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December 13, 2019

Market Research

  • Majority of U.S. med students are women, new data shows
  • Sponsored

  • Industry Panel Announced for 2020 PWH Leadership Summit
  • From The Journal of Healthcare Contracting

  • Non-acute care: With challenges come opportunities
  • Distributor News

  • McKesson selected by Department of Veterans Affairs as prime pharmaceutical provider
  • Tips for Greater Success

  • Make the Most of the Season
  • Government News

  • FCC simplifies evaluations of certain medical devices
  • Senate confirms Dr. Stephen Hahn as FDA commissioner
  • Federal prosecutors charge former NFL players with defrauding healthcare program
  • Hospital and IDN News

  • Merger brewing between four Chicago-area hospitals
  • Wake Forest Baptist Health, Verily to help older adults remain independent
  • The Blood Connection expands to South Carolina hospital system
  • State of emergency declared in Georgia county after hospital flooding
  • Trinity Health announces executive leadership appointments
  • Community Health Systems' CFO to retire at year end, successor named
  • Healthcare IT News

  • LeanTaaS secures $40M from Goldman Sachs
  • GPO News

  • Premier Inc. podcast: "Inside Out" with Michael J. Alkire and Pietro Satriano
  • News of the Weird

  • Lithuanian airport makes Christmas tree from confiscated items
  • Alaska man untangles Christmas lights from moose's nose
  • Market Research
    Majority of U.S. med students are women, new data shows
     Women comprise the majority of enrolled U.S. medical students for the first time, according to 2019 data released by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges). This progress builds on the milestone reached in 2017, when, for the first time, women comprised the majority of first-year medical students.
    • The proportion of women students has been rising over recent years, from 46.9% in 2015 to 49.5% in 2018.
    • In 2019, women comprise 50.5% of all medical school students.
    • The number of applicants to medical schools rose by 1.1% from 2018 to 2019, to a record 53,371, and the number of matriculants (new enrollees) grew by 1.1%, to 21,869.
    • Across applicants and matriculants, the number of women increased while the number of men declined. 
    Read more findings from the study here.
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    Sponsored
    Industry Panel Announced for 2020 PWH Leadership Summit
    Professional Women in Healthcare (PWH) (Alexandria, VA) announces the leadership panel for the 2020 PWH Leadership Summit. John Pritchard, Share Moving Media, will be moderating this year’s industry panel featuring Elizabeth Day-Curi, Georgia-Pacific, Sue Hulsmeyer, Midmark Corporation, Cris Pellegrino, Metrex Research, LLC, and Margaret Steele, Vizient. Engage with industry leaders as they discuss executive presence, taking advantage of impactful career opportunities and learning the nuances of managing up. Register to attend the PWH Leadership Summit in Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 3–5, 2020 – the industry’s premier leadership education & networking event. Early bird registration ends December 31, 2019. For more information and to register, visit mypwh.org/leadership-summit-overview/.
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    From The Journal of Healthcare Contracting
    Non-acute care: With challenges come opportunities
    McKesson Medical-Surgical tackles the challenges of servicing the complicated and fragmented healthcare industry in its article in the December 2019 edition of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting (JHC).

    “Non-acute care: With challenges come opportunities,” discusses how it’s never been more important to bring order and efficiency to the healthcare sector. According to The Advisory Board Company Health Care Industry Trends, 2017, 95% of patient visits are now estimated to occur in the non-hospital setting. Health systems are tackling big issues like how best to implement new standards like USP <800>, re-examine self-distribution practices, and looking at ways the supply chain can impact patient outcomes through creating a lab strategy. Greg Colizzi, VP, marketing, health systems, McKesson, moderated a panel of healthcare leaders tackling these topics at a recent Supply Chain Leadership Forum in Kansas City, MO, hosted by McKesson.

    Read the article here.
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    Distributor News
    McKesson selected by Department of Veterans Affairs as prime pharmaceutical provider
     McKesson Corporation was selected by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which runs the nation’s largest integrated healthcare system, to continue as the prime pharmaceutical supplier for the agency. Under the new agreement, which takes effect in Aug. 2020, McKesson will supply all of the VA's medical centers and outpatient clinics, as well as the VA's Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacies (CMOPs). The initial two-year contract includes options for up to three, two-year extensions. As part of the contract award, McKesson will continue to supply pharmaceuticals to more than 750 locations, including more than 270 medical centers, as well as the VA's seven CMOPs. Learn more here.
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    Tips for Greater Success
    Make the Most of the Season
     In this week’s Tips for Greater Success, Dan Nielsen, founder of AmericasHealthcareLeaders.com and NIHCL.com, writes, "It’s that time of year again! Most of you are already planning for the upcoming Christmas holiday. Festive wreaths are placed on doors, trees are popping up in people’s houses, and shimmering lights are being placed around town. In the hustle and bustle of the season it is easy to lose track of what’s important…." (Continue reading)
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    Government News
    FCC simplifies evaluations of certain medical devices
    The FCC issued a decision this month modifying its radio frequency (RF) safety rules for certain medical devices. The following items relate to wireless medical devices:
    • No Changes to the Actual Exposure Limits: Announced months earlier, based on input from the safety agencies, the FCC determined that no changes to the allowable exposure limits to RF emissions from wireless devices are necessary. That is, the U.S. position is that the current limits, which differ from some international standards, are sufficient to protect human health. Therefore, manufacturers need not make changes to current designs to lower RF emissions or to otherwise decrease user or patient exposure.
    • Modification to Exemption Categories: To ensure that similar devices operating on similar frequency bands are treated in the same way, the FCC has established three classes of devices that can be exempt from the RF testing rules. Each class of device is subject to a calculation that considers both power level and the separation distance of the RF energy source from humans. These new rules offer a broader exemption from RF testing for certain wireless devices, specifically those that operate at low power levels (no more than 1 mW average power or lower). This means that some low-power wireless medical devices that previously were subject to testing may be exempt. Read more here
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    Senate confirms Dr. Stephen Hahn as FDA commissioner

               Dr. Stephen Hahn
     The Senate on Thursday voted 72 to 18 to confirm Dr. Stephen Hahn as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Hahn, chief medical executive at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, has no previous political experience. He becomes the fourth chief of the agency this year. He was nominated by President Trump to replace Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who left the post in the spring. Since then, the FDA has been run by two acting commissioners. Read more about Hahn and the appointment here.
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    Federal prosecutors charge former NFL players with defrauding healthcare program
    Federal prosecutors are charging 10 former NFL players accused of defrauding the league’s healthcare program, resulting in payouts totaling $3.4 million for medical equipment they allegedly never purchased. Authorities arrested four former players this week and six agreed to surrender to custody. The players are accused of filing false claims to the league healthcare program for reimbursement for medical equipment that they never purchased. Some of the devices listed in claims included “hyperbaric oxygen chambers, cryotherapy machines, ultrasound machines designed for use by a doctor’s office to conduct women’s health examinations and electromagnetic therapy devices designed for use on horses.” Read more here.
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    Hospital and IDN News
    Merger brewing between four Chicago-area hospitals
     At least four Chicago-area hospitals – Advocate Trinity HospitalMercy Hospital & Medical CenterSouth Shore Hospital, and St. Bernard Hospital – are in talks with the state of Illinois to create a single system with one leadership team that includes some combination of inpatient, outpatient and emergency care, as well as skilled nursing, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. Separately, a private healthcare consultancy has agreed to buy recently shuttered MetroSouth Medical Center as the first step in a hoped-for combination with other so-called safety-net hospitals. The goal of both proposals is to “bolster the precarious finances of hospitals that treat large numbers of uninsured and low-income patients on Medicaid,” Crain’s reported. Talks are at an early stage and may not lead to a transaction. The state-led initiative is being driven by the Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services, which oversees Medicaid.
    Read more about the potential merger here.
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    Wake Forest Baptist Health, Verily to help older adults remain independent
     Wake Forest Baptist Health (Winston-Salem, NC) and its Center for Healthcare Innovation has partnered with Verily, an Alphabet company, to improve the health and wellness of older adults and help them remain independent at home. The research partnership will test interventions that promote physical and cognitive independence and facilitate greater involvement of older adults in decisions related to their health and wellness preferences. All interventions tested with patients will require Wake Forest Baptist’s Internal Review Board approval. Read more here.
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    The Blood Connection expands to South Carolina hospital system
     The Blood Connection (Greenville, SC), a community blood center, has become the exclusive blood provider for McLeod Health (Florence, SC). McLeod joins other healthcare systems like Vidant Health, WakeMed, UNC REX Healthcare, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Mission Health and Prisma Health that use The Blood Connection, which is the exclusive provider for the entire Upstate of South Carolina and a large portion of North Carolina. The Blood Connection is a full-service blood center, including testing, manufacturing, distribution and reference lab services. Read more here.
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    State of emergency declared in Georgia county after hospital flooding
    Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a State of Emergency for Fulton County, GA, after flooding damaged 200 rooms at Grady Memorial Hospital. Emergency patients have been diverted to nearby hospitals since last Saturday when a two-foot water pipe burst and flooded several floors of the building. The declaration frees up state resources to assist Grady Memorial Hospital. The executive order reads, “Due to the increased patient load, other metropolitan Atlanta hospital systems are now at a capacity and implementing or contemplating implementation of diversion protocols.” Read more here.
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    Trinity Health announces executive leadership appointments
     Trinity Health (Livonia, MI) announced executive leadership changes “to help drive the organization's operations and growth strategies.” 
    Ben Carter, EVP and CFO, has been promoted to COO, effective January 1. As COO, Carter will be responsible for leading all health ministries and other operational areas. Trinity Health regional CEOs will report to him, as well as the executive vice presidents for continuing care and administrative services, Trinity Health's system chief information/innovation officer and the chief experience officer. 
    Julie Spencer Washington will become SVP and chief marketing and communications officer, effective January 13. Most recently, Washington was chief marketing officer for Champion Petfoods, where she drove revenue growth and profitability, expanded global and e-commerce distribution and launched the company’s first and award-winning brand campaigns. 
    Rob Casalou, president and CEO of Trinity Health's Michigan Region, will take on new, broader responsibilities. Starting January 1, his role will include leadership of regional health ministries in Athens and Fort Lauderdale. 
    More information about the leadership changes can be found here.
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    Community Health Systems' CFO to retire at year end, successor named

              Kevin Hammons
     Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS) (Franklin, TN) announced that Thomas J. Aaron, EVP and CFO, will retire from his executive management position on December 31, 2019. Aaron joined CHS in November 2016 as SVP of finance and has served as the company’s CFO since May 2017. Upon his retirement, Aaron is expected to enter into a two-year consulting agreement with the company, under which he will advise the company’s management team on its margin improvement programs. In addition, Aaron has recently joined the board of directors of a publicly traded company. Kevin Hammons, who is currently SVP, assistant CFO and treasurer, will be appointed EVP and CFO immediately following Aaron’s retirement, effective January 1, 2020. Hammons joined Community Health Systems in 1997 and has held numerous financial leadership roles, including overseeing accounting and financial reporting, SEC reporting, budgeting, design and implementation of financial systems and processes, capital market transactions, corporate finance and treasury management functions, and the company’s divestiture program. Learn more here.
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    Healthcare IT News
    LeanTaaS secures $40M from Goldman Sachs
    LeanTaaS, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA), a software company that aims to help hospitals and health systems through predictive and prescriptive analytics, has closed a $40 million Series C3 round of funding from Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division. The investment is in addition to the $61 million previously invested by Insight Partners during the three previous funding rounds beginning in November 2017. LeanTaaS uses lean principles, machine learning and predictive analytics for operational processes for patient access, wait times, staff satisfaction, healthcare delivery costs and operational performance. Read more here.
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    GPO News
    Premier Inc. podcast: "Inside Out" with Michael J. Alkire and Pietro Satriano
     Premier, Inc. (Charrlotte, NC) released a podcast episode in which Premier President Michael Alkire and US Foods President/CEO Pietro Satriano discuss what makes the 20-plus-year strategic partnership between the companies so successful. Pietro shares insights on serving healthcare and improving health outcomes, and how Premier has helped make US Foods a better food provider over time. Listen to the discussion here.
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    News of the Weird
    Lithuanian airport makes Christmas tree from confiscated items
     An airport in Lithuania has assembled a Christmas tree out of confiscated items. Lithuanian Airports said the tree at Vilnius Airport was made from prohibited items that were seized by security officers during the screening process. The tree is made up of hundreds of pairs of scissors, as well as knives, box cutters, lighters and other goods deemed too dangerous to allow on planes.
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    Alaska man untangles Christmas lights from moose's nose
    An Alaska man freed a moose from stringed Christmas lights wrapped around its nose. The man noticed the moose on his Ring doorbell camera. The captured footage goes on to show the man free the moose by slowly reaching out, taking hold of the lights, leading the moose to pull its head back and come free from the stringed lights. Read more here and see the video.
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