Pennsylvania cancer hospital to lay off 365 workers

Cancer Treatment Centers of America®, Philadelphia PA | CTCA

Cancer Treatment Centers of America is selling its hospital in Philadelphia and will lay off the facility’s 365 employees, according to a closure notice filed with the state.

Boca Raton, Fla.-based Cancer Treatment Centers of America signed an agreement in March to sell the hospital to Philadelphia-based Temple University Hospital. The deal requires approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. 

In the notice filed with the state, Cancer Treatment Centers of America said some displaced Philadelphia workers may be offered jobs at affiliated entities outside of Pennsylvania, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. The company’s other hospitals are in Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix and Tulsa, Okla. In March, the company announced it will close its hospital in Tulsa June 1. 

Cancer Treatment Centers of America said it anticipates the layoffs in Philadelphia will begin after May 30, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal

Temple Health CEO Michael Young told the Philadelphia Business Journal that the system wants to hire as many CTCA workers as possible if the deal is finalized. 

Millions more smokers and ex-smokers should receive free annual screenings for lung cancer, a federally appointed task force says

Millions more smokers and ex-smokers should receive free annual screenings  for lung cancer, a federally appointed task force says - The Washington Post

The recommendation would double the number of people eligible, but some experts worry about possible false positives and follow-up tests.

A federally appointed task force recommended a major increase in the number of Americans eligible for free screening for lung cancer, saying expanded testing will save lives and especially benefit Black people and women.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent group of 16 physicians and scientists who evaluate preventive tests and medications, said people with a long history of smoking should begin getting annual low-dose CT scans at age 50, five years earlier than the group recommended in 2013. The group also broadened the definition of people it considers at high risk for the disease.

The changes mean that 15 million people, nearly twice the current number, will be eligible for the scans to detect the No. 1 cancer killer in the United States. Under the Affordable Care Act, private insurers must cover services, without patient cost-sharing, that receive “A” or “B” recommendations from the task force. The lung-cancer screening recommendation received a “B” rating. Medicare also generally follows the group’s guidance.

The recommendation was welcomed by many lung-cancer specialists but drew a more cautious reaction from some physicians who noted that the test can produce false positives — flagging a spot or growth that is benign — and lead to potentially costly and invasive follow-up tests such as biopsies.

Lung cancer killed more than 135,000 people in the United States last year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Smoking and increasing age are the biggest risk factors, although nonsmokers also develop the disease, sometimes as a result of genetic mutations.

Overall, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is about 20 percent, but it is higher when the disease is caught at the earliest stages. In recent years, the death rate for non-small cell lung cancer — the most common form — has declined, partly reflecting decreases in smoking but also new treatments targeted at specific genetic mutations or alterations.

To update its 2013 recommendation, the task force commissioned a study of the latest data on lung-cancer screening and did modeling on the best age to start the screening.

The conclusion was that broadening eligibility would save a substantial number of lives, the task force said in an article Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The new recommendation applies to adults ages 50 to 80 who have smoked about a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years. The 2013 version, which had the higher age threshold, was for those who smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 years. In both cases, the policy applies to current smokers or those who have quit within the past 15 years. Someone who stopped smoking 20 years ago would not be eligible.

The task force said the changes will increase the number of Black people and women who will be eligible for screening and who tend to smoke fewer cigarettes than White men yet still are vulnerable to lung cancer. African Americans, the group said, have a higher risk of lung cancer than White men even with lower levels of smoking exposure. It said it hopes the new recommendation will increase the use of the test; estimates are that fewer than 5 percent of eligible Americans have been screened for lung cancer.

Roy S. Herbst, a lung-cancer specialist at the Yale Cancer Center, was enthusiastic about the recommendation. He said more screening would mean more cancer caught at an earlier stage, when there is a better chance of treating or curing it.

“We have to find these lung cancers early,” he said. “It’s a very minimal test.”

Some physicians and researchers were more cautious. Daniel S. Reuland, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, co-wrote an updated analysis of benefits and harms that also ran in JAMA. Screening high-risk people with low-dose CT, the article said, “can reduce lung cancer mortality but also causes false-positive results leading to unnecessary tests and invasive procedures, overdiagnosis, incidental findings, increases in distress, and, rarely, radiation-induced cancers.”

Reuland noted that follow-up tests can be nerve-racking and costly. For that reason, he and other physicians, in a third JAMA article, called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to continue to require doctors and patients to undergo “shared decision-making” — an in-depth discussion about the pluses and minuses of the screening.

Otis Brawley, an oncologist at Johns Hopkins University who has raised questions about lung-cancer screening, said he does not object to expanding the criteria but argued that all the tests should be performed at hospitals with extensive experience, to minimize the likelihood of false positives.

“You have to have a good program,” Brawley said. “A number of centers that are offering it should not be offering it. So those centers are perpetuating disparities, not reducing them.”

John Wong, a member of the task force and an internist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, countered that the benefits of screening — and of finding a potentially lethal malignancy at an early, curable stage — far outweigh the harms.

Although follow-up tests involving what turns out to be a benign growth might cause short-term anxiety and be costly, he said, “if you miss a lung cancer, then it might spread and shorten your life.”

Lawsuit accuses Aetna of systematically denying coverage for cancer treatment

Alliance for Proton Therapy Access - Home | Facebook

A Florida man filed a class-action lawsuit against Aetna Life Insurance Co., claiming it systematically denied coverage for a cancer treatment called proton beam radiation therapy, according to court documents.

The lawsuit, which has been moved to the District Court for the Middle District of Florida, was filed by Scott Lake. Mr. Lake claims Aetna wrongfully denied coverage for proton beam radiation therapy to treat his prostate cancer. The denial, which deemed the treatment experimental, came despite recommendations from oncologists, he claims. 

While some insurers have begun covering proton beam radiation therapy for certain cancers — for example, Medicare generally covers the treatment — it is not uniform across the commercial insurance industry. In 2019, UnitedHealthcare found itself in court over its denial of coverage to one of its members who also sought the treatment for prostate cancer. 

Aetna’s proton beam radiotherapy policy, last updated in November, outlines when the insurer considers the treatment medically necessary. In the bulletin, Aetna said it considers proton beam radiotherapy “experimental and investigational” for prostate cancer in adults over age 21 “because its effectiveness for these indications has not been established.”

Becker’s reached out to Aetna for comment on this lawsuit. This article will be updated as more information becomes available. 

COVID-19 More Deadly Than Cancer Itself?

https://www.medpagetoday.com/hematologyoncology/othercancers/87750?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2020-07-25&eun=g885344d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Headlines%20Top%20Cat%20HeC%20%202020-07-25&utm_term=NL_Daily_DHE_dual-gmail-definition

During the recent months of the pandemic, cancer patients undergoing active treatment saw their risk for death increase 15-fold with a COVID-19 diagnosis, real-world data from two large healthcare systems in the Midwest found.

Among nearly 40,000 patients who had undergone treatment for their cancer at some point over the past year, 15% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 died from February to May 2020, as compared to 1% of those not diagnosed with COVID-19 during this same timeframe, reported Shirish Gadgeel, MD, of the Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Detroit.

And in more than 100,000 cancer survivors, 11% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 died compared to 1% of those not diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the findings presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) COVID-19 and Cancer meeting.

“Certain comorbidities were more commonly seen in patients with COVID-19,” said Gadgeel. “This included cardiac arrhythmias, renal failure, congestive heart failure, and pulmonary circulation disorders.”

For their study, Gadgeel and colleagues examined data on 154,585 malignant cancer patients from 2015 to the present day with active cancer or a history of cancer treated at two major Midwestern health systems. Among the 39,790 patients with active disease, 388 were diagnosed with COVID-19 from February 15 through May 13, 2020. For the 114,795 patients with a history of cancer, 412 were diagnosed with COVID-19.

After adjusting for multiple variables, older age (70-99 years) and several comorbid conditions were significantly associated with increased mortality among COVID-19 patients with active cancer:

  • Older age: OR 3.4 (95% CI 1.3-9.3)
  • Diabetes: OR 3.0 (95% CI 1.5-6.0)
  • Renal failure: OR 2.3 (95% CI 1.1-4.9)
  • Pulmonary circulation disorders: OR 3.9 (95% CI 1.4-10.5)

In COVID-19 patients with a history of cancer, an increased risk for death was seen for those ages 60 to 69 years (OR 6.3, 95% CI 1.1-35.3), 70 to 99 years (OR 18.2, 95% CI 3.9-84.3), and those with a history of coagulopathy (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.2-7.6).

Despite Black patients consisting of less than 10% of the total study population, Gadgeel noted that 39.4% of COVID-19 diagnoses in the active cancer group were among Black patients, as were a third of diagnoses in the cancer survivor group.

And the proportion of COVID-19 patients with a median household income below $30,000 was also higher in COVID-19 patients in both groups, he added.

COVID-19 carried a far greater chance for hospitalization, both for patients with active cancer (81% vs 15% for those without COVID-19) as well as those with a history of cancer (68% vs 6%), with higher hospitalization rates among Black individuals and those with a median income below $30,000. Even younger COVID-19 patients (<50 years) saw high rates of hospitalization, at 79% for those with active cancer and 49% for those with a history of the disease.

While few cancer patients without COVID-19 required mechanical ventilation (≤1%) during the study period, 21% of patients with active disease and COVID-19 needed ventilation, as did 14% of those with a history of cancer, with higher rates among those with a history of coagulopathy (36% and 23%, respectively).

CCC-19 Data Triples in Size

Another study presented during the meeting again showed higher mortality rates for cancer patients with COVID-19, with lung cancer patients appearing to be especially vulnerable.

Among 2,749 cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19, 60% required hospitalization, 45% needed supplemental oxygen, 16% were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 12% needed mechanical ventilation, and 16% died within 30 days, reported Brian Rini, MD, of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

“When COVID first started there was a hypothesis that cancer patients could be at adverse outcome risk due to many factors,” said Rini, noting their typically “advanced age, presence of comorbidities, increased contact with the healthcare system, perhaps immune alterations due to their cancer and/or therapy, and decreased performance status.”

Rini was presenting an updated analysis of the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC-19), which now includes 114 sites (includes comprehensive cancer centers and community sites) collecting data on cancer patients and their outcomes with COVID-19.

Initial data from the consortium, of about 1,000 patients, were presented earlier this year at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting and published in The Lancet. The early analysis showed that use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat COVID-19 in cancer patients was associated with a nearly threefold greater risk of dying within 30 days.

Notably, in the new analysis, decreased all-cause mortality at 30 days was observed among the 57 patients treated with remdesivir alone, when compared to patients that received other investigational therapies for COVID-19, including hydroxychloroquine (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.41, 95% CI 0.17-0.99) and a trend toward lower mortality when compared to patients that received no other investigational therapies (aOR 0.76, 95% CI 0.31-1.85).

Cancer status was associated with a greater mortality risk. Compared to patients in remission, those with stable (aOR 1.47, 95% CI 1.07-2.02) or progressive disease (aOR 2.96, 95% CI 2.05-4.28) were both at increased risk of death at 30 days.

Mortality at 30 days reached 35% for patients with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 2 or higher, as compared to 4% (aOR 4.22, 95% CI 2.92-6.10).

“As you start to combine these adverse risk factors you get into really high mortality rates,” said Rini, with highest risk seen among intubated patients who were either 75 and older (64%) or had poor performance status (75%).

“There are several factors that are starting to emerge as relating to COVID-19 mortality in cancer patients,” said Rini during his presentation at the AACR COVID-19 and Cancer meeting. “Some are cancer-related, such as the status of their cancer and perhaps performance status, and others are perhaps unrelated, such as age or gender.”

Other factors that were significantly associated with higher mortality included older age, male sex, Black race, and being a current or former smoker, and having a hematologic malignancy.

Findings from the study were simultaneously published in Cancer Discovery.

“Importantly, there were some factors that did not reach statistical significance,” said Rini, including obesity.

“Patients who received recent cytotoxic chemotherapy or other types of anti-cancer therapy, or who had recent surgery were not in the present analysis of almost 3,000 patients at increased risk,” he continued. “I think this provides some reassurance that cancer care can and should continue for these patients.”

For specific cancer types, mortality was highest in lung cancer patients (26%), followed by those with lymphoma (22%), colorectal cancer (19%), plasma cell dyscrasias (19%), prostate cancer (18%), breast cancer (8%), and thyroid cancer (3%).

“The COVID mortality rate in cancer patients appears to be higher than the general population,” said Rini. “Lung cancer patients appear especially vulnerable by our data, as well as TERAVOLT‘s.”

 

 

 

Memorial Day: Why veterans are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic

https://theconversation.com/memorial-day-why-veterans-are-particularly-vulnerable-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic-139251?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20May%2022%202020%20-%201630015658&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20May%2022%202020%20-%201630015658+Version+A+CID_f23e0e73a678178a59d0287ef452fe33&utm_source=campaign_monitor_us&utm_term=Memorial%20Day%20Why%20veterans%20are%20particularly%20vulnerable%20to%20the%20coronavirus%20pandemic

Memorial Day: Why veterans are particularly vulnerable to the ...

As the nation takes a day to memorialize its military dead, those who are living are facing a deadly risk that has nothing to do with war or conflict: the coronavirus.

Different groups face different degrees of danger from the pandemic, from the elderly who are experiencing deadly outbreaks in nursing homes to communities of color with higher infection and death rates. Veterans are among the most hard-hit, with heightened health and economic threats from the pandemic. These veterans face homelessness, lack of health care, delays in receiving financial support and even death.

I have spent the past four years studying veterans with substance use and mental health disorders who are in the criminal justice system. This work revealed gaps in health care and financial support for veterans, even though they have the best publicly funded benefits in the country.

Here are eight ways the pandemic threatens veterans:

1. Age and other vulnerabilities

In 2017, veterans’ median age was 64, their average age was 58 and 91% were male. The largest group served in the Vietnam era, where 2.8 million veterans were exposed to Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant linked to cancer.

Younger veterans deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan were exposed to dust storms, oil fires and burn pits with numerous toxins, and perhaps as a consequence have high rates of asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Age and respiratory illnesses are both risk factors for COVID-19 mortality. As of May 22, there have been 12,979 people under Veterans Administration care with COVID-19, of whom 1,100 have died.

2. Dangerous residential facilities

Veterans needing end-of-life care, those with cognitive disabilities or those needing substance use treatment often live in crowded VA or state-funded residential facilities.

State-funded “soldiers’ homes” are notoriously starved for money and staff. The horrific situation at the soldiers’ home in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where more than 79 veteran residents have died from a COVID-19 outbreak, illustrates the risk facing the veterans in residential homes.

3. Benefits unfairly denied

When a person transitions from active military service to become a veteran, they receive a Certificate of Discharge or Release. This certificate provides information about the circumstances of the discharge or release. It includes characterizations such as “honorable,” “other than honorable,” “bad conduct” or “dishonorable.” These are crucial distinctions, because that status determines whether the Veterans Administration will give them benefits.

Research shows that some veterans with discharges that limit their benefits have PTSD symptoms, military sexual trauma or other behaviors related to military stress. Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have disproportionately more of these negative discharges than veterans from other eras, for reasons still unclear.

VA hospitals across the country are short-staffed and don’t have the resources they need to protect their workers. AP/Kathy Willens

The Veterans Administration frequently and perhaps unlawfully denies benefits to veterans with “other than honorable” discharges.

Many veterans have requested upgrades to their discharge status. There is a significant backlog of these upgrade requests, and the pandemic will add to it, further delaying access to health care and other benefits.

4. Diminished access to health care

Dental surgery, routine visits and elective surgeries at Veterans Administration medical centers have been postponed since mid-March. VA hospitals are understaffed – just before the pandemic, the VA reported 43,000 staff vacancies out of more than 400,000 health care staff positions. Access to health care will be even more difficult when those medical centers finally reopen because they may have far fewer workers than they need.

As of May 4, 2020, 2,250 VA health care workers have tested positive for COVID-19, and thousands of health care workers are under quarantine. The VA is asking doctors and nurses to come out of retirement to help already understaffed hospitals.

5. Mental health may get worse

An average of 20 veterans die by suicide every day. A national task force is currently addressing this scourge.

But many outpatient mental health programs are on hold or being held virtually. Some residential mental health facilities have closed.

Under these conditions, the suicide rate for veterans may grow. Suicide hotline calls by veterans were up by 12% on March 22, just a few weeks into the crisis.

6. Complications for homeless veterans and those in the justice system

An estimated 45,000 veterans are homeless on any given night, and 181,500 veterans are in prison or jail. Thousands more are under court-supervised substance use and mental health treatment in veterans treatment courtsMore than half of veterans involved with the justice system have either mental health problems or substance use disorders.

As residential facilities close to new participants, many veterans eligible to leave prison or jail have nowhere to go. They may stay incarcerated or become homeless.

Courts have moved online or ceased formal operations altogether, meaning no veteran charged with a crime can be referred to a treatment court. It is unclear whether those who were already participating in a treatment program will face delays graduating from court-supervised treatments.

Further, some veterans treatment courts still require participants to take drug tests. With COVID-19 circulating, those participants must put their health at risk to travel to licensed testing facilities.

As veterans’ facilities close to new participants, many veterans eligible to leave prison or jail have nowhere to go and may become homeless, like this Navy veteran in Los Angeles. Getty/Mario Tama

7. Disability benefits delayed

In the pandemic’s epicenter in New York, tens of thousands of veterans should have access to VA benefits because of their low income – but don’t, so far.

The pandemic has exacerbated existing delays in finding veterans in need, filing their paperwork and waiting for decisions. Ryan Foley, an attorney in New York’s Legal Assistance Group, a nonprofit legal services organization, noted in a personal communication that these benefits are worth “tens of millions of dollars to veterans and their families” in the midst of a health and economic disaster.

All 56 regional Veterans Administration offices are closed to encourage social distancing. Compensation and disability evaluations, which determine how much money veterans can get, are usually done in person. Now, they must be done electronically, via telehealth services in which the veteran communicates with a health care provider via computer.

But getting telehealth up and running is taking time, adding to the longstanding VA backlog. Currently, more than 100,000 veterans wait more than 125 days for a decision. (That is what the VA defines as a backlog – anything less than 125 days is not considered a delay on benefit claims.)

8. Economic catastrophe

There are 1.2 million veteran employees in the five industries most severely affected by the economic fallout of the coronavirus.

A disproportionately high number of post-9/11 veterans live in some of the hardest-hit communities that depend on these industries. Veterans returning from overseas will face a dire economic landscape, with far fewer opportunities to integrate into civilian life with financial security.

In addition, severely disabled veterans living off of VA benefits were initially required to file a tax return to get stimulus checks. This initial filing requirement delayed benefits for severely disabled veterans by at least a month. The IRS finally changed the requirements after public outcry, given that many older and severely disabled veterans do not have access to computers or the technological skills to file electronically.

There are many social groups to pay attention to, all with their own problems to face during the pandemic. With veterans, many of the problems they face now existed long before the coronavirus arrived on U.S. shores.

But with the challenges posed by the situation today, veterans who were already lacking adequate benefits and resources are now in deeper trouble, and it will be harder to answer their needs.

 

 

 

 

Temple will sell Fox Chase Cancer Center

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-transactions-and-valuation/temple-will-sell-fox-chase-cancer-center.html?origin=CFOE&utm_source=CFOE&utm_medium=email

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Philadelphia-based Temple University has signed a binding definitive agreement to sell the Fox Chase Cancer Center and its bone marrow transplant program to Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

The announcement comes after nearly a year of negotiations. Temple expects to complete the sale of the cancer center and bone marrow transplant program in the spring of 2020.

Temple also entered into an agreement to sell its membership interest in Health Partners Plan, a Philadelphia-based managed care program, to Jefferson. A closing date for the transaction has not yet been determined.

With the agreements in place, Temple and Jefferson are looking for other ways to collaborate. The two organizations are exploring a broad affiliation that would help them address social determinants of health, enhance education for students at both universities, collaborate on healthcare innovation, and implement a long-term oncology agreement that would expand access to resources for Temple residents, fellows and students.

“Healthcare is on the cusp of a revolution and it will require creative partnerships to have Philadelphia be a center of that transformation,” Stephen Klasko, MD, president of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health, said in a news release. “For Jefferson, our relationship with Temple will accelerate our mission of improving lives and reimagining health care and education to create unparalleled value.”

 

 

 

Moffitt Cancer Center CEO, center director step down; conflicts of interest cited

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-executive-moves/moffitt-cancer-center-ceo-center-director-step-down-conflicts-of-interest-cited.html?origin=CEOE&utm_source=CEOE&utm_medium=email

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Tampa, Fla.-based H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute on Dec. 18 accepted the resignations of President and CEO Alan F. List, MD, and Thomas Sellers, an executive vice president and center director at Moffitt, the cancer center announced.

In a news release, Moffitt said the resignations were due to violations of conflict-of-interest rules through the work the center director and CEO did in China. An internal compliance review led up to the resignations.

“Moffitt initiated an internal review of team members’ collaborations with research institutions in China after the National Institutes of Health warned all its grant recipients of foreign efforts to influence or compromise U.S. researchers,” Moffitt said. “Moffitt found several compliance violations that also prompted separation of four additional researchers.”

Timothy Adams, Moffitt’s board chairman, will become interim CEO and president.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that the compliance violations were primarily associated with cancer center employees’ personal involvement in China’s “Thousand Talents” program, which aims to recruit global researchers and academics. 

Mr. Adams said in the news release: “At Moffitt, we pride ourselves not only on our lifesaving research and world-class patient care, but also on transparency and integrity among all our employees. This was an unfortunate but necessary decision.”

“Going forward, this will not damage the future of our research or the care of our patients. We will continue to be careful stewards of the public money entrusted to us for cancer research. Moffitt is proud to have 7,000 of the finest medical professionals in the world fighting every day to treat and cure cancer. That is what mattered yesterday, and that is what will matter tomorrow,” he added.

Former Florida House Speaker H. Lee Moffitt, the cancer center’s namesake, also addressed the matter, saying in the news release: “This great institution did its job. We listened to the warnings from NIH, conducted a proactive review, and took strong action when it was needed.”

Dr. List, who previously was Moffitt’s executive vice president and physician-in-chief as well as chief of the malignant hematology division, could not immediately be reached by the Times for comment.

Moffitt continues to conduct a review, including examining its research and education partnership with China’s Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital. Moffitt said nothing indicates that the cancer center’s research was compromised or patient care affected.

 

Kaiser Permanente, American Cancer Society join blood test startup’s $160M funding round

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/kaiser-permanente-american-cancer-society-join-blood-test-startup-s-160m-funding-round.html?oly_enc_id=2893H2397267F7G

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South San Francisco-based biotech company Freenome announced the close of a $160 million funding round, with participation from Kaiser Permanente Ventures, the American Cancer Society’s BrightEdge Ventures and Alphabet’s GV and Verily Life Sciences.

The Series B financing will be used to further develop Freenome’s blood test for early cancer detection. The startup uses an artificial intelligence-powered multiomics platform to analyze routine blood draws for often-missed biomarkers of early-stage cancer. Development of the platform has so far centered on use in detecting colorectal cancer.

Beyond further refinement of the platform, Freenome will also conduct a validation study to be submitted to the FDA and CMS for review and, eventually, expand the test to detect other forms of cancer and disease, according to CEO Gabe Otte.

 

The 16 health systems to which Walmart sends employees for care

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/strategy/the-16-health-systems-where-walmart-sends-employees-for-care.html?origin=cfoe&utm_source=cfoe

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Through its Centers of Excellence program, Walmart partners with health systems that have demonstrated appropriate, high-quality care and outcomes for defined episodes of care.

The program bundles payments for the costs of certain procedures, meaning the $514 billion retailer bypasses insurers and works directly with health systems.

To determine where to refer associates for defined episodes of care, Walmart starts by examining health systems — not hospitals or individual physicians. Lisa Woods, senior director of U.S. health care at Walmart, and her team gather massive amounts of publicly available data on health systems. They then distribute requests for information and conduct detailed on-site visits, which involve determining precisely which physicians affiliated with the health system do and don’t participate in the COE.

Below is a listing of the 16 health systems and campuses to which Walmart will refer patients for defined episodes of care as of May 20.

Joint replacement

  1. Emory Healthcare (Atlanta)
  2. Johns Hopkins Medicine (Baltimore)
  3. Kaiser Permanente (Irvine, Calif.)
  4. Mayo Clinic (Jacksonville, Fla.)
  5. Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.)
  6. Mercy (Springfield, Mo.)
  7. Northeast Baptist Hospital (San Antonio)
  8. Ochsner (New Orleans)
  9. Scripps Mercy (San Diego)
  10. University Hospital (Cleveland)
  11. Virginia Mason (Seattle)

Spine

  1. Emory Healthcare (Atlanta)
  2. Geisinger (Danville, Pa.)
  3. Mayo Clinic (Jacksonville, Fla.)
  4. Mayo Clinic (Phoenix)
  5. Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.)
  6. Memorial Hermann (Houston)
  7. Mercy (Springfield, Mo.)
  8. Virginia Mason (Seattle)

Bariatric

  1. Geisinger (Danville, Pa.)
  2. Northeast Baptist Hospital (San Antonio)
  3. Northwest Medical Center (Springdale, Ark.)
  4. Scripps Mercy (San Diego)
  5. University Hospital (Cleveland)

Cancer and transplants

  1. Mayo Clinic (Jacksonville, Fla.)
  2. Mayo Clinic (Phoenix)
  3. Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.)

Cardiac

  1. Cleveland Clinic
  2. Geisinger (Danville, Pa.)
  3. Virginia Mason (Seattle)