A Bain & Co. report says the number of private equity deals for health care set a record last year, and the value of deals hit the highest point since 2006. A HealthLeaders survey found that most health care executives expect their organizations' mergers and acquisitions to increase.
Home care leaders in the Buffalo, N.Y., area struggling to find enough employees to meet the growing demand for services are considering telehealth and apps to improve care and are offering special training and benefits for caregivers. Niagara Hospice/Liberty Home Care Vice President Jennifer Redding said adding affiliated service providers, such as those offering palliative care and durable medical equipment, can make home care companies more of a one-stop shop.
There are few options for on-demand psychiatric care in the US, but psychiatrist David Kroll offers walk-in care one day each week at his clinic, and Danna Mauch, CEO of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, is developing an urgent mental health care model for children. The effort faces clinical and financial obstacles, and Mauch says one is not knowing exactly when or if patients will show up.
The biopharma industry needs to embrace new sources of health data -- from medical claims and electronic health records to patient registries, and more -- and understand that they do not change the need for validated processes. The FDA is wrapping up a public comment period for its real-world evidence strategy, the latest sign that a massive shift is underway in health care, spurred in part by the availability of vast amounts of health data.
McMahon Associates in Fort Washington, Pa., has a financial wellness program that includes paying $50 per month off an employee's student loan debt while encouraging them to put $50 in their 401(k). Jacqueline Poquette of Westlake Plastics in Middletown Township said the company offers financial assistance as part of its wellness program "in recognition of the impact financial stress and uncertainty have on the health, morale and happiness of our employees."
A report to Congress showed the Department of Justice gave the Las Vegas police department high marks for its Police Employee Assistance Program, which helps officers address mental health issues. The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Programs report said the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's peer-to-peer counseling services have "long been the standard" and are part of the department culture.
A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that women who have high cardiorespiratory fitness are 25% less likely to experience a first heart attack than those who are less fit. However, Aaron Baggish, the director of Massachusetts General Hospital's Cardiovascular Performance Program, cautioned that exercise alone won't make anyone immune from heart disease and following a healthy diet and not smoking are important factors.
The American Diabetes Association released a new consensus report that stresses the importance of providing individualized nutrition plans to patients with diabetes and "reflects the ADA's continued commitment to evidence-based guidelines that are achievable and meet people where they are," said Dr. William Cefalu, the ADA's chief scientific, medical and mission officer. Published in Diabetes Care, the report recommends drinking water instead of sugary beverages; eating nonstarchy vegetables and whole, unprocessed foods; replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats; and reducing consumption of refined grains and added sugars.
A study in Pediatrics showed that preteens who met seven to nine dietary, sleep, physical activity and screen use recommendations had 56% fewer mental health visits after four years, compared with those who only adhered to one to three lifestyle recommendations. The findings also associated every additional recommendation met to a 15% reduction in mental health visits at follow-up.
The CMS released its final annual notice of benefit and payment standards for Affordable Care Act plans for the 2020 coverage year, and it lowers the user fee for plans sold on the federal exchange to 3% of premiums and 2.5% for plans sold on state exchanges using the federal platform. It also permits health insurers to use copay accumulator programs to prevent drugmakers' coupons from counting toward a patient's maximum out-of-pocket costs when a generic alternative is available.