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JThe Biden administration released new data on hospital and nursing home ownership on Wednesday in a bid to increase transparency and promote competition, particularly among organizations that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding. Between 2016 and 2021, more than 3,000 skilled nursing facilities changed ownership and there were 347 ownership changes among hospitals.
The analysis does not take a firm position, but it does suggest that policymakers and researchers could use the data to better assess how ownership affects quality of care. For example, one of the reasons for improved transparency is the surge in private equity investment in nursing homes, where companies have purchased the property and leased the facility back to the original owners. with a mark-up, which, according to some studies, has reduced quality and increased morality.
There was also a wide variation based on geography. South Carolina saw ownership changes in 73 of its hospitals, or 19.2%, while the majority of states saw changes of 4% or less. Kentucky, New Jersey and Connecticut also had rates above 10%. “The consolidation of hospitals and care facilities leaves many underserved areas with inadequate or more expensive health care options,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in a statement.
Study suggests telemedicine failed to address health care disparities during pandemic
Telemedicine has often been touted as a breakthrough that will help reduce disparities in access to care, but a new study by researchers at the University of Houston College of Medicine suggests that hasn’t been the case all throughout the pandemic. Overall, nearly a quarter of a million medical visits were analyzed from 67,733 patients, with research finding that African Americans were 35% less likely to use telemedicine than white Americans. Hispanics were 51% less likely than whites to have a telemedicine visit and Asians and American Indians/Alaska Natives and Pacific Islanders were also less likely to use telemedicine. The study concluded that a few factors were responsible for these disparities, including lack of access to the technologies required for telehealth appointments. Learn more here.
Offers of the week
Write new genes: Tessara Therapeutics, which was founded by Flagship Pioneering, raised a Series C round of over $300 million, bringing its total funding to over $500 million. The company is developing what it calls a “gene-writing” platform, aiming to edit the genome without using Crispr or breaking DNA strands.
Personal health : Clipboard Health, a recruitment marketplace that matches nurses and caregivers with open shifts at healthcare facilities, raised $80 million in two rounds, taking the company’s valuation to 1, $3 billion. Series C was led by Sequoia Capital and Series B by IVP. Clipboard says it has tens of thousands of users and more than a thousand installs in 30 US cities.
Integration of glucose monitoring: Levels, a company that combines a continuous blood glucose monitor with software to monitor the impact of diet on health, raised a Series A round of $38 million at a $300 million valuation. The company is betting that people who aren’t insulin dependent will be willing to wear the device to change their diet and make better choices as a preventative – long before prediabetes or diabetes sets in. The round was a combination of individual founders and operator investors. , crowdfunding and a16z. The product is currently available to a beta community of 25,000 paying members and funding will be used to make it commercially available.
Health insurer Anthem First-quarter profits hit $1.8 billion on strong enrollment in its Medicaid and Medicare Advantage plans. UnitedHealth Group last week reported $5 billion in first-quarter profit, driven by its Optum health technology business and growth in Medicare Advantage.
Ohio doctor accused of giving fentanyl prescriptions to 14 critically ill patients found not guilty.
Kansas is the 26th state to allow nurse practitioners to practice independently.
Nearly 6.2 million patients are waiting for elective hospital procedures in Englandaccording to new figures from the UK’s National Health Service.
A Patients hospitalized with pneumonia associated with Covid-19 are more likely to develop dementia than patients hospitalized with other types of pneumonia, a new study finds. The study of over 20,000 patients found that dementia was around 18% more likely in these cases and as high as 28% for people over 70. A low risk of developing dementia was even present in people under 35 hospitalized with covid pneumonia. The median time from pneumonia to onset of dementia was approximately 182 days. This is just one of many avenues of research showing that Covid infections can impact the brain, such as damage to cells associated with smell or the development of blood clots in the brain.
It’s not just the brain either. Entering the third year of the pandemic, it is clear that Covid can have multiple impacts on the body. For example, Covid infections are linked to the formation of retinal vascular occlusions, which can lead to sudden vision loss. A Covid infection during pregnancy more than doubles the risk of serious pregnancy complications, including stillbirths. Covid infections appear to increase the risk of heart disease, even in mild cases, and even increase the risk of children developing diabetes. That doesn’t even get into the long Covid issues. The good news is that for many of these Covid-related conditions, the risk drops dramatically with vaccination.
Novavax claims positive results from first trials of combined Covid/flu vaccine
On Wednesday, Maryland-based vaccine maker Novavax released preliminary results from an early clinical phase study of its combined Covid/flu vaccine. The results revealed that the combination vaccine produced immune responses in patients comparable to those of its stand-alone influenza and Covid vaccines. The company also found the vaccine formulation to be safe, with mostly mild side effects. Learn more here.
Other coronavirus news
Abbott Laboratories First-quarter profits eclipsed $2.4 billion thanks to an increase in sales of Covid-19 diagnostic tests due to the Omicron variant.
Exposure to air pollution could increase the likelihood of contracting Covid-19, according to a new study that adds to a growing body of research showing the role air quality plays in the pandemic.
The DOJ announced charges against 21 defendants accused of participating in pandemic fraud schemes ranging from manufacturing counterfeit vaccination cards to selling fake Covid-19 homeopathic remedies, allegedly leaving the federal government with more than $149 million in losses
On 87% of children hospitalized with Covid-19 when the omicron variant was dominant were not vaccinated, according to a study published Tuesday by the CDC.
the Transportation Security Administration dropped a mask mandate for its employees and will no longer report how many of its employees are actively infected with Covid.
How Former NBA Star Al Harrington Built a $100 Million Team of Black Cannabis Entrepreneurs
Musk’s Twitter takeover: A small part of a typically boring meeting could sway everything
Seso wants to help solve a $3.1 billion farm labor crisis with automation
what else we read
Alzheimer’s trials exclude black patients at ‘astonishing’ rate (Bloomberg)
Abortion clinic on Texas-Mexico border faces unique legal and cultural challenges (Kaiser Health News)
‘A slow-moving glacier’: NIH’s slow and often opaque efforts to study long Covid draw ire from patients and experts (Stat)