US Markets – October 23, 2017

Healthcare Economy and Policy Highlights

Government/Regulatory/Markets

  • According to Epstein Becker Green, a law firm- almost all the U.S states have modified the telehealth legislations to better define the regulatory frameworks specifically affecting remote delivery of care since 2016. Connecticut and Massachusetts made significant legal changes to better define the path of mental health-focused treatment (Mobi Health News)
  • Two leading senators, Lamar Alexander, (R-Tennessee) and Patty Murray, (D-Washington), formed a bipartisan deal on last Tuesday to fund critical subsidies (for two years) to the insurers that President Trump moved just days ago to cut off. The subsidies will be given to reimburse insurance companies for lowering deductibles, co-payments and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income customers (New York Times)
  • According to management consulting firm Kaufman Hall, the number of hospital M&As in 2017 is on pace to top the number of deals reported in 2016. It reported a total of 87 deals YTD with an expectation to surpass the last year's total of 102 (Fierce Healthcare)
  • President Trump specifies that the White House would formally declare a national emergency over the opioid crisis as soon as this week and also cued about his withdrawal from nomination for drug czar (STAT)
  • According to MobiHealth News, 53 digital health funding deals worth $578.55 million have been tracked in July, August and September this year (Mobi Health News)
  • Kaiser Permanente (an integrated managed care consortium based in USA) has been building a biobank with genomic data and other health information from hundreds of thousands of patients from across its eight regions. The organization is helping clinicians unlock insights into complex genetic challenges (Mobi Health News)
  • According to a new study, the prices for injectable cancer drugs increased more than the inflation rates during the last eight years. The mean price of 24 branded cancer medicines (approved in the U.S. between 1996 and 2012) has increased by 25 percent (STAT)
  • Anthem, the second-largest health insurer in USA, to launch its own new Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) in 2020 in partnership with CVS Health. PBM in IngenioRx will give the health plan full control over development and strategy when it comes to what drugs are in the insurer’s preferred list of prescriptions known as a formulary. PBMs are middlemen between drug makers and consumers to purchase drugs and provide prescription coverage (Forbes)
  • A study conducted by the Moran Company for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), reveals that hospitals mark up medicine prices, on average, nearly 500%, thus posing as a hidden threat to affordability and driving up cost sharing and premiums for patients (Catalyst Pharma)
  • As per eHealth Initiative’s 2017 Survey on Access to Patient Information, the majority of healthcare providers (71%) believe that current federal polices, committees and regulations are not sufficient to help the country attain meaningful health IT interoperability by 2020 (Healthcare Informatics)
  • Politico PULSE talked to two ACO experts about Medicare Shared Savings Program results and here are some of the key findings:
    • Slightly more than half of ACOs generated savings. Overall, 56 percent of ACOs generated savings relative to their benchmark in 2016, roughly in line with 52 percent in 2015 and 55 percent in 2015.
    • The benefits are accretive. ACOs generally show more savings the longer they're in the program
    • ACOs without hospitals on their rosters generally performed better. That's on average: 67 percent of ACOs without hospitals generated savings, compared to 49 percent of ACOs with hospitals (Politico)

Top Competitors

Top Competitors (Global)

  • Google’s AutoML programme, announced earlier this year, has now produced machine-learning models that outperform hand-built ones (Silicon)
  • DeepMind, the London-based artificial intelligence company owned by Alphabet Inc. (parent company of Google), is planning to let its software learn how to fold proteins, an important problem for drug discovery. The company also states that their new AI software, AlphaGo Zero surpasses AlphaGo, a software that beat the world's top human players at the ancient strategy game Go (Bloomberg)

Top Competitors (Oncology/Genomics)

  • The legislative audit results state that the University of Utah did not comply with the state procurement laws while awarding a $10 million contract to NantHealth to sequence 1,372 genome samples from the Utah Population Database (KSL)

Top Competitors (VBC)

  • EPIC and CVS form a strategic partnership to help lower drug costs for patients and improve results by providing prescribers with expanded visibility to lower cost alternatives through enhanced analytics and data sharing. CVS Health will use Epic's Healthy Planet population health and analytics platform to generate insights surrounding dispensing patterns and behaviors around medication adherence (CVS Health)
  • The American Medical Association partners with leading health systems and information technology companies including IBM and Cerner to bring structure and best practices to patient information and related health data (Forbes)
  • United Health (parent company of Optum) announces the following key achievements of Optum in Q3, 2017:
    • Optum helped 90 million customers in the Q3, 9 million more than last year
    • The YOY revenue increased by 8% to $22.9 billion
    • The operating margins saw a growth of 50 basis points YOY to 7.4%.
    • The earning from operations increased by 16% (Healthcare Dive)

Top Competitors (Imaging)

  • General Electric and Apple announce a partnership to develop mobile apps for industrial operators that will bring analytics from GE's Predix platform to Apple's iPads and iPhones. Predix is an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform that GE built for managing, analyzing and storing machine sensor data focusing at globally regulated industries, including aviation, healthcare, transportation and oil and gas utility providers (ZDNet)
  • GE Healthcare-owned Caradigm and RightPatient partners to launch a new enterprise-wide identity management solution - the patient biometric ID service to reduce patient mixups, medical errors and cut costs (Secure ID News)
  • GE has received Carequality certification to enable seamless data sharing by its ambulatory EHR customers with thousands of hospitals, physician practices, payer networks, vendors and consumer services nationally. GE Healthcare employed its existing expertise in providing digital tools to improve care coordination with its certification (GE)

Top Competitors (Government)

  • Names not specified.

Top Competitors (Life Sciences)

  • No new updates for this week.