Sunday, July 28, 2019

Weekend update

The Senate remains in session for this final week before its August recess.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the giant prescription drug manufacturer Pfizer "is in talks to merge its off-patent drugs business with generic drugmaker Mylan NV, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would create a giant global seller of lower-priced medicines." The deal could be announced as early as tomorrow. The article's description of the complicated nature of the prescription drug manufacturers business structures is quite interesting.

Health Payer Intelligence discusses how Blue Cross of Michigan is using virtual wellness program to successfully drive member engagement.
“The program uses a virtual format, allowing us to be scalable and deliberate,” Bjorkquist explained. “It has separate sessions for members and employers, on the same topic, and delivers content using live webinar capabilities, PowerPoint, and graphics. The intent was always to host the sessions live with audio and video, as opposed to just a podcast or audio webinar, which most people are doing.” 
The sessions are TED style, lasting approximately 13 to 14 minutes and focus on key wellness activities that will ideally improve member health. 
These sessions focus on kindness, mindfulness, financial well-being, emotional health, exercise, nutrition, meditation, social isolation, and other relevant topics. The virtual coordinator offers tips, examples, and promotes opportunities for the members to engage in activities related to the subject of the week.
Fierce Healthcare reports on four recent initial public offering in digital health companies, the most recent being Livongo and Health Catalyst.

Fierce Healthcare also reports on a new CVS Health and Aetna Foundation social derminants of health initiative oriented toward Medical and employer sponsored plan business. .
The initiative also includes the launch of a new tool aimed to help employers with Aetna plans track the impacts of the social determinants on their healthcare costs. The insurer is set to release the tool before the end of the month and add additional functionality early next year. 
Using the tool, employers will gain insights on the health of their workforce, but it will also provide valuable feedback to CVS to determine what interventions may be most useful to specific populations, according to the announcement.

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