This week's highlights: President Biden announced Friday he will nominate former Commissioner Robert Califf to lead the Food and Drug Administration, Johnson & Johnson said last week it will split into two public companies, & The UK is on its way to eliminating cervical cancer but the U.S. is lagging far behind.
Regulatory, Legislative, and Legal News
- Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the CMS announced it will apply an automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy to all clinicians participating as individuals in the Quality Payment Program’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System for the 2021 performance period.
- The Biden administration has repealed the Trump-era Medicare 'breakthrough' coverage policy because of concerns that the provisions did not provide adequate safeguards for beneficiaries.
- President Biden announced Friday he will nominate former Commissioner Robert Califf to lead the Food and Drug Administration, ending the long wait for a nominee.
- President Biden signed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package into law Monday afternoon, with $550 billion of new federal investments in America's infrastructure over five years, including money for roads, bridges, mass transit, rail, airports, ports and waterways. The package also includes a $65 billion investment in improving the nation's broadband infrastructure and invests tens of billions of dollars in improving the electric grid and water systems.
Financial and Investment News
- Doximity, a health tech company that claims to have more than 80% of doctors on its network, brought in $79 million in revenue in the second quarter, a 76% jump from the same period a year ago. Doximity also brought in $36.1 million in net income in its fiscal 2022 second quarter, which ended September 30th, versus $10 million during the same quarter a year ago, representing a 45% margin.
- Patient engagement technology vendor Oneview Healthcare seeks to raise $23 million to expand its sales, marketing, and product development efforts.
- AppliedVR, developer of virtual reality therapeutics, has scooped up $36 million in Series B funding months after it closed a Series A round. This series included investments from F-Prime Capital, JAZZ Venture Partners, Sway Ventures and SVB Ventures, bringing the company’s total raise to $71 million.
- Johnson & Johnson said last week it will split into two public companies: one for consumer health products and another for pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
New Products and Services
- LexisNexis Risk Solutions develops a Patient Centric Token to more effectively match de-identified patient records used for clinical research and patient care.
- Olive adds ClosedLoop to its marketplace for healthcare solutions. ClosedLoop is a data science platform that makes it easy for healthcare organizations to use AI to improve outcomes and reduce costs.
- Last week, Microsoft unexpectedly announced a “simpler” version of Windows, Windows 11 SE, in its latest effort to push aside Chromebooks and make Windows the operating system of elementary- and middle-school classrooms.
Privacy and Security
- The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued an advisory this week about critical vulnerabilities to software used in Siemens medical devices.
- Researchers at Tessian caution that people should be wary of scams as Black Friday approaches. The researchers found that 30% of people in the US reported receiving a phishing message around Black Friday in 2020. Attackers can leverage the ‘too-good-to-be-true’ deals people are expecting to receive, using them as lures to successfully deceive their victims.
- The Leapfrog Group released its fall 2021 Hospital Safety Grades this week, assigning "A" through "F" letter grades to 2,901 general acute-care hospitals in the U.S. for patient safety performance.
- At least 70% of health care providers still exchange medical information using a fax machine, reports Bloomberg Law. Reliance on faxes is particularly strong in sectors of the health care system where the adoption of electronic health records systems has lagged, such as skilled nursing facilities and behavioral health providers that didn’t receive federal funds for EHR adoption through the HITECH Act.
- Scientists have evidence that SARS-CoV-2 spreads explosively in white-tailed deer and that the virus is widespread in this deer population across the United States. Researchers say the findings could have vast implications for the long-term course of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The UK is on its way to eliminating cervical cancer but the U.S. is lagging far behind.