Payers, providers clash on CMS' plans for step therapy in Medicare Part B

FierceHealthcare | January 29, 2019

Payers and providers are decidedly split when it comes to CMS’ proposals to allow step therapy for Part B drugs, while insurers want to the agency to take its plans for negotiation in Part D's protected classes further. The comment period on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' November proposed rule establishing both policies ended Jan. 25, and the submitted responses continue a debate that has raged in the industry since CMS announced last summer its plans to allow Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to implement step therapy in Part B. Humana, one of the country’s largest MA insurers, wrote in a comment letter (PDF) that it has long backed such policies to stimulate competition in the Part B market and lower prices for beneficiaries.

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Initially, it may look as though security in the healthcare industry is in a bleak state. According to the ACR, healthcare and pharmaceuticals rank near the bottom of all industries with regard to the maturity of their security operations. The report notes that 28 percent of all healthcare applications rank as high risk, 56 per


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

MCI Onehealth Partners with MDClone to Accelerate Research through Global Clinical Intelligence Offering

MCI Onehealth Technologies, Inc. | July 29, 2022

MCI Onehealth Technologies Inc. a clinician-led healthcare technology company focused on increasing access to and quality of healthcare, and MDClone, a digital health company and leader in synthetic data, are pleased to announce an advanced clinical intelligence offering for their global partners. This offering combines real-world health insights with mirrored synthetic data to power deeper research and inspire novel therapeutic development. “MCI’s collaboration with MDClone will provide our partners with greater access to high-value data-insights-as-a-service for an array of research, clinical and data science needs. Whether through MCI’s clinic network, international healthcare providers, or pharmaceutical, life sciences and biotech partners, our mutually enhanced insights will help to quickly translate healthcare data and research into improved health and quality of life for patients.” Dr. Alexander Dobranowski, MD, Chief Executive Officer of MCI The real-world patient health journeys that MCI’s tech-enabled network is able to capture offer a comprehensive picture to researchers, who can benefit from a fuller perspective. The partnership between MCI and MDClone will leverage MDClone’s technology to load, organize and protect MCI-generated patient data and use this data to help find insights to improve care. In addition, MCI and MDClone intend to work together to improve data collection and curation to better serve the needs of applied healthcare research. MDClone offers clients robust, detailed data for thorough end-to-end, real-world analysis. Using the MDClone ADAMS Platform analytics tools and synthetic data capabilities, clinicians, researchers, and healthcare professionals can explore healthcare data more efficiently to accelerate real-world evidence processes. With synthetic data capabilities at the forefront, users can leverage self-service tools to access, analyze, and share information without privacy concerns. Additionally, the real-time identification and extraction of information about a specific population of interest allows users at healthcare systems to overcome some of the common barriers that can slow clinical data projects’ progress. “We’re thrilled to partner with innovators like MCI in the healthcare and life science industries and beyond. Together, we can provide tailored clinical insights that meet clients’ needs, and from those insights, MDClone can generate synthetic data that researchers can use to better understand disease progression, enhance care delivery, and develop new products that can improve patient outcomes,” said Josh Rubel, Chief Operating Officer of MDClone. In keeping with its objective to be a preeminent health technology leader, MCI nurtures international opportunities to leverage its vast pool of high-quality structured clinical information. The MDClone ADAMS Platform’s unique ability to convert datasets and cohorts of interest into synthetic files that are statistically comparable to the original data, but composed entirely of artificial patients, aids in broader and more secure access and opens the doors to third-party access and larger-scale research impact. MCI’s audience for health insights continues to grow in Canada and will further benefit from access to MDClone’s global roster of top-tier health system and pharma relationships. The collaboration with MDClone will accelerate MCI’s entry into the clinical insights and analytics sectors in the United States of America and Israel, including potential access to headquarter-level decision-makers of global pharma and life science leaders. “Through this commercial arrangement, we each have the benefit of immediate introduction to the active client rosters of the other, and we each gain a superior — and unique — offering to acquire new partners, fueling the expansion of MCI’s health insight services into international markets,” added Dr. Dobranowski. About MCI MCI is a healthcare technology company focused on empowering patients and doctors with advanced technologies to increase access, improve quality, and reduce healthcare costs. As part of the healthcare community for over 30 years, MCI operates one of Canada’s leading primary care networks with nearly 260 physicians and specialists, serves more than one million patients annually and had nearly 300,000 telehealth visits last year, including online visits via mciconnect.ca. MCI additionally offers an expanding suite of occupational health service offerings that support a growing list of nearly 600 corporate customers. Led by a proven management team of doctors and experienced executives, MCI remains focused on executing a strategy centered around acquiring technology and health services that complement the company’s current roadmap. About MDClone MDClone offers an innovative, self-service data analytics environment powering exploration, discovery, and collaboration throughout healthcare ecosystems cross-institutionally and globally. The powerful underlying infrastructure of the MDClone ADAMS Platform allows users to overcome common barriers in healthcare in order to organize, access, and protect the privacy of patient data while accelerating research, improving operations and quality, and driving innovation to deliver better patient outcomes. Founded in Israel in 2016, MDClone serves major health systems, payers, and life science customers in the United States, Canada, and Israel.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Anthem Announces Subsidiary Brands Under Elevance Health

Elevance Health, Inc | June 20, 2022

As Anthem, Inc. moves closer to rebranding to Elevance Health, Inc. later this month, the company announced the launch of healthcare services brand Carelon and health plan brand Wellpoint to join the company’s family of brands that includes Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The move will optimize and streamline the company’s brand portfolio, reduce complexities, and further underscore its evolution to deliver solutions beyond traditional health insurance, simplify the healthcare experience, and advance health beyond healthcare. “An important part of being a lifetime, trusted health partner is grounded in our ability to ensure consumers have access to services that will meet their whole health needs across their entire healthcare journey. The addition of our new brands to our family of companies will bring together services and products within their respective brands that further integrate our business and health expertise across the industry to solve complex challenges and improve consumers lives.” Gail K. Boudreaux, President and CEO Anthem, Inc Blending a powerful suite of solutions to solve complex healthcare challenges Bringing together decades of experience, the company introduces its new healthcare services brand Carelon to consolidate the company’s existing broad portfolio of capabilities and services businesses under one brand to address the most complex healthcare challenges and support clients and consumers across the entire healthcare continuum. Derived from the word ‘care’ and suffix ‘lon’ meaning full and complete, the name Carelon stands for the importance of providing full and complete care. Carelon will serve one in three people in the U.S. With services ranging from research to integrated whole person care delivery, pharmacy, behavioral health to digital platform and technology services, Carelon will build better care for people and enhance efficiencies systemwide. Through partnerships across healthcare, Carelon will improve outcomes and reduce total cost of care through digitally enabled solutions to improve whole person health. The company expects to fully transition its capabilities and services under the Carelon brand over the next two years. This change further helps to streamline the end-to-end experiences for providers, clients and consumers. “Carelon makes connected care possible for everyone by putting people at the center of what we do and delivering the right balance of care, technology, data-driven insights and expertise to solve complex challenges and help consumers lead healthier lives,” said Pete Haytaian, Executive Vice President of Anthem, and President of Carelon. “Bringing together these solutions will help deliver our strategy, drive growth, and exceed expectations for care providers, consumers, and our other partners.” Launching a brand focused on improving the health of individuals and communities at all stages of life. The company will also launch the Wellpoint brand to unify its Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health plans in select markets, simplifying interactions that consumers have with these health plans. Wellpoint’s suite of products and services are designed for consumers at any stage of life seeking to make the right care decisions and will offer access to simple, supportive health solutions that will help foster independence, confidence, and whole person health for consumers. ​The company plans to make this transition over the next few years. This change will not impact the company’s affiliated Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Anthem Blue Cross health plans. “Unifying many of our non-Blue Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health plans under one brand helps consumers, care providers, and the healthcare industry better understand how our organization works together to deliver our distinct set of products and services that address the health and wellbeing of those we serve,” added Boudreaux. “Our Wellpoint health plans will continue to address consumer needs at a personal level, removing barriers and creating more meaningful connections across a lifetime of milestones and experiences.” This step in the company’s rebranding is a continuation of its bold and ambitious purpose to improve the health of humanity by serving people across their entire health journey; connecting them to care, support and resources; and simplifying every step of the healthcare journey to make health more equitable and accessible. On June 28, Anthem will become Elevance Health and will commemorate its official rebranding by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Shares of the company’s common stock will begin trading under the new ticker symbol ELV as of that morning. About Anthem, Inc. Anthem, which will become Elevance Health on June 28, 2022, is a leading health company dedicated to improving lives and communities, and making healthcare simpler. Through its affiliated companies, Anthem serves approximately 118 million people, including nearly 47 million within its family of health plans. Delivering health beyond healthcare, Anthem is expanding from being a partner in health benefits to a lifetime, trusted health partner.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Camelot Wins Cue Health Omnichannel Media Buying & Planning Business

Camelot | June 06, 2022

After a rigorous agency selection process, Camelot Strategic Marketing & Media has been chosen as media buying and planning agency for healthcare technology company Cue Health (“Cue”) as it aims to pioneer the digital transformation of healthcare, beginning with diagnostics. The scope of Camelot’s work for Cue includes integrated media planning and buying across Cue’s growing diagnostic platform, aimed at providing better patient outcomes by delivering on the promise of timely, informed, and connected healthcare. “There is no question that Cue Health is on the leading edge of healthcare technology. We’re thrilled to align our passion for innovation, deep data and analytics, and creative digital media and marketing strategy to help drive their success into the future.” Sam Bloom, CEO of Camelot Strategic Marketing & Media Cue empowers people to live their healthiest lives by giving individuals and their healthcare providers easy access to lab-quality diagnostics anywhere, anytime, in a device that fits in the palm of the hand. Cue launched the first FDA-authorized COVID-19 molecular test for at-home and over-the-counter use as well as professional point-of-care use. Outside the U.S., Cue Health has received the CE mark in the European Union, Interim Order authorization from Health Canada, regulatory approval from India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, and PSAR authorization from Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority. The company is developing future care offerings across several categories, including respiratory health, sexual health, cardiac and metabolic health, women's health, men's health, and chronic disease management. Within the health and wellness space, Camelot also works with Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest not-for-profit​ healthcare system in Texas and one of the largest in the U.S., and Glo, a digital health platform and app providing live and on-demand yoga, meditation, Pilates and fitness classes. About Camelot Celebrating 40 years in the media and marketing industry, Dallas-based Camelot Strategic Marketing & Media, is a fact-based, bottom-up, independent agency with 150 employees in cities across the U.S. – including Dallas, New York, Los Angeles and Baltimore. We partner with a select group of the world’s biggest brands – from TurboTax to Whole Foods to Michaels – to provide media-agnostic, transparent, insight-driven media and marketing strategy and execution.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Microba Life Sciences Signs Partnership With Nib-Backed Midnight Health

Microba Life Sciences Limited | May 26, 2022

Microba Life Sciences Limited has signed a strategic partnership agreement with nib Holdings Limited backed digital healthcare company Midnight Health, to deliver a personalised health service to the Australian consumer market. Under this Agreement, Midnight Health will promote, market and sell a world-first subscription-based service, known as Vidality, with its network of pharmacists to formulate personalised supplements for each customer based on their microbiome test results, leveraging the recommendations from Microba’s Analysis Platform. This personalised, pharmacy-integrated service model – delivered with trained, registered pharmacists – will bring a level of science and personalisation to an industry which commonly provides customers with one-size-fits-all solutions. Midnight Health CEO, Nic Blair said: “We are experiencing strong demand for innovative online healthcare solutions aligned to an individual needs. We already have more than 13,000 subscribers across our existing brands with strong month-on-month growth. Many of our customers are looking for gut health solutions and we are proud to bring the Vidality product to our customers in partnership with Microba”. The Agreement was signed, for an initial period of 3 years, after a successful pilot which tested the service model and product offering. It further demonstrates Microba’s scalable technology and ability to deliver evidence-based gut health solutions together with distribution partners. “Consumers are seeking personalised, evidence-based solutions to support their gut health. Together with Midnight Health, we are excited to bring the Vidality product to consumers, a truly personalised solution powered by our technology”. Microba CEO, Dr Luke Reid This delivers on an undertaking in the Company’s Prospectus to enter into an Australian partnership with a fast growth innovative consumer healthcare company. This announcement has been authorised for release by the Board. About Midnight Health Midnight Health delivers innovative online healthcare solutions through a patient-led digital platform. With the primary goal of democratising healthcare and enabling individuals to take control of their own healthcare, Midnight Health integrate telehealth technology, doctors, pharmacy network and other partners to provide a seamless patient experience for fast, convenient and discreet access to treatments, prescriptions and education through niche digital brand platforms. About Microba Life Sciences Limited Microba Life Sciences is a precision microbiome company driven to improve human health. With world-leading technology for measuring the human gut microbiome, Microba is driving the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for major chronic diseases and delivering gut microbiome testing services globally to researchers, clinicians, and consumers. Through partnerships with leading organisations, Microba is powering the discovery of new relationships between the microbiome, health and disease for the development of new health solutions.

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Spotlight

Initially, it may look as though security in the healthcare industry is in a bleak state. According to the ACR, healthcare and pharmaceuticals rank near the bottom of all industries with regard to the maturity of their security operations. The report notes that 28 percent of all healthcare applications rank as high risk, 56 per

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