Payer Roundup—PBM executives set to testify before Senate Finance Committee

FierceHealthcare | March 22, 2019

Executives at five major pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are confirmed to testify before the Senate Finance Committee on drug prices next month. Leaders at Cigna, the parent company of Express Scripts, CVS, Humana, Optum and Prime Therapeutics are slated to testify at a hearing on April 9. The hearing will be the latest in a series before the Finance Committee on drug prices. Last month, executives at major pharmaceutical companies were grilled by senators. Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a joint statement that it's "only fair" for PBMs to address rising prices.

Spotlight

Along with warm memories of holidays past, the holiday season brings concern and stress to both caregivers and loved ones needing care. Executive smmary of results of a 2013 survey of 1,000 adult Americans commissioned for Sunrise Senior Living and conducted by GFK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications.


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MEDICAL DEVICES

Lark Health Builds AI-Driven Heart Health Program

Lark Health | March 17, 2022

Lark Health today announced the development of a novel AI-driven program for the prevention and management of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease in collaboration with Roche Diagnostics. The program, named Lark Heart Health, is an AI-driven virtual care solution that provides personalized health coaching anytime, anywhere. The new Heart Health program is planned to launch later this year. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally, and nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have some form of CVD. It's also one of the most expensive chronic conditions, with heart disease and stroke costing the U.S. healthcare system roughly $214 billion annually. Yet, provider shortages and siloed care teams leave patients with limited care options, gaps in care, and insufficient education and empowerment to self-manage their heart health. Additionally, high treatment costs and resource constraints often limit care to those with the highest acuity conditions. Built using a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy framework and designed in accordance with guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA), Lark Heart Health will provide a cost-effective, scalable solution for continuous, person-centric remote heart health coaching intended to help users improve their healthy lifestyle behaviors, reduce stress levels, and ultimately decrease risk factors for heart disease. Through an evidence-based educational curriculum and real-time personalized coaching, Lark will provide users with the tools they need to make meaningful lifestyle changes that can help them better prevent and manage ASCVD and CAD. Earlier this year, Lark announced it had joined the AHA's Network at American Heart Association Center of Health Technology & Innovation, which is focused on building and fostering health technology relationships to develop innovative and scalable solutions. "Lark Heart Health will help those at high risk prevent and actively manage cardiovascular disease through personalized digital coaching. By leveraging our AI technology, we can deliver meaningful and engaging care at an unprecedented scale, and this collaboration with Roche Diagnostics will support the expansion of our proven tech platform into one of the costliest chronic disease markets." Julia Hu, co-founder and CEO of Lark About Lark Health Lark is a healthcare technology company aimed at delivering infinitely scalable, virtual chronic and preventative healthcare through conversational AI. To date, Lark has provided nearly 2 million people with unlimited, 24/7 personalized care delivered through an easy-to-use, text message-like interface that integrates remote patient monitoring tools and is built on a cognitive behavioral therapy framework. Lark's platform seamlessly integrates with health plans' and employers' existing healthcare infrastructure to help them scale their chronic disease prevention and management programs, boost engagement, and improve health outcomes. Lark currently works with many of the largest health plans and across four programs: Prevention, Diabetes Prevention, Diabetes Care, and Hypertension Care. Lark's Diabetes Prevention Program, which is the fastest growing and lowest cost DPP, has received the highest level of clinical recognition—Full Recognition—from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company has received numerous accolades, including having been named as one of CB Insights Digital Health 150 (2019), a finalist for the UCSF Digital Health Awards one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies and one of Fierce Healthcare's Fierce 15.

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AI

TapCloud and Maxwell Healthcare Associates Join Forces to Transform Post-Acute Space

TapCloud | January 28, 2022

TapCloud, a technology leader in patient-directed care, will partner with Maxwell Healthcare Associates (MHA), a leading post-acute operational, financial, technological and regulatory consulting firm, to transform the post-acute industry with their innovative patient communication and artificial intelligence (AI) solution. TapCloud's technology uses AI-driven tools to capture symptoms that automatically identify patients in need. The system supplies patients or their caregivers with words to indicate how they're feeling. The word cloud symptom tracker is unique to the patient, their-conditions, their medications and their history as it learns and evolves each time they use it. MHA's reach and influence within the post-acute space is expansive, and their unique ability to connect industry partners with strategic solutions continues as they ally with TapCloud. They integrate result-orientated products and services to post-acute organizations that seek immediate answers for their problems. With MHA's organizational expertise and TapCloud's advanced solution, home health, palliative, and hospice providers will have the necessary tools to improve end-of-life care. "We're very excited about 2022 and the opportunities that it will present us. TapCloud is an extraordinary organization that will enhance the care and communication with patients in the post-acute setting. Our goals at MHA are to equip our customers with tools that will not only enhance the care they provide but expose them to tools that have been vetted through our review process." CEO of Maxwell Healthcare Associates,Jennifer Maxwell President of TapCloud,Jolinda Lambert, shares in the enthusiasm and strongly believes the partnership will blossom into the new year. "Our product's ability to change how care is delivered is transformative. We can't wait to get started with MHA to help shape personalized care." About TapCloud TapCloud is aChicago-based health-tech company founded in 2013. They produce an AI-driven application that provides better insights into a patient's symptoms and automatically identifies patients in need at the right time. About Maxwell Healthcare Associates Maxwell Healthcare Associates boasts an average of 20 years of experience in the post-acute space and has a pulse on what's relevant now in the industry. MHA can work with home health and hospice agencies to strategize, optimize and transform agencies across the nation.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

SandboxAQ and Mount Sinai Health System Collaborate on Data Protection

Sandbox AQ | March 24, 2022

Sandbox AQ, an enterprise SaaS company leveraging quantum tech and AI, announced a collaboration with Mount Sinai Health System to launch Post-Quantum Cryptography solutions, a broad security technology solution to protect patient data against current and future cybersecurity threats. Sandbox has developed SaaS-based enterprise modules that incorporate the latest encryption protocol standards recently ratified by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). Through Sandbox AQ, Mount Sinai Health System will incorporate PQC protocols into its network to provide increased security for millions of customers and their sensitive data. "Our collaboration with Sandbox AQ propels our security and technology strategies forward, enabling us to deliver advanced, secure cutting-edge products to our patients. Protecting patient data against cyber threats is incredibly important to us." Kristin Myers, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Mount Sinai Health System and Dean for Information Technology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai "Quantum technology will quickly render today's RSA-based encryption obsolete, which is why it's imperative that we protect the world's sensitive data now against the next generation of cyberattacks," said Jack D. Hidary, CEO of Sandbox AQ, which officially launched today. "Mount Sinai is one of the first healthcare systems planning to implement PQC protocols into its health network to protect its customers and transform its business. We look forward to collaborating with them on this project." About SandboxAQ Sandbox AQ is an enterprise SaaS company delivering solutions at the nexus of quantum tech and AI. Based in Palo Alto, the inspiration for Sandbox AQ and some of the team originated at Alphabet Inc. in 2016. Sandbox AQ launched as an independent, venture-backed entity in 2022. About Mount Sinai Health System The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. We advance medicine and health through unrivaled education and translational research and discovery to deliver care that is the safest, highest-quality, most accessible and equitable, and the best value of any health system in the nation. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 free-standing joint-venture centers; more than 410 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked in U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the top 20 U.S. hospitals and among the top in the nation by specialty: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Urology, and Rehabilitation. Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Children's Hospitals" among the country's best in four out of 10 pediatric specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked among the Top 20 nationally for ophthalmology. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools," aligned with a U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" Hospital, and No. 14 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding. Newsweek's "The World's Best Smart Hospitals" ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital as No. 1 in New York and top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside as top 20 globally, and "The World's Best Specialized Hospitals" ranks Mount Sinai Heart as No. 1 in New York and No. 4 globally and the Division of Gastroenterology as No. 3 globally, and the Division of Pulmonary Medicine as No. 6 globally.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Medtronic announces regulatory approval and launch in Japan of Micra AV Transcatheter Pacing System

Medtronic | January 11, 2022

Medtronic plc, a global leader in healthcare technology,today announced it has received approval fromJapan'sMinistry of Health, Labor and Welfare for the sale and reimbursement of the Micra™ AV Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS), and the company will launch the product this month. This approval expands the number of patients inJapan– one of the largest markets in the world – who are eligible to receive the Micra TPS, the world's smallest pacemaker. The Micra AV is indicated for the treatment of patients with AV block, a condition in which the electrical signals between the chambers of the heart (the atria and the ventricle) are impaired. The Micra TPS is the first-ever leadless pacemaker; its first version (the Micra VR) was approved inJapanin 2017 for patients who only require single-chamber pacing. "Pacemakers have made significant progress over their approximately 60-year history, including miniaturization, improvements in pacing technology, MRI compatibility, and remote monitoring," explainedKyoko Soejima, professor of cardiovascular internal medicine at Kyorin University Hospital and a member of the Micra TPS Global Clinical Trial steering committee. "The first Micra system transformed the concept of pacemakers by eliminating surgical pockets and leads, and Micra AV promises to deliver the benefits of leadless pacing to a larger number of patients because ventricular pacing can be performed synchronously with the atrium." Historically, patients with AV block have been treated with traditional dual-chamber pacemakers which are implanted in the upper chest, under the skin below the collar bone, and connected to the heart using thin wires called "leads." Identical in size and shape to the original Micra TPS, Micra AV has several additional algorithms which detect cardiac movement, allowing the device to adjust pacing in the ventricle to coordinate with the atrium, providing "AV synchronous" pacing therapy to patients with AV block. The Micra AV approval is based on data from the MARVEL 2 (Micra Atrial Tracking Using A Ventricular accELerometer) study, which evaluated the safety and effectiveness of accelerometer-based atrial sensing algorithms. The study evaluated the ability of the Micra's internal sensor to monitor and detect atrial contractions and enable coordinated pacing between the atrium and ventricle, thereby providing AV synchrony. "Since introducing the first battery-powered external pacemaker in 1957 to the innovative Micra leadless pacemaker portfolio, Medtronic continues to pioneer pacing innovations for physicians and their patients." Rob Kowal, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer of the Cardiac Rhythm Management business at Medtronic About the Micra Transcatheter Pacing Systems (TPS) The Micra TPS received CE Mark inApril 2015and U.S. FDA approval in 2016. Comparable in size to a large vitamin, Micra is less than one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers yet delivers advanced pacing technology to patients via a minimally invasive approach. During the implant procedure, the device is attached to the heart with small tines and delivers electrical impulses that pace the heart through an electrode at the end of the device. Unlike traditional pacemakers, Micra does not require leads or a surgical "pocket" under the skin, so potential sources of complications related to leads and pockets are reduced, and there is no visible sign of the device. About Medtronic Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered inDublin, Ireland, is the leading global healthcare technology company that boldly attacks the most challenging health problems facing humanity by searching out and finding solutions. Our Mission — to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life — unites a global team of 90,000+ passionate people across 150 countries. Our technologies and therapies treat 70 health conditions and include cardiac devices, surgical robotics, insulin pumps, surgical tools, patient monitoring systems, and more. Powered by our diverse knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and desire to help all those who need it, we deliver innovative technologies that transform the lives of two people every second, every hour, every day. Expect more from us as we empower insight-driven care, experiences that put people first, and better outcomes for our world. In everything we do, we are engineering the extraordinary.

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Spotlight

Along with warm memories of holidays past, the holiday season brings concern and stress to both caregivers and loved ones needing care. Executive smmary of results of a 2013 survey of 1,000 adult Americans commissioned for Sunrise Senior Living and conducted by GFK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications.

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