Study: 1 in 4 antibiotic prescriptions likely inappropriate

FierceHealthcare | January 17, 2019

A quarter of prescriptions are likely inappropriate for the conditions they were prescribed for, according to a new study published Wednesday in BMJ. And that estimate is probably conservative. The study was conducted by looking at the diagnostic codes for just more 19 million privately insured individuals to determine whether conditions reported within the three days prior to an antibiotic prescription justified their use. Researchers found 23.2% to be inappropriate, 35.5% potentially appropriate and only 12.8% appropriate. The remaining 28.5% had no related diagnosis code on which to base any judgment.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

House Rx Secures $30 Million in Financing to Improve the Specialty Pharmacy Experience for Patients and Their Care Teams

House Rx | March 15, 2022

House Rx, a health technology platform focused on improving affordability and patient access to specialty medications, announced it has secured $25 million in Series A financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners, bringing total funding to $30 million. House Rx's technology platform and pharmacy service enable specialty practices to offer medically-integrated dispensing, which means patients can receive both their physician and pharmacy care from one team, collaborating on a unified technology platform. Since it launched in March 2021, House Rx has partnered with four medical specialty practices and 30 prescribers in California and Washington. "We have a simple idea: partner with specialty clinics all over the country to enable medically integrated dispensing where the physician, pharmacist, nurses and techs can work together as one team, under one proverbial roof, to improve patient care. Our vision for the future of specialty pharmacy is a more local, more collaborative, and ultimately a more affordable system that leads to much better outcomes for patients." Ogi Kavazovic, CEO and a co-founder Specialty medications, which include treatments for cancers, rheumatic diseases and other chronic and acute conditions, are some of the most expensive drugs available. Unlike infused therapies which are administered in the clinics, the burden of specialty medication access and adherence often falls on patients, who typically need to battle several large bureaucracies to gain access to their medications. These often lead to multi-week delays in treatment and much lower adherence rates compared to medications administered in clinics. Currently, specialty medications are mainly dispensed via mail by a patient's insurance company, not their doctor or a pharmacy a patient chooses. A growing body of research demonstrates that when patients obtain timely access to cancer treatments directly from their care team, they have better outcomes, including improved quality of life and increased survivability. House Rx currently has over 30 employees, who are mostly software engineers and pharmacy operations. In addition to Bessemer Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Character.vc, and 1984.vc participated in the Series A funding. First Round Capital led the seed round as the initial investor alongside Khosla Ventures, Maverick Ventures, and 1984.vc. The funding from this latest round will go towards continued investments in House Rx's technology platform and scaling pharmacy operations. "The specialty pharmacy market is in much need of a new approach - the current system severely lacks in patient choice and innovation, and we think House Rx's vision for a more modern, more decentralized approach will have incredible impact," said Steve Kraus, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners. "Bessemer is proud to back a company with a mission to ultimately make it easier and more cost effective for patients to get the treatment they need." In addition to Kavazovic, the health technology start-up was co-founded by Tesh Khullar, who serves as the company's President. Kavazovic and Khullar are former Flatiron Health executives, where they gained experience working closely with hundreds of oncology clinics. The company's Chief Pharmacy & Operating Officer is Denali Cahoon, PharmD, who is a former executive at Trellis Rx. "The antiquated pharmacy systems developed decades ago inhibit coordinated patient care and increase costs. The current system also prevents patients from choosing where they can get their medically prescribed life-sustaining therapies," said Tesh Khullar, President and a co-founder. "We started House Rx to make the medically integrated dispensing model the new normal in specialty pharmacy. With the right technology, and the right distribution partners, we can re-establish the partnership between physicians and pharmacists that brings a new level of transparency and patient care." House Rx's technology platform helps prescribers and pharmacists collaborate more effectively via one integrated system. Built based on in-depth feedback from pharmacists and physicians, the platform is designed specifically for the management of specialty medication, and includes built-in analytics to enable continuous improvement in operational efficiency and quality of care. The specialty medical practices that have already partnered with House Rx include Care Oncology Center, California; Sarcoma Oncology, California; Arthritis Northwest Washington; and Northwest Medical Specialties, Washington. About House Rx House Rx is a technology-enabled service company focused on making specialty medication more accessible and affordable. We do so by helping clinics dispense specialty medications to their patients in a medically-integrated way using pharmacist expertise and modern technology. By helping physicians and pharmacists collaborate on patient care, we're able to improve patient outcomes, lower the cost of care, and create a better experience for patients and their caregivers.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Trinity Health to Acquire CommonSpirit Health's Share of MercyOne Health System Become Sole Parent

Trinity Health | April 20, 2022

Trinity Health and CommonSpirit Health announced they have signed an agreement for Trinity Health to acquire all facilities and assets of MercyOne, a regional health system based in Iowa. Since 1998, MercyOne has operated under a joint operating agreement between not-for-profit Catholic health care organizations Trinity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives, which is now CommonSpirit. MercyOne is a leading health system in Iowa and serves more than 3.3 million patients each year. The system includes 16 medical centers, 27 affiliate organizations and more than 420 care sites offering a range of health and wellness services, including provider services and urgent care, and more than 20,000 colleagues including 2,000 of the state's most talented doctors and providers. "True to our shared Catholic mission, our goal is to provide high-quality, compassionate care with the best patient/member experience possible. We will accomplish that goal through a holistic approach, with a range of health services and technologies that are fully connected and coordinated. This agreement creates a fully integrated MercyOne to care for more people in a unified way." Mike Slubowski, president and chief executive officer at Trinity Health After months of analysis and due diligence, Trinity Health and CommonSpirit determined a sole parent is the best path forward for MercyOne and for the communities it serves. Trinity Health, a national health system spanning 25 states, will bring unified strategies and operations to MercyOne's care sites, including one set of system services. As an example, MercyOne will transition to Trinity Health's common platforms, including a single electronic health record (EHR), ultimately allowing patients to easily manage their care across all MercyOne services and facilities. The result is a more convenient and consistent care experience for MercyOne's communities. "After two decades of successful collaboration, we are immensely proud of our partnership with Trinity Health and our efforts to advance health care statewide," said Marvin O'Quinn, president and chief operating officer at CommonSpirit Health. "While the current structure has been instrumental in growing our health care services in Iowa, we believe this decision is ultimately what is best for our patients, colleagues, and our communities." "We strongly believe this transition to become a full member of the Trinity Health family will result in a stronger, more cohesive health system better able to offer a convenient and personalized circle of care for all we serve," said Bob Ritz, president and chief executive officer at MercyOne. "We are delighted to have the agreement in place as we plan for the future of our mission. We are grateful to CommonSpirit for more than 20 years of partnership." Trinity Health and CommonSpirit will now plan for integration, complete regulatory filings, and take other steps necessary to finalize the transaction, which is expected to be completed summer 2022. This process will be seamless for the communities MercyOne serves, and patients can continue to expect the same compassionate care they have always received. About Trinity Health Trinity Health is one of the largest not-for-profit, Catholic health care systems in the nation. It is a family of 115,000 colleagues and nearly 26,000 physicians and clinicians caring for diverse communities across 25 states. Nationally recognized for care and experience, Trinity Health's network of care includes 88 hospitals, 131 continuing care locations, the second largest PACE program in the country, 125 urgent care locations, and many other health and well-being services. Based in Livonia, Michigan, its annual operating revenue is $20.2 billion with $1.2 billion returned to its communities in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. For more information, visit www.trinity-health.org or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. About CommonSpirit Health CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. With its national office in Chicago and a team of over 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit operates 140 hospitals and more than 1,500 care sites across 21 states. In FY 2021, CommonSpirit had revenues of $33.3 billion and provided $5.1 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs. Learn more at www.commonspirit.org. About MercyOne MercyOne is a connected system of health care facilities and services dedicated to helping people and communities live their best life. MercyOne's care providers and staff make health the highest priority. The system's clinics, medical centers, hospitals and affiliates are located throughout the state of Iowa and beyond. Headquartered in central Iowa, MercyOne was founded in 1998 through a collaboration between Catholic Health Initiatives, now CommonSpirit Health, and Trinity Health - two of the country's foremost, not-for-profit Catholic health organizations.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Alcon Strengthens Leadership in IOL Innovation with Launch of Clareon Portfolio in the U.S.

Alcon | March 07, 2022

Alcon the global leader in eye care dedicated to helping people see brilliantly, announced the launch of the Clareon®family of intraocular lenses (IOLs) in the U.S. Utilizing Alcon’s most advanced IOL material, Clareon can deliver consistent visual outcomes and exceptional clarity that lasts.°,1-7The Clareon clarity is born out of a glistening-free§IOL material that has among the lowest levels of haze and subsurface nanoglistenings compared to leading competitor IOLs.†,*,1-3 “We are proud to offer our latest IOL technology in the U.S. and other countries across the globe. At Alcon, we are consistently pushing the boundaries to deliver transformational innovation to cataract surgeons and their patients. Clareon is the result of robust R&D efforts at every level—inventive material science, advanced manufacturing techniques and novel delivery systems—to deliver exceptional, long-lasting clarity.” Ian Bell, President, Global Business & Innovation, Alcon The Clareon portfolio leverages many of the same design characteristics and optics as Alcon’s leading IOLs to help deliver the outcomes surgeons expect.8,9Clareon offers sharp, crisp vision with a proprietary edge designed to help reduce glare and posterior capsular opacification.7The lens’ unique and proven STABLEFORCE®Haptics provide superior axial and rotational stability.*,β,8-14Clareon has been extensively researched, with inclusion in 30 published studies worldwide. Clareon Monofocal and Clareon Toric IOLs have already been implanted in more than one million eyes across more than 70 countries.15 Clareon IOLs are inserted using the next-generation, reusable Clareon Monarch®IVDelivery System, which provides precise and controlled implantation and that was designed specifically for the new Clareon material.15,16Clareon Monofocal is also available in the next-generation automated, single-use delivery system, AutonoMe™. “As one of the investigators for the Clareon pivotal trial, I was immediately impressed with the clarity of the new IOL material, delivery system and the consistent refractive outcomes,” said Dr. Samuel H. Lee, MD, Ophthalmologist, Sacramento, CA.** “Today, the clarity of Clareon persists four years later in my trial patients, with the optic performance that I expect from Alcon IOLs, as well as continued high patient satisfaction.” Clareon Monofocal, Clareon PanOptix®, Clareon PanOptix Toric, Clareon Vivity®and Clareon Vivity Toric IOLs are now available in the U.S. Clareon PanOptix offers patients the possibility of 20/20 vision at distance (far), intermediate (at arm’s length) and near (up close), with continuous vision of 20/25 or better.¥,14,17Clareon Vivity is a non-diffractive extended depth of focus lens with wavefront-shaping X-WAVE™ technology, delivering monofocal-quality distance with excellent intermediate and functional near vision and with a monofocal visual disturbance profile.13,18 Clareon Toric will be available in the U.S. later this year. Alcon will be rolling out the Clareon family of IOLs in international markets throughout 2022 and 2023. There are more than 28 million cataract surgeries performed each year in the world. With the aging population and increased life expectancies, these surgeries are expected to increase 3-4% per year for the next 30 years, leading to an estimated 60 million global cataract surgeries annually by 2045.19 About Cataracts A cataract is a cloudy area in the natural lens of the eye that affects vision. As a cataract develops, the eye's lens gradually becomes hard and cloudy, allowing less light to pass through, which makes it more difficult to see. The vast majority of cataracts result from normal aging, but radiation exposure, taking steroids, diabetes and eye trauma can accelerate their development. Cataracts are the most common age-related eye condition and the leading cause of preventable blindness.20Cataracts are treated by removing the eye's cloudy natural lens and surgically replacing it with an IOL. More than 92% of cataract surgeries are considered successful, and patients typically can return to their normal routines within 24 hours.21 About Clareon IOLs and Delivery Systems The family of Clareon intraocular lenses (IOLs) includes the Clareon Aspheric Hydrophobic Acrylic and Clareon Aspheric Toric IOLs, the Clareon PanOptix Trifocal Hydrophobic IOL, Clareon PanOptix Toric, Clareon Vivity Extended Vision Hydrophobic Posterior Chamber IOL and Clareon Vivity Toric IOLs. Each of these IOLs is indicated for visual correction of aphakia in adult patients following cataract surgery. In addition, the Clareon Toric IOLs are indicated to correct pre-existing corneal astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery. The Clareon PanOptix lens mitigates the effects of presbyopia by providing improved intermediate and near visual acuity while maintaining comparable distance visual acuity with a reduced need for eyeglasses, compared to a monofocal IOL. The Clareon Vivity lens mitigates the effects of presbyopia by providing an extended depth of focus. Compared to an aspheric monofocal IOL, the lens provides improved intermediate and near visual acuity while maintaining comparable distance visual acuity. All of these IOLs are intended for placement in the capsular bag. Careful preoperative evaluation and sound clinical judgment should be used by the surgeon to decide the risk/benefit ratio before implanting any IOL in a patient with any of the conditions described in the Directions for Use that accompany each IOL. Prior to surgery, physicians should provide prospective patients with a copy of the Patient Information Brochure available from Alcon, informing them of possible risks and benefits associated with these IOLs. Reference the Directions for Use labelling for each IOL for a complete listing of indications, warnings and precautions. About Alcon Alcon helps people see brilliantly. As the global leader in eye care with a heritage spanning over 75 years, we offer the broadest portfolio of products to enhance sight and improve people’s lives. Our Surgical and Vision Care products touch the lives of more than 260 million people in over 140 countries each year living with conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal diseases and refractive errors. Our more than 24,000 associates are enhancing the quality of life through innovative products, partnerships with Eye Care Professionals and programs that advance access to quality eye care.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

InfuSystem Announces Master Service Agreement with Leading Global Healthcare Technology and Diagnostic Company

InfuSystem Holdings, Inc. | April 29, 2022

InfuSystem Holdings, Inc. a leading national health care service provider, facilitating outpatient care for durable medical equipment manufacturers and health care providers, announced today it has entered into a three-year master service agreement with a leading global healthcare technology and diagnostic company, effective April 25, 2022. As part of the master service agreement, InfuSystem will be providing its biomedical services, which include annual preventative maintenance and repair solutions, to a majority of the fleet of infusion pumps at hospitals and other medical facilities under contract with this tier one global healthcare company. Service will be conducted on-site at the acute care facility or off-site at one of InfuSystem’s seven service centers. This global healthcare technology and diagnostic company’s preferred customers’ infusion pump fleet consists of more than 300,000 pumps located in 1,200 medical facilities, including 800 hospital systems in the U.S. and Canada. This preferred national service agreement is estimated to generate approximately $10 to $12 million, after an initial ramp-up period, in annual revenue under InfuSystem’s DME service platform. “I am extremely pleased the tier one global healthcare company has entrusted InfuSystem to be their preferred national service provider. We will deliver our 'white glove' biomedical services for their infusion pump fleet throughout North America. This master service agreement could potentially lead to additional opportunities to serve this customer to provide other products and services we offer under our DME Services segment. The wide-ranging expertise and capabilities of our DME platform, along with our proven track record of industry-leading service, and our national network of service centers, were important factors in their decision to partner with InfuSystem.” Richard DiIorio, Chief Executive Officer of InfuSystem “This acute care service opportunity is the direct result of effectively integrating our biomedical services acquisitions and creating a highly effective operating unit to service tier one clients in order to drive growth and significantly expand market share. Our certified biomedical service teams will be deployed throughout North America to commence onboarding of the global healthcare company’s infusion fleet, and to conduct service and repairs on-site or at one of our national service centers. I believe this preferred national service agreement lays the foundation for long-term growth of our DME business and even greater expansion into the acute care space.” “This master service agreement represents a significant milestone for the Company. It is a testament to our team’s hard work and dedication in providing industry-leading service and repair solutions. We look forward to a long and successful relationship for years to come,” concluded Mr. DiIorio. About InfuSystem Holdings, Inc. InfuSystem Holdings, Inc. is a leading national health care service provider, facilitating outpatient care for durable medical equipment manufacturers and health care providers. INFU services are provided under a two-platform model. The lead platform is Integrated Therapy Services (“ITS”), providing the last-mile solution for clinic-to-home healthcare where the continuing treatment involves complex durable medical equipment and services. The ITS segment is comprised of Oncology, Pain Management, Wound Therapy and Lymphedema businesses. The second platform, Durable Medical Equipment Services (“DME Services”), supports the ITS platform and leverages strong service orientation to win incremental business from its direct payer clients. The DME Services segment is comprised of direct payer rentals, pump and consumable sales, and biomedical services and repair. Headquartered in Rochester Hills, Michigan, the Company delivers local, field-based customer support and also operates Centers of Excellence in Michigan, Kansas, California, Massachusetts, Texas and Ontario, Canada.

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Spotlight

The Physicians Foundation is committed to educating and assisting physicians throughout the country by providing them with comprehensive, yet focused, resources regarding health care reform. The United States is in the midst of the second full year of a vast reworking of the American health care system.

Resources