Trumps healthcare executive order will only mean more red tape, not cheaper care

washingtonexaminer | June 24, 2019

President Trump has been the champion of reducing red tape. Thats why its confusing that he plans to issue an executive order requiring healthcare insurers and providers to reveal the details of their pricing contracts.Reducing the cost of healthcare is a well-intentioned goal. However, this so-called transparency plays into the never-ending myth that a new government mandate will fix what ails us.The plan sounds deceptively simple Government will require insurers and providers doctors, hospitals, clinics, etc. to disclose the prices of care they negotiate, including routine checkups, drugs, major surgeries, in-patient treatments, medical supplies, therapies, and more. In doing so, the speculation goes, patients would be able to make more informed choices and might save money.

Spotlight

The patient experience is shaped across the entire continuum of care and includes everything the patient sees, hears, feels, and touches while moving across it. There are five sets of touch points in the physician practice to consider when working to create an exceptional patient experience.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Francisco Partners to Acquire bswift from CVS Health

Francisco Partners | October 04, 2022

Francisco Partners a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology businesses, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire bswift, a leading provider of benefits technology and services, from CVS Health. Founded in 1996, bswift is a provider of software and services that streamline benefits and human resources administration, offering a cloud-based technology platform with best-in-class service. The company combines its deep expertise and passion for technology innovation with strong customer service and a unique consumer-driven approach. bswift helps its partners and employers simplify administration, manage employee benefits, reduce administrative costs, and connect employees with resources needed to achieve their health ambitions. The company serves millions of employees with a single benefit destination across all life events from hire to retire. bswift will continue to partner with CVS Health and Aetna, a CVS Health company, to provide benefits technology to its employees and client base. “CVS Health and Aetna remain committed to bswift and to the clients, partners and members we support in benefits administration. FP’s deep expertise in technology and proven track record in nurturing and growing technology businesses will enable bswift’s loyal base of employees to continue delivering innovative solutions.” Mark Santos, Vice President, Diversified Commercial Solutions at Aetna Since its launch over 20 years ago, Francisco Partners has invested in over 400 technology companies, making it one of the most active and long-standing investors in the technology industry. Francisco Partners has experience in the healthcare and human capital technology market and its investments have focused on companies that provide the best possible products and service for its customers and partners. Francisco Partners also has extensive experience partnering with corporations to execute divisional carve-outs with transactions such as IBM’s Watson Health business (now Merative) and Discovery Inc.’s Discovery Education business. Justin Chen, Partner at Francisco Partners, said, “We are excited to partner with bswift and help the team continue to grow its robust technology and service offerings across benefits and healthcare. bswift is uniquely positioned as a market leader to help employers navigate the evolving industry trends and opportunities to holistically engage employees through health, wellness and financial benefits.” “We appreciate CVS Health’s work in growing this business and are confident that our partnership will help bswift drive crucial focus in executing on organic and inorganic growth strategies,” said Anders Mikkelsen, Vice President at Francisco Partners. “We look forward to supporting the talented employees and management team.” Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC served as financial advisor to Francisco Partners. CVS Health engaged Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP and Dechert LLP as legal counsel and Goldman Sachs as exclusive financial advisor. About Francisco Partners Francisco Partners is a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology and technology-enabled businesses. Since its launch over 20 years ago, Francisco Partners has invested in over 400 technology companies, making it one of the most active and longstanding investors in the technology industry. With approximately $45 billion in capital raised to date, the firm invests in opportunities where its deep sectoral knowledge and operational expertise can help companies realize their full potential. About bswift bswift helps customers change the way their employees perceive and engage with their benefits through a proven blend of adaptive technology, service excellence, and compassionate service. Their intuitive, personalized enrollment experience inspires confidence and connects employees to the resources they need to achieve their personal ambitions. Partnering with enterprises nationwide and serving millions of employees, bswift offers cloud-based technology and services for online enrollment, interactive decision support, ACA compliance reporting and employee engagement.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

PointClickCare Launches Integrated Virtual Health Solution for Long-Term and Post-Acute Care Providers

PointClickCare | October 11, 2022

PointClickCare Technologies, a leading healthcare technology platform enabling meaningful collaboration and access to real‐time insights announced the launch of its Virtual Health offering – an integrated telemedicine solution to the Skilled Nursing Facilities market. With the help of partner Sound Physicians, this technology is currently being implemented in more than half of the states across the U.S. Over the next two days at the AHCA/NCAL Convention and Expo, PointClickCare will be showcasing the innovative ways providers can better achieve quality care and reach the full potential of virtual health in the post‐acute setting. According to the Forrester U.S. Tech Outlook, 2022 Report, investment in virtual health, remote monitoring, and hospital-at-home, are spending priorities in 2022. Forrester analysts have confirmed that these technologies have the power to reduce the cost of administrative complexity, which is currently $265 billion. Recent data from the US Department of Health & Human Services explains that the share of Medicare visits conducted through telehealth rose to 52.7 million in 2020, from approximately 840,000 in 2019. Knowing that telehealth has become an increasingly important, yet sometimes complicated component of healthcare, PointClickCare has developed an alternative to traditional telehealth by applying technological improvements to offer an integrated solution. “Telehealth is no longer a futuristic concept in long-term care, it’s table stakes. Our customers continue to navigate between care settings and our team has sought to innovate and push the envelope on providing virtual care. We’re proud to announce this technology that has been specifically designed to meet the mission‐critical needs of post‐acute providers to improve clinical care and reduce healthcare costs, consistently driving down hospital readmissions by 30%.” Travis Palmquist, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Senior Care at PointClickCare With PointClickCare’s Virtual Health offering, providers can now Improve patient care & staff satisfaction: By streamlining operations through a sophisticated level of integration into existing workflows, care teams have access to shared patient records, and can cut down on administrative tasks and can focus on what matters most – patient care. Reduce healthcare service costs: With the ability to “treat in place,” facilities experience stabilized occupancy rates and can reduce the need for after-hours readmissions or emergency room department transfers, ultimately lowering overall costs. “The ongoing staffing crisis has created a new level of pressure for our staff. With PointClickCare’s Virtual Health solution, our care teams can access an on-shift physician with just one click, streamlining operations and cutting down on a lot of the administrative burdens we are faced with, all while ensuring our patients are getting the best quality of care, any time,” said Kevin Baxter, Vice President of Operations at Health Services Management. About PointClickCare PointClickCare is a leading healthcare technology platform enabling meaningful collaboration and access to real‐time insights at any stage of a patient’s healthcare journey. PointClickCare’s single platform spans the care continuum, fostering proactive, holistic decision‐making and improved outcomes for all. Over 27,000 long‐term post‐acute care providers, and 2,700 hospitals use PointClickCare today, enabling care collaboration and value‐based care delivery for millions of lives across North America.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

CONVERT Clinical Trial Data Presented at ERS Demonstrates Early Success of AeriSeal System in Patients with Advanced COPD/Emphysema

Pulmonx Corporation | September 05, 2022

Pulmonx Corporation a global leader in minimally invasive treatments for severe lung disease, announces the presentation of interim results from the CONVERT Study at the 2022 European Respiratory Society International Conference. Data on the first 40 patients in the study demonstrated that treatment with the AeriSeal System successfully converted the collateral ventilation status in 78% of patients who were subsequently treated with Zephyr Valves. The AeriSeal System is used to close collateral air channels in a target lung lobe of a patient with severe COPD/emphysema, making the patient eligible to then undergo Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction (BLVR) with Zephyr Valves. Patients whose lungs have untreated collateral ventilation are currently ineligible for treatment with Zephyr Valves and have limited options once medical management alone does not control symptoms. Once the target lobe is converted from CV+ to CV-, patients can be treated with Zephyr Valves, which has been shown to improve lung function, quality of life, and exercise capacity for patients with severe COPD/emphysema. The CONVERT study uses the AeriSeal System to close collateral air flow. Once the treated lobe tests negative for collateral ventilation Zephyr Valves are implanted to address hyperinflation of that target lobe to ease emphysema symptoms without major surgery. Successfully converted patients who received Zephyr Valves had clinically meaningful Target Lobe Volume Reduction with a mean reduction of greater than one (1) liter. The CONVERT trial is ongoing and full clinical outcomes of BLVR with Zephyr Valves were not reported at this time. However, results recently published from a single-center feasibility study at Macquarie University Hospital in Australia showed that the AeriSeal System successfully closed collateral air channels and allowed for successful clinical outcomes after treatment with Zephyr Valves.2 At 6 months, AeriSeal and Zephyr Valve treated CV+ patients experienced clinically meaningful improvements similar to improvements in CV- patients treated with Zephyr Valves alone.2 Improvements included Lung function (FEV1 increase of 19.7%, Residual Volume decrease of 16.2%) Quality of life (SGRQ score decrease of 15.1 points) Exercise capacity (Six-Minute Walk Distance increase of 77.2 meters) There were no serious adverse reactions experienced by patients in the Australian feasibility study; 20% of patients in the CONVERT Study experienced an inflammatory response following AeriSeal treatment - all were transient, medically managed, and resolved. The available data suggest that patients with collateral ventilation can undergo successful BLVR with Zephyr Valves following closure of the fissure gap with the AeriSeal System. “This is very promising news for patients with advanced COPD. We know that treatment with Zephyr Valves can provide long-term improvements in lung function, breathing, and quality of life, but for patients with collateral ventilation, this minimally invasive treatment has not been available as an option,” explains Dr. Michela Bezzi, Department Head and Director Interventional Pulmonology - ASST Spedali Civili, University Hospital, Brescia, Italy. “Having a technology like the AeriSeal System to convert collateral ventilation positive patients to negative status means we can provide a treatment to patients who currently have very few options.” “This work reflects our continued commitment to developing and testing new medical technologies to help patients with severe lung disease breathe easier and have better quality of life. These early study results are encouraging and move us closer to the goal of helping severe emphysema patients who have collateral ventilation benefit from our proven Zephyr Valve treatment.” Glen French, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pulmonx About the CONVERT Study CONVERT is a prospective, open-label, multi-center, single-arm study being conducted at up to 20 investigational sites. The study plans to enroll 140 subjects with severe emphysema and collateral ventilation in the target lobe. This protocol is designed to evaluate the utility of the AeriSeal System, which uses a synthetic polymer foam to occlude collateral air channels in a target lung lobe and convert the target lung lobe to having little to no collateral ventilation. Patients will then undergo Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction with Zephyr Endobronchial Valves. Zephyr Valves are not effective if collateral ventilation (CV+) is present but once the target lobe is converted from CV+ to CV-, patients can be treated with Zephyr Valves which has been shown to improve lung function, quality of life, and exercise capacity for patients with severe COPD/emphysema. About Zephyr Valves The Zephyr Valve is a minimally invasive treatment option for severe COPD/emphysema. Zephyr Valves are placed via bronchoscopy to block off a diseased portion of the lung to prevent air from getting trapped and reduce hyperinflation, which allows the healthier lung tissue to expand and take in more air. This results in patients being able to breathe easier, be less short of breath, and have an improvement in their quality of life.1 National and global treatment guidelines for COPD include Endobronchial Valves like Zephyr Valves with the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease giving valves an ‘Evidence A’ rating. More than 25,000 patients have been treated with the Zephyr Valve worldwide. About Pulmonx Corporation Pulmonx Corporation is a global leader in minimally invasive treatments for severe lung disease. Pulmonx’s Zephyr® Endobronchial Valve, Chartis® Pulmonary Assessment System and StratX® Lung Analysis Platform are designed to assess and treat patients with severe emphysema/COPD who, despite medical management, are still profoundly symptomatic. Pulmonx received FDA premarket approval to commercialize the Zephyr Valve following its designation as a “breakthrough device.” The Zephyr Valve is commercially available in more than 25 countries, with over 100,000 valves used to treat more than 25,000 patients.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

AngelEye Health Introduces NICU Technology Conversion Team

AngelEye Health | September 08, 2022

AngelEye Health, a leading provider of family engagement solutions for hospital neonatal and pediatric intensive care units announced the introduction of the company's inaugural NICU technology conversion team. Comprised of some of the healthcare organization's most seasoned onboarding specialists, the unit will help new customers navigate the process of converting from existing solutions to the AngelEye CameraSystem™. Members of the dedicated integration team include project managers, clinical specialists, and systems analysts. "Exemplary customer support is the cornerstone of the AngelEye Health service offering and has been since day one. As our team continues to quickly add new hospital partners who are converting from other NICU camera solutions, we realized that some of their onboarding needs were unique. We saw an opportunity to proactively ensure that we had the resources in place to address any technical and clinical needs they may have. We are proud to introduce the industry's first NICU technology conversion team, purpose-built to support these transitions every step of the way." Christopher Rand, CEO of AngelEye Health Patient and family engagement technology for hospital settings has been growing in acceptance as it presents NICUs and other pediatric units with additional opportunities to support families during their child's time in the hospital. It also fosters an instant and lasting bond with family members even when they can't be at the hospital. In response to this need, AngelEye developed a state-of-the-art CameraSystem™, which brings live-streaming video of the patient to family members anywhere, anytime, on any device. Web-camera technologies provide families with a unique opportunity to connect with their hospitalized children through interactive, real-time technologies. Thus, a cost-efficient pediatric webcam program like AngelEye Health's has the potential to improve the quality of life for participating families by relieving anxiety and cultivating a distant bonding experience. While the AngelEye onboarding process is always thorough and well-executed, customers who are already familiar with and reliant on cameras in their NICU can now benefit from a specialized level of solution migration support that is unique to their situation. As AngelEye continues to add conversion customers to its portfolio of hospital partners - and at an increasingly accelerated rate - introducing a team of professionals who are well versed in the technology conversion process can add a layer of technical and clinical support to ensure that the transition is seamless and the hospital's NICU care team is up and running on the system quickly and with minimal downtime. Arkansas Children's Hospital was one of AngelEye’s first NicView conversion projects which involved 90 cameras. Since day one of the technology migration, their hospital team has benefited from the cohesive support from AngelEye’s team of project managers, clinical specialists, and systems analysts, each dedicated to ensuring that the onboarding process was as streamlined and painless as possible. "AngelEye Health has been very accommodating and willing to work with us and tailor the entire camera system conversion to meet our needs," said Luann Jones, DNP, APRN, NNP-BC, NE-BC, formerly the neonatal services director, Arkansas Children's Hospital. "Every NICU is in a different place at different times, and there's not really a one size fits all approach. Their team was willing to collaborate with us as an institution and as a unit to figure out what really worked best to meet our needs." For hospitals and health systems interested in learning more about what their own camera system conversion might look like and how the AngelEye NICU technology conversion team can support them through every step of the process, please read the Top 10 Questions from Conversion Partners or schedule a call with one of AngelEye's Account Managers. About AngelEye Health AngelEye Health has a deep understanding of the value that both family engagement and family-centered care bring to the neonatal and pediatric intensive care environment. We provide a complete HIPAA-compliant platform to integrate parents simply and seamlessly into the child's care team. Our approach has a proven, positive impact on the quality of the family experience, care delivery workflows for the dedicated bedside team, and patient outcomes. From admission to discharge, AngelEye positively impacts staff, families, and patients along the journey and ultimately to a successful transition home. From bonding, patient progress and treatment communication, feeding, and focused education, AngelEye offers a portfolio of solutions for supporting the highly specialized needs of the NICU and PICU today and of the future. The company was recently named to the Inc. 5,000 listing of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies.

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Spotlight

The patient experience is shaped across the entire continuum of care and includes everything the patient sees, hears, feels, and touches while moving across it. There are five sets of touch points in the physician practice to consider when working to create an exceptional patient experience.

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