Trump administration seeking feedback on how to support grandfathered ACA group plans

FierceHealthcare | February 25, 2019

The Trump administration is seeking feedback on ways that it can assist insurers and employers in maintaining grandfathered ACA group plans. In a request for information, the Department of Labor, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services is asking for additional details challenges to maintaining grandfathered status and the reasons employers and payers continue to offer such plans. As there is “limited information available” about these plans, the departments are seeking to determine if there are “opportunities ... to assist such plans and issuers, consistent with the law, in preserving the grandfathered status of group health plans and group health insurance coverage.”

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Northwell Health and Aegis Ventures Launch Ascertain – Healthcare AI Company Creation Platform to Improve Quality and Access to Care

Northwell Health | April 13, 2022

Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, and Aegis Ventures, a New York-based startup studio announced at their inaugural Healthcare AI Innovation Summit the finalization of definitive agreements to launch Ascertain, a joint company creation platform. Ascertain is a first-of-its-kind partnership that pairs a dynamic venture studio with one of the nation’s largest and most impactful health systems to develop and commercialize breakthrough healthcare AI companies that improve quality and access to care and close health equity gaps. Ascertain represents a novel, more targeted approach to the way entrepreneurs and healthcare systems collaborate to solve major healthcare challenges. The platform combines clinical and business leadership, expert technical and product teams, access to Northwell’s leading, diverse datasets, and capital resources within a single ecosystem – with a sole focus on building and validating effective solutions that can be rapidly brought to market. “Ascertain brings a unique structure, an innovative approach, and a compelling vision to create breakthrough healthcare AI companies that are set up for success. We are all driven by the idea that everyone deserves access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. Our aim is clear: to find new, cost-efficient ways to create and accelerate companies that deliver real, equitable solutions.” Michael Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell Health Ascertain has commenced the creation of its first portfolio companies in partnership with Northwell’s clinicians and administrators. One such collaboration is focused on bringing substantive improvements in maternal health, working hand-in-hand with Northwell’s recently launched Center for Maternal Health to develop new approaches to detecting and managing serious complications for expectant mothers and babies. Ascertain’s data science team has been working hand-in-hand with Northwell’s Maternal and Fetal Medicine team to examine tens of thousands of cases of preeclampsia, a hypertensive pregnancy complication that disproportionately affects Black mothers in the United States. Using cutting-edge data science techniques, the Ascertain team aims to deliver an AI solution that helps clinicians predict the risk of developing preeclampsia, enabling them to intervene earlier than previously possible. “Existing approaches to the detection of preeclampsia often occur too late in pregnancy, once the condition has begun to manifest. An important enabler for a solution to this challenge is predictive analytics, applying available knowledge of a patient's history to enable action far earlier with simple, yet life-saving, clinical interventions. We believe the AI solution Ascertain is currently developing will enable this,” shared Burt Rochelson, MD, Chief of Maternal Medicine at Northwell Health. “Aegis and Northwell’s multidisciplinary teams are pursuing innovation through a systematic approach that will bring validated solutions to patients more quickly and at a lower cost,” said Bill Schoenfeld, Aegis Ventures Chairman. “Our skillsets are extraordinarily complementary and enable us to address healthcare’s most entrenched quality, equity, and cost problems far more powerfully than either organization could alone.” Ascertain is preparing to launch multiple companies in 2022 that focus on maternal health, chronic disease detection and management, and next-generation AI tools. Ascertain’s Chairman Tom Manning shared, “Together, we’re paving a new way forward, a monumental step toward real, proven AI solutions that can bring impact to the world. It is a bold collaboration to drive AI-backed companies that save lives and resolve long-standing health inequities – and realize results that deliver something greater in healthcare.” Ascertain is committed to building exceptional teams that will embrace this unique opportunity to create unparalleled impact. To learn more about Ascertain or register your interest, please visit https://ascertain.com/. About Ascertain Ascertain is a revolutionary new partnership between Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, and Aegis Ventures, a dynamic startup studio. This unique partnership assembles leading medical, technology, and business resources to create a first-of-its-kind company creation platform for healthcare innovation to address healthcare’s most challenging quality, equity, and cost problems. Ascertain brings $100M in seed-stage capital to bear in pursuit of a three-pronged approach to company creation: internal ideation, commercialization of scientific breakthroughs, and US market entry partnerships for global ventures. Ascertain creates companies that improve quality of care, patient experience, and long-standing health, placing patient needs at the center of every business model, technology solution, and product. About Northwell Health Northwell Health is New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 830 outpatient facilities and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 77,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4,800 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change healthcare for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. About Aegis Ventures Aegis Ventures is a next-generation startup studio that partners with entrepreneurs and industry leaders to originate, launch, and scale transformative companies. Our platform brings together market-shaping ideas, permanent growth capital, and ambitious individuals driven to solve major societal problems. We aim to build companies with the capacity for vast impact, with an initial focus on artificial intelligence and digital health. Within these verticals, Aegis seeks to create companies that leverage technology to better optimize tradeoffs between quality, access, and cost, focusing on innovations that promote seamless continuity of care, patient empowerment, and better-informed clinical decision-making.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. to Launch State of the Art Technology for Diabetic Foot Ulcer Management

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. | January 13, 2022

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. (Alkem) hereby announces to launch a unique patented technology for the treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcer (DFU) in India. The solution would be based on disruptive 4D Bioprinting technology, which would be used to treat deep, non-healing chronic wounds and is expected to be launched in the Indian market in the latter half of 2022 post regulatory approval. This advanced technology for DFU management has a high scope of preventing amputations in diabetic patients. This technology will be available at affordable rates to Indian patients at a time when there is no definitive treatment for DFU in India. India currently has approximately 77 mn diabetes patients, the second highest in the world. A diabetic foot ulcer is one of the most significant and devastating complications of diabetes and is defined as a foot affected by ulceration that is associated with neuropathy and/or peripheral arterial disease of the lower limb in a patient with diabetes. Approximately, 12-15% with diabetes suffer from DFU at least once in a lifetime. 5–24% of them will finally lead to limb amputation within 6–18 months after the first evaluation. The risk of foot ulceration and limb amputation increases with age and the duration of diabetes. Alkem has collaborated with Rokit Healthcare Inc. to commercialize the technology in India to help reduce amputation amongst DFU patients considering the negative impact of amputation on a patient's quality of life and the associated economic burden on the healthcare system. "In India, Diabetes is one of the major healthcare challenges. The challenge in itself is so huge that diabetic foot ulcers often get ignored. Approximately 1 lac people have to undergo amputation every year and compromise on their quality of life. To address the problem, Alkem has collaborated with Rokit Healthcare Inc., a global regenerative solutions company, to bring out novel solutions for the management of diabetic foot ulcers." Mr. Sandeep Singh, Managing Director, Alkem Laboratories Ltd Adding further, Mr. Sandeep asserted, "Alkem, over the years, has always been at the forefront in delivering high-quality patient care, through its innovation and patient-centric initiatives." About Alkem Laboratories Ltd Established in 1973 and headquartered in Mumbai, Alkemis a leading Indian pharmaceutical company with global operations, engaged in the development, manufacture, and sale of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. The Company produces branded generics, generic drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and nutraceuticals, which it markets in India and International markets. With a portfolio of more than 800 brands in India, Alkem is ranked the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in India in terms of domestic sales. The Company also has presence in more than 40 international markets, with the United States being its key focus market.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Lark Health Builds AI-Driven Heart Health Program

Lark Health | March 17, 2022

Lark Health today announced the development of a novel AI-driven program for the prevention and management of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease in collaboration with Roche Diagnostics. The program, named Lark Heart Health, is an AI-driven virtual care solution that provides personalized health coaching anytime, anywhere. The new Heart Health program is planned to launch later this year. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally, and nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have some form of CVD. It's also one of the most expensive chronic conditions, with heart disease and stroke costing the U.S. healthcare system roughly $214 billion annually. Yet, provider shortages and siloed care teams leave patients with limited care options, gaps in care, and insufficient education and empowerment to self-manage their heart health. Additionally, high treatment costs and resource constraints often limit care to those with the highest acuity conditions. Built using a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy framework and designed in accordance with guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA), Lark Heart Health will provide a cost-effective, scalable solution for continuous, person-centric remote heart health coaching intended to help users improve their healthy lifestyle behaviors, reduce stress levels, and ultimately decrease risk factors for heart disease. Through an evidence-based educational curriculum and real-time personalized coaching, Lark will provide users with the tools they need to make meaningful lifestyle changes that can help them better prevent and manage ASCVD and CAD. Earlier this year, Lark announced it had joined the AHA's Network at American Heart Association Center of Health Technology & Innovation, which is focused on building and fostering health technology relationships to develop innovative and scalable solutions. "Lark Heart Health will help those at high risk prevent and actively manage cardiovascular disease through personalized digital coaching. By leveraging our AI technology, we can deliver meaningful and engaging care at an unprecedented scale, and this collaboration with Roche Diagnostics will support the expansion of our proven tech platform into one of the costliest chronic disease markets." Julia Hu, co-founder and CEO of Lark About Lark Health Lark is a healthcare technology company aimed at delivering infinitely scalable, virtual chronic and preventative healthcare through conversational AI. To date, Lark has provided nearly 2 million people with unlimited, 24/7 personalized care delivered through an easy-to-use, text message-like interface that integrates remote patient monitoring tools and is built on a cognitive behavioral therapy framework. Lark's platform seamlessly integrates with health plans' and employers' existing healthcare infrastructure to help them scale their chronic disease prevention and management programs, boost engagement, and improve health outcomes. Lark currently works with many of the largest health plans and across four programs: Prevention, Diabetes Prevention, Diabetes Care, and Hypertension Care. Lark's Diabetes Prevention Program, which is the fastest growing and lowest cost DPP, has received the highest level of clinical recognition—Full Recognition—from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company has received numerous accolades, including having been named as one of CB Insights Digital Health 150 (2019), a finalist for the UCSF Digital Health Awards one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies and one of Fierce Healthcare's Fierce 15.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

H2O.ai Showcases Healthcare and Life Sciences Leadership with Customer Successes, Breadth of AI Apps at HIMSS 2022

H2O.ai | March 14, 2022

H2O.ai, the AI Cloud leader, announced it has expanded its healthcare capabilities, now offering 40 AI applications across population health, precision medicine, public health and intelligent supply chain, supporting customers throughout the healthcare ecosystem including Bon Secours Mercy Health and Kaiser Permanente. The company will demonstrate its technologies at the healthcare industry’s flagship technology conference, HIMSS, in Booth No. 8141, March 15-17 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Healthcare and life sciences organizations have been stretched thin over the past few years and are actively looking for new technologies to streamline operations and improve patient outcomes across the private and public sectors. AI will empower physicians, hospital administrators, researchers and pharmaceutical companies with models and applications that produce more affordable, more accessible and more efficient healthcare. H2O.ai is at the forefront of this effort, helping organizations rapidly transform to improve health equity, access and care. For example, the Center for Digital Health Innovation (CDHI) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is collaborating with H2O.ai on the development and training of AI algorithms that automate the processing of the 1.4 million faxed patient referrals and other documents that UCSF’s health system receives annually. The algorithms identify, classify and prioritize document types. For referrals, the AI extracts key patient data, history and relevant health information that will assist staff and eliminate manual data entry and validation tasks. “AI in healthcare has the potential to dramatically improve the operational processes that can prevent patients from getting care quickly, at the right place, and from the right provider. Our work with H2O.ai for health document handling is just one aspect of the transformation in the ways patients access and receive care.” Alon Konchitsky, associate director for data science and machine learning at CDHI H2O.ai has developed 40 AI apps supporting various components of the healthcare ecosystem, including Population Health H2O.ai’s Covid-19 hospital occupancy simulator allows hospital administrators to track, predict and manage Covid-19-related hospital admissions by U.S. county. The company also has a pop-up predictor that allows for the quick identification of specific addresses in the U.S. that would be most suitable for temporary vaccination clinics, mobile testing centers, public education stands and more. H2O.ai’s customers - leading providers, payers and accountable care organizations (ACOs) - are developing and deploying AI models and apps around patient no shows, 30-day readmission predictors, risk stratification and omni-channel patient engagement NLP. Precision Medicine H2O.ai has developed a gene mutation app, a machine learning-powered patient risk assessment application that uses the Snowflake Data Cloud and the H2O AI Cloud to bring intelligent clinical decision support directly to clinicians. In another use case, H2O.ai’s gene expression tumor classification app uses gene expression information from patient biopsies to evaluate the risk of malignancy and understand how common the risk has been among past patients. “H2O AI Cloud, integrated with the Snowflake Data Cloud, is making it easier for health organizations to rapidly develop precision medicine solutions,” said Todd Crosslin, Global Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Snowflake. “The Gene mutation app is just the beginning of our health partnership and our ability to deliver improved care and patient outcomes.” Public Health The company’s Covid-19 forecasting application enables hospital staff, policymakers and others to predict the next wave of infection as well as potential case and death rates. H2O.ai also provides a vaccine sentiment tool that leverages natural language processing (NLP) to understand the sentiment around Covid-19 vaccines, and the company is currently working with leaders to address the risks and care associated with PASC (AKA Long COVID). Intelligent Supply Chain To provide intelligent supply chain support, H2O.ai’s route optimizer application helps health manufacturers best optimize transportation routes to ensure products arrive on time and to standard. H2O.ai also has developed an order and inventory management app to aid health manufacturers’ inefficient warehouse and inventory management decisions. Avoiding AI “Pilot-itis” Many health and life sciences organizations are struggling to implement AI projects that improve patient outcomes, reduce costs and more. Through its expertise and the H2O AI Cloud platform, H2O.ai is able to break companies out of the pilot cycle and successfully take them to AI maturity to deliver impactful results. In fact, H2O.ai has experienced an increase in healthcare customers moving from the pilot phase to full-blown production AI programs. “Artificial Intelligence and deep learning are not only driving the latest innovations in medicine but also are enabling healthcare organizations to connect fragmented data into a format that can be used to improve operational efficiency and provide more user-centric patient experiences,” said Sri Ambati, CEO and co-founder of H2O.ai. “From its use in drug discovery and forecasting the next COVID-19 variant to streamlining supply chain operations and reducing healthcare worker churn, AI will have a significant impact on democratizing health and improving patient outcomes.” About H2O.ai H2O.ai is the leading AI cloud company, on a mission to democratize AI for everyone. Customers use the H2O AI Cloud platform to rapidly solve complex business problems and accelerate the discovery of new ideas. H2O.ai is the trusted AI provider to more than 20,000 global organizations, including AT&T, Bon Secours Mercy Health, Capital One, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, GlaxoSmithKline, Hitachi, Kaiser Permanente, Procter & Gamble, PayPal, PwC, Reckitt, Unilever and Walgreens, over half of the Fortune 500 and one million data scientists. Goldman Sachs, NVIDIA and Wells Fargo are not only customers and partners, but strategic investors in the company. H2O.ai’s customers have honored the company with a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 78— the highest in the industry based on breadth of technology and deep employee expertise. The world’s top 20 Kaggle Grandmasters (the community of best-in-the-world machine learning practitioners and data scientists) are employees of H2O.ai. A strong AI for Good ethos to make the world a better place and Responsible AI drive the company’s purpose. Please join our movement at H2O.ai.

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