Healthcare and Insurance News Headline Updated on 14 November 2019

The headline on 14 November 2019

In a recent study, doctors gave EHRs an “F” for usability. The American Medical Association says it’s a “national imperative” to fix the problem. Researchers surveyed 870 U.S. physicians about EHRs and asked them to rank system usability with a score of 0 to 100. The mean score was 45.9, which is in the “not acceptable” range or a grade of an ‘F’, the study said. Source: Mayo Clinic Proceedings > The Association Between Perceived Electronic Health Record Usability and Professional Burnout Among US Physicians

When it comes to communication, it looks like the healthcare industry got stuck in a time warp. “Adoption of modern communication solutions has occurred in every other industry but healthcare,” said Brad Brooks, CEO and co-founder of TigerConnect, in a statement. Source: TigerConnect Surveys Confirm the Broken State of Communication in Healthcare

The headline on 13 November 2019

A new study says those grappling with life-or-death decisions — such as policy officers or healthcare workers — are most likely to suffer from lack of sleep. Source: Market Watch > These are the most sleep-deprived professions in America

Atrium Health and Novant Health joined Blue Cross NC’s value-based care program, Blue Premier. Source: Blue Cross NC, Atrium Health and Novant Health Sign Industry-Leading Blue Premier Agreements for Value-Based Care

After news broke about a health data partnership between Google and Ascension Health, sparking a federal investigation, the tech giant and health system released statements defending the project. Source: Google Cloud > Our partnership with Ascension

A team of Penn Medicine researchers are using advanced data analytics to flag cancer patients at risk of short-term mortality to spur doctors to have a discussion about their treatment goals and end-of-life care preferences. Source: JAMA Network Open > Machine Learning Approaches to Predict 6-Month Mortality Among Patients With Cancer

The NIH announced it is seeking public comments on draft policy for data management and sharing promote “effective and efficient data management and sharing” of the research it funds available to the public. Source: Federal Register > Request for Public Comments on a DRAFT NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing and Supplemental DRAFT Guidance

The headline on 12 November 2019

When it comes to moving into the sphere of healthcare, Ancestry isn’t just working to win over patients. The direct-to-consumer genealogy company wants to reach their doctors, too. Ancestry announced it has made a $1 million educational grant to UpToDate to independently develop information for healthcare providers to help them interpret and act on the results of genetic testing. Source: Wolters Kluwer > Ancestry Makes $1 Million Educational Grant to UpToDate to Develop Genetic Testing Information for Medical Providers

Some major questions about personal health record privacy are being asked after a deal between Google and Ascension health was revealed. Source: WSJ > Google’s ‘Project Nightingale’ Gathers Personal Health Data on Millions of Americans

UnitedHealth Group has named Andrew Witty, CEO of Optum, as its new president, will oversee enterprise business strategy formulation, enterprise business development and partnerships and oversight of enterprise research and development and clinical capacities in addition to his responsibilities as Optum chief executive officer. Source: UnitedHealth Group > Sir Andrew Witty Named UnitedHealth Group President

The number of adolescents seeking medical care for mental health needs is growing, Kaiser Health News reports. Source: KHN > More Adolescents Seek Medical Care For Mental Health Issues

California Youth In Mental Health Crisis
California Youth In Mental Health Crisis

Highmark is seeing positive results in the first year of its outcomes-based contract with AstraZeneca for the respiratory medicine SYMBICORT. Source: HIGHMARK’S OUTCOMES-BASED CONTRACT FOR SYMBICORT® IMPROVES PATIENT OUTCOMES FOR ASTHMA, COPD

Hospital operator Promise Healthcare this week accused a unit of KPC Group of interfering with a deal to sell two of its hospitals, the WSJ reports. Source: WSJ > Promise Healthcare Accuses KPC of Interfering With Hospital Deal

Opioid-related malpractice claims pose real risks for doctors and physician practices, according to a new report. Source: Coverys > The Red Signal Report

Most doctors know all too much about student debt. A Minnesota college student thought he had come up with a unique way to pay off his debt until Krispy Creme doughnuts told him to shut down his reselling business. — Joanne Finnegan. Source: CBS News > Krispy Kreme tells student to stop donut reselling service in Minnesota

The headline on 11 November 2019

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society has rebranded the organization, and that will mean some big changes at the HIMSS20 conference in March, officials say.

CMS said Friday that premiums and deductibles in Medicare Part B are set to rise slightly for 2020. Source: CMS.gov > 2020 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles

Juul has announced that it will voluntarily stop selling its popular Mint e-cigarette flavor ahead of an expected ban on mint-flavored electronic cigarettes from the Trump administration. Source: CNBC > Juul halts sales of its popular mint flavor

In its second-quarter as a public company, Livongo Health reported strong financial and operational performance that surged past sales and profit expectations. Source: Livongo Reports Third Quarter Financial Results

The headline on 09 November 2019

CVS touts strong early performance of first HealthHUB stores. CVS Health saw a 10% profit boost year-over-year in the third quarter of 2018, thanks in part to Aetna’s financial performance. Source: Modern Healthcare > CVS’ first HealthHUBs driving more prescriptions, clinic visits

The headline on 07 November 2019

Novo bags rights to UBE’s preclinical NASH prospect. Novo Nordisk has picked up global rights to a preclinical nonalcoholic steatohepatitis candidate from UBE Industries. The deal gives Novo control of UD-014, a small-molecule inhibitor of semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase/vascular adhesion protein-1. Source: UBE INDUSTRIES > Novo Nordisk obtains an exclusive worldwide license to potential NASH candidate UD-014 from UBE Industries

Arkuda bags $44M to target progranulin and head off inherited dementia. Armed with $44 million from the likes of Atlas Venture and Pfizer Ventures, Arkuda Therapeutics is going after progranulin, a protein that plays a role in neuronal health and lysosomal function, to treat an inherited form of dementia. The company aims to push its lead program into the clinic in 2021. Source: Global Genes > Arkuda Therapeutics Raises $44 Million to Treat Rare Form of Dementia

ASH: UPenn’s CRISPR-edited immune cells prove safe in small cancer studies. Three years after tech billionaire Sean Parker’s Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy became the first research institution to launch a human trial of CRISPR-edited cells in cancer, the scientists running that trial are reporting that the therapy has been well tolerated by three patients. Source: EurekAlert > First-In-US trial of CRISPR-edited immune cells for cancer appears safe

Uber’s self-driving car that killed pedestrians at Arizona last year due to the software unable to detect and react to jaywalkers, according to reports released by US National Transportation Safety Board. Source: ETAuto.com > Driverless Uber software could not spot jaywalkers

Biogen and Samsung expand biosimilar deals to cover Lucentis, Eylea, and China. After a successful partnership with its biosimilar joint venture Samsung Bioepis, Biogen has decided to move into more drugs and markets. In an expanded deal, Biogen is putting down $100 million upfront for copycats to Novartis and Roche’s Lucentis, Regeneron and Bayer’s Eylea, and new rights for anti-TNF drugs in China. Source: Xconomy > Biogen Adds Two More Biosimilars in $100M Deal with Samsung Bioepis

Don’t wait up. FTC delays Novartis’ Sandoz deal with Aurobindo into 2020: report. Novartis’ $1 billion asset hive-off to Aurobindo Pharma likely won’t happen this year, and once again it’s antitrust worries holding up the transaction. Amid some unusual scrutiny for pharma’s 2019 deal-making, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is reportedly looking closer at a lawsuit Aurobindo faces. Source: ETMarkets News > Aurobindo’s buyout of Sandoz assets delayed on FTC query

Teva taps new CFO, hikes legal set-aside to more than $1B as opioid deal falters. In an offer aimed at settling the thousands of opioid lawsuits it faces, Teva has proposed an eye-popping $23 billion-plus deal with plaintiffs. So far, that offer hasn’t gained much traction, though, leaving the drugmaker with a legal overhang that now tops 10 figures. Source: The New York Times > Teva Pharm Says Opioid Settlement Will Not Derail Ability to Cut Debt