April 22, 2021
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On the Provider Front
The healthcare sector shed 44,000 jobs during the first quarter of the year, while health spending recovered from decreases in the spring and summer of 2020 and prices continued to increase, according to an Altarum report. The industry overall has lost 557,000 jobs since February 2020, and first-quarter losses were seen for hospitals and nursing and residential care.
Full Story: FierceHealthcare (4/19) 
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HHS will award a total of $145 million in grants to around 100 health center look-alikes, which offer primary care services to underserved areas. The funding, which will be used for vaccine administration, COVID-19 mitigation and health infrastructure improvements, is part of the $7.6 billion funding allocated to HHS under the American Rescue Plan to help community centers combat the pandemic.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital CFO Report (4/19) 
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On the Payer Front
Aetna and CVS Health launched a co-branded health plan in St. Louis and Southern California markets to improve their members' access to quality healthcare at a more affordable price. The Aetna Connected Plan with CVS Health will allow members to access Aetna's cost-saving performance network and CVS' retail and pharmacy services.
Full Story: HIT Consultant (4/20),  Becker's Hospital Review (4/21) 
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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced a number of pilot programs to address members' food insecurity, including a post-hospital discharge meal program for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries and another initiative allowing members to access the Eat Well prescription food program. The insurer is also working with other organizations to educate members about the Food and Nutrition Service and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and help socially isolated members and those with diabetes gain access to healthy food.
Full Story: FierceHealthcare (4/19) 
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HIT Developments
A survey by Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors found more than 80% of the 873 homebound patients who had telehealth visits required the assistance of a family member or paid caregiver to complete the visit. The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found almost one-third of older patients had trouble interacting with physicians during telehealth visits due to cognitive or sensory problems.
Full Story: McKnight's Senior Living online (4/19) 
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Combining genomic data with health outcomes data in EHRs can provide deeper insight into population health disparities than simple race and ethnicity data, and may improve health equity and outcomes, according to a study published in the journal Cell. Embedding genomic data and using it to infer genetic ancestry "will allow the development of evidence-based means to utilize race and ethnicity, genetic ancestry, and the socioeconomic determinants of health for both rare and common diseases," researchers wrote.
Full Story: Health IT Analytics (4/16) 
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Trends in Healthcare
Liz Fowler, the new director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, said the agency's commitment to value-based care remains strong and it won't pull back on development of new alternative payment models amid the recent withdrawal or delay of several payment models. Speaking at a conference of the National Association of ACOs, Fowler said she plans to refresh the CMMI's value-based care strategy by focusing on health equity, improving multipayer alignment, and expanding the agency's reach beyond Medicaid and Medicare.
Full Story: FierceHealthcare (4/20),  RevCycle Intelligence (4/20) 
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Aon News
Surviving a hard D&O market: A guide for risk managers
Companies in 2021 can no longer think about directors-and-officers insurance the way they have in the past. While the hard market won't last forever, it will exist for the time being. This article provides a guide for risk managers on factors influencing the D&O landscape, best practices and alternative strategies for pricing.
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Corporate spinoff transactions
Management liability insurance programs for companies, public or private, are impacted significantly by spinoffs. This Client Alert discusses the considerations for a spinoff as it relates to management liability exposures and insurance.
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Nothing is ever the same as they said it was.
Diane Arbus,
photographer
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