Top concerns for Medicare beneficiaries: Part B, appeals and affordable medications

FierceHealthcare | April 05, 2019

The top concerns of Medicare enrollees include navigating Part B, appealing Medicare Advantage (MA) denials and affording meds, according to an annual report from the Medicare Rights Center. “Year after year, our findings from the analysis of our national helpline data show that too many older adults and people with disabilities have problems navigating the complexities of the Medicare program and affording their coverage,” Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, said in a statement. “It’s time that the real-life experiences of people with Medicare who are trying to access needed health care are taken into account and acted on to improve the Medicare program.” The top three patient concerns in 2017 were determined by questions and answers addressed via the Medicare Rights helpline or searched for on Medicare Interactive website.

Spotlight

Organisations provide employee benefits for a variety of different reasons. For some, it’s to reward employees. For others, it’s to keep up with competitors and provide the reward package expected in the industry. An attractive benefits package will also help to attract and retain key talent. Knowing they receive valuable benefits will engage and motivate employees.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Happify Health Weaves a New Path as Twill, the Intelligent Healing Company™

Happify Health | July 13, 2022

Happify Health has announced its transformation to become Twill. This change represents the culmination of a five-year journey to build in-house capabilities, which have enabled the company to transition from wellness apps to a clinical-grade platform that weaves together disparate strands of care to deliver a more connected care experience. As Twill, the company will shorten the distance between need and care to enable delivery of better care at a lower cost for the many, not the few. Twill offers Sequences™, which are configurable care experiences tailored to meet the needs of customers, specific medical conditions they cover, and the populations they serve. Sequences combine evidence-based digital therapeutics and well-being products, care communities, coaching, and third-party services on a clinical-grade platform designed to work seamlessly with the customer's existing digital solutions and resources. This enables a more precise, personalized and seamless care experience, at scale. “As we’ve grown to deliver care to more communities, the disconnectedness of our industry in addressing mental health along with physical health challenges has become abundantly clear. Instead of contributing to this problem, we saw an opportunity to take a different approach, one where we could make the meaningful connections between technology and humanity, body and mind, and need and care. As we’ve shifted our focus toward weaving together solutions that better support the whole person in the care journey, we wanted a name that better matched our mission: to make healing more intelligent.” Tomer Ben-Kiki, Chief Executive Officer at Twill Untangling the complexity of a fragmented healthcare system Today, there are over 350,000 consumer digital health apps, yet according to McKinsey, 90% of patients are looking for integrated healthcare journeys rather than single-point solutions. At the end of 2021, Twill conducted its own survey of large employers and health plans, to identify the largest barrier to executing a successful digital health strategy. Nearly half of all insurers and over a quarter of employers said that the biggest problem they faced was too many standalone point solutions. As Twill, the company is untangling the complexity of the healthcare system to deliver care that is more personal and connected. Twill's Intelligent Healing Platform™ integrates with, and augments, the customer’s existing offerings to give more people more choice in their care journey. This open-by-design architecture allows seamless integration with existing digital solutions, enhancing overall personalization and engagement to create a more personal, precise and connected experience. In doing so, Twill aims to usher in a new era of care built on a more human-centered, digital-first approach to guide each person to the care they need, when they need it, in the way they want. Weaving together a more connected approach to care through Sequences Sequences™ are the proprietary, configurable solution that enable Twill to provide simpler, more connected support for the care journey of a specific medical condition. Each Sequence is a bespoke configuration of evidence-based digital therapeutics and well-being products, care communities, coaching, third party services, and a customer’s own existing resources. They are open by design, in order to work seamlessly with a customer’s existing digital solutions, enhancing personalization and engagement to create a more personal, precise and connected journey. By the end of 2022, Twill will offer Sequences for four medical conditions: mental health, MS, pregnancy, and psoriasis. These have been developed with premier partners including Elevance Health Biogen, and Almirall, among others. Twill’s technology and science is designed to be scalable to a broad range of medical conditions. Intelligently guiding people through a more personalized and precise care journey Sequences are built on Twill’s Intelligent Healing Platform, which leverages deep understanding of each person’s unique clinical needs and personal preferences to guide people through a hyper-personalized and seamless care experience. About Twill Twill is The Intelligent Healing Company™, shortening the distance between need and care by intelligently guiding each person to the care they need, when they need it, in the way they want. The company delivers Sequences™, fully configurable, scientifically designed, digital-first solutions that support the care journey for specific medical conditions. Twill does this for pharmaceutical companies, health plans, jumbo employers, and those they serve. Available across 10 languages and covering more than 18 million lives, Twill creates a more precise, personal, engaging, and effective experience at scale for the many, not the few.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

KAID Health Technology Demonstrates the Value of Natural Language Processing to Improve Preoperative Care

KAID Health | August 02, 2022

KAID Health, an AI-powered health care data analysis and provider engagement platform, announced the results of a study that validates the potential utility of its Natural Language Processing technology to improve provider efficiency and care quality. The peer-reviewed “doctor vs. artificial intelligence” paper found that KAID Health’s NLP technology greatly aligned with the clinician reviewers in completing a pre-operative checklist, and further was able to identify 16.6% of instances where the presence or absence of a specific condition was not found by the anesthesiologist. The research study was undertaken at UCSD’s Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Perioperative Informatics. The authors of the manuscript were Harrison S. Suh, BS, Jeffrey L. Tully, MD, Minhthy N. Meineke, MD, Ruth S. Waterman, MD, MS, and Rodney A. Gabriel, MD, MAS. “We have demonstrated that NLP technology can help identify critical medical conditions relevant to preanesthetic evaluation. Key to this was KAID Health’s ability to utilize unstructured free-text input from the electronic medical record to flag critical medical conditions for anesthesiologists,” researcher and senior author Dr. Rodney Gabriel explained. “This research shows that NLP may be a useful tool to aid preoperative anesthesia providers in screening and evaluation of surgical patients.” For each of the 93 patients in the study, researchers collected all pertinent free-text notes from the EMR. The free-text notes were then processed by a Named Entity Recognition pipeline, which incorporated an NLP machine learning model developed by KAID Health. The model recognizes and labels spans of text that correspond to medical concepts. Medical concepts were then mapped to a list of medical conditions that were of interest for a preanesthesia evaluation. The most common conditions that the NLP pipeline captured that the anesthesiologist did not include cardiac arrhythmias, angina, anticoagulation, peripheral vascular disease, obstructive sleep apnea, and neuromuscular disease. “We are proud that leading academic institutions, such as UCSD, are partnering with KAID to ensure our NLP and AI models meet the demanding accuracy and usability standards required of the industry. KAID Health’s NLP technology played a vital role in this study in identifying pertinent preanesthesia history to optimize efficiency for anesthesiologists. Our model demonstrated that NLP holds the potential to reduce clinician workloads, improve profitability, and, most importantly, make surgery safer.” Kevin Agatstein, CEO of KAID Health The International Anesthesia Research Society published the study, “Identification of Preanesthetic History Elements by a Natural Language Processing Engine,” in its journal, Anesthesia & Analgesia, one of the leading anesthesiology journals in the world. About KAID Health KAID Health makes care delivery more efficient, effective, and profitable for providers and their payers and Accountable Care Organization partners. Its Whole Chart Analysis platform extracts all relevant data from electronic medical records, including structured data and text, using artificial intelligence and natural language processing. The solution identifies the patient care interventions needed for providers to achieve their clinical, financial, or operational objectives. In parallel, KAID Health extends to payers a comprehensive view of members’ health by combining claims and EMR data. Today, KAID Health’s technology is used by leading providers, health systems, academic medical centers, and payers to automate a variety of workflows, including coding accuracy, quality measurement, prior authorization support, and pre-operative assessment. The company was founded by a veteran team of healthcare information technology and population health innovators. It is based in Boston, MA.

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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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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Concord Health Partners Adds Healthcare Veteran Brian Gragnolati as Executive Partner

Concord Health Partners | July 12, 2022

Concord Health Partners a healthcare focused investment firm, announced that Brian Gragnolati has joined as Executive Partner. Gragnolati currently serves as President and CEO of Atlantic Health System. During his tenure at Atlantic Health System, he also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association. The addition of Gragnolati as Executive Partner further expands Concord's team of healthcare sector specialists, adding the network, knowledge and insights of an experienced CEO and a nationally recognized leader in the provider industry. Gragnolati will work with James Olsen, Founder and Managing Partner, and other members of the Concord team to source new investment opportunities, support management teams and accelerate the growth of portfolio companies through commercial introductions across the Concord network of strategic relationships. "We are thrilled to add someone with Brian's experience, knowledge and expertise to Concord's executive team. We established Concord with the goal of creating lasting partnerships with strategic investors to help drive the adoption of our portfolio company technologies and solutions across a broad universe of healthcare providers and payors. Brian brings unique perspective from his roles as a health system chief executive officer and at the AHA, and has distinguished himself as a valuable partner to Concord in those roles. We look forward to leveraging his insights and network as he helps identify new opportunities and accelerate growth at our portfolio companies as Executive Partner." James Olsen, Founder and Managing Partner at Concord "In working with Concord over the years, it was clear that the Firm has developed a powerful model for healthcare investing. Concord has become a leader in identifying innovative companies and partnering with them to drive growth," said Gragnolati. "I am excited at the opportunity to work even more closely with the Concord team and their portfolio companies to help them continue to deliver solutions that lower costs, improve quality and expand access to care." Gragnolati has served as President and CEO of Atlantic Heath System since 2015, and is the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the AHA. Prior to his tenure at Atlantic Health, Brian served as Senior Vice President at Johns Hopkins Medicine. He previously held executive positions at Wellspan Health, University of Vermont Medical Center and Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA. As a nationally respected voice in health care, Mr. Gragnolati played a key role in public relations and media communications during the COVID pandemic. He regularly appears on CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg and other media outlets to share his insight on the nation's most pressing health concerns. He has been honored by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 most influential people in healthcare. He serves on the Board of Directors of Lakeland Bancorp, Inc. and Lakeland Bank. Gragnolati holds a bachelor's degree in Health Systems Analysis from the University of Connecticut, an MBA from Western New England College and an Executive Leadership Certificate from the JFK School at Harvard University. About Concord Health Partners Concord Health Partners is a healthcare focused investment firm with a strategic model that optimizes the alignment of interests between investors and portfolio companies. Concord has developed a broad network of strategic investors that contribute expertise and resources, and serve as potential commercial partners to portfolio companies. Concord is primarily focused on investing in healthcare companies that have the potential to enhance the value of care through products, services, technologies and solutions that lower costs, improve quality and expand access to care.

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Spotlight

Organisations provide employee benefits for a variety of different reasons. For some, it’s to reward employees. For others, it’s to keep up with competitors and provide the reward package expected in the industry. An attractive benefits package will also help to attract and retain key talent. Knowing they receive valuable benefits will engage and motivate employees.

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