Study: Shifting drugs from Medicare Part B to Part D could hit some beneficiaries where it hurts—their wallets

FierceHealthcare | January 18, 2019

Moving pricey Medicare Part B drugs into Part D could bring down drug spending overall, but it may also hit the wallets of some beneficiaries harder, according to a new study. Researchers led by a team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that shifting some of the costliest Part B drugs into Part D would decrease total drug spending by between 7% and 18% after rebates. However, the impact on patients’ out-of-pocket costs would likely vary depending on their supplemental benefits, according to the study. For the majority of drugs, beneficiaries without supplemental plans saw their out-of-pocket costs go down, but estimated cost-sharing actually increased for between about 29% and 39% of drugs.

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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

HeartCore Signs Fifth Go IPO Agreement with SBC Medical Group

Heartcore Enterprises Inc. | November 24, 2022

HeartCore Enterprises, Inc. a leading software development company, announced that it has signed an agreement with SBC Medical Group, Inc. for its fifth Go IPO consulting service within an eight-month period. As part of the Consulting Agreement, HeartCore will assist SBC Medical in its efforts to go public and list on the Nasdaq Stock Market Through Go IPO, the Company services clients by assisting throughout the audit and legal firm hiring process, translating requested documents into English, assisting in the preparation of documentation for internal controls required for an initial public offering or de-SPAC, providing general support services, assisting in the preparation of the S-1 or F-1 filing, and more. As compensation for its services, HeartCore expects to generate from SBC Medical an aggregate of $900,000 in initial fees. In addition, HeartCore has received a warrant to acquire 2.7% of SBC Medical’s common stock, on a fully diluted basis. “Japanese companies continue to express interest in listing on the U.S. markets, and our team has successfully taken advantage of this wave as we executed our fifth Go IPO win of 2022. Prospective Japanese Go IPO clients have appreciated our expertise in helping private companies kickstart and navigate their capital markets journey with our white glove service and catered consultation, which has resulted in a robust business pipeline for HeartCore.” CEO Sumitaka Yamamoto About HeartCore Enterprises, Inc. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, HeartCore Enterprises is a leading software development company offering Software as a Service solutions to enterprise customers in Japan and worldwide. The Company also provides data analytics services that allow enterprise businesses to create tailored web experiences for their clients through best-in-class design. HeartCore’s customer experience management platfor includes marketing, sales, service and content management systems, as well as other tools and integrations, which enable companies to enhance the customer experience and drive engagement. HeartCore also operates a digital transformation business that provides customers with robotics process automation, process mining and task mining to accelerate the digital transformation of enterprises. Furthermore, HeartCore offers “Go IPO,” a consulting service where it assists private companies with uplisting onto the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE, MEDICAL DEVICES

Catalyst Solutions Announces Third-Party Administration White Paper Publication

Catalyst Solutions | December 22, 2022

Catalyst Solutions announces the publication of the white paper, Third Party Administration for Healthcare Payers. This white paper reviews the unique needs that self-funded and fully-insured plans might have for Third Party Administration as well as, the services and benefits TPAs provide. As an industry, healthcare continues to experience constant change. The landscape is dynamic, and new challenges are on the horizon. Mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships are occurring at an unprecedented rate - and the government continues to introduce mandates to which the healthcare plan must adhere. These factors continue to add demands on plans that are already facing budgetary and resource constraints. "To manage these challenges healthcare payers are increasingly outsourcing business processes to Third Party Administrators. Just like in organizations, outsourcing allows them to focus on what they do best, which is: improving the healthcare outcomes of their membership." Scott Martin, President of Catalyst Solutions TPAs deliver administrative support to self-funded businesses and fully-insured healthcare plans. Both are increasingly outsourcing day-to-day operational services to a TPA, which is driving significant cost savings and reducing the administrative burden. Catalyst Solutions provides a full suite of TPA services. Its team of fully-trained, US-based employees can deliver the operational and technology functions required by a healthcare plan or self-funded business. Catalyst seeks to maximize the performance of healthcare plans by taking a holistic view of people, process, and technology. "Catalyst engages plans at a strategic level," Scott Martin said, "aligning our outsourcing services to our customer's business goals. We use our industry expertise to anticipate our customers' long-term needs. Our services don't end with outsourcing – we become trusted advisors in helping our customers achieve a better future." About Catalyst Solutions Catalyst Solutions has an extensive history of exclusively serving the payer industry. With 20+ years of deep industry expertise, Catalyst provides outsourced BPO, IT, and consulting services. As a diversity-certified, woman-owned company based in the U.S., our mission is to help insurance payers drive down costs, optimize revenue, and most importantly, improve member healthcare outcomes. We deliver comprehensive and flexible solutions that meet the unique needs of payers, and we are committed to exceeding customer expectations by providing unmatched, white-glove service. We are passionate about making positive and measurable change on behalf of the clients we serve and the communities in which we live.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Signify Health and Ardent Health Services Collaborate to Improve Healthcare Outcomes

Signify Health, Inc. | December 15, 2022

Signify Health, Inc. a leading healthcare platform that leverages advanced analytics, technology and nationwide healthcare networks to create and power value-based payment programs, today announced an expansion of its relationship with Ardent Health Services, a premier provider of healthcare services with more than 200 sites of care across six states. A former participant in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement-Advanced program, Ardent will join a 2023 Signify-enabled accountable care organization (ACO) to implement care transformation, manage risk and provide high-quality, coordinated care for its Medicare patients. Ardent’s affiliated network of facilities and physicians in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas will work together with independent providers in a collaborative ACO model to achieve the benefits of scale and to effectively manage risk. The strategic collaboration will support alignment with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) goal of having all Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in an accountable relationship by 2030. “Ardent is proud of our success to date in value-based care, including the work we have done to transform our patient experience after discharge to achieve an over 26% reduction in our 90-day readmission rate and improve the clinical outcomes among participating patients,” said Marty Bonick, President and CEO of Ardent Health Services. “We are excited to expand our partnership with Signify Health to bring our patients proven preventive and care management services that will help drive better health and improve the overall experience for both patients and care teams.” Earlier this year, Signify Health acquired Caravan Health, a leader in enabling sustainable ACO and population health programs. With this acquisition, Signify Health supports one of the largest networks of at-risk providers and offers one comprehensive platform to manage total cost of care. In 2020 and 2021, 100% of Signify Health’s collaborative ACO participants earned shared savings. According to Tim Gronniger, Chief of Value-based Care Solutions, Signify Health, “CMS has stated that providers will soon be expected to move away from fee-for-service and take accountability for their cost of care. We are thrilled to work with Ardent Health Services to deliver the infrastructure needed to support their success with accountable care. Through our work together, Ardent’s Medicare patients will receive increased access to preventative and in-home services that can help to diminish health inequities and increase savings.” About Signify Health Signify Health is a leading healthcare platform that leverages advanced analytics, technology, and nationwide healthcare provider networks to create and power value-based payment programs. Our mission is to build trusted relationships to make people healthier. Our solutions support value-based payment programs by aligning financial incentives around outcomes, providing tools to health plans and healthcare organizations designed to assess and manage risk and identify actionable opportunities for improved patient outcomes, coordination and cost-savings. Through our platform, we coordinate what we believe is a holistic suite of clinical, social, and behavioral services to address an individual’s healthcare needs and prevent adverse events that drive excess cost, all while shifting services towards the home. For more information on how we are taking health homeward, visit us at signifyhealth.com. About Ardent Health Services Ardent Health Services invests in people, technology and communities. Through its subsidiaries, Ardent owns and operates 30 hospitals and nearly 200 sites of care in six states with more than 24,000 employees, including 1,200+ employed providers. With a focus on evidence-based practices to improve quality care and patient outcomes, 95% of eligible Ardent hospitals received a Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade of A or B for Fall 2022, compared with 57% of all ranked U.S. hospitals. In 2022, Modern Healthcare recognized six Ardent entities as "Best Places to Work," marking the 14th consecutive year an Ardent facility was recognized. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Ardent is owned by current and former members of Ardent’s management team; Equity Group Investments (EGI), a Chicago-based private investment firm; and Ventas, Inc. (NYSE: VTR), a publicly traded real estate investment trust.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE, MEDICAL DEVICES

Sharps Technology Begins Manufacturing at its Hungary Facility for the Company's Innovative Syringe Products

Sharps Technology Inc | December 21, 2022

Sharps Technology, Inc. an innovative medical device and drug delivery Company offering patented, best-in-class syringe products, announces they have commenced manufacturing of their much-needed ultra-low waste smart safety syringe products in their European operation in Hungary. The plant has been producing products and will begin shipments to support the distribution and sales agreement with Nephron Pharmaceuticals by the end of the year, and customer agreements in Europe in early 2023. The production of these specialty syringe products will ramp up over the next several months to increase supply. Sharps innovative syringe designs provide a beneficial set of features and advantages for the healthcare industry. These syringe product features include a combination of ultra-low waste, passive and active safety, and reuse prevention. By combining all these features and building them into a portfolio of syringe offerings, it will create product platforms that can help drive down the cost of healthcare treatments. “This is a transformative point for our company as we move from a pre-revenue research & development start-up to a true manufacturing company that should generate revenue in the first half of 2023. Today’s healthcare providers are responsible for managing their supply chains and driving down their total cost of ownership (TCO) for medical treatments. Sharps Technology will be able to offer products that can directly support those programs. At Sharps Technology, we feel that by using better drug delivery technology, we can help create additional medical treatments at no additional cost for patients that need them." Robert Hayes, Sharps Technology CEO "We look forward to a bright future at Sharps Technology," concluded Mr. Hayes. "The recently signed distribution agreement with Nephron Pharmaceuticals accelerates the sales plan for our innovative syringe products that are currently being produced in the Sharps plant in Hungary. The ability to pull forward our sales plan for customers in the US will create a unique opportunity for early revenue at Sharps. We expect to have our first products available for sale in the US by the end of January 2023, with additional products to be added to the distribution network by mid-year of 2023." When healthcare providers use ultra-low waste syringes with multi-dose vials, it allows for the availability of up to 20% to 40% more medication for patients that need the treatment. This medication availability is created by using more efficient syringes designated as low-waste and ultra-low waste products, and not trapping medication within the syringe after the dose is given. The use of standard syringes that are not designated as low waste or ultra-low waste products typically creates a dead space area within the syringe where excess medication is trapped and cannot be used. This dead space then causes the healthcare provider to throw away the unused medication. The trapped medication in the dead space of a standard syringe can waste as much as 100 microliters of medication or more. The Pharmaceutical companies that fill their medication into vials understand this and must then overfill the vial with drug therapy to compensate for the problem. As the costs for medication and medical treatments rise, the discarded medication can cost the industry millions of dollars, or more, globally. The purchase of the European facility was finalized in the summer of 2022 and Sharps has invested in infrastructure and equipment upgrades to prepare the plant for a full manufacturing schedule. Syringe products produced by Sharps comply with all applicable FDA and ISO requirements and have been awarded the European Union’s CE Mark. The Sharps Hungary team, led by General Manager Filippo Filippi, brings together a dedicated and knowledgeable manufacturing force, with more than 20 years of experience in supplying the world with high quality, innovative syringe products. Prior to the GM position, Filippi’s career spanned years of building, managing, and supporting multiple manufacturing sites across Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Hungary plant is vertically integrated in that it has the capability to manufacture the syringe components by injection molding, assemble the devices on automated lines or by manual assembly if required, and to sterilize the products on-site through the Ethylene Oxide sterilization process. This last stage of the syringe manufacturing process is unique in the industry and gives Sharps an advantage in supporting shortened lead times as compared to the common need to utilize a third-party for sterilization. The plant has manufacturing capacity to supply more than 50 million units today and the facility could be expanded to produce 250 million units or more over the next couple of years. About Sharps Technology Sharps Technology is a medical device and pharmaceutical packaging company specializing in the development and manufacturing of innovative drug delivery systems. The company’s product lines focus on low waste and ultra-low waste syringe technologies that incorporate both passive and active safety features. These features protect front line healthcare workers from life-threatening needle stick injuries and protect the public from needle re-use. Sharps Technology has extensive expertise in specialized prefilled syringe systems and ready to use processing. The company has a manufacturing facility in Hungary and has partnered with Nephron Pharmaceuticals to expand its manufacturing capacity in the US..

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Spotlight

Healthcare has a people problem. For years prior to the
arrival of COVID-19, hospitals in various corners of the
nation experienced troubling shortages1 of medical staff, a problem that has been exacerbated by COVID-19.

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