January 14, 2021
On the Provider Front
Nebraska is developing a portal where people can sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, but Bob Rauner, M.D., chief medical officer at OneHealth Nebraska, says people trust their primary care physicians most so they should be part of the process. And in Jacksonville, Fla., Family Care Partners medical director Charles Warren, D.O., said, "We need to get these vaccines into the primary care offices."
Full Story: WJXT-TV/WCWJ-TV (Jacksonville, Fla.) (1/11),  KETV-TV (Omaha, Neb.) (1/11) 
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Coronavirus vaccine deliveries are eagerly anticipated and require a lot of planning, according to officials at University Hospital in Newark, N.J. "They're packed in temperature-controlled packaging, with trackers and loggers to ensure that there is no temperature variations," then they come via "either UPS, FedEx, to the hospital doorstep, to the loading dock, or I get tracking information, letting me know exactly where that package is (and) when it's going to get here," said Andre Emot, director of the hospital's pharmacy.
Full Story: NJ Advance Media (Morristown, N.J.) (tiered subscription model) (1/10) 
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On the Payer Front
Several health insurance providers are starting the year by investing in programs designed to address social determinants of health. Humana will provide $500,000 in funding to five Ohio nonprofits working to address housing insecurity and food scarcity; Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina partnered with the American Heart Association to provide $100,000 in grants to 21 community organizations that support heart health-related SDOH in underserved demographics; while CareSource has committed to invest $1 million to support affordable housing projects in Oklahoma.
Full Story: Health Payer Intelligence (1/11) 
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Humana CEO Bruce Broussard told the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference that the Medicare Advantage program has grown stronger and has bipartisan support, adding he does not expect to see significant changes early in the Biden administration. Centene CEO Michael Neidorff told the conference he thinks the new administration's plans to strengthen the Affordable Care Act will benefit the insurer.
Full Story: FierceHealthcare (1/11),  FierceHealthcare (1/11) 
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HIT Developments
HRSA awards $8M to boost rural telehealth access
The HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration awarded $6.5 million to the National Telehealth Technology Assessment Resource Center to implement the Telehealth Broadband Pilot program in rural areas of Alaska, Michigan, Texas and West Virginia. The HRSA also awarded $1.5 million to the University of Arkansas' Telehealth-Focused Rural Health Research Center to serve as a resource on telehealth for rural communities nationwide.
Full Story: Healthcare Finance (1/11) 
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Trends in Healthcare
A national expansion of the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model that was recently proposed by the HHS could generate around $6.3 billion in savings over a 10-year period, according to estimates from research firm The Moran Company. Federal statistics showed that even the limited HHVBP Model implementation helped improve home health agencies' quality scores by 4.6% and saved Medicare an average of $141 million per year.
Full Story: Home Health Care News (1/12) 
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Aon News
Innovating toward a new better
Global crises can create opportunities for organizations to solve their systemic challenges and become more resilient. Instead of accepting a "new normal," there is opportunity for business leaders to build a "new better." How is Aon accelerating innovation and how are leaders making better decisions? Learn more.
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Poor stress management a major driver of 2021 health care costs
The pandemic has led to a decrease in the global medical trend rate -- the percentage change in companies' medical plan costs -- as employees defer or cancel in-person treatments and procedures. However, Aon's 2021 Global Medical Trend Rates report found cost drivers to watch -- and ways to mitigate and manage them. Learn more.
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The most beautiful part of your body is where it's headed.
Ocean Vuong,
poet, writer
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