States likely to stay the course on Medicaid work requirements despite judge’s ruling, experts say

FierceHealthcare | March 28, 2019

A federal judge’s ruling Wednesday that blocked Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky and Arkansas has limited implications in states where similar programs have also been approved—at least, for now. District of Columbia Judge James Boasberg said in a pair of opinions on the two state programs that in approving them the Trump administration had failed to consider if work requirements would meet the goal of Medicaid—namely, to provide insurance coverage to low-income people. Under the ruling, the Department of Health and Human Services will have to reconsider the waiver approvals, and make a compelling case for why work requirements meet Medicaid’s goals should they be approved again. Patricia Boozang, senior managing director at Manatt Health, told FierceHealthcare that it’s crucial to consider, however, that these rulings only apply in Arkansas and Kentucky, so the seven other states where these waivers have been approved will be able to still roll out such programs.

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The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as The Affordable Care Act and otherwise known as "Obamacare", was signed into law in 2010 and became effective January 1, 2014. As a result, the United States can expect to see an accelerated demand for an increased investment in the commercial real estate, especially medical office buildings. What winning strategies are investors adopting in response to healthcare reform?


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

HONEYWELL AND NARAYANA HEALTH PARTNER TO EXPLORE CO-CREATION OF HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGIES

Honeywell | May 27, 2022

Honeywell announced the signing of a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Narayana Hrudayalaya Limited to identify, assess and collaborate on opportunities for the latter's digital transformation journey. This will enable Narayana Health to offer technology-driven, affordable and accessible healthcare for all. The MoU is subject to definitive agreements to be executed between Honeywell and Narayana Health. "These are times of great promise and even greater opportunities in healthcare innovation. At Honeywell, we recognize this and have pivoted towards the development of technologies that will shape the future of healthcare delivery. The MoU with Narayana Health – one of India's foremost healthcare service providers – offers us an opportunity to create a strategic technology development roadmap that will eventually transform India's healthcare industry," said Suresh Venkatarayalu, Chief Technology Officer, Honeywell. "Sensors and digital technology will disrupt health care delivery. Narayana Healthcare is delighted to work with Honeywell to develop digital technologies for making health care safer, more accessible, and more affordable," said Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman and Executive Director, Narayana Healthcare. Honeywell's Advanced Sensing Technologies (AST) healthcare business builds on the company's global leadership in sensors to offer devices and software for hospitals, clinics and elderly care facilities to improve communication, collaboration and coordination of clinical care. "The pandemic made it abundantly clear that healthcare organizations need technology that can be seamlessly integrated into existing systems and processes to streamline error prone tasks, enhance patient experience, and improve organizational agility," said Robert Robinson, Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Sensing Technologies Healthcare, Honeywell. Based on the terms of the MoU, Honeywell and Narayana Health will work towards co-innovation and introduction of new products, establish technology development centers, co-create joint capabilities in technology development and research, and undertake the development of fire safety codecs that ensure an end-to-end life safety system to make hospitals safer. As a technology partner, Honeywell will also help enhance and optimize Narayana Health's digital processes and offer training to its employees. The healthcare industry is continuously evolving to keep up with increasing regulatory pressures, while maintaining an environment where patients and staff feel safe. COVID-19 highlighted the need for bringing efficiencies in healthcare delivery to enable fewer personnel to do more onsite. The growth in telemedicine also opened newer avenues for hospitals to manage patient care. Healthcare providers often struggle with developing the right approach to stay ahead of these changes. To help meet some of these challenges, last year Honeywell launched its Real-Time Health Monitoring System (RTHMS). This is a smart edge-to-cloud communication platform for remote and real-time patient monitoring that acts as a bridge between caregiver and patient. This offering integrates hardware and software to improve care delivery, enhance healthcare worker productivity, and enable process efficiency. By digitizing and automating critical tasks, RTHMS can reduce hospital administrative tasks by 35%.1 "Narayana Healthcare has made remarkable progress in using technology to improve clinical outcomes and increase healthcare delivery efficiency. Honeywell's sensor-based applications will complement our efforts in real-time patient monitoring and fire safety, raising the bar for others to meet," Dr. Emmanuel Rupert, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Narayana Hrudayalaya Limited Honeywell has a robust portfolio of healthcare technologies – from a patient's first visit, to diagnosis, and returning home from care, Honeywell has the technologies to help healthcare providers increase productivity, efficiency, and shape the future of their organizations. About Honeywell Honeywell is a Fortune 100 technology company that delivers industry-specific solutions that include aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings and industry; and performance materials globally. Our technologies help aircraft, buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywell.com/newsroom.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Habersham Medical Center first hospital in Georgia to adopt digital diagnostic image-sharing platform, PocketHealth

PocketHealth | June 18, 2022

Habersham Medical Center (HMC) announced that it will engage PocketHealth to help make it much easier for the hospital's 80,000 patients to access, share and store their medical imaging and reports securely on any device, enabling them to be more informed and active in their own healthcare journeys. Patients will no longer need to travel to the healthcare facility to collect a CD-ROM of their records and transport it to their next appointment or hope that their critical health information makes it safely to their primary care physician. With PocketHealth, HMC's patients will be able to actively engage in their own healthcare journey by accessing and sharing their imaging reports with their physicians, caregivers, or family members from any device, anywhere in the world. Physicians and other healthcare professionals who share and receive diagnostic images with Habersham will be able to work within the medical center's existing infrastructure and won't need to worry about additional software or account setup. They will be able to view patient imaging instantly in full diagnostic quality or import those images into their local PACS for diagnosis. "We are very excited to make the healthcare experience much easier than it has been for patients at Habersham Medical Center, and in implementing PocketHealth at our hospital, we are equipping patients to be participants in their own medical journey. Until now, when medical imaging and reports were shared it required our patients to make unnecessary trips to the site. Tyler Williams, President, and CEO of Habersham Medical Center PocketHealth equips healthcare providers with the most efficient and effective way to share medical imaging while bringing patients into the center of the process, fueling better outcomes through direct access to diagnostic imaging and reports. Patients can now request all of their imaging records from HMC on the PocketHealth website and gain better insights into their reports with PocketHealth's Report Reader functionality, which breaks down and defines complex medical terms found within radiology reports. "Diagnostic Imaging is essential to understanding a treatment course or for soliciting second opinions and can often be the spark for a long-term care journey," said Rishi Nayyar, co-founder and CEO, PocketHealth. "PocketHealth is thrilled to work with Habersham Medical Center to make it easy for patients and care providers to move through an image-based journey without the unnecessary frustration that often comes with records release and CD-ROM hardware." Habersham Medical Center is focused on serving its communities by providing high quality healthcare to its patients and clinical partnerships. The Center conducts approximately 125,000 imaging exams each year. About PocketHealth PocketHealth is the world's first patient-centric image sharing platform. With PocketHealth, patients can instantly access, share and take ownership over their own medical imaging and records - anytime, anywhere, and with anyone. PocketHealth also enables direct sharing between hospitals and physicians, as well as instant DICOM retrieval and automated importing capability, creating a unified image management solution for more than 600 hospitals and imaging clinics across North America. PocketHealth believes that by placing patients at the center of their care journey, records move more ethically, easily and securely throughout the healthcare system. About Habersham Medical Center Serving over 80,000 residents across northeast Georgia, Habersham Medical Center (HMC) is a 53 licensed-bed, acute care hospital delivering exceptional care and service. As a substantial economic partner for Habersham County, HMC operates three physician practices, a comprehensive rehabilitation program, an 84 licensed-bed, skilled nursing home and the area's only hospital-based, home health service.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Essentia Health Selects Press Ganey as Patient Experience and Nursing Excellence Partner

pressganey | July 07, 2022

Press Ganey, renowned leader in patient, member, employee and consumer experience across the healthcare ecosystem announced it has entered into a multi-year agreement to provide technology, counsel and additional knowledge resources to Essentia Health, an integrated healthcare system serving patients in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. Effective July 1, Press Ganey will support Essentia Health through rapid patient experience transformation and nursing excellence across the health system’s 14 hospitals, 72 clinics and 12 care facilities. “The best collaborations create something bigger than the sum of what each partner can create on their own, and I’m incredibly excited to see the great, industry-leading work that the Essentia Health and Press Ganey teams are going to do together,” said Lanie Dixon, Vice President of Patient Experience, Essentia Health. “Press Ganey’s unparalleled expertise in healthcare industry benchmarking, leading-edge technology and wealth of knowledge and resources will help us drive meaningful organizational change for our patients, physicians, and nurses, as Essentia continues its journey to Magnet Recognition® status.” Press Ganey partners with 98% of hospitals recognized by the American Nurses’ Association’s Magnet program, which recognizes excellence in nursing. Press Ganey will support Essentia Health through an integrated, multifaceted approach, including Dynamic Surveying: Customizable, digital surveys tailored to patients’ unique experiences. Narrative Dx: Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven Natural Language Processing (NLP) to quickly and efficiently derive insights from patient feedback. National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators® (NDNQI®): Press Ganey’s proprietary national database of 250+ nursing measures and quality indicators to get unit-level analysis to help improve patient outcomes. Transparency: A technology platform that publishes authentic ratings and reviews from real patient experience surveys to provider profiles and directories, helping earn patient trust and driving appointment scheduling. Reputation Management: A cutting-edge, purpose-built for healthcare tool that captures patient sentiment and comments from reviews and social media sites into one consolidated dashboard to enable fast responses to online feedback. “We’re thrilled to partner with and support an industry leader in Essentia Health as they track their end-to-end patient journey and improve nursing excellence system-wide. Our integrated technology platform will provide the award-winning Essentia team with the ability to monitor the connections between patient and consumer experience and high-quality care, so they can continue to serve their communities in profound ways.” Dan Litwer, chief client officer, Press Ganey About Press Ganey Press Ganey invented the healthcare performance improvement movement over 35 years ago. Today it offers an integrated suite of solutions that address safety, clinical excellence, patient experience and workforce engagement. The company works with more than 41,000 healthcare facilities in its mission to reduce patient suffering and enhance caregiver resilience to improve the overall safety, quality and experience of care. About Essentia Health Essentia Health is an integrated health system serving patients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. Headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota, Essentia Health combines the strengths and talents of 14,100 employees, including more than 2,100 physicians and advanced practitioners, who serve our patients and communities through the mission of being called to make a healthy difference in people’s lives. The organization lives out its mission by having a patient-centered focus at 14 hospitals, 72 clinics, six long-term care facilities, three assisted living facilities, three independent living facilities, six ambulance services, 20 retail pharmacies, and one research institute.

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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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Spotlight

The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as The Affordable Care Act and otherwise known as "Obamacare", was signed into law in 2010 and became effective January 1, 2014. As a result, the United States can expect to see an accelerated demand for an increased investment in the commercial real estate, especially medical office buildings. What winning strategies are investors adopting in response to healthcare reform?

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