Global Healthcare Exchange announces acquisition of Hap-X
Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX) announced that it has acquired Omaha,
NE-based H-Card, LLC (Hap-X), a company which provides automated payment
management solutions. The acquisition, GHXâs second in 19 months, expands
the companyâs financial products portfolio to deliver even greater payment
choice and value. Hap-X will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary.
Both companies are committed to solutions for providers and suppliers in
healthcare. The combined product offering gives GHX the ability to extend
its healthcare solutions into a complete demand-to-pay portfolio of software
The Hap-X payment exchange will be an important component to the GHX
portfolio by enabling providers and suppliers to select the best value
payment type per trading partner through a multi-mode payment platform that
delivers mutual benefit to each party. That benefit includes aligning
payment, remittance and reconciliation information together to create
operational efficiencies for both providers and suppliers.
Visit GHX for the release.
McKesson and Change Healthcare to form new healthcare IT company
McKesson Corporation, a healthcare services and information technology
company, and Change Healthcare Holdings, Inc., a provider of software and
analytics, network solutions and technology-enabled services, have announced
the creation of a new healthcare information technology company.
As a separate entity singularly focused on healthcare technology and
technology-enabled services, the new organization will be positioned to
better respond to customer needs and deliver next-generation innovations.
The new company will offer health plans and providers a comprehensive suite
of end-to-end financial and payment solutions and technologies. In addition,
customers will benefit from solutions that help them manage administrative
and clinical complexity as they navigate the transition to value-based care.
Under the terms of our agreement, McKesson will contribute the majority of
its McKesson Technology Solutions businesses to the new company, with the
exception of RelayHealth Pharmacy and its Enterprise Information Solutions (EIS)
division, which will be retained by McKesson. McKesson separately announced
that it will explore strategic alternatives for its EIS division.
Change Healthcare will contribute all of its businesses to the new company,
with the exception of its pharmacy switch and prescription routing business,
which will be owned separately by the current Change Healthcare
stockholders. Change Healthcare is currently majority-owned by Blackstone.
McKesson will own approximately 70% of the new company, with the remaining
equity stake held by Change Healthcare stockholders, which includes
Blackstone and Hellman & Friedman.
Visit Change Healthcare for the release.
Hacker looks to sell 655,000 alleged patient healthcare records on the dark
hacker claims to be selling 655,000 alleged patient healthcare records on
the dark web, containing information such as social security numbers,
addresses, and insurance details.
The news was first reported by Deep Dot Web Saturday. A hacker who goes by
the name âthedarkoverlordâ gave Deep Dot Web images of purported records.
Identifiable information from the records was redacted âso the target
company can remain anonymous for now,â the hacker told Deep Dot Web.
The databases are said to be from three different healthcare organizations
and are being sold for between around $100,000 and $395,000, Deep Dot Web
reports. One database originated in Farmington, MO, and contains 48,000
patient records, according to the report, while another from the
Central/Midwest U.S contains 210,000 patient records. A third database from
Georgia, U.S., has records on 397,000 patients.
In an encrypted conversation, the hacker told Deep Dot Web that the records
were accessed using an exploit for Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that gives
remote access to devices. A one-off copy of each database is reportedly
being sold on TheRealDeal, a shadowy dark web marketplace that provides
anonymity to buyers and sellers.
While the authenticity of the healthcare data dump is unclear, website
Motherboard received a sample of just under 30 records from the alleged
Georgia hack. Motherboard reports that most of the phone numbers went
through to the correct person or family home. One person also confirmed the
rest of their details, although the physical address was out of date, it
Alleged social security numbers, full names, physical addresses, dates of
birth and insurance information are included in the dump.
Visit Fox News for the story.
Medtronic to expand heart failure portfolio with acquisition of Heartware
Medtronic and HeartWare International, Inc. a supplier of less-invasive,
miniaturized circulatory support technologies for the treatment of advanced
heart failure, announced that the companies have entered into a definitive
merger agreement under which Medtronic will acquire HeartWare in a
transaction valued at approximately $1.1 billion.
The acquisition is expected to close during Medtronic's second fiscal
quarter ending Oct. 28, 2016, subject to the satisfaction of customary
Medtronic's acquisition of HeartWare will expand Medtronic's portfolio of
diagnostic tools, therapies and services for patients suffering from heart
failure, aligning with Medtronic's Mission of alleviating pain, restoring
health and extending life, and is in line with the Company's strategy to
surround the physician with innovative products while focusing on patients
and disease states.
HeartWare's flagship product, the HVAD System, features the world's smallest
full-support ventricular assist device (VAD) and is designed to reduce
surgical invasiveness, improve patient recovery times and enhance patient
outcomes. In addition, HeartWare has multiple technologies in development
designed to offer progressively less-invasive mechanical circulatory support
options for patients with end-stage heart failure.
Healthcare expenditures in the U.S. on heart failure are estimated to be
approximately $39 billion per year, making it one of the largest expenses to
the healthcare system. With the aging of the population, Medtronic estimates
that the number of patients with heart failure could exceed eight million by
Visit Medtronic for the release.
Zika-related microcephaly case confirmed in Florida
The Florida Department of Health confirmed the first Zika-related case of
microcephaly in a child born in Florida whose mother had a travel-related
case of Zika. The mother, a citizen of Haiti, came to Florida to deliver her
baby. The department is working with the family to connect the child to
services through their Early Steps program.
Microcephaly is a birth defect in which babies are born with abnormally
small heads and incomplete brain development. Babies with the defect often
have a range of problems including developmental delay, intellectual
disability, problems with movement and balance, hearing loss and vision
Visit Florida Health for the release.
Visit Florida Health for the stateâs Zika update.
price transparency is a multiyear strategy
Complicating factors mean that the effort to move toward price transparency
is a multiyear process for health systems. A growing number of hospitals and
health systems are looking to revise their pricing structures as a necessary
component of providing price transparency.
James Sink, managing director at RSM, said Monday at HFMAâs National
Institute that hospitals and health systems should be prepared to take three
to five years to develop ârational pricing,â which reflects their actual
âThey need to acknowledge itâs a multiyear transformation and requires the
engagement of many different stakeholders throughout the organization,â Sink
Sink noted that HFMA has supported aligning prices, charges, and costs, and
that hospitals may be in the best position to educate low-income, uninsured
patients about their financial liability. Additionally, employers providing
insurance and insurers selling coverage directly to patients have a similar
price education responsibility.
Sink was told by executives at Florida Hospital that they wanted to cut
prices by 25 percent to 50 percent as part of their price rationalization
and transparency push. But such price cuts could significantly impact
hospitals in managed care contracts.
âI think there is a lack of realization by executive leadership of the
degree of sensitivity that still exists in contracts,â Sink said. Up to 20
percent of hospitalsâ charges are still driven by charges from outlier
provisions, stop-loss provisions, or pure percentage-based contracts,
according to Sink.
Sink warned the hospital that it would lose its profitability if it cut
prices by 50 percent and did not restructure its managed care agreements.
The complicating factor of needing to restructure such agreements has
contributed to Florida Hospitalâs lengthy price transparency effort, which
began in 2013.
Another complicating factor in price rationalization is the frequently wide
price variation among hospitals within the same health system.
Visit HFMA for the article.
telemedicine is transforming healthcare
After years of big promises, telemedicine is finally living up to its
Driven by faster internet connections, smartphones and changing insurance
standards, more health providers are turning to electronic communications to
do their jobsâand itâs upending the delivery of healthcare.
Doctors are linking up with patients by phone, email and webcam. Theyâre
also consulting with each other electronicallyâsometimes to make
split-second decisions on heart attacks and strokes. Patients, meanwhile,
are using new devices to relay their blood pressure, heart rate and other
vital signs to their doctors so they can manage chronic conditions at home.
Telemedicine also allows for better care in places where medical expertise
is hard to come by. Five to 10 times a day, Doctors Without Borders relays
questions about tough cases from its physicians in Niger, South Sudan and
elsewhere to its network of 280 experts around the world, and back again via
In the woods outside St. Louis, shifts of doctors and nurses work around the
clock in Mercy health systemâs new Virtual Care Centerâa âhospital without
bedsâ that provides remote support for intensive-care units, emergency rooms
and other programs in 38 smaller hospitals from North Carolina to Oklahoma.
Many of them donât have a physician on-site 24/7. In the past year, ICUs
monitored by Mercy specialists have seen a 35% decrease in patientsâ average
length of stay and 30% fewer deaths than anticipated.
As a measure of how rapidly telemedicine is spreading, consider: More than
15 million Americans received some kind of medical care remotely last year,
according to the American Telemedicine Association, a trade group, which
expects those numbers to grow by 30% this year.
The fastest-growing services in telemedicine connect consumers with
clinicians theyâve never met for one-time phone, video or email
visitsâon-demand, 24/7. Typically, these are for nonemergency issues such as
colds, flu, earaches and skin rashes, and they cost around $45, compared
with approximately $100 at a doctorâs office, $160 at an urgent-care clinic
or $750 and up at an emergency room.
Web companies such as Teladoc, Doctor on Demand and American Well are
expected to host some 1.2 million such virtual doctor visits this year, up
20% from last year, according to the American Telemedicine Association.
The American Telemedicine Association and other organizations have started
accreditation programs to identify top-quality telemedicine sites; the
association also tells consumers to be wary of sites that sell products.
The American Medical Association this month approved new ethical guidelines
for telemedicine, calling for participating doctors to recognize the
limitations of such services and ensure that they have sufficient
information to make clinical recommendations.
Telemedicine is also shaking up traditional relationships between providers
and payers and fueling the rise of medical âmegabrandsâ whose experts are
increasingly competing for patients in each otherâs backyards.
Insurers such as Anthem and UnitedHealth Group are offering their own
direct-to-consumer virtual doctor-visit services, rather than simply paying
for plan members to use those from web-based vendors.
Johns Hopkins Medicine, Stanford Medical Center, Harvard-affiliated Partners
HealthCare and other academic centers are all offering remote consultation
services. American Well, which supplies software for many hospitalsâ
telemedicine programs, hopes to become what CEO Roy Schoenberg calls âthe
Amazon of health care,â offering a marketplace of branded telemedicine
programs from top hospitals.
The Cleveland Clinic is working to create a âCleveland Clinic in the Cloudâ
that would allow patients across the country to access its physicians
without going to Ohio.
Visit the Wall Street Journal for the full report.
Whatâs killing American babies before their first birthday?
The number of infants who die before their first birthday is an important
measure of a nation's health, and the U.S. performs poorly. This isn't just
compared with Western Europe. The U.S. ranks below dozens of other
countries, including Cuba, Lithuania, and South Korea, by one measure.
Untangling the reasons behind the gap in infant mortalityâor even to what
extent itâs the full pictureâis fraught. Nations measure and report births
and deaths in different ways. A death shortly after delivery that is counted
toward the tally in the U.S. may be excluded as a stillbirth elsewhere. A
new economic paper attempts to explain some of this dissonance.
Differences in reporting methodology do inflate Americaâs infant mortality
rate, compared with those in some countries, economists from Brown
University, the University of Southern California, and Massachusetts
Institute of Technology found. But thatâs not the whole story.
When they compared data on U.S. births with those in Austria and Finlandâtwo
countries with similarly detailed reportingâthe authors found that Americaâs
mortality rate deviated after the first month of life.
One theory is that European systems provide more social support for new
mothers, often including home visits by nurses or other professionals in the
first months after birth.
David Olds has spent decades studying just such interventions. A professor
of pediatrics at the University of Colorado, heâs led long-term randomized
control trials to measure the effect of nurse visits targeted to
disadvantaged mothers from pregnancy to age two.
Olds is founder of the Nurse-Family Partnership, which provides such
services to about 33,000 families in the U.S. He estimates that the need for
them is in the hundreds of thousands. Poverty and troubled circumstances can
make it challenging to provide safe environments for children, he said. âIf
the mother is living in a household where she is essentially homeless, and
sheâs there couch-surfing with a newborn baby, her ability to protect that
child is really limited,â Olds said.
The Affordable Care Act created a federal home visit program, currently
funded at about $400 million a year. The program served more than 145,000
parents and children in the 2015 fiscal year, according to the Health
Resources Services Administration.
âMost European countries have basically more or less universal home visiting
programs,â said Emily Oster, a co-author of the paper and associate
professor of economics at Brown University. âIt is among the relatively few
things that differs in a way that we can see that link.â
In general, the U.S. spends less on social supportâand more on medical
careâthan other developed nations. The case that a stronger safety net could
improve the countryâs standing on infant mortality and other measures of
health seems clear, said Paul E. Jarris, senior vice president for maternal
child health at the March of Dimes Foundation.
Visit Bloomberg for the article.