This week’s highlights: The HHS has extended the COVID-19 public health emergency until April 11th & MEDITECH is hosting the 2023 Expanse Winter Showcase on February 1st as a virtual event.
Regulatory, Legislative, and Legal News
- A federal judge ordered the Health and Human Services Department to create a plan to correct underpayments made to 340B hospitals under a regulations the Supreme Court ruled unlawful.
- The Joint Commission announced via a press release that it is elevating Leadership (LD) Standard LD.04.03.08, which addresses healthcare disparities as a quality and safety priority, to a new National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG). The change will take effect as of July 1st.
- The HHS has extended the COVID-19 public health emergency until April 11th. The 12th and latest renewal comes as the U.S. faces a double-digit increase in hospitalizations driven by new highly transmissible omicron strains.
- The CDC and FDA announced on Friday that their surveillance system flagged a possible link between the new Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent Covid-19 vaccine and strokes in people aged 65 and over, but said they were continuing to recommend the shots.
Financial and Investment News
- Teladoc released revised quarterly guidance narrowing its revenue range to an estimate between $633 million and $640 million for the fourth quarter and to $2.403 billion to $2.41 billion for 2022. The company said it expected about $1 billion of its year-end revenue estimate to come from its BetterHelp mental health app, according to a filing with the SEC.
- SailPoint Technologies, a leader in enterprise identity security, announced it has acquired SecZetta, a leading provider of third-party identity risk solutions and plans to fully integrate the SecZetta technology into its Identity Security Cloud platform.
- Credit ratings for the nation’s nonprofit hospitals will be under threat this year due to investment losses and rising expenses eating into margins, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings. Operating margins have been hit hard over the past year due to cost inflation, particularly staffing, and weaker liquidity will mean operations may have even less flexibility to address higher expenses.
New Products and Services
- Northwell Health releases a pregnancy chatbot for its patients that offers education and triage with escalation.
- Help Texts has launched a text-based support solution for healthcare workers. The subscription-based service sends semi-customized supportive texts based on what users input about their experiences when signing up and without initiation.
- Lone Star Circle of Care Austin (TX) pilots an AI-powered nutritional assessment, guidance, and goal-setting platform developed by researchers at the University of Texas and Dell Medical School. Patients input their nutritional data into the Nutri tool, which processes and compares it to dietary guidelines, and then presents it and corresponding nutritional goals via interface for use during appointments.
Privacy and Security
- A majority of organizations experienced steady or increasing levels of physical security incidents in 2022 according to a report from Pro-Vigil, but another report from Delinea found that ransomware attacks decreased last year.
- CISA published an advisory to inform organizations about five vulnerabilities identified by a researcher at industrial cybersecurity firm Otorio in InHand’s InRouter302 and InRouter615 cellular routers.
- Thousands of Norton LifeLock customers had their accounts compromised in recent weeks, potentially allowing criminal hackers access to customer password managers, the company recently revealed.
- AdvancedMD announced that it has received 21st Century Cures Act Certification from the ONC.
- DrFirst promotes G. Cameron Deemer to CEO. He replaces founder James Chen, MS, who moves to executive chairman of the board. The company also promotes Anthony Brooke to chief technology and innovation officer.
- About 7,000 New York City nurses have ended their strike after reaching tentative contracts Thursday.
- MEDITECH is hosting the 2023 Expanse Winter Showcase on February 1st as a virtual event.