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January 20, 2021 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Chat-based telemedicine company K Health raises $132 million in a Series E funding round. The New York City-based business, which offers its services on a per-visit basis or through annual membership, has also launched a pediatrics service.

Since launching in 2016, K Health has raised nearly $275 million and is now valued at $1.5 billion.


Webinars

January 28 (Thursday) 12:30 ET: “In Conversation: Advancing Women Leaders in Health IT.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Tabitha Lieberman, SVP of clinical and revenue cycle applications, Providence St. Joseph Health; Ann Barnes, CEO, IMO; Deanna Towne, MBA, CIO, CORHIO; Amanda Heidemann, MD, CMIO, CMIO Services, LLC. IMO CEO Ann Barnes brings together a panel of female health executives for a results-oriented discussion on how managers and C-suite executives can address diversity and inclusion in their organizations. From STEM education to mentoring and networking, the “COVID effect” on women in the workplace, to matters of equity, there’s no better time to talk openly about these issues to help generate meaningful change in healthcare.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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UnitedHealth Group reports $2.2 billion in Q4 2020 profit, and $15.4 billion for the year. Optum, the payer’s provider services, data analytics, and pharmacy benefit manager arm, earned $136.3 billion in annual revenue. Highlighted areas of future growth include ambulatory services and value-based care.


Announcements and Implementations

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WRS Health announces GA of cloud-based EHRs for dermatologists and orthopedists.

Naugatuck Valley Radiology (CT) implements referral management software from Royal Solutions Group.


Government and Politics

Using claims data from six payers, the FTC will analyze the market impact of physician practice mergers and acquisitions by hospitals between 2015 and 2020.


Research and Innovation

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A retrospective analysis of MGMA 2020 member surveys reveals the biggest changes to practices were seen in staffing, cost and revenue, practice transformation, technology and operations. Top priorities for 2021 include managing staff shortages and mental health; implementing, maintaining, and or expanding telemedicine and remote patient monitoring; improved measurement of key metrics; reassessing space needs; and improving staff morale. Other takeaways:

  • Forty percent experienced staff shortages.
  • Nearly 100% expanded telemedicine offerings.
  • Top coding and billing challenges related to virtual visits included inconsistent payer rules, pay parity and accuracy, and documentation.
  • Sixty-one percent say provider compensation took a COVID-19-induced hit.
  • Nearly 100% report the cost of PPE increasing, while 15% say it’s increased by over 100%.

A PatientPop survey of 533 patients conducted in December shows an increasing optimism in patient propensity to resume in-person appointments:

  • Nearly a third say they feel safe returning to in-person appointments with safety protocols in place – a 46% increase since August.
  • Nearly 75% have had scheduled appointments between December and February.
  • Eighty-three percent of those with in-person appointments scheduled over the next several months are planning to go.

Other

Fourteen FQHCs in Hawaii will use $1.3 million in grants from The Freeman Foundation and Hawaiʻi Community Foundation to improve telemedicine services. Funding will go towards software and equipment, Internet connectivity upgrades, training for staff, and educational materials for patients.


Sponsor Updates

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Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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Comments 1
  • United is regularly referred to as “The Evil Empire” in the independent pediatric space (where I live). They are the most universally reviled payor in the country. Doctors don’t “like their stability” UHC offers, it’s the UHC owns so many lives in their areas, the doctors have no choice but to sign the agreements.

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