We bring you this week’s healthcare and medtech trends, from Boston and beyond:
1. Supreme Court Hears Case on Affordable Care Act
This Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard the arguments for King v. Burwell, a case whose ruling could significantly impact healthcare reform. The case centers on the health exchanges that allow people to buy insurance policies under the new law. The Affordable Care Act says that subsidies are available to those who buy insurance policies in exchanges “established by the state.” The plaintiffs are arguing that these subsidies are legally given only to those who buy insurance from state-run exchanges, and that the language excludes those who bought policies on HealthCare.gov. The defendants say no way, arguing that “established by the state” can refer to exchanges at the state and federal level. Given that 37 states do not have their own state-wide exchanges, many Americans could potentially lose subsidies if the Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs. The ruling won’t be released until late June, but if the plaintiffs win, it will deliver a significant blow to the Affordable Care Act.
2. Allazo Health Collaborates on Patient Adherence Project
Healthcare IT company Allazo Health announced this week that they have a collaboration deal in the works with Pharmacy Quality Alliance. Allazo Health is known for using analytics to predict who is more or less likely to adhere to a treatment plan. Woody Eisenberg, a senior VP at Pharmacy Quality Alliance, commented on the partnership in a statement this week. “One objective of this research will be to identify ways in which the adherence metrics can be harmonized with other existing metrics,” he said. Low patient adherence leads to bad patient outcomes and can cost hospitals and patients eve more due to readmissions, both of which this collaboration seeks to ameliorate.
3. Dr. Richard Parker is Starting a Healthcare Consulting Firm
Yesterday was Dr. Richard Parker’s last day as Chief Medical Officer of BIDMC/BIDCO. According to an email sent by Dr. Parker yesterday, the high-ranking medical manager is starting a healthcare consulting company called Parker Healthcare Innovations. Parker’s departure underscores a recent trend of CMOs like Drs . Naomi Fried and Sachin Jain leaving academia.
4. Seniors Might Be Willing to Embrace Technology
A recent survey conducted by Accenture Health found that many seniors, who sometimes get a bad rep when it comes to electronic devices, believe in the importance of technology in healthcare. 70% of seniors surveyed said that technology is important for managing their health. 57% accessed their electronic health record outcome-related health data themselves, compared to only 46% of younger patients. Perhaps the most exciting part of the survey results was that the seniors themselves predicted that technology would be increasingly important for the future of healthcare.
Brendan Pease was MedTech Boston's first ever editorial and events intern. He is now a junior at Harvard University where he studies Molecular and Cellular Biology. He’s also the Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Harvard Science Review. Previously, he worked as a Market Intelligence intern at athenahealth and as a research assistant in the Goldberg Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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