Office Ally | May 11, 2022
Office Ally, a leading provider of electronic clearinghouse and healthcare software solutions,announced that is has acquired Bluemark, LLC, a provider of specialized healthcare software for healthcare professionals and community-based organizations. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 2001, Bluemark provides specialized healthcare software and adaptive technology, including revenue integrity and Medicaid enrollment solutions, for hospitals, health systems, nursing homes and community-based organizations across the country. Bluemark offers four unique products that span Payer Audit Management and Assistance Program Enrollment, enabling healthcare professionals to both enhance reimbursement processes and achieve workflow efficiencies.
“As a leader in healthcare revenue cycle software, Bluemark has built an impressive suite of high-quality RCM products that are designed to provide mature cloud-based technology solutions that simplify some of the most complex processes in healthcare finance. Not only are Bluemark’s self-pay and health information handling solutions highly complementary to our solution set at Office Ally, but the company’s network of hospital and health system relationships expands our customer base into some of the largest providers of care in the US.”
Chris Hart, CEO of Office Ally
“We are thrilled to be growing the Office Ally platform with the addition of Bluemark. Together, we believe there is an incredible opportunity to leverage our extensive network of providers and combined solution set to further scale our offerings as a leading healthcare technology company,” continued Hart.
With the acquisition of Bluemark, Office Ally will be able to expand its product set and add new health information handler credentials. In addition, the complementary nature of the two businesses will allow Office Ally to better serve existing customers with an integrated suite of healthcare software solutions now spanning self-pay management and Medicaid enrollment.
“Over the last two decades, Bluemark has been a pioneer and innovator in healthcare finance by developing unique solutions to drive the enrollment of self-pay patients into Medicaid and associated benefit programs, as well as the electronic exchange of health information between providers and audit contractors. We are thrilled to be joining Office Ally, and look forward to better serving our customers as the healthcare market continues to evolve,” said Ken Sacks, CEO of Bluemark.
About Office Ally
Office Ally is a healthcare technology company that offers cloud-based solutions to healthcare providers, independent physician associations (IPAs) and health plans. Office Ally’s platform supports both the management of care and facilitates payments between providers, health plans and patients. Office Ally’s platform is paired with a clearinghouse that enables the secure exchange of healthcare information including claims, remits, and eligibility information between covered entities and across the healthcare market.
Bluemark, LLC, is a specialized software and technology developer that provides expert solutions for healthcare professionals. Bluemark helps clients maximize reimbursement and achieve workflow efficiencies through the development of technology-based business process solutions for revenue cycle and HIM audit and compliance processes. Backed by a national footprint and strong industry relationships, Bluemark offers mature SAAS-based technology solutions that are time-tested, proven and positioned to evolve with the healthcare market’s changing needs.
Easterseals | June 23, 2022
Easterseals announced today that it has received a grant of $750,000 from the Abbott Fund, the foundation of the global healthcare company Abbott, to pilot the Project on Education and Community Health Equity from now through 2025. The three-year project aims to address systemic barriers to high-quality education and healthcare experienced by children and families in underinvested communities.
Research shows that many young children, particularly children with disabilities and children of color, face significant gaps in access to crucial health and social services that can provide the targeted support they need to be prepared to succeed in school. One example: according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Black children with autism and other disabilities are diagnosed an average of more than three years after their parents expressed concerns about their development. This delay in diagnosis means these children miss out on age-appropriate care and the chance to improve their health and cognitive skills, often resulting in them entering kindergarten with knowledge and skill deficits that many are not able to overcome throughout their K-12 educational journey.
The Project on Education and Community Health Equity will create an integrated system that addresses the educational and healthcare needs of children to help them be kindergarten ready and reach their full potential. This includes work in three areas: expanding access to essential physical and mental health screenings and care for children; providing targeted social services to help families overcome gaps in basic needs, nutrition, transportation, and other social and economic barriers; and ensuring that early childhood administrators and educators have the right training to identify and address health and social challenges and provide culturally appropriate support for children. The project will be implemented at Easterseals Childhood Development Centers in Southern California, Atlanta and North Georgia, and the greater Washington, D.C., area.
"Addressing the healthcare needs of infants and toddlers as early as possible in their lives is one of the critical ways in which Easterseals serves young children and families across the country. The Project on Education and Community Health Equity will allow us to better address healthcare disparities experienced by young BIPOC children and their families in historically underserved and marginalized communities, and to better understand the connection between more equitable access to healthcare and kindergarten readiness. Centering communities of color in our efforts is a critical strategy to close the gap. Outcomes from the project promise to inform its future expansion to early childhood and early education programs throughout the Easterseals Network of 70 affiliates in communities nationwide."
Erika L. Watson, National Director of Childhood Development, Education and Equity at Easterseals
"We're proud to support Easterseals' important work to help close equity gaps in education and community health," said Melissa Brotz, president of the Abbott Fund and vice president of Global Marketing and External Affairs at Abbott. "We're committed to advancing health equity and fighting racial health disparities, and our partnership with Easterseals will help reduce barriers to care for children, their families and their communities."
The Project on Education and Community Health Equity builds on results seen through another Easterseals program, the Black Child Fund. Launched in 2021 with support from the Abbott Fund and others, the Black Child Fund advanced early identification and interventions among Black children with autism and other disabilities to reduce health disparities often experienced in early childhood. The Abbott Fund investment launched pilots at Easterseals locations serving Chicagoland and Greater Rockford, DuPage and the Fox Valley Region (IL), and Kansas City and St. Louis (MO).
Through these pilot programs, an 87% increase in the number of Black families seeking services and support was realized, with more than 300 Black children screened for early diagnosis of autism and other disabilities in just one year. Of these children, 80% were five years old or younger, with 75% requiring and receiving additional services through Easterseals. An important outcome of these pilots has been the strengthening of relationships within Black communities across these Easterseals service areas to ensure more equitable and more culturally responsive services and supports to young children of color with disabilities and their families.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data revealing that during the pandemic public health emergency, rates for primary and preventive services among children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) declined substantially. This decline in care for millions of children from low-income families will potentially have a significant impact on long-term health outcomes for the nearly 40 million children in the U.S. who rely on Medicaid and CHIP, including three-quarters of children living in poverty and many with special healthcare needs including infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities.
"Through the Project on Education and Community Health Equity, it is Easterseals' intention to address the disparities in healthcare among young children in low-investment communities and to understand the connection between health equity and early childhood educational attainment. We intend to center the experiences of children of color and their families, for whom inequities have only been exacerbated because of the pandemic," Watson concluded.
The Abbott Fund's partnership with Easterseals supports Abbott's 2030 Sustainability Plan, which aims to advance health access and equity through partnership. Abbott's ongoing commitment to address health equity challenges includes targeted programs to increase diversity in clinical trials, create opportunities in STEM for women and underrepresented groups, and empower communities to break down social and economic barriers to better health.
Easterseals is leading the way to full equity, inclusion, and access through life-changing disability and community services. For more than 100 years, we have worked tirelessly with our partners to enhance quality of life and expand local access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities. And we won't rest until every one of us is valued, respected, and accepted. Through our national network of Affiliates, Easterseals provides essential services and on-the-ground supports to more than 1.5 million people each year – from early childhood programs for the critical first five years, to autism services, medical rehabilitation and employment programs, veterans' services, and more. Our public education, policy, and advocacy initiatives positively shape perceptions and address the urgent and evolving needs of the one in four Americans living with disabilities today. Together, we're empowering people with disabilities, families, and communities to be full and equal participants in society.
About Abbott and the Abbott Fund
Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 113,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.
athenahealth, Inc. | June 29, 2022
athenahealth, Inc., a leading provider of network-enabled software and services for medical groups and health systems nationwide, announced the release of athenaOne® Voice Assistant Powered by Nuance®, a mobile-embedded, voice-driven digital companion that streamlines information retrieval and enables hands-free completion of meaningful clinical tasks for healthcare providers using athenahealth’s electronic health records (EHR) solution. Leveraging the power of their voice and iOS-based mobile device, clinicians can spend less time on the computer and more time interacting with patients.
Voice Assistant is a natural command-based, virtual assistant developed and built by athenahealth and powered by Nuance's Dragon Medical technology. Voice Assistant is available for use with the award-winning athenaOne mobile app and athenaOne® Dictation Powered by Nuance®, which allows clinicians to dictate patient documentation naturally and accurately. Together, athenahealth’s voice-enabled solutions help clinicians improve documentation accuracy, save time, and provide a better patient experience.
According to a recent survey by athenahealth, 92% of physicians surveyed report one or more issues cause them to feel burned out on a regular basis with the leading cause of regular burnout being excessive documentation requirements. However, numerous clinicians using Voice Assistant have experienced significant documentation time savings, thus allowing them to reallocate their time to other high-priority tasks.
“I started using Voice Assistant because I’m curious about tech and AI, and I wanted to see if it would help me be more productive. Because I can so easily document anywhere, anytime, I’ve found it to be very useful and convenient, and it helps me make better use of my time. I wouldn’t want to work without it now.”
Dr. Terence M. Grogan, DO, FAAFP, Grogan Family Medicine
Using simple, intuitive voice commands, clinicians using Voice Assistant can document exams, create draft orders, retrieve clinical information, and review their schedule to accelerate tasks and save valuable time. As an AI-backed technology, Voice Assistant will become even smarter and more efficient with widespread use, and athenahealth will continue to expand the number of available commands and introduce new use cases.
“We are delighted to expand our provider mobile app capabilities with Voice Assistant as we continue to transform the provider and patient experience,” said Paul Brient, chief product officer for athenahealth. “Clinicians should be able to experience technology at work just like they do in their everyday lives, and Voice Assistant brings us one step closer to that.”
Brient added that with provider burnout and patient expectations increasing simultaneously, athenahealth is focused on accelerating product innovation, using tools like AI to help solve some of healthcare's biggest challenges. “As our data show, administrative requirements are taking too much time and attention away from providers, and it’s the responsibility of all EHR companies to decrease that burden so providers can spend more face time with patients,” he said.
About athenahealth, Inc.
athenahealth creates innovative healthcare technology that connects clinicians, patients, payers, and partners in differentiated ways. Our electronic health records, revenue cycle management, and patient engagement tools allow anytime, anywhere access, driving better financial outcomes for our customers and enabling our provider customers to deliver better quality care. In everything we do, we’re inspired by our vision to create a thriving ecosystem that delivers accessible, high-quality, and sustainable healthcare for all.
CeloNova BioSciences, Inc. | April 08, 2022
CeloNova BioSciences, Inc. developer and manufacturer of a portfolio of novel surfaced coated technologies, including the proprietary Polyzene™-F nanocoating, announced the strategic decision to focus its core business on creating partnership and co-development opportunities with medical device manufacturers seeking to optimize implant interaction within the body. The company's nanocoated innovation is the result of years of rigorous scientific research and engineering and has been extensively published in numerous academic articles to date.
"We are pleased to offer leading medical device manufacturers access to the unique clinical advantages of our Polyzene-F nanocoated technology that has clinically demonstrated low thrombosis, restenosis and inflammation with rapid healing effects," stated Carl St. Bernard, President and Chief Executive Officer of CeloNova. "This technology offers a significant benefit to companies seeking to improve the clinical performance of their implant technologies."
"I fully support CeloNova's new strategic direction which allows medical device manufacturers to benefit from long-term biocompatibility and thromboresistance of Polyzene-F. When my students and I set out to study the hemocompatibility of this inorganic polymer in our lab in Heidelberg Germany, we soon realized its potential to significantly limit a wide range of implant complications and being broadly applied in the human body and in biomedical devices."
Professor Dr. Michael Grunze, Former Chair and Professor (emeritus) at the Institute of Applied Physical Chemistry of the Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg and co-inventor of Polyzene-F
CeloNova is based on a rich history of medical innovation with two PzF coated medical implants successfully commercialized in the U.S. and the EU. The company's PzF coated embolic microspheres product line was sold to Boston Scientific in 2015 and the COBRA PzF NanoCoated Coronary Stent, was developed to safely and effectively treat patients who may benefit from 1-month of dual antiplatelet therapy. CeloNova's new business direction builds upon the successful application of PzF in interventional oncology and cardiology and expands its opportunities through the development of new surface coating technologies to address important unmet clinical needs.
"In my pre-clinical research at CVPath since 2012, CeloNova's proprietary Polyzene-F coating has consistently demonstrated a unique advantage of allowing an implant to heal quickly and in a functional way, without the need for antiproliferative drug elution," stated Aloke Finn, MD, Medical Director and Chief Scientific Officer at CVPath and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland. "I believe Polyzene-F will continue to play an important role in delivering safety and efficacy in clinical practice."
Polyzene-F is a proprietary, ultra-pure and highly elastic surface coating possessing unique mechanical properties that allow an implant to be coated at a nanoscale level. The coating acts as a biocompatible barrier between the implant, intimal surface and circulating elements in the blood and has demonstrated thromboresistant and anti-inflammatory properties with significantly faster, higher quality healing compared to market-leading technologies.1*
About CeloNova BioSciences, Inc.
CeloNova BioSciences, Inc. is a global medical device company that develops, manufactures and markets novel surfaced coated technologies, including its proprietary Polyzene™-F nanocoating. The next generation nanocoating is the result of years of rigorous scientific research and engineering and has been extensively published in numerous academic articles to date.