Healthcare and Insurance News Headline Updated on 5 December 2019

The headline on 5 December 2019

Health IT pioneer John Halamka, M.D. is leaving Massachusetts after 23 years to lead Mayo Clinic’s digital health and artificial intelligence projects. Heather Landi has more. Source: Dr. John Halamka named president of Mayo Clinic Platform

Regulators found a former NFL quarterback was not qualified to run a hospital. Source: Tampa Bay Times reports > Former NFL player not actually qualified to run hospital, feds find

Startups with solutions for migraines, kidney stones, clinical trial recruitment and endoscopic medical care were among the latest health VC deals. Heather Landi offers a look. Source: MedCityNews > Japanese firm’s AI algorithm for gastric cancer gets FDA’s Breakthrough Device designation

TV hospital dramas often get a bad rap for how they portray healthcare. But a new study is giving “Grey’s Anatomy” some credit for increasing awareness for a sexual assault hotline. Source: JAMA Network > Public Awareness for a Sexual Assault Hotline Following a Grey’s Anatomy Episode

Two Democratic senators are pushing big name payers and CMS to respond to concerns about racial bias in data algorithms used to used to assess patients’ healthcare needs. Source: Booker Wyden Health Care Letters

41% of Americans say they do not intend to get a flu shot this season, a new survey shows. Source: NORC > 41 Percent of Americans Do Not Intend to Get a Flu Shot this Season

Physician compensation increased this year but productivity remained flat or even declined, according to a new survey. Source: SullivanCotter > Physician Compensation Evolving to Address Complex Operating Environment

A factor that could worsen the country’s rural health crisis: The number of medical students from rural backgrounds declined 28% over a 15-year period. Source: Health Affairs > The Decline In Rural Medical Students: A Growing Gap In Geographic Diversity Threatens The Rural Physician Workforce

In what’s an angry, stressed-out time, you can learn to become a kinder person, research finds. Source: The Washington Post > In this angry and stressed-out time, research says we can learn to be kinder

The headline on 4 December 2019

The Trump administration is launching a program to provide free access to doses of Truvada, a drug that prevents against HIV, to people who are uninsured and at risk of being infected. Source: Ending the HIV Epidemic: Ready, Set, PrEP

Stephen Hahn, the radiation oncologist from MD Anderson Cancer Center nominated by the Trump administration to be FDA Commissioner, got passed a key hurdle toward getting the job on Tuesday. Source: The Washington Post > Senate panel approves Hahn as FDA head

Humana and Philips announced this morning that they were joining forces for two remote monitoring programs targeting select Medicare Advantage members. Source: Philips and Humana team up to improve care for at-risk Medicare Advantage members

Texas health officials have sued the Trump administration over $25 million in Medicaid payments. Source: Bloomberg Law > Texas Sues HHS to Hold on to $25 Million in Medicaid Payments (1)

Health IT company Cerner is deepening its partnership with Amazon Web Services to build new prediction tools and a virtual medical scribe for healthcare providers. Source: Cerner, AWS Work to Reduce Patient Re-Admissions and Time Spent Documenting Patient Visits

Cerner is deepening its partnership with AWS
Cerner is deepening its partnership with AWS

Humana and Philips announced this morning that they were joining forces for two remote monitoring programs targeting select Medicare Advantage members. Source: Philips and Humana team up to improve care for at-risk Medicare Advantage members

The headline on 3 December 2019

UnitedHealth Group projected it will generate $242 billion in revenue in 2019 and expects to report another 7% to 8% increase in top-line growth in 2020. Robert King has more. Source: Forbes > UnitedHealth Group: 2020 Revenues To Eclipse $260B

It will take nearly 100 years to reach gender parity among healthcare venture capital partners—and that’s if 50% of new hires are women starting today, according to a Rock Health report. Source: Rock Health > The state of gender equity at healthcare startups and VCs in 2019

Today is Giving Tuesday, a global day of charitable giving that falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This site offers resources to find a cause or organization to give your time or a donation.

A package originally intended for a medical clinic was delivered to the wrong address and resulted in a Washington state movie theater being evacuated over the ‘highly contagious’ box of urine. Source: Fox News > Washington movie theater evacuated after ‘highly contagious’ package of urine sent to wrong address

Centene agreed to sell its Medicaid and Medicare Advantage business in Illinois to CVS Health in order to help its $15 billion merger with insurer WellCare. Source: Centene and CVS Health Announce Agreement for CVS Health to Acquire IlliniCare Health

Some life insurance underwriters are beginning to charge certain vapers higher rates than smokers. Source: Reuters reports > Could life insurance go up in smoke for some vapers?

The headline on 2 December 2019

Politico reports that tensions are running high within HHS between Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma. Source: Clashes among top HHS officials undermine Trump agenda

Partners Healthcare System — which is Massachusett’s largest health system — will be now known as Mass General Brigham. Source: Partners HealthCare Announces Five-year Strategic Plan and Launch of System Rebranding

As Joanne Finnegan reports, a new study found doctors with depression are at a greater risk of making medical errors. Source: JAMA Network Open > Association Between Physician Depressive Symptoms and Medical Errors

Amazon launched Transcribe Medical, a new speech recognition service for clinical documentation to rival virtual medical scribe services from Microsoft and Google. Source: Amazon Transcribe Medical

A Japanese startup focused on using AI for early detection of gastrointestinal cancers scored $42.9 million in funding backed by big-name investors like Sony. Source: AI Medical Service

The Wall Street Journal reports that blood-sugar monitors for patients with diabetes stopped sending important information over the weekend, the result of a technological problem. Source: Diabetes Patients’ Blood-Sugar Data Aren’t Being Shared

GTT Communications announced on Monday that it has completed its $56 million deal to buy Dutch carrier KP International. Source: GTT Completes Acquisition of KPN International