Why Blues plans, Health Care Service Corporation are teaming up to fight hunger

FierceHealthcare | February 04, 2019

The Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Institute have teamed up to bring healthy food delivery options to those living in food deserts. The partnership has debuted foodQ, which offers affordable meals delivered to a participant’s home. The program aims to improve health outcomes for people with chronic conditions, particularly those conditions which are diet related. Ultimately, the partnership signifies the growing trend of prevention being initiated by insurance companies and other payers in an effort to reduce emergency room visits, hospital admissions and costs.

Spotlight

Even the cleanest hospitals can serve as breeding grounds for dangerous microbes. Viral particles launched by a sneeze or by a change of bed linens hover in the air, to be inhaled by patients or to land on intravenous poles. Pathogens deposited into a box of surgical gloves hitch a ride, via central line, to a patients bloodstream, or via catheter to the urinary tract. Bacteria travel from the bed rail of an infected patient to the hands of a nurse and from there to vulnerable patients.8 The web of transmission routes is vast, complex, and invisible.


Other News
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..

Read More

HEALTH TECHNOLOGY,MEDICAL DEVICES

Predictive Health Solutions Technology Shows Promise in Combating Patient Appointment No-Shows

Predictive Health Solutions | December 06, 2022

With the Predictive Health Solutions Patient No-Show Predictor, providers now have a new tool in combatting patient no-shows. By leveraging the power of predictive analytics, the PHS Patient No-Show Predictor can also help reduce patient backlogs and long waitlists, improve operational efficiencies, promote better patient health outcomes, increase potential revenues, enhance patient care, and minimize caregiver burnout. Powered by SAS analytics software and co-developed by Pinnacle Solutions, the solution seamlessly integrates cutting edge technology into pre-existing daily operations, making it easy for healthcare staff to use. The solution identifies high-risk patients as well as potential key risk factors impacting a patient's ability to attend their appointment, such as weather, social determinants of health, or many other factors. Using the information provided, staff can quickly make informed decisions regarding intervention strategies that directly impact the patient's likelihood of attending their appointment and receiving the care they need. For example, staff may choose to offer alternative options to those with unreliable transportation or suggest afternoon appointments for those whose morning commute would be impacted by traffic delays. Teams may also choose to use the intelligence gathered to customize individual reminder protocols to maximize the impact and value of those existing tools. Data gathered can also be leveraged for strategic overbooking, as opposed to, for example, blindly scheduling same-day appointments. Patient no-shows cost the US and Canadian healthcare systems more than $150 billion annually, and those numbers are likely higher as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ensuing funding shortages not only impact the bottom line, but also directly affect healthcare systems' ability to provide the desired level of care, which in many cases creating even greater accessibility and availability issues. For instance, revenue lost as a result of no-shows could be used to fund additional medical staff or provide the latest medical technologies and therapy sessions for patients in need. Predictive Health Solutions is a joint venture with Pinnacle Solutions, Inc. and the Center For Discovery, Innovation and Development an affiliate member of RWJBarnabas Health and a member of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. PHS was established to improve access to healthcare, improve diagnostic algorithms, and enhance patient outcomes. PHS uses patient data and external sources to develop solutions that address healthcare needs better. Using machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence, PHS helps organizations create optimal health for their communities.

Read More

MEDICAL DEVICES

Carestream Health Unveils New X-ray Detectors, Enhanced X-ray Rooms at World’s Largest Radiology Exhibition

Carestream Health | November 29, 2022

Carestream’s legacy of delivering quality medical imaging technology continues with the launch of new digital X-ray detectors that help improve clinical outcomes, while enhancements to its existing product portfolio reflect the company’s deep understanding of the radiology profession. At the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago, the company is displaying its expanding portfolio of medical imaging systems that provide quantifiable benefits to healthcare organizations and their patients, including New Carestream Focus HD 35 and Focus HD 43 detectors that offer higher resolution with a 100 micron pixel pitch that allows for image magnification for better visibility of small objects and microstructures. The detectors’ Cesium (CsI) scintillator is ideal for dose-sensitive pediatric patients; and the detectors have an IP56 rating for better protection against dust and fluid ingress. Next generation of long-length imaging, the Carestream DRX-LC Detector (INVESTIGATIONAL – NOT AVAILABLE FOR COMMERCIAL SALE) captures long-bone and spine images with a single exposure, making it ideal for pediatric imaging and long-bone and spine images of people with limited mobility. In contrast, the traditional multi-shot approach requires three to five exposures followed by manipulation and stitching of the images. The new detector is designed to capture the full image in a single exposure to minimize dose and mitigate motion artifact that can appear from patient movement with a multi-shot exam. The DRX-LC Detector is designed with X-Factor so the detector can be shared across different Carestream X-ray systems and is compatible with both rooms and mobile units. Enhancements to the Carestream DRX-Evolution Plus that provide improved patient comfort and a better ergonomic experience along with improved workflow for the radiographer. Its new tabletop design eliminates rails that can cause strain and discomfort for both radiographer and patient, enabling patients to be moved more smoothly and with less effort to the exam table. New features in the Carestream DRX-Excel Plus provide a better staff experience with faster workflow and better diagnostic image quality. Designed specifically for large and mid-size hospitals and medical centers, this innovative system combines fluoroscopy and general radiology capabilities in one compact unit. It delivers accelerated workflow, high-resolution images and a wide range of patient exam options. “Our commitment to quickly respond to the needs of the radiology community with ideas that clearly work is as strong as ever, and we are solidly positioned to continue developing solutions that have quantifiable benefits to our customers and their patients. Organizations can have complete confidence in our ability to provide high-value technology that helps lower costs, and improves imaging workflow for radiology departments, technologists and other healthcare professionals—all with the goal of improving patient care.” David C. Westgate, Chairman, President and CEO of Carestream About Carestream Health Carestream is a worldwide provider of medical imaging systems; X-ray imaging systems for non-destructive testing; and precision contract coating services for a wide range of industrial, medical, electronic and other applications—all backed by a global service and support network.

Read More

DIGITAL HEALTHCARE, MEDICAL DEVICES

mPulse Expands Streaming Engagement Capabilities for Consumer-Focused Digital Health Content

mPulse Mobile, | December 16, 2022

mPulse Mobile, a leader in conversational AI and digital engagement solutions for the healthcare industry, announced the launch of new content capabilities and streaming courses that address health literacy barriers in a consumer-friendly format. Several solution advances continue mPulse’s focus on integrating streaming content into digital health engagement strategies, creating an industry-leading combination of conversational AI that drives two-way SMS messaging campaigns and powerful health streaming content to engage, delight, and move consumers to adopt healthy behaviors. “Stories” Video Format mPulse launched the stories video format to deliver more impactful content experiences in consumer-focused outreach programs. The format adapts video “stories” commonly seen in social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels to deliver captivating content on important healthcare topics. mPulse’s Health Activation Platform tailors the stories content to the individual to address important engagement challenges such as medication adherence, gaps in care, and health plan navigation. “These new video capabilities are proof that mPulse Mobile continues to pioneer category-defining member engagement technology. Our highly tailored, consumer focused content is a powerful tool that creates culturally sensitive digital experiences to address health disparities, encourage healthy behaviors, and drive member outcomes. The stories format allows us to be more impactful when consumers engage, and our initial results show they have a significant impact on program goals.” Bob Farrell, CEO of mPulse Mobile The format drives increased engagement and improved health outcomes among targeted populations. mPulse deployed the stories format in a diabetes eye-screening outreach program. The program included 200,000 Medicare Advantage members, with a subset of 100,000 members receiving the streaming content, delivered in a stories format. This cohort showed a 274% higher Call to Action completion rate than members who did not receive the stories-formatted content. Leveraging conversational outreach, consumers are prompted on the issues that might be preventing them from completing a given action. When they respond via text to identify a barrier, tailored streaming content is delivered instantly and in real-time via an embedded link to address the barrier. New Health Educational Courses mPulse has also launched new streaming health courses that address key health issues and improve health literacy in a consumer-friendly digital format. Produced with proven learning techniques and behavioral science, these courses allow healthcare organizations to extend the digital experience from initial outreach to deep, relationship-building experiences. “Our product strategy aims to offer the most effective technology at delivering health engagement, and core to mPulse’s value is meaningful digital content, which elevates engagement experiences to a new level,” said Sanjeev Sawai, Chief Product and Technology Officer at mPulse Mobile. “Members are in need of better educational content that they find engaging and worth their time. We use short, captivating content to get members' attention and motivate them to act in healthy ways - ways that help them build their health literacy, prevent diseases, manage conditions, and foster wellbeing. Our approach offers innovative frictionless ways to encourage members to engage deeply in their own health and healthcare.” About mPulse Mobile mPulse Mobile is reimagining health engagement to inspire healthier lives and deeper relationships between healthcare organizations and their consumers. A leading healthcare Conversational AI platform combines with award-winning health education for the streaming age to deliver tailored digital health engagement that nurtures, educates, and activates healthcare consumers. With more than a decade of experience, 150+ healthcare customers and 1 billion conversations annually, mPulse Mobile has the data, the expertise, and the solutions to drive healthy behavior change.

Read More

Spotlight

Even the cleanest hospitals can serve as breeding grounds for dangerous microbes. Viral particles launched by a sneeze or by a change of bed linens hover in the air, to be inhaled by patients or to land on intravenous poles. Pathogens deposited into a box of surgical gloves hitch a ride, via central line, to a patients bloodstream, or via catheter to the urinary tract. Bacteria travel from the bed rail of an infected patient to the hands of a nurse and from there to vulnerable patients.8 The web of transmission routes is vast, complex, and invisible.

Resources