Today's News

About Public Health:
41 Percent of Americans Do Not Intend to Get a Flu Shot this Season:
This finding creates an opportunity for social marketing experts to influence public health. Of course market segmentation is important to solving this problem since the reasons for not getting vaccinated vary as do intent by age group.Top reasons cited [for not being vaccinated]
were not expecting to get the flu, lack of confidence in efficacy of vaccine, and concern about side effects from the vaccine.” 62% of those over 60 plan to get vaccinated while only 31% in the group 19-29 plan to do so.
Read more about this problem

About Quality:
New CMS star ratings ignore socio-economic factors:
How can we have confidence in quality reports if they are not risk adjusted? Recent research studies have shown that such adjustments should not only be based on differences in severity of illness, but also include disparities in socio-economic factors of a hospital’s population. This article highlights the fact that CMS ratings, reported in do not adjust for those population characteristics.
Read more about this issue

About Genomics:
WHO looks at standards in 'uncharted water' of gene editing:
Many recent research projects have used gene editing to attempt treatment of patients with identifiable DNA abnormalities. In the past week, much discussion has occurred over a different kind of gene editing. Chinese scientist “He Jiankui said he used a gene-editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 to alter the embryonic genes of the twin girls born this month. He said gene editing would help protect them from infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.” The use of anticipatory genetic manipulation to produce “superhuman” has raised many ethical concerns.
Read more about WHO actions on this issue
For more about this issue, read this editorial in Nature

FDA Recognizes First Human Genetic Variant Database: Continuing genetic news is the announcement that, for the first time, the FDA has recognized “a publicly available genetic variants database that can be used to support clinical claims in diagnostic tests.” The source of these data is ClinGen. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), its purpose is to build “an authoritative central resource that defines the clinical relevance of genes and variants for use in precision medicine and research.” 
Read about this announcement

About Medicare:
Carelinx launches home-care service for Medicare Advantage plans:
Picking up on yesterday’s report about Medicaid and Medicare expanded benefits, firms are already marketing themselves to health plans providing care to those beneficiaries. This article about one home care company illustrates this marketing opportunity.

Read about this company’s initiative as an example of this opportunity

Early Participants And Focus Areas In BPCI-Advanced: The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Initiative is CMS’s attempt to control costs by paying one fee for many/all services related to an episode of care. When the program was launched, it was not known how many participants would choose this option for payment and which specialties/treatment categories would be involved. This article provides answers to both questions and offers guidance to those who seek information on competitive positioning and opportunities for partnerships in these areas.

Read more about participant specialties and disease categories they will cover

About Hospitals:

Moody's: US NFP [Not For Profit], public healthcare outlook to remain negative on flat to slightly down operating cash flow:
The outlook for these hospitals in 2019 is “negative,” according to this rating service. Moody’s gives two reasons for this projection: cash flow will be flat or decline by up to 1% and revenue growth will be hit by lower volumes and a rise in bad debt. This forecast should make hospitals more aggressive in lobbying for such measures as preventing neutral site payment changes (see yesterday’s blog).

Read the announcement