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

FierceHealthcare | January 29, 2019

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

Hekka Labs Introduces the First Decentralized Chronic Disease Data Management Ecosystem in South Asia

Hekka Labs | January 15, 2022

Hekka Labs launches a game changing decentralized healthcare ecosystem for a far more efficient health record management. The firm will concentrate on the Southeast Asia market, starting with India, where it will establish the largest chronic disease data management network. Hekka then intends to connect to the rest of the world's healthcare market through the design and implementation of proprietary Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Hekka has cemented initial partnerships with 3 Indian healthcare solution providers, Curisin, a healthcare company with a wide network of 30 million patients and 40,000 partnered doctors which as recently agreed to provide a minimum of 1.5 million medical records in 2022. A further agreement to provide up to 20 separate blood biomarkers together with Covid 19 data on 100,000 patients, will form the basis of an initial trial for its blockchain audit trail platform. IMMUNIDEX, a healthcare solution provider offering tests and applications that are driven by proprietary AI that can identify early immune-related risks and is well placed to capture highly valuable data for the Hekka network. TELEMEDICINE INDIAN CO, a start-up offering multi telemedicine services, multiple blood tests, and health screening including COVID-19 testing will form another integral part of data generation for the Hekka ecosystem. Hekka Labs with the integration of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) offers a plug and go solution that allows users to interact with the HEKKA ecosystem without major disruption. This set up can solve the inherent problems that occur on a regular basis in the healthcare industry such as inefficient biomarker management, document hogging and unstructured data management. Hekka Labs has set out to become the leading chronic illness and immunology platform in India. Hekka's private and public blockchain network solution will generate a new trust in Indian healthcare data management and can open up significant opportunity for both the domestic and global collaboration. This will lead to new levels of ethical standards and excellence for the Indian healthcare market. In the long run, Hekka plans to evolve as a significant decentralized healthcare ecosystem by connecting the network of medical and associated healthcare providers culminating in a targeted community of over 500 million patients. As a result, tens of billions of chronic disease digital biomarkers can be made available for Deep Learning, potentially speeding up new healthcare discoveries. HEK is the native token of the Hekka ecosystem, which is launched in the Ethereum network's ERC-20 standards for its intensive security and global reputation, ensuring the confidence of delivering the most sophisticated healthcare data management service. The HEK token is a token complimented by an ATOM token (Points) system which is the primary source of HEKKA 's data transfers. This ensures the value of the token. The HEK token will be a key component in serving all prospective users' interactions with the platform's different levels of service.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Nemaura Medical Launches Metabolic Health Program for Employers and Insurers

Nemaura Medical, Inc | January 14, 2022

Nemaura Medical, Inc.(“Nemaura” or the “Company”), a medical technology company focused on developing and commercializing non-invasive wearable diagnostic devices and supporting personalized lifestyle coaching programs, announces the launch for employers and insurers of Miboko, a new metabolic health program using a non-invasive glucose sensor along with an AI mobile application. The Company’s goal is to achieve broad adoption of Miboko as a form of preventative medicine for a wide user base through these commercial channels and is aligned with the general trend in consumer digital healthcare. “Introducing Miboko to the population at-large through employers and insurers will allow Nemaura to reach a much wider audience in much faster fashion than solely relying on a direct-to-consumer campaign, and in the Western world, these institutions are the most reliable gateway toward wider adoption of preventative health maintenance practices. Being aware of one’s metabolic health and how the body uniquely regulates sugar is key to one’s health. Patients, of course, want to be as informed as possible about their health, and employers and insurers are also aligned with patients in that regard, given the massive productivity losses and healthcare costs at stake on a larger scale across their employee and insured base, respectively. Miboko can help address this substantial market opportunity through our non-invasive, revolutionary approach to healthcare.” Nemaura CEO Dr. Faz Chowdhury Nemaura has also submitted a Premarket Approval (PMA) to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of its glucose monitoring device as a Class 3 medical device. The Company’s PMA was the subject an on-site FDA bioresearch monitoring (BIMO) audit that generated a single Form 483 observation, for which the Company has committed to a full response this quarter. A follow-up BIMO audit of the clinical investigator site has also been scheduled for the current financial quarter. Miboko has been in development for nearly two years and addresses a significant mass market opportunity that the Company believes could benefit roughly a third to half of the population by using a non-invasive glucose sensor to measure and monitor a user’s metabolic health score, which is based on glucose tolerance or insulin resistance. Those with prediabetes or obesity concerns -- or even those looking to maintain better health through more careful glucose control -- may benefit from such a metabolic health program. How one’s body metabolizes sugar is the main influencer of one’s appetite, weight, sleep quality, and energy and mood levels and even plays a critical factor in chronic diseases (beyond just diabetes), such as heart disease and dementia. At the heart of the Miboko offering is Nemaura’s non-invasive glucose sensor that is designed to measure insulin resistance, reported as a metabolic health score, and priced to be highly affordable with the program running for an initial two-year period. The program also uses a mobile app to provide users with personalized information by tracking their metabolism. A user can find out how well their body responds to sugar through their metabolic health score — and how what they eat and what they do every day uniquely affects their metabolic health. Along with the capability to follow metabolic health progress on the app, Miboko users receive weekly and monthly reports that show and explain their body’s unique metabolic health score and a breakdown of how each of their habits are impacting their overall health and wellbeing. Suggestions for small, manageable changes to daily routines, such as eating more or less of a certain kind of food or exercising at a different time of day to coincide with peak energy levels, provide Miboko users with personalized, usable data. About Nemaura Medical, Inc. Nemaura Medical Inc. is a medical technology company developing and commercializing non-invasive wearable diagnostic devices. The company is currently commercializing sugarBEAT® and proBEAT™. sugarBEAT®, a CE mark approved Class IIb medical device, is a non-invasive and flexible continuous glucose monitor (CGM) providing actionable insights derived from real time glucose measurements and daily glucose trend data, which may help people with diabetes and pre-diabetes to better manage, reverse, and prevent the onset of diabetes. Nemaura has submitted a PMA (Premarket Approval Application) for sugarBEAT® to the U.S. FDA. proBEAT™ combines non-invasive glucose data processed using artificial intelligence and a digital healthcare subscription service and has been launched in the U.S. as a general wellness product as part of its BEAT®diabetes program that is currently undergoing pilot studies. Additionally, Nemaura has launched Miboko, a new metabolic health and well-being program using a non-invasive glucose sensor along with an AI mobile application that helps a user understand how certain foods and lifestyle habits can impact one’s overall metabolic health and well-being. Nemaura believes that up to half the population could benefit from a sensor and program that monitors metabolic health and well-being. The Company sits at the intersection of the global Type 2 diabetes market that is expected to reach nearly $59 billion by 2025, the $50+ billion pre-diabetic market, and the wearable health-tech sector for weight loss and wellness applications that is estimated to reach $60 billion by 2023.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. to Launch State of the Art Technology for Diabetic Foot Ulcer Management

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. | January 13, 2022

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. (Alkem) hereby announces to launch a unique patented technology for the treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcer (DFU) in India. The solution would be based on disruptive 4D Bioprinting technology, which would be used to treat deep, non-healing chronic wounds and is expected to be launched in the Indian market in the latter half of 2022 post regulatory approval. This advanced technology for DFU management has a high scope of preventing amputations in diabetic patients. This technology will be available at affordable rates to Indian patients at a time when there is no definitive treatment for DFU in India. India currently has approximately 77 mn diabetes patients, the second highest in the world. A diabetic foot ulcer is one of the most significant and devastating complications of diabetes and is defined as a foot affected by ulceration that is associated with neuropathy and/or peripheral arterial disease of the lower limb in a patient with diabetes. Approximately, 12-15% with diabetes suffer from DFU at least once in a lifetime. 5–24% of them will finally lead to limb amputation within 6–18 months after the first evaluation. The risk of foot ulceration and limb amputation increases with age and the duration of diabetes. Alkem has collaborated with Rokit Healthcare Inc. to commercialize the technology in India to help reduce amputation amongst DFU patients considering the negative impact of amputation on a patient's quality of life and the associated economic burden on the healthcare system. "In India, Diabetes is one of the major healthcare challenges. The challenge in itself is so huge that diabetic foot ulcers often get ignored. Approximately 1 lac people have to undergo amputation every year and compromise on their quality of life. To address the problem, Alkem has collaborated with Rokit Healthcare Inc., a global regenerative solutions company, to bring out novel solutions for the management of diabetic foot ulcers." Mr. Sandeep Singh, Managing Director, Alkem Laboratories Ltd Adding further, Mr. Sandeep asserted, "Alkem, over the years, has always been at the forefront in delivering high-quality patient care, through its innovation and patient-centric initiatives." About Alkem Laboratories Ltd Established in 1973 and headquartered in Mumbai, Alkemis a leading Indian pharmaceutical company with global operations, engaged in the development, manufacture, and sale of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. The Company produces branded generics, generic drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and nutraceuticals, which it markets in India and International markets. With a portfolio of more than 800 brands in India, Alkem is ranked the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in India in terms of domestic sales. The Company also has presence in more than 40 international markets, with the United States being its key focus market.

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INSURANCE

Exela Expands PCH Global Solution with Leading Healthcare Insurer

Exela Technologies | January 12, 2022

Exela Technologies, Inc. (“Exela”)today announced that it continues to expand its relationship with a leading health insurance organization that spans almost two decades. This customer continues to accelerate deployment of Exela’s PCH Global platform to speed up their digital transformation and improve both the member and provider experience. The latest expansion is valued at $6.2 million of additional contract value revenue. Exela continues to invest in expanding PCH Global’s capabilities to provide a cloud hosted solution with one of the best edit resolutions for healthcare claims. This extension of deployment marks another milestone in the value proposition of the PCH Global platform to digitally connect members, providers and insurance companies to enable clean claims, payment transparency and digital appeals. PCH Global’s cloud network also offers increased scalability, the highest uptime and best business continuity protections. PCH Global has robust data analytics which are continually improving as Exela processes more and more data. Additionally, PCH Global’s improved data analytics can be accessed via a self-service model. “We are proud of our long standing partnership and privileged to be part of customer’s digital transformation journey. Adoption of our PCH Global platform continues to address healthcare industry’s goal to deliver most efficient, cost effective and best healthcare to the members.” Suresh Yannamani, President of Exela About Exela Technologies Exela Technologies is a business process automation (BPA) leader, leveraging a global footprint and proprietary technology to provide digital transformation solutions enhancing quality, productivity, and end-user experience. With decades of experience operating mission-critical processes, Exela serves a growing roster of more than 4,000 customers throughout 50 countries, including over 60% of the Fortune® 100. Utilizing foundational technologies spanning information management, workflow automation, and integrated communications, Exela’s software and services include multi-industry, departmental solution suites addressing finance and accounting, human capital management, and legal management, as well as industry-specific solutions for banking, healthcare, insurance, and the public sector. Through cloud-enabled platforms, built on a configurable stack of automation modules, and over 17,500 employees operating in 23 countries, Exela rapidly deploys integrated technology and operations as an end-to-end digital journey partner.

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