Rite Aid raises tobacco buying age to 21 following Walgreens lead

Cnbc | April 23, 2019

Rite Aid will raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21 within the next 90 days.
Rival drugstore chain Walgreens also said Tuesday it would raise the age requirement to buy tobacco products. CVS Health stopped selling tobacco products in 2014. Rite Aid will raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21 within the next 90 days, the company announced Tuesday.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Ascensus Closes Newport Merger Agreement

Ascensus | April 11, 2022

Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—and Newport, the Walnut Creek, California-based retirement services provider—announced today that the two companies have closed their previously announced merger, the first step in their journey together as a combined organization. The union combines the capabilities and talents of two market leaders in tax-advantaged savings and related services, serving more than 15 million savers and overseeing more than $745 billion in assets under administration as of December 31, 2021. Together, the unified company employs more than 5,400 employees across the U.S. David Musto, president and chief executive officer of Ascensus, will serve as CEO of the combined company. Laura Ramanis, who has served as interim CEO of Newport since the announcement of the transaction last fall, and Kurt Laning, executive vice president of Newport Non-Qualified and Insurance Solutions, will join the Ascensus executive leadership team, reporting to Musto. "With today's announcement, Ascensus and Newport have taken an important step in our journey towards a stronger, unified company. Clients across our lines of business will benefit from our expanded capabilities—accelerated investments in technology, data analytics, and user experiences—and broadened expertise. And both Ascensus and Newport associates can look forward to new opportunities for personal growth and enhanced career development." Musto "Ascensus and Newport share a passion for helping people save for their futures and supporting the growth and success of our partners," said Ramanis. "We look forward to continuing that mission as a combined company." With industry-leading qualified and non-qualified retirement plan services, corporate and bank-owned life insurance (COLI and BOLI) practices, fiduciary and trust solutions, and other total rewards capabilities, Newport expands the services and expertise Ascensus provides to its clients and advisor partners. Newport's clients will benefit from greater access to unique tax-advantaged savings solutions across retirement, education, and health provided by Ascensus. The combined company's investments in technology, digital capabilities, and analytics will deliver enhanced value to clients, expand client relationships, and create even better outcomes for savers. Both the Ascensus and Newport brands remain in use at closing, with the Ascensus brand representing the unified company. "Our goal over the next several months is the successful unification of our company—built on the principle of 'best of the best' and our shared cultural attributes, and executed with the interests, quality, and stability of our client relationships foremost in mind," added Musto. "As a unified organization, Ascensus and Newport share a strong commitment to serving our clients and offering more—across the tax-advantaged retirement, education, and health savings expertise for which Ascensus is known, and capitalizing on Newport's well-established qualified and non-qualified retirement services, and fiduciary and COLI/BOLI capabilities as well." Evercore acted as exclusive financial advisor to Newport in connection with the transaction. Goldman Sachs Bank USA, SPC Financing Company LLC, and KKR Capital Markets LLC led the financing consortium. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as transactional counsel to Ascensus and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as financing counsel to Ascensus. Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP acted as legal counsel to Newport. About Ascensus Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Through co-branded, private-labeled, and other governmental partnerships, our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is a leading recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. About Newport Headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, Newport is a leading retirement services provider that helps employers—and the advisors who serve them—prepare employees for a more financially secure retirement. The company has more than $150 billion in retirement assets under administration and more than $300 billion in corporate retirement and insurance assets. Newport maintains investment objectivity, fee transparency and a commitment to flexible, responsive service. Staffed by an exceptional team of nearly 1,500 retirement, insurance, and consulting professionals, the company provides retirement solutions tailored to the needs of employers of every size, from small businesses to the Fortune 1000.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Mednow Enters Into Agreement to Acquire Mednow East Inc in Ontario

Mednow Inc. | March 08, 2022

Mednow Inc. Canada’s on-demand virtual pharmacy, is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into a share purchase agreement on March 4, 2021 with Mednow East Inc.and the shareholders of Mednow East, pursuant to which the Company shall acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Mednow East, in consideration for an aggregate cash payment of approximately C$65,578 and the Company’s agreement to convert approximately C$1,374,422 owed by Mednow East to the Company pursuant to a pharmacy agreement dated September 15, 2020, as amended October 30, 2020 into a non-interest bearing on-demand convertible promissory note. Mednow East is an Ontario company that operates an online pharmacy, delivering prescriptions in the Province of Ontario. Mednow East has its business headquarters in Toronto and employs Mednow’s marketing and technology platform for lead generation, prescription fulfillment and customer services pursuant to the Pharmacy Agreement. Strategically, Mednow is focused on building out a national pharmacy footprint and the acquisition of Mednow East, with their presence in Ontario, helps to accelerate these goals. Prior to this acquisition, Mednow entered into the Pharmacy Agreement with Mednow East, but post-acquisition, Mednow will own 100% of a pharmacy located in Ontario, which will allow Mednow to provide free same-day pharmaceutical delivery services in the GTA and surrounding areas, and free next-day delivery in the rest of Ontario. Upon closing of the Share Purchase Agreement, Mednow East’s revenue and expenses will be consolidated with those of Mednow and the Pharmacy Agreement between the two parties will be terminated. The debt of approximately C$1,374,422 extended to Mednow East by the Company was used to fund Mednow East’s working capital and provide support for its operations. As Amir Ali Reyhany-Bozorg and Felipe Campusano are directors of the Company and Karim Nassar is the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, and each are also shareholders of Mednow East, the transaction contemplated under the Share Purchase Agreement is a related party transaction under Multilateral Instrument 61-101 –Protection of Minority Securityholders in Special Transactions. The Company is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements imposed by MI 61-101 pursuant to the exemptions in section 5.5(a) and 5.7(a) of MI 61-101, as neither the fair market value of the Shares, nor the consideration paid therefor, exceeds 25% of the Company's market capitalization. The Transaction is subject to corporate and regulatory approvals, including TSX Venture Exchange approval. About Mednow Inc. Mednow is a healthcare technology company offering virtual access with a high-standard of care. Designed with accessibility and quality of care in mind, Mednow.ca provides virtual pharmacy and telemedicine services as well as doctor home visits through an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare that is focused on the patient experience. Mednow’s services include free at-home delivery of medications, a user-friendly interface for easy upload, transfer, and refill of prescriptions, access to healthcare professionals through an intuitive chat experience, a specialized PillSmart™ system that packages prescriptions and vitamins by date and time, and doctor consultations.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

NextGen Healthcare Partners with Circuit Clinical to Bolster Diversity in Clinical Trials by Extending Access to Underserved Communities

NextGen Healthcare, Inc. | May 05, 2022

NextGen Healthcare, Inc. a leading provider of innovative, cloud-based healthcare technology solutions, announced a partnership with Circuit Clinical to bring clinical trial access to patients of Federally Qualified Health Centers through over 14,000 providers that utilize NextGen Healthcare solutions. Historically, these underserved communities have not had easy access to participate in transformative clinical research that can provide enhanced treatment options. Such research-as-care can also improve health outcomes and offers revenue generation for the clinics that participate. NextGen Healthcare’s innovative collaboration with Circuit Clinical, whose mission is to transform how patients find and choose clinical trials by bringing them to the doctors they know and trust, will improve the participation of diverse patients in clinical trials and provide greater health equity by facilitating access to the underserved. “This partnership underscores NextGen Healthcare’s commitment to FQHCs and highlights our commitment to serving diverse patient populations. NextGen Healthcare’s technology is empowering providers to build healthier communities. Our work with Circuit Clinical is a milestone that provides real impact for our clients and their patients, and delivers on our pledge to facilitate better healthcare outcomes for all.” Srinivas (Sri) Velamoor, chief growth and strategy officer at NextGen Healthcare The collaboration contributes to the vision of the NextGen® Community Health Collaborative, a first-of-its-kind initiative announced late last year that offers data benchmarking, comparative analytics and reporting services, plus a forum for members to connect and share best practices to advance the mission of community health and health equity among underserved populations. NextGen Healthcare-powered practices, in conjunction with Circuit Clinical, will now be able to offer clinical trial patient recruitment, referral and enrollment services, eliminating obstacles to such care. Furthermore, participation provides tangible benefits to participants, including extra care visits without co-pays, therapeutic improvement on a better regimen, and patient stipends. “Our partnership with NextGen Healthcare will create a comprehensive solution for improving access to clinical trials for diverse communities across the country,” said Dr. Irfan Khan, founder and chief executive officer of Circuit Clinical. “Combining NextGen Healthcare’s comprehensive data insights and national reach with Circuit Clinical’s expert ecosystem offers pharmaceutical, biotech and vaccine companies a groundbreaking opportunity for accelerating therapeutic development and improving diversity in clinical trials.” In April, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued updated guidance to provide recommendations to those developing medical products on the approach for developing a Race and Ethnicity Diversity Plan to help enroll adequate numbers of participants in clinical trials from underrepresented racial and ethnic populations. Adequate representation in clinical trials helps ensure that the data generated reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the intended use population and may potentially identify safety or efficacy outcomes, the FDA said. About NextGen Healthcare, Inc. NextGen Healthcare, Inc. is a leading provider of innovative healthcare technology solutions. We are reimagining ambulatory healthcare with award-winning solutions that enable high-performing practices to create healthier communities. We partner with medical, behavioral and dental providers in their journey toward whole-person health and value-based care. Our highly integrated, intelligent and interoperable solutions go beyond EHR and Practice Management to increase clinical quality and productivity, enrich the patient experience and drive superior financial performance. We are on a quest to achieve better healthcare outcomes for all. About Circuit Clinical Circuit Clinical®, one of the largest integrated research organizations in the USA, is dedicated to empowering patients to choose clinical research as a care option. Circuit Clinical® is committed to transforming the way physicians and their patients find, choose, and participate in clinical research. The company delivers clinical research services and an award-winning patient engagement platform, trialjourney.com.

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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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Professionals at Adirondack Health Institute’s Enrollment Assistance Services and Education (EASE) program can assist individuals, families and small business owners in the Adirondack region of New York State with the health insurance enrollment process at no charge. Learn about how AHI can help you with the NY State of Health Marketplace health insurance enrollment process. Watch testimonials from a business owner, parent, and individual and see how the enrollment process works.

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