Payers, providers push back on Democrats' Medicare buy-in plan

Fiercehealthcare | February 14, 2019

Earlier this week, Democrats introduced a bill that would allow people ages 50 and over to buy in to Medicare coverage, and the plan is already getting pushback from payers and providers. Under the most recent proposal, people between the ages of 50 and 65 could buy a Medicare plan and qualify for subsidies and tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Medicare at 50 Act, led by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., would fund enrollment through premiums and would eventually lower costs for younger people by moving more people into the higher age bracket, its sponsors argue. However, David Merritt, executive vice president of public affairs and strategic initiatives at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), called the proposal a “slippery slope to government-run healthcare for every American.”

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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Intuit to Acquire Financial Health Startup SeedFi

Intuit | December 02, 2022

Intuit the global financial technology platform that makes TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp, announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire SeedFi, the partner behind Credit Karma’s Credit Builder1, which helps low, or no-credit borrowers build credit while saving money, all for free. Credit Builder offers a line of credit and a secured savings account enabling members to build their credit while building up savings. By combining SeedFi’s Credit Builder technology with Credit Karma’s long standing relationships with credit bureaus and others in the credit ecosystem, Intuit will be able to move with greater speed and scale to help Credit Karma members make financial progress. Late last year, Credit Karma entered into a partnership with SeedFi to offer Credit Builder to its members, enabling them to make regular payments, starting with as little as $20 per month or $10 per paycheck. By reporting these payments to the credit bureaus, members took steps toward improving their financial health. Through this partnership, members increased their score by an average of 21 points in as little as 30 to 45 days2 and built up over $10 million in savings. This acquisition will enable Credit Karma Money to continue to build on that momentum and help put more members on a path to financial security. “Credit Karma Money was built to change consumers’ relationship with money and help them develop responsible financial habits, like staying on top of their bills and spending within their means. With Credit Builder, we are able to differentiate ourselves as one of the best accounts for building credit. We have long standing relationships with credit bureaus and others in the credit ecosystem, and SeedFi has built great technology, so when combined, we will move even faster and build products to help more members, including those who need it the most.” Poulomi Damany, SVP and GM for Credit Karma Money and Tax A recent study from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau showed that nearly three-quarters of Americans with no emergency savings have credit scores below 660. The correlation between low credit scores and lack of emergency savings persists over time, and SeedFi takes that problem head-on. Similar to Credit Karma, SeedFi’s mission is to break the cycle of debt and help Americans realize their financial potential. “We have already been working with the Credit Karma Money team for over a year to help members build their credit score and have been impressed with how Credit Karma’s mission comes through in everything the company does. SeedFi has a similar mission to help consumers become financially fit, so joining forces just makes sense,” said SeedFi co-founder and CEO Jim McGinley. “Together, leveraging Credit Karma’s resources and scale, we will be able to accelerate the momentum of Credit Builder and SeedFi’s technology capabilities to help more consumers improve their financial health.” The transaction between Intuit and McBurberod Financial, Inc. which does business as SeedFi, is subject to closing conditions, and is expected to close in the coming months. Upon close, SeedFi will become part of Intuit’s Credit Karma business. The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on Intuit’s operating results for the full fiscal year 2023. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. Intuit Ventures was an investor in SeedFi’s last financing round. About Intuit Intuit is the global financial technology platform that powers prosperity for the people and communities we serve. With more than 100 million customers worldwide using TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to prosper. We never stop working to find new, innovative ways to make that possible. Please visit us for the latest information about Intuit, our products and services, and find us on social. About Credit Karma Founded in 2007 by Ken Lin, Credit Karma, an Intuit company is a consumer technology company with nearly 130 million members in the United States, U.K. and Canada, including almost half of all U.S. millennials. While best known for pioneering free credit scores, the company’s members turn to Credit Karma for everything related to their financial goals, including identity monitoring, applying for credit cards, shopping for loans auto insurance, savings accounts and now checking accounts through our bank partner, MVB Bank, Inc., Member FDIC — all for free.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Abbott Receives Three CES 2023 Innovation Awards for Advancements in Health Technology

Abbott | November 21, 2022

Abbott has been recognized by the Consumer Technology Association with three CES 2023 Innovation Awards for its life-changing technologies that are advancing the health tech industry and improving the lives of people worldwide. The CTA is the organization behind the Consumer Electronics Show the most influential technology event in the world. Ahead of the CES 2023 event, three of Abbott's industry-leading tech advancements won CES 2023 Innovation Awards, all within the Digital Health award category Aveir VR Leadless Pacemaker – The world's only leadless pacemaker with a unique mapping capability to assess correct positioning prior to placement and designed to be completely retrievable. The system was developed by Abbott to treat patients with slow heart rhythms and eliminates wires used to deliver therapy in traditional pacemakers. Proclaim Plus SCS System – Abbott's latest advancement in neurostimulation therapy to treat chronic pain using low doses of targeted BurstDR™ stimulation that can be adjusted as a person's therapeutic needs evolve across up to six areas of the body, which is more pain sites in the body than ever before. Alinity m Monkeypox PCR test1 – A first of its kind, Abbott received FDA Emergency Use Authorization of its PCR test for detecting the monkeypox virus. The CES Innovation Awards program is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. The program recognizes the year's most innovative products in a multitude of consumer technology product categories and distinguishes the highest-rated in each. Last year, Abbott became the first-ever healthcare company to keynote CES, and the company has received nine CES Innovation Awards in the past two years. Other Abbott products previously honored with CES Innovation Awards include FreeStyle Libre 32, the world's smallest, thinnest3 and most accurate4 14-day glucose sensor and a CES 2022 Best of Innovation Award winner; BinaxNOW™5, the #1 COVID-19 self test in the U.S.; and the UltreonTM 1.0 intravascular imaging and coronary physiology software platform, which helps guide and optimize stenting decisions, combining optical coherence tomography with artificial intelligence. In addition to the CES 2023 awards, Abbott also was recently recognized with other top honors for its healthcare technology including its revolutionary FreeStyle Libre technology being named the best medical technology in the last 50 years by the Galien Foundation. The FreeStyle Libre portfolio has transformed the lives of approximately 4.5 million people6 living with diabetes globally. About Abbott Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE, MEDICAL DEVICES

mPulse Expands Streaming Engagement Capabilities for Consumer-Focused Digital Health Content

mPulse Mobile, | December 16, 2022

mPulse Mobile, a leader in conversational AI and digital engagement solutions for the healthcare industry, announced the launch of new content capabilities and streaming courses that address health literacy barriers in a consumer-friendly format. Several solution advances continue mPulse’s focus on integrating streaming content into digital health engagement strategies, creating an industry-leading combination of conversational AI that drives two-way SMS messaging campaigns and powerful health streaming content to engage, delight, and move consumers to adopt healthy behaviors. “Stories” Video Format mPulse launched the stories video format to deliver more impactful content experiences in consumer-focused outreach programs. The format adapts video “stories” commonly seen in social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels to deliver captivating content on important healthcare topics. mPulse’s Health Activation Platform tailors the stories content to the individual to address important engagement challenges such as medication adherence, gaps in care, and health plan navigation. “These new video capabilities are proof that mPulse Mobile continues to pioneer category-defining member engagement technology. Our highly tailored, consumer focused content is a powerful tool that creates culturally sensitive digital experiences to address health disparities, encourage healthy behaviors, and drive member outcomes. The stories format allows us to be more impactful when consumers engage, and our initial results show they have a significant impact on program goals.” Bob Farrell, CEO of mPulse Mobile The format drives increased engagement and improved health outcomes among targeted populations. mPulse deployed the stories format in a diabetes eye-screening outreach program. The program included 200,000 Medicare Advantage members, with a subset of 100,000 members receiving the streaming content, delivered in a stories format. This cohort showed a 274% higher Call to Action completion rate than members who did not receive the stories-formatted content. Leveraging conversational outreach, consumers are prompted on the issues that might be preventing them from completing a given action. When they respond via text to identify a barrier, tailored streaming content is delivered instantly and in real-time via an embedded link to address the barrier. New Health Educational Courses mPulse has also launched new streaming health courses that address key health issues and improve health literacy in a consumer-friendly digital format. Produced with proven learning techniques and behavioral science, these courses allow healthcare organizations to extend the digital experience from initial outreach to deep, relationship-building experiences. “Our product strategy aims to offer the most effective technology at delivering health engagement, and core to mPulse’s value is meaningful digital content, which elevates engagement experiences to a new level,” said Sanjeev Sawai, Chief Product and Technology Officer at mPulse Mobile. “Members are in need of better educational content that they find engaging and worth their time. We use short, captivating content to get members' attention and motivate them to act in healthy ways - ways that help them build their health literacy, prevent diseases, manage conditions, and foster wellbeing. Our approach offers innovative frictionless ways to encourage members to engage deeply in their own health and healthcare.” About mPulse Mobile mPulse Mobile is reimagining health engagement to inspire healthier lives and deeper relationships between healthcare organizations and their consumers. A leading healthcare Conversational AI platform combines with award-winning health education for the streaming age to deliver tailored digital health engagement that nurtures, educates, and activates healthcare consumers. With more than a decade of experience, 150+ healthcare customers and 1 billion conversations annually, mPulse Mobile has the data, the expertise, and the solutions to drive healthy behavior change.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE,MEDICAL DEVICES

Healthcare Under Cyberattack: Unprotected Medical IoT Devices Threaten Patient Care

Capterra | November 30, 2022

The rising adoption of connected medical devices is accelerating cyberattacks, according to Capterra’s new Medical IoT Survey of healthcare IT professionals. The survey also reveals that 67% of healthcare cyberattacks impact patient data and nearly half impact patient care, an indication that rising security risks in the industry are leading to severe consequences in patient outcomes and privacy. The medical internet of things is helping to make healthcare more convenient, efficient, and patient-centric. However, connected devices with IoT sensors often have unprotected security vulnerabilities that endanger healthcare facilities, and even patients. In fact, medical practices with more than 70% of their devices connected are 24% more likely to experience a cyberattack than practices with 50% or fewer connected devices. “As a healthcare organization connects more medical devices to its network, its attack surface expands. Connected medical devices often go unmonitored for security vulnerabilities, and because they run on a wide array of software and hardware platforms, it’s difficult to monitor with a single tool. This means that many connected medical devices are left wide open to cyberattacks.” Zach Capers, senior security analyst at Capterra More than half of healthcare IT staff rate the cybersecurity threat level in the industry as high or extreme, yet many healthcare organizations are not taking the necessary steps to protect medical IoT devices. Alarmingly, 57% do not always change the default username and password for each new connected medical device that is put into use. Additionally, 82% run connected medical devices on old Windows systems. If a security vulnerability is discovered, organizations should patch the device or update its firmware as soon as possible. Unfortunately, 68% of healthcare organizations don’t always update connected devices when a patch is available. However, vulnerabilities and associated patches aren’t always well publicized, which means healthcare IT staff must stay up-to-date on emerging threats to medical IoT devices. Medical IoT security requires proactive and ongoing vigilance. Healthcare practices should conduct routine vulnerability assessments before connecting medical devices to their IT network. They should also keep an up-to-date and accurate inventory of all connected devices plus associated software and firmware, and use software to monitor these devices. Read the full report on Capterra.com to learn more about best practices for healthcare organizations to strengthen security for their medical IoT devices. About Capterra Capterra is the leading software reviews and selection platform that connects businesses to the right technology. Compare software, read and leave reviews, and access objective insights that empower business growth.

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