Sensors to go are coming of age

Healthcare IT News | April 02, 2020

When healthcare experts in Europe started debating whether or not to reimburse digital health applications two years ago, Josef Hecken, a very senior German health politician, said in an interview that health insurance companies should not be obliged to pay for “fun applications”. Hecken is head of the German healthcare system’s governing board for reimbursement decisions (G-BA). He is among those who really has a say on where the money flows in German healthcare.  Quotes like Hecken’s led the German minister of health, the Christian Democrat Jens Spahn, to create a new reimbursement pathway for digital health applications that (partly) bypasses the traditional decision making chains for reimbursement issues. The law that established this new pathway came into effect at the end of 2019. Whether it will work, remains to be seen.  All around the world, there is still a sound scepticism towards digital health applications and wearable sensor technology in the realms of “deep healthcare”. Up until now, there is no healthcare system at all that offers straight-forward reimbursement for, say, a digital application that continuously monitors blood pressure or seizures. Most of what is being paid for is driven by marketing considerations of healthcare organisations that want to be seen as being innovative or of health insurance companies that want to attract younger – and less costly – customers.

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"I chose to continue to work because I felt that I was able to work," said Otto, a father and DaVita patient. Otto didn't want dialysis to defeat him and continuing to work enables him to maintain an active lifestyle and positive well being. Learn more about working on dialysis by visiting DaVita.com/Working.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Stellar Health Announces Expansion of Value-Based Care Initiative for Highmark, Inc.

Stellar Health | October 19, 2022

Stellar Health a healthcare technology company changing the way health insurers and providers activate value-based care arrangements, announced the expansion of their value-based care initiative with Highmark Inc. upon results of its initial program that improved quality and chronic condition management across Highmark's Medicare Advantage and Commercial lines of business. Stellar announced the collaboration in 2021 to help Highmark accelerate new payment models and value-based care for independent practices in Pennsylvania. This initiative, called True Performance Lite, was an extension of Highmark's existing True Performance PCP Suite Program aimed at serving larger providers. The True Performance Lite program used Stellar's unique incentive design that rewards providers and staff for completing granular VBC actions focused on quality improvement, management of chronic conditions, reduced ED and inpatient utilization, and affordability of care for Highmark members. The program saw strong results across VBC metrics compared to 2020: The program also saw high engagement and satisfaction across providers involved in the True Performance Lite program. "I wish all health plans had program, it's the easiest of all platforms by far," said Renee Guistwite, Office Manager from Guistwite Family Practice. Cathy, an Office Manager from Dr. Dana E Bragg MD's office says "This app is really easy. Every part is user-friendly and it doesn't take much time now that we have a workflow going. We are really excited about Stellar!" Stellar's web-based, cloud-native, point-of-care application leverages historical patient information to prompt primary care providers and their care teams of gaps and opportunities relating to patients' healthcare regimens for Highmark members. Stellar Health partners with health insurers to enable providers and their staff to engage in these value-based opportunities through the application with granular action recommendations, ensure success in closing gaps, and pairs each action with a financial incentive for the time it takes to complete it. In 2022, Stellar and Highmark expanded the True Performance Lite program into Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware supporting over 60+ provider groups across multiple lines of business and are continuing to build on the overall momentum and results in 2023. The companies are continuing to innovate on new ways to engage the Highmark network and drive outsized results through several cost and utilization initiatives as they bring the model to new provider profiles. "Our provider-centric model lends itself to the success we have seen with Highmark over the last year as they lead value-based care delivery in the Mid-Atlantic region. We look forward to expanding with multiple lines of business to allow providers who handle all types of coverage to meaningfully participate in VBC and help deliver better primary care for all patients." Michael Meng, CEO of Stellar Health About Stellar Health Stellar Health is a healthcare technology company focused on enabling success across the value-based care continuum by bridging the incentive gap between providers and payors. The Stellar solution is the first point-of-care, cloud-based platform that helps primary care providers continually engage with their patients by providing them real-time information and tangible action-based incentives for improving quality of care. With Stellar, providers can achieve a range of VBC goals, like improving quality scores and optimizing the patient care journey through transitions of care and high-value referrals, all with the objective of improving patient health.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

VBA Partners With Healthcare Bluebook to Provide Enhanced Reporting of Quality Data for Physicians and Hospitals

Healthcare Bluebook and VBA | September 09, 2022

VBA, a leading-edge healthcare technology company, has teamed up with Healthcare Bluebook to incorporate Quantros quality scores for over half a million physicians and hospitals into its VBAnalytics reporting solution. This move is just one of many exciting enhancements around quality-based care reporting planned in 2022 to make VBAnalytics the premier population health and business insight solution for healthcare payers. VBAnalytics already provides robust analysis and reporting of healthcare utilization and costs and offers insight to help payers make the necessary changes to ensure their health plans are performing effectively. “As the healthcare industry continues to strive for transparency in both cost and quality, the Quantros quality data is essential for our clients to remain competitive. Being able to benchmark their results against millions of healthcare claims from all regions of the country provides invaluable insight to manage their plan performance.” Michael Clayton, President and CEO of VBA With VBAnalytics Value-Based Care Reporting, powered by Quantros, health plans can easily combine cost and quality data to determine which providers are performing the best under their value-based care arrangements. Equipped with this information, payers can make adjustments to their provider networks to ensure that patients have access to the best providers. The Quantros quality scores include important measures of physician and hospital performance including patient safety, complications from a procedure or hospitalization, mortality, and hospital readmissions. Data is combined among multiple providers to create an episode of care, which allows for a more comprehensive view of the patient’s experience. VBA has also integrated Healthcare Bluebook’s online shopping tool within its VBAGateway member portal to make it simple for members to access cost and quality information they need with just a few clicks. “When consumers are equipped with accurate information on cost and quality, everybody wins,” said Clayton. “As consumers become more educated about their healthcare decisions, it will lead to more thoughtful choices that can have a positive ripple effect throughout the healthcare system.” Providing consumers with better information also helps to reduce the overall cost of healthcare for employers, who cover a significant portion of the healthcare costs for their employees. About VBA VBA is a leading-edge healthcare technology company providing comprehensive solutions to the insurance industry. Uniquely delivered on a secure, cloud-based platform, VBA provides a suite of technology solutions for benefits administration, user experience, customer support, business insight and more. About Healthcare Bluebook Healthcare Bluebook's purpose is to protect consumers and companies nationwide from overpriced, low-quality healthcare. Since 2007, Healthcare Bluebook has helped millions of people by making it easy for them to find high-quality care at a Fair Price™.

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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Tivic Health to Acquire Assets of Reliefband

Tivic Health | October 18, 2022

Tivic Health® Systems, Inc. a commercial-phase health technology company focused on bioelectronic medicine, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Reliefband product line for nausea treatment and all related assets from Reliefband Technologies, LLC. Reliefband has been an innovator in wearable, FDA-cleared electronic therapeutics for treatment of nausea and vomiting. Reliefband has multiple products available both over-the-counter and by prescription. “We are incredibly excited to add the full suite of Reliefband products to our commercial portfolio. The Reliefband team successfully pioneered a direct-to-consumer business model for medical products. This acquisition, when combined with our growing direct-to-consumer sales of ClearUP, will significantly accelerate Tivic’s revenue opportunities.” Jennifer Ernst, CEO of Tivic Health Recurring nausea impacts approximately 1 in 6 US adults. According to QY Research, nausea treatment is a $2.4B market in the US and $5.5B globally, growing at 6.5% CAGR. Reliefband’s wrist-worn electronic nerve stimulators have been FDA-cleared for treatment of nausea associated with seven independent clinical indications, including nausea from motion sickness, pregnancy, migraines, anxiety, chemotherapy, various medications and hangovers. The patented products are backed by 40 peer-reviewed clinical studies and have generated over 3500 Amazon reviews averaging 4+ stars. Both Reliefband and ClearUP products offer consumers ways to manage health-related conditions without the issues and side effects often associated with medication use. Both are FDA-cleared, highly effective, fast-acting, convenient, and drug-free. Both currently are sold primarily online, and both have received CE Marks allowing international expansion. In addition to the Reliefband direct-to-consumer branded products, Tivic will also acquire Reliefband’s Reletex-branded prescription nausea treatments. Reletex products are currently distributed by hospitals and medical professionals and are reimbursed under HCPCS code E0765 for certain conditions. “We look forward to growing Tivic with the addition of clinically proven, revenue-producing bioelectronic products that have seen strong customer adoption and growth,” continued Ernst. Consideration to be provided by Tivic consists of up to $33.5 million, of which up to $1.5 million can be paid, at the election of Tivic, in restricted common stock of Tivic. Consideration is subject to working capital adjustments, less Reliefband transaction expenses and any indebtedness of Reliefband at closing. The transaction is expected to be consummated in the fourth quarter of 2022 or first quarter of 2023 after the satisfaction of certain customary closing conditions, including but not limited to securing the financing necessary to pay the purchase price. Additional information on the transaction can be found in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed by Tivic with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Asep Medical Holdings Inc. Announces Grant of Stock Options

ASEP Medical Holdings Inc | November 25, 2022

Asep Medical Holdings Inc. is pleased to announce that, for recruitment, incentivization, and retention purposes, it has granted to certain officers and advisors an aggregate of 1,080,000 stock options to purchase up to 1,080,000 common shares of the Company of which 200,000 are exercisable at a price of $0.30 per Share until September 29, 2032, 200,000 are exercisable at a price of $0.30 per share until October 1, 2032, and 680,000 are exercisable at a price of $0.30 per share until November 24, 2032. ABOUT ASEP MEDICAL HOLDINGS INC Asep Inc. is dedicated to addressing antibiotic failure by developing novel solutions for significant unmet medical needs. The Company is a consolidation of two existing private companies that are both in the advanced development of both proprietary diagnostic tools, enabling the early and timely identification of severe sepsis as well as broad-spectrum therapeutic agents to address multidrug-resistant biofilm infections. Sepset Biosciences Inc. is developing a diagnostic technology that involves a patient gene expression signature that predicts severe sepsis, one of the significant diseases leading to antibiotic failure since antibiotics are the primary treatment for sepsis. Despite this, sepsis is responsible for nearly 20% of all deaths on the planet. The semester test is a blood-based gene expression assay that is straightforward to implement, and results are obtained in about an hour in the emergency room or intensive care unit. This proprietary diagnostic technology differs from current diagnostic tests in enabling diagnosis of severe sepsis within 1-2 hours of first clinical presentation while other diagnostics only provide diagnosis after 24-36 hours. Asep Inc. believes this will enable critical early decisions to be made by physicians regarding appropriate therapies and reduce overall morbidity and mortality due to sepsis. ABT Innovations Inc.'s peptide technology covers a broad range of therapeutic applications, including bacterial biofilm infections anti-inflammatories, anti-infective immune modulators, and vaccine adjuvants.

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Spotlight

"I chose to continue to work because I felt that I was able to work," said Otto, a father and DaVita patient. Otto didn't want dialysis to defeat him and continuing to work enables him to maintain an active lifestyle and positive well being. Learn more about working on dialysis by visiting DaVita.com/Working.

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