Healthcare Industry Trends  *  ABL Member News  *  February 6, 2018

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  • Jarrod DePriest, Maxim Healthcare Services Inc.

    Jarrod is Senior VP of Operations for Maxim Healthcare Services (headquartered in Columbia, MD), which provides home healthcare, healthcare staffing, behavioral care, transitional care, and population health and wellness services across the U.S. Services include home care, non-medical/ companion care, medical facility staffing, flu and wellness, school healthcare services, and autism and ABA therapy services. Since joining Maxim in 1998 as a Healthcare Recruiter, Jarrod has held progressively more responsible positions, including Western Regional VP, prior to taking his current role in 2016. Jarrod has joined the Sacramento Round Table.

    • 2/07  -  Orange County Round Table

    • 2/08  -  East Bay Round Table

    • 2/13  -  Silicon Valley Round Table

    • 2/14  -  San Francisco Round Table

    • 2/15  -  Sacramento Round Table

    • 2/16  -  Los Angeles Round Table

    Retired CMS Region IX Administrator & ABL Masters Club Member


    With a New Sheriff in Town: Opportunity Calls      

    CMS has a new Sheriff in town, and Seema Verma has an "expanded" view of the limits surrounding Medicare Advantage's "supplemental benefits."

    Dave Sayen writes in this blog: this is going to be a Big . . . (Read Entire Blog Post)





    Bill to Give California More Oversight Over Health Plan Mergers Clears State Assembly

    A federal judge in 2017 rejected a proposed merger between health insurance giants Aetna and Humana, saying it would likely lessen competition. Now, the California Assembly has passed a bill, AB 595, that would essentially give the Department of Managed Health Care more oversight over proposed healthcare mergers - the department could make its approval contingent on a number of factors, including whether the proposed merger would improve healthcare quality and reduce health disparities. Insurance companies say the bill is too broad, and that its approval standards are unreasonably high. The measure is now under consideration in the state Senate. (, 2/5/18)

    States Look at Establishing Their Own Health Insurance Mandates

    At least nine states are considering their own versions of a requirement that residents must have health insurance, a move that could accelerate a divide between Democratic states trying to shore up the Affordable Care Act and Republican states intent on tearing it down. Maryland lawmakers are pursuing a plan to replace the ACA mandate, which requires most people to pay a penalty if they don't have coverage. States including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Washington, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia, are publicly considering similar ideas. In Connecticut, lawmakers plan to introduce legislation that would impose a coverage mandate of some sort, said state Rep. Sean Scanlon. Maryland lawmakers are set to consider imposing a penalty on people without insurance, and Rhode Island state officials are also discussing the option of retaining a mandate. A bill in Washington state would create a task force to examine an insurance coverage requirement. And Hawaii lawmakers are also examining retaining parts of the ACA, including a possible mandate.
         This push illustrates a shift in the healthcare battle from Capitol Hill to the states, igniting a surge of activity that could redefine access and coverage for millions of consumers. Coming years could see a growing gulf on issues such as Medicaid benefits, consumer protections, insurer regulations, and the availability of cheaper, less-comprehensive health plans, health analysts say.
         Some states want to undo even more of the ACA. Idaho, for example, has moved to let insurers sell plans without all the benefits required under the ACA. Insurers would also be able to charge higher premiums to people who are sicker or older. It is unclear whether the Trump administration will take action to stop the state. (, 2/4/18)

    "Right to Try" Act Gains Momentum After President Trump Pitch

    Advocates of "right to try" legislation have been given a jolt of momentum by President Trump's decision to tout the bill during his recent State of the Union address. The legislation would allow patients with a serious illness to request access to experimental medicines that the FDA hasn't yet approved. President Trump called on Congress to send the measure to his desk, saying he believes "patients with terminal conditions, terminal illness, should have access to experimental treatment immediately that could potentially save their lives." Supporters of the bill were elated by the President's endorsement of the Right to Try Act to a national audience and are now hopeful that the bill, which has already passed the Senate, can quickly pass the House. Right to try legislation has passed in nearly 40 states, and a federal version has garnered powerful allies. Groups backed by conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch launched a new right to try campaign in early January to push the House to pass the bill, and U.S. Vice President Pence, who signed a similar bill when he was governor of Indiana, has been a staunch advocate of the legislation. (, 2/1/18)
         Meanwhile, dozens of doctors, medical ethicists, and lawyers are warning Congress that legislation to allow Americans with life-threatening conditions access to unapproved, experimental drugs risks harming patients' health. The FDA already has a pathway for patients to be able to use experimental treatments outside of clinical trials, which is called "expanded access" or "compassionate use." According to an FDA study, 99% of requests made from 2005 to 2014 for these experimental drugs were approved. (, 2/1/18)

    OC's Only Needle Exchange Shuts Down; Advocates Fear Increased Disease Transmission

    Orange County's only needle-exchange program has shut down after Santa Ana city officials denied it a permit, raising fears among public health advocates that HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and other diseases that spread when drug users share needles soon could increase, and making OC among the largest counties in the nation without a free service aimed at preventing the spread of illness among intravenous drug users. City leaders, in refusing the OC Needle Exchange Program a permit on Jan. 17, claimed the program had resulted in uncapped hypodermic needles littering the area in and around the Civic Center, endangering public employees and others.
         Numerous studies have shown that needle exchanges lower the rate at which those diseases are contracted. Other local public health advocates say closing the needle exchange will have a domino effect by steering drug addicts away from healthcare services that piggyback on the program. A study by the national CDC found that for most needle exchange clients, the program is their only contact with healthcare or social services. Before closing, OC's needle exchange also distributed condoms and feminine products, tested for HIV and Hepatitis C onsite, and referred patrons to drug rehabilitation. The needle exchange's founders are considering strategies to possibly reopen in other cities, distributing needles from private property in Santa Ana, or opening a mobile needle exchange. Without sign-off from local or state agencies, it's unclear if or when the exchange might be able to resume operations. (, 2/1/18)


    Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway & JPMorgan Chase Team Up on Healthcare Venture

    Amazon is partnering with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Berkshire Hathaway to launch an independent healthcare company "that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints," according to a recent announcement. While the specifics of the new company are still in the planning stages, the initial focus will be on technology solutions that provide "simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost." Referring to rising healthcare costs as "a hungry tapeworm on the American economy," Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett also acknowledged the inherent challenges in the industry, adding: "We share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country's best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes." JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said the three companies plan to leverage their combined resources "to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans." (, 1/30/18 Meanwhile, in spite of the announcement sending insurance stocks spiraling down, Cigna CEO David Cordani sees the new employer coalition, built to tackle rising healthcare costs, as another opportunity to leverage its expertise in value-based funding arrangements, medical management, and ability to keep cost trends low. (Modern Healthcare, 2/1/18)

    Apple to Let You Keep Your Medical Records on Your iPhone

    As part of the iPhone's iOS 11.3 beta, Apple has released a test version of a new product that lets users download their health records, store them safely, and show them to a doctor, caregiver or friend. It all works when a user opens the iPhone's health app, navigates to the health record section, and, on the new tool, adds a health provider. From there, the user taps to connect to Apple's software system and data starts streaming into the service. Patients will get notified via an alert if new information becomes available. Apple is working with electronic medical record companies and confirmed that it has contracts with about a dozen hospitals across the country, including Cedars-Sinai, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Dignity Health, and the University of California, San Diego. The medical information available will include allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, and vitals. The information is encrypted and protected through a user's iPhone passcode. In the future, hospitals and clinics will be able to register themselves for the service without going through an Apple representative. "It's difficult to think about something more significant than health records," said Apple COO Jeff Williams. "With your banking records, you can see every transaction and dollars spent, and yet my health is way more significant and I couldn't put my finger on any of my lab information." (, 1/24/18)

    Mobile Stroke Unit Brings Hospital to Patients

    A specialized ambulance could one day save your life from a stroke in your own driveway or in a public parking lot. Everything needed to diagnose and treat the stroke fits inside, bringing the hospital to the patient. That's a reality in a select group of cities around the country. Right now, University of California, Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Fire Department are collaborating to operate a Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU), which is being used in a national study to test the cost effectiveness and long-term patient outcomes of faster treatment. Every minute a stroke victim is untreated, they lose two million brain cells. Time spent driving back to the hospital could lead to lifelong, debilitating side effects. The MSU is staffed with a neurologist, nurse, CT technician, and a paramedic. Doctors can video conference in and look at the patient using a high-resolution, 270-degree camera. Paramedics put the patient inside the unit the same way they'd load a patient into an ambulance. The nurse and technicians take over from there to determine what type of stroke the patient is having and administer treatment. Doctors say the MSU may be especially helpful in very rural and heavy traffic urban areas. In small towns, some stroke patients could live a half hour away from the nearest hospital, while in big cities like L.A., traffic can triple the time of a ride that's just a few miles away. Eliminating the time it takes to drive back to the hospital could save tens of millions of brain cells, which could be the difference between walking, talking, or surviving. (, 1/26/18)

    Ford Plans to Operate Non-Emergency Healthcare Shuttle Service

    Ford Motor Co. recently said that it's acquiring two small software firms to help build out its mobility business, and is spending $1 billion over five years for artificial-intelligence startup Argo AI. Traditional auto makers are leaning on acquisitions across a broad range of tech realms - everything from software and hardware for self-driving cars to consumer apps - as they prepare for a future in which cars are increasingly automated and connected to other parts of the transportation system. Ford is focusing on offering services to commercial customers who need to move goods or people around cities. For instance, Ford said it's starting a service that works with healthcare providers to shuttle non-emergency patients who don't or can't drive themselves. Its Chariot van service currently contracts with employers in five cities. By 2021, Ford plans to introduce driverless vehicles to handle some rides. (, 1/25/18)

    AI Firm Gets $25M in Deal to Bring Machine Learning to Cancer Pathology

    Artificial intelligence has become one of the key weapons in the fight against cancer and the many forms and mutations that it takes, and now a startup is coming out of stealth and announcing funding and a significant data deal as it seeks to build an AI system specifically to help understand one aspect of the treatment cycle: cancer pathology. Paige.AI has closed $25 million in Series A funding and has signed a deal with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer to have exclusive access to its 25 million pathology slides (one of the biggest repositories in the world) as well as its intellectual property related to computational pathology. Paige.AI said that it plans to focus first on breast, prostrate, and other major cancers, and expects to partner with other medical centers beyond MSK, as well as commercial labs and pharmaceutical companies as it grows and develops its applications. (, 2/5/18)


    24Hr HomeCare Offers Updated Diagnosis-Specfic Nutritional Guidebook

    24Hr HomeCare has released Whole 24 Version 2, a diagnosis-specific nutritional guidebook that addresses eight common diagnoses and how to manage them through healthy eating. Learn which foods to eat and which to avoid if you are living with osteoporosis, age-related macular degeneration, lung disease, obstructive sleep apnea, gout, ischemic heart disease, depression, or benign prostatic hyperplasia. The book also includes 24 tasty recipes. (David Allerby, Los Angeles)

    Alegre Home Care Shares Recent Developments in Dementia Treatment

    In the article, New Developments in Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease in 2017, Alegre Home Care reports that Alzheimer's may actually be more of a full-body problem. The University of British Columbia did a study on mice and discovered that amyloid-beta, the protein that causes Alzheimer's disease, can travel throughout the body; it doesn't occur in the brain alone. This finding could have a major influence on the development of new treatments. It's very difficult to create medicine that targets the brain effectively, but if Alzheimer's occurs throughout the body, it may be possible to develop treatments that target the liver or kidneys instead. Also, the BBC News has announced that there are nine distinct risk factors for cognitive decline that can be fully or somewhat controlled. They are: Lack of education; Hearing loss or deafness in midlife; Sedentary lifestyle; High blood pressure; Type 2 diabetes; Obesity; Smoking; Depression; and Social isolation. (Charles Symes, Bay Area)

    Cigna Increases Company Minimum Wage to $16 an Hour

    Cigna recently announced that the net financial benefits of U.S. tax reform will allow the company to further accelerate investments in its employees, capabilities, and customers, clients, partners, and communities. This includes establishing a minimum wage across its U.S. employee base of $16 an hour, as well as salary increases above the $16/hour level. Additionally, Cigna is adding $30 million to its 401(k) program to match an additional 1% of employee compensation contributed to the 401(k) in 2018. Further, Cigna will make additional significant investments in the Cigna Foundation throughout the year, which combines the company's passion to serve its communities, with strategic financial support to make better health, well-being, and sense of security a reality for individuals and communities around the globe. (Chris De Rosa, Orange County)

    CiminoCare Reports on Funding for Expansion of Assisted Living Waiver Program

    CiminoCare is pleased to report that California Governor Brown's budget includes funding for Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) expansion, which will add an additional 2,000 slots to the program starting June 1, 2018. This funding is contingent upon legislative approval and will also require the California Department of Health Care Services to prepare an amendment to the ALW and submit to the CMS for approval. (Mark Cimino, Sacramento)

    Covered California Experiences Strong Enrollment for 2018

    Covered California announced that 342,000 new consumers had signed up for health insurance through the exchange through Sunday, January 21 - noting that last year sign-ups did not surpass 320,000 until Jan. 23, 2017. And on Jan. 21, there were still 10 more days of California's open-enrollment period. Also at that time, more than 1.2 million existing Covered California members had renewed their coverage for 2018. The vast majority will see a decrease in their net monthly premium payment after receiving more financial assistance, Covered California added.  Meanwhile, Covered California issued a report which includes a review of market factors and impacts on 2018 enrollment, potential premium impacts for 2019, and federal policies that could mitigate those factors: The Roller Coaster for Consumers Continues: The Prospect for Individual Health Insurance Markets Nationally for 2019: Risk Factors, Uncertainty and Potential Benefits of Stabilizing Policies. (Kathy Keeshen, Sacramento)

    Dignity Health Completes Transaction to Combine Concentra + U.S. HealthWorks

    Dignity Health and Select Medical Holdings Corp. have completed the transaction to combine Concentra Group Holdings with U.S. HealthWorks, Inc., a subsidiary of Dignity Health Holdings Company. Concentra has acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of stock of U.S. HealthWorks from Dignity, and Dignity Health owns a 20% equity interest in the combined entity. The new organization will have over 60 years of combined history supporting and providing occupational medicine, and will be comprised of 700+ medical centers and employer worksite clinics in 44 states, delivering services to 44,000+ patients each day. (Marvin O'Quinn)

    ElderConsult Invites All to Dementia Conference 2018

    On April 13 and 14, ElderConsult Geriatric Medicine will present Living In the Moment Dementia Conference 2018, in Campbell, CA, featuring two half-days of experts in their fields discussing many issues common to dementia. The event is appropriate for both elder care professionals and families with loved ones living with dementia. (Elizabeth Landsverk MD, Bay Area)

    GeBBS Healthcare Partners with Continuum Health

    GeBBS Healthcare Solutions has announced a partnership with Continuum Health, a company which empowers its clients (providers, payers, and patients) throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest to capitalize on the opportunities created through value-based payment initiatives and fee-for-service optimization. GeBBS provides Continuum with innovative, end-to-end RCM solutions, including strategic outsourcing solutions that optimize clients' revenue cycles by leveraging people, processes, and technology to reduce operating and capital costs, recover revenue, improve patient satisfaction, and increase productivity. (Nitin Thakor, Los Angeles)

    Gorman Health Group Examines Medicare & Prepares for 2018 Forum

    In Feeling the Burn on Medicare, Dave Sayen of Gorman Health Group (GHG) explains why Medicare isn't a viable healthcare program to extend to all Americans of all ages, as some people like to suggest. Dave shares: "Fee-for-Service Medicare is an amazing benefit. According to an Urban Institute study, a male earning an average wage over his lifetime will receive from Medicare lifetime benefits in retirement that amount to $180,000. Lifetime Medicare taxes for this average male would have amounted to only $61,000. We can't afford that for those over 65, and we certainly can't extend it to everyone! The health insurance problem isn't going to be solved by the Medicare program as we know it."  Meanwhile, the Gorman Health Group 2018 Forum will take place April 25-26, in Las Vegas, providing an intensive cross-functional examination of the state of government healthcare programs to support health plans, providers, and their business partners. (Dave Sayen, Bay Area)

    Kaiser Permanente Northern California Hospitals Honored for Stroke Care

    All Kaiser Permanente (KP) hospitals in Northern California received the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association's "Get With The Guidelines - Stroke" Quality Achievement Awards, recognizing KP's commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. And 20 of these hospitals earned a place on the "Target: Stroke Honor Roll - Elite Plus," honoring those facilities which reached an aggressive goal of achieving 85+% of all the "Get With The Guidelines - Stroke" achievement indicators for two or more consecutive years.  Also, KP was included in Tech Republic's article, 10 companies that are spearheading digital transformation in their industry, which noted KP's great strides in telemedicine in recent years. (Walt Meyers, Bay Area)

    King & Spalding Declared "Practice Group of the Year" + Announces Health-Related Webinars

    Law360 has named King & Spalding (K&S) among its Practice Groups of the Year for 2017 in five categories: Health, Life Sciences, Employment, International Arbitration, and Product Liability. K&S was recognized for its successes in tangling with federal agencies, negotiating with the nation's largest healthcare plans, and molding unique business deals.  Meanwhile, upcoming webinars from K&S include: Lessons Learned from 2017 FDA Enforcement Letters and Other Key Developments, on February 20, at 9:30 a.m., and Emerging Trends in Reimbursement for Allied Health Education, on February 22 at 10 a.m.  Also, the recent issue of K&S Health Headlines includes: *DOJ Issues Memorandum Urging Government Lawyers to Dismiss 'Meritless' False Claims Act Cases; *CMS Proposes to Increase Payments to Medicare Managed Care Plans for 2019; and *Kickback Case Results in Jury Verdict Exceeding $50 Million. (Marcia Augsburger, Sacramento, & Travis Jackson, Los Angeles)

    KMD Architects Wins Contract to Design Hawaii State Hospital Facility

    The Hawaii Department of Health has awarded a $140 million contract to the design-build team of KMD Architects (design architect), G70 (Hawaii architect of record), and Hensel Phelps (builder) to design and build a new 144-bed forensic psychiatric facility for the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe on Oahu. The facility will ease overcrowding and better separate higher-risk behavioral health patients from the general population. Design work begins in March with completion estimated for 2021. (Rob Matthew, Bay Area)

    Maxim Healthcare Services Announces Brand Consolidation

    Maxim Healthcare Services recently announced the consolidation of several of the company's brands, all under the Maxim Healthcare Services name, including TravelMax, Reflectx Staffing, Maxim Health Information Systems, Maxim Health Systems, Maxim Government Systems, Care Focus, Maxim Transition Assist, and StaffAssist. These brands will continue to serve clients, patients, and families across the nation, providing world-class products, services, and quality care. Maxim also launched a new mobile-optimized website that allows patients, families, and clients to easily access information about the company or reach a local Maxim office. (Jarrod DePriest, Sacramento)

    Mission Hospice Completes $6 Million Hospice House Campaign

    In fall of 2015, Mission Hospice & Home Care's Board launched an ambitious $6 million campaign to fund the purchase, renovation, and opening of San Mateo County's only hospice house. In January 2018, thanks to generous contributions from 1,000+ donors from throughout the Bay Area and beyond, the fundraising goal was met. The newly renovated Mission House - actually a pair of mirror-image homes, each with five bedrooms, in San Mateo's Hayward Park neighborhood, offers a peaceful, homelike setting for patients and their families whose end-of-life needs cannot be managed at home.  Meanwhile, on March 24, Mission Hospice will present its 2018 Night of Fun, a dinner-dance benefit. (Dwight Wilson, Bay Area)

    Nelson Hardiman Secures Reimbursement for Addiction Treatment Centers

    Nelson Hardiman (NH) announced that it favorably resolved a major reimbursement dispute between a large health insurer and numerous addiction treatment centers, in which the health insurer had refused to pay the centers, alleging fraudulent activity. NH stepped in and negotiated confidential settlement agreements whereby its clients received payment for their claims and the insurer released their claims against the clients. NH achieved this favorable result efficiently and cost-effectively without having to file expensive and time-consuming lawsuits, in large part because of its deep industry knowledge and prior experience negotiating with the health insurer's counsel.  Meanwhile, NH Partner Harry Nelson was named to the "Super Lawyers" list for 2018, along with several other NH lawyers. (Harry Nelson, Los Angeles)

    On Lok Lifeways Opens Second PACE Center in San Jose

    To help address the growing need for more senior healthcare services in Silicon Valley, On Lok Lifeways has opened a second PACE center in San Jose. The $3.3 million, 5,200-square-foot clinic features exam rooms, a two-bed treatment room with an observation window, a clinic reception area, meeting rooms for specialists, a central nursing station, a phlebotomy room, doctor's and nurse's offices, and utility spaces. This new East San Jose PACE Center complements the existing PACE center in San Jose and five others across the Bay Area. They are part of the On Lok Lifeways program, which provides seniors with a wide range of all-inclusive care services, including primary medical care, physical therapy, dentistry, podiatry, optometry, nursing services, mental health counseling, prescription drugs, nutrition services, and transportation. (Grace Li, Bay Area)

    OneLegacy Heralds Record-Setting Year in Organ and Cornea Donation

    OneLegacy announced a record number of organ donors in 2017, surpassing the previous mark set just a year earlier. OneLegacy also announced an 18% increase in cornea donation to its eye bank, the largest such bank in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. OneLegacy reported 487 organ donors and 2,642 tissue and eye donors in 2017, resulting in 1,374 lifesaving organ transplants and up to 200,000 lives healed through tissue and cornea transplantation. It also saw 1,249 corneas processed and distributed by OneLegacy, as compared to 1,054 in 2016. OneLegacy's record-setting year is part of a national trend toward increased organ donor registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles, with California's donor registry holding 14+ million registrants and the national registry now at 130+ million. (Tom Mone, Los Angeles)

    Oscar Health Teams with AXA International Employee Benefits

    Oscar Health has announced an agreement with the International Employee Benefits (IEB) Division of AXA, an insurance brand, to form a partnership and enter into a multi-year quota-share reinsurance transaction. This announcement comes as Oscar doubles its individual market presence to six states: New York, New Jersey, Texas, California, Ohio, and Tennessee. The partnership will help Oscar accelerate expansion efforts and enable long-term, capital-efficient growth while leveraging AXA's blue chip balance sheet and IEB's extensive expertise in both healthcare and reinsurance. Oscar will gain in AXA IEB an expert healthcare partner with a focus on preventative health, consumer experience, and a globally renowned insurance brand. (John Puente, Sacramento)

    Select Data to Address the HH CAHPS Survey's Impact on Home Health Agencies

    On February 21, from 10:30 to 11 a.m., Select Data will present a webinar - Understanding the HH CAHPS Survey and How it Impacts Your Home Health Agency - the firm's latest "Select Connects With Clinicians" session, an effort to support OASIS accuracy and compliance and to promote better outcomes for patients. (Ed Buckley, Orange County, & Ted Schulte, Los Angeles)

    Share Our Selves Looks Forward to Another Wild & Crazy Taco Night

    On the evening of April 12, Share Our Selves (SOS) will present its 25th Annual Wild & Crazy Taco Night, in Costa Mesa. The fun and festive evening gathers a group of Orange County's finest chefs and restaurants, each preparing an unusual and unique taco. All tacos are conceived exclusively for this event and can't be found anywhere else. Event proceeds benefit the SOS Food Pantry, feeding more than 235 OC families each day. (Karen McGlinn, Orange County)

    Surgery One CEO Points to Outpatient Care & Bundled Payments Trend

    Scott Leggett, CEO of Surgery One, co-wrote a recent article in Physician News Network - Trend Alert: Outpatient Care, Bundled Payments Gain Momentum - which includes: "Count on seeing more focus on surgery centers in the months ahead as health insurers continue to issue new plan designs and rules leading subscribers away from hospitals. The share of Medicare and Medicaid patients enrolled in managed healthcare plans is only increasing, a sign that ever more influence will go to insurance companies, which tend to prefer outpatient care over hospitals because of the cost advantage. As for federal policy, don't be surprised to see policymakers join the push for more risk-based contracting, bundled payments and all. There figures to be greater political pressure on cost controls as the U.S. population ages - and nothing accomplishes this more efficiently than competition based on costs and outcomes."  Meanwhile, Scott is also quoted in an article in OR Manager - Total joints present increasingly attractive option for ASCs. (Scott Leggett, Orange County)

    The Health Trust Wins "Non-Profit of the Year" Honor

    The Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley has given The Health Trust the "2017 Non-Profit of the Year" Award, in recognition of its outstanding contributions and service to the LBGTQ community in Silicon Valley, as well as providing resources and support to hundreds of low-income Santa Clara County residents living with HIV/AIDS, enhancing their well-being and quality of life. (Todd Hansen, Silicon Valley)


    Catasys OnTrak Program Delivers 54% Savings for Health Plans

    Catasys, Inc., a provider of proprietary predictive analytics and integrated treatment solutions to health plans, has announced that its OnTrak program has reduced costs for enrolled members by an average of 54%, or $1,338 per member per month. These savings were primarily driven by declines in inpatient hospital admissions and ER visits. The savings data include OnTrak members in Commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid lines of business across more than a two-year period ending June 2017. The savings have driven expansion within existing customers and the addition of other major plans to the pipeline.  Meanwhile, Catasys President Rick Anderson shared an article - The Intersection of Physical and Behavioral Health Care - written by a health plan customer about an OnTrak member, and in which the coaches mentioned are Catasys employees. The article, about a man who presents with depression, but actually has sleep apnea instead, begins: "People often seek medical care when their underlying problem is an unmet behavioral health issue, and sometimes medical conditions fuel depression. Identifying the primary need is the first step to better care." (Rick Anderson, West Los Angeles Technology)

    Persimmony Selected by Nurse-Family Partnership & First 5 Riverside/San Bernardino

    Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), an evidence-based community health program that serves low-income pregnant women, named Persimmony, Inc. as their preferred vendor for data collection. NFP serves 260,000+ families in 42 states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands. Selecting Persimmony allows NFP to utilize customizable solutions for collecting qualitative and quantitative data, program assessments, client demographics, and authorization information. With this data quickly accessible, NFP may track, report, and deliver outcomes-based data aligned with their strategic and operational plans.  Also, Persimmony was chosen as the data management system for the regional dental project for First 5 Riverside and First 5 San Bernardino, part of the Inland Empire Local Dental Pilot Project. The project integrates and coordinates innovative oral health interventions through the development of a systems approach involving community health centers, early care and education centers, schools, and home visitors. (Michael Kogus, Orange County Technology)

    Tanner Research CEO to Present Nutrition Science Workshop in February

    On February 8, at 6 p.m., John Tanner, Ph.D., CEO of Tanner Research, will present a Nutrition Science workshop, where he will share his story about how he suffered a near-fatal cardiac arrest in 2009. Since then, he has studied intensely the causes of heart disease, and found that it can be completely avoided through a proper diet - and cancer, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and about 30 other diseases can be reduced, avoided, or reversed by this same diet. John will field questions and participants will continue nutrition discussions in small groups. The free workshop, to be held at Tanner Research in Monrovia, includes a meal and your choice of one of the top books on nutrition science. (John Tanner, Downtown Los Angeles Technology)

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