QWay Health brings to you the news stories that are making headlines in the medical industry this week. Go through our short and concise news article to quickly get a note of what is happening around you.

HEALTH

  • As the USA braces itself for the 3rd wave of the pandemic, the Government is most likely to roll out a booster dose plan for the vaccinated population.
  • People who received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccines from Moderna or Pfizer will be eligible for the booster shot.
  • In the case of Johnson and Johnson, the Government is awaiting its reports for a second dose.
  • According to the sources, the vaccinated population is need for a booster dose to fight effectively against the evolved variants of the Covid-19 virus.
  • The booster shots however have not been approved by FDA yet, though the Government sources say that the roll-out might begin as early as September.
  • Earlier this week, FDA had approved the booster doses for all immune- compromised people in the USA. This move has a strong support from the CDC.
  • FDA has approved the drug Xywav, produced by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, to treat a rare sleeping condition called Idiopathic Hypersomnia.
  • The drug had previously been highly regulated in the market due to its possible rippling addiction effects.
  • The FDA approval has caused controversies among scientists and medical experts who have mixed reactions about the drug.
  • The experts pointed out the dearth of solid evidence on the efficacy of the drug.
  • On the other hand, there is substantial proof to show that the drug has multiple side-effects like anxiety and depression.
  • Idiopathic Hypersomnia is a condition where people feel tired even after sleeping for more than nine or ten hours a day.

TECHNOLOGY

  • The recently launched Philips HealthSuite is expected to bring a positive change in patient treatment and clinical outcomes.
  • This health informatics tool can analyze the patient information and provide results with precision.
  • The end-to-end care program of a patient can be tracked and improved with the help of Philips’ Patient Flow Capacity Suite.
  • Philips’ Acute Care Telehealth model is considered to be a significant leap in the field of combining critical health with telemedicine, with the help of a central or decentralized command system.
  • In the upcoming projects, Philips will venture into anesthesia, acute care and EHRs.
  • Houston-based University of Texas Health Science Center has signed an agreement with health technology firm Holmusk, to provide real patient data to help develop AI models.
  • The health information of the patients will be deidentified prior to sharing.
  • With this deal, Holmusk will get access to around 80,000 health records in a year from the UTHealth and The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD.
  • The AI models are aimed at improving the statistical approach to patient care and clinical outcomes.
  • They will analyze the data to predict the frequency of a patient’s need for hospitalization or visit to a clinic.
  • Real patient data will significantly boost the efficacy of the system.

BUSINESS

  • Anthem and Dignity Health has reached a multi-year contract yet again, which came into retrospective effect from July 15th.
  • This comes as a relief for many healthcare providers as well as patients who had suffered from the contract expiration.
  • The announcement says that any services that have taken place after the previous contract expired can be billed as an “in-network” service.
  • This comes as a welcoming call for all patients who had sought care from any other organizations and wish to return to Dignity.
  • 30 hospitals of Dignity Heath had suffered during the one month when the contract expiration was in effect. With the press release, the organizations can return to usual business.
  • Pharmacies and hospitals are still at loggerheads with respect to the 340B discounts, with Merck being the most recent pharmacy to impose a condition.
  • According to Merck and many other drug maker giants, the hospitals need to provide the claims data in order to get the 340B discount.
  • In case the hospitals do not have their in-house pharmacy, then they need to designate a single-contract one to receive the discounts.
  • This has been done to prevent double discounts from both Medicaid and 340B from the hospitals. However, not many hospitals have agreed on these terms.
  • The formal legal battle is yet to begin, with several cases piled up in the courts.
  • There is still a lot of doubt whether the pharmacies have an authority to withdraw the discounts for 340B eligible hospitals.

MEDICAL BILLING

  • In a recent announcement, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have decided to give more time to states to determine their Medicaid enrollment eligibility.
  • The new rule now mandates the states to prepare their enrollment eligibility 6 months prior to the conclusion of the public health emergency.
  • However, many states have spoken out on this new rule since there is no predetermined date for the public health emergency to conclude as of yet.
  • They fear a significant increase in administrative burden due to the sudden date timeline.
  • According to a lot of states, spreading out the renewal process throughout the year is more effective in maintaining the administration.
  • The number of enrollees in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program is at an all-time high with over 81 Million applications.
  • The CMS has published its strategy plan for the upcoming 10 years after carefully evaluating the existing models in place.
  • Payment models have featured in the highlights since only 6 out of 50 managed to help in savings for Medicare and taxpayers.
  • They were also thought to be complicated for the process with a lower success rate. In the coming decade, CMS will focus on improving the success rate of the existing models and introduce lesser ones.
  • CMS has also categorized voluntary models as financially less lucrative, with lesser potentials of saving.
  • The federal body is also focused on bridging the data gap between Medicare and Medicaid plans and innovation centers.

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