. The company delivers these savings via Sano Surgery’s direct contracting with more than 10,000 physicians and facilities — surgical hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, endoscopy centers, radiology centers, labs and more — in 300 of the largest U.S. cities across 48 states, all now part of Nomi Health’s national provider network.
“Nomi Health believes healthcare needs a rebuild, not a renovation. These companies share in our vision of extracting the complexity and cost from traditional healthcare, so buyers experience substantial savings and, most importantly, patients have greater access to more affordable care. In three short years, we expanded easy access to care to 15 million Americans, while significantly driving down cost of care to buyers. The immediate contributions of Everyone Health and Sano Surgery will accelerate this track record in the years ahead.”
Mark Newman, founder and CEO of Nomi Health
Founded by CEO Dutch Rojas 10 years ago, Sano Surgery has a network of nearly 6,000 medical facilities and 8,000 lab locations nationwide, ranging from radiology and orthopedics to women's health and oncology. This network enables Everyone Health to deliver higher quality medical treatments and services at lower prices. As a result, physicians benefit from predictable volumes and payments, while patients enjoy a more streamlined care and billing experience.
“My goal is affordable and accessible healthcare for all. We’ve built a nationwide network of physicians and medical facilities that allows us to bring substantially lower pricing and more transparent transactions to the market, benefiting countless Americans,” said Rojas, founder and CEO of Sano Surgery and Everyone Health. “As the dual crisis of access and affordability grows on the heels of the pandemic, the time is right to increase our impact as part of Nomi Health.”
The acquisitions enable buyers to turn to Nomi Health for a full suite of solutions — analytics, care delivery and a direct network — all underpinned by a modern claims infrastructure and payment rails. It also brings 12 full-time employees, including Rojas, to Nomi Health to accelerate the continued expansion of the company’s network of clinical partners, which is critical as Nomi Health takes its support and services into more communities nationwide.
The acquisitions of Everyone Health and Sano Surgery come on the heels of Nomi’s $200 million acquisition of healthcare analytics leader Artemis Health in January.
About Nomi Health
Nomi Health is a nationwide direct healthcare system making it easier than ever for any buyer of healthcare to access the highest quality affordable care for their communities. The company’s direct care ecosystem encompasses a real-time operating and payment system — inclusive of analytics and payment rails — as well as an integrated care delivery infrastructure featuring essential care services, pharmacy and an open network. To date, Nomi Health has saved buyers of care an average of 30 percent compared to traditional healthcare costs, while enabling them to give their communities more access to lower cost, high quality care.
From rural counties to some of the largest cities in America, Nomi Health has administered everyday healthcare services to more than 14 million Americans and counting in hundreds of communities nationwide. During COVID-19, this direct care model played a pivotal role in care access, public health and keeping economies open and operating.
Based in Orem, Utah, Nomi Health employs more than 2,000 nationwide, working to lower healthcare expenses, widen care access and improve the patient experience. The company is led by an experienced, cross-functional leadership team with clinical, healthcare, technology and finance backgrounds. Nomi Health has so far invested more than $10 million dollars in improving the well-being of the communities it serves.
athenahealth, Inc. | June 29, 2022
athenahealth, Inc., a leading provider of network-enabled software and services for medical groups and health systems nationwide, announced the release of athenaOne® Voice Assistant Powered by Nuance®, a mobile-embedded, voice-driven digital companion that streamlines information retrieval and enables hands-free completion of meaningful clinical tasks for healthcare providers using athenahealth’s electronic health records (EHR) solution. Leveraging the power of their voice and iOS-based mobile device, clinicians can spend less time on the computer and more time interacting with patients.
Voice Assistant is a natural command-based, virtual assistant developed and built by athenahealth and powered by Nuance's Dragon Medical technology. Voice Assistant is available for use with the award-winning athenaOne mobile app and athenaOne® Dictation Powered by Nuance®, which allows clinicians to dictate patient documentation naturally and accurately. Together, athenahealth’s voice-enabled solutions help clinicians improve documentation accuracy, save time, and provide a better patient experience.
According to a recent survey by athenahealth, 92% of physicians surveyed report one or more issues cause them to feel burned out on a regular basis with the leading cause of regular burnout being excessive documentation requirements. However, numerous clinicians using Voice Assistant have experienced significant documentation time savings, thus allowing them to reallocate their time to other high-priority tasks.
“I started using Voice Assistant because I’m curious about tech and AI, and I wanted to see if it would help me be more productive. Because I can so easily document anywhere, anytime, I’ve found it to be very useful and convenient, and it helps me make better use of my time. I wouldn’t want to work without it now.”
Dr. Terence M. Grogan, DO, FAAFP, Grogan Family Medicine
Using simple, intuitive voice commands, clinicians using Voice Assistant can document exams, create draft orders, retrieve clinical information, and review their schedule to accelerate tasks and save valuable time. As an AI-backed technology, Voice Assistant will become even smarter and more efficient with widespread use, and athenahealth will continue to expand the number of available commands and introduce new use cases.
“We are delighted to expand our provider mobile app capabilities with Voice Assistant as we continue to transform the provider and patient experience,” said Paul Brient, chief product officer for athenahealth. “Clinicians should be able to experience technology at work just like they do in their everyday lives, and Voice Assistant brings us one step closer to that.”
Brient added that with provider burnout and patient expectations increasing simultaneously, athenahealth is focused on accelerating product innovation, using tools like AI to help solve some of healthcare's biggest challenges. “As our data show, administrative requirements are taking too much time and attention away from providers, and it’s the responsibility of all EHR companies to decrease that burden so providers can spend more face time with patients,” he said.
About athenahealth, Inc.
athenahealth creates innovative healthcare technology that connects clinicians, patients, payers, and partners in differentiated ways. Our electronic health records, revenue cycle management, and patient engagement tools allow anytime, anywhere access, driving better financial outcomes for our customers and enabling our provider customers to deliver better quality care. In everything we do, we’re inspired by our vision to create a thriving ecosystem that delivers accessible, high-quality, and sustainable healthcare for all.