Mid-week news roundup: US offers $10M for BlackCat/ALPHV info; most Change systems still down; Risant closes Geisinger buy; SureScripts exploring sale; DarioHealth 2023 revenue -23%; Amazon Pharmacy same-day delivery NYC and LA

US State Department pays well for Big Breach information. Interestingly, this US agency through the Diplomatic Security Service has a special program, Rewards for Justice (RFJ), for cyberattacks that are deemed “malicious cyber activities against U.S. critical infrastructure in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)”. The activities of the now-disappeared (ha ha!) BlackCat/ALPHV  ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) group, identified on 29 February as the culprits in the massive Change Healthcare/Optum system takedown, are now listed as qualifying for a reward, presumably as disruptive to US healthcare and not just UnitedHealth Group. Contact Rewards for Justice via the Tor-based tips-reporting channel at: he5dybnt7sr6cm32xt77pazmtm65flqy6irivtflruqfc5ep7eiodiad.onion (Tor browser required). That is, if you dare! Rewards for Justice release, Becker’s

Six weeks later, most Change services are still X-d on the Optum Solution Status page. A quick rundown of the hundred or so programs that Change provides to enterprises has a long line of Xs with some triangles containing ! (partial outage) or yellow boxes (degraded performance). The green checkmarks are clustered in high-priority areas such as pharmacy solutions and clinical decision support. Otherwise, they are scattered across categories. The summary on the top of page (dropdown) lists workarounds for specific programs such as batch processing and transitioning over to Optum systems unaffected by the attack. This Editor bets that most of these Change legacy systems will come back only partially if at all–many will be abandoned and replaced by Optum systems. Hat tip to HIStalk 29 March

Risant Health, the non-profit community hospital system founded by but separate from Kaiser Permanente, has closed its acquisition of Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health as of 2 April.  Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD, currently Geisinger’s president and CEO, will move to CEO of Risant Health, with Terry Gilliland, MD, replacing him at Geisinger. The Risant plan announced last April is that Kaiser will fund $5 billion to Risant, which will acquire now four or five health systems over the next four to five years. The health systems will retain their names and operational areas. The purpose of Risant is to bring community systems it acquires greater access to capital, technology, and resources for facility improvements, innovation, and investment in patient care. Keeping an eye on 109-year-old Geisinger. Risant release

Mega e-prescription system Surescripts is exploring a sale. Silicon Valley investment bank TripleTree is handling the search for buyers. Currently, Surescripts is owned 50% by CVS Caremark and Cigna-owned Express Scripts, with two trade groups, the National Association of Community Pharmacies and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, owning the other 50%. It isn’t disclosed in the Business Insider ‘reveal’ what group(s) is interested in selling all or part of its ownership. Since Surescripts holds 95% of the e-prescribing market, any buyer or investor would need be mega flush to buy into it. 

DarioHealth didn’t have a great 2023. Net revenue was down 23% versus 2022: $20.4 million to the prior year’s $27.7 million. The chronic condition management company managed to narrow its 2023 net loss of $59.4 million from $62.2 million in 2022. A lot of the problems seemed to center on their Q4, with net revenue that declined to $3.6 million from $6.8 million in Q4 2022 and a net loss that increased to $14.3 million from $12.6 million in Q4 2022.  Dario’s gross profits for 2023 were down 38% to $6 million, a decrease of 38% versus 2022’s $9.7 million. The changing financial picture was attributed to a new private label platform with Aetna launching in 2024, changing from a B2C to a B2B2C model, and February’s “transformational acquisition” of Twill (Happify) in telemental health. As this Editor noted then, it was a feat of funding legerdemain that rivaled a Frank Lorenzo deregulation-era airline acquisition. Their information around 2023 earnings isn’t much different. Dario provides a combined app and in-person approach to musculoskeletal (MSK) therapy, diabetes (including GLP-1 drugs), hypertension, weight management, and behavioral health. Mobihealthnews, Dario release

And speaking of pharmacy, Amazon Pharmacy expanded same-day medication-delivery offerings to NYC residents and the greater Los Angeles area. This adds to same-day prescription delivery available in Phoenix, Austin, Seattle, Indianapolis, Miami, and Texas, including free drone delivery in College Station. How it works: Amazon has small facilities and pharmacists near the areas, ready to fill and deliver medications in minutes using genAI and machine learning tools. Delivery in NYC/Manhattan will be by bike and in LA, electric vans or other commercial vehicles. (Editor’s note: bike delivery in the outer boroughs is like LA–impractical.) Amazon Prime members have additional benefits. Competition here are online companies like Mark Cuban Cost Plus and GoodRx’s prescription service. But perhaps it’s a good time to sell Surescripts? Mobihealthnews

News and event roundup: Amazon PillPack, Humana joins CTA, NH’s telemedicine go, Fitbit Lives Healthy in Singapore, supporting Helsinki’s older adults, events

Now that we are past the unofficial end of summer, it’s time to spin that lasso and rope us some news.

Amazon’s PillPack loses a critical data partner. Electronic prescriptions clearinghouse Surescripts terminated their data contract with ReMy Health, which supplied PillPack with information on patients’ prescriptions. Surescripts found fraud in several areas of their relationship with ReMy Health including medication history, drug pricing, and insurance billing. Now PillPack has to obtain it the old-fashioned way–by asking the patient. This can lead to errors and inaccuracies in things like dosages and whether a drug is brand-name or generic. Now PillPack, in the lurch, is seeking a direct relationship with Surescripts. Seeking Alpha, CNBC

Health plan Humana is the first payer to join the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Humana has been building up his data analytics and digital health capabilities with new ‘studios’ in Boston and hiring USAA’s CTO.  It’s piloting an app for Medicare Advantage patients to connect them with pharmacists and medication management via Aspen RxHealth plus working on a virtual digital primary model with telemedicine provider Doctor on Demand. Fierce Healthcare

New Hampshire is joining the telemedicine reimbursement bandwagon, with its legislature and Gov. Sununu approving primary care providers and pediatricians to bill Medicaid and private insurance for telemedicine visits starting in January 2020. This also ties into rural telehealth. AP, Mobihealthnews

Internationally….Fitbit is partnering with Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) for the Live Healthy SG behavioral change program, based on the Fitbit Premium program, starting in late October. Mobihealthnews A-P   In Finland, Digital Service Center Helsinki is creating digital tools and virtual care systems to enable older adults to safely and independently live at home, including socialization to prevent loneliness. It’s a significant challenge as over 22 percent of Finland’s population is over 65. Mobihealthnews Europe-UK


The 9th International Digital Public Health Conference series (#DPH2019), 20-23 November, Marseille, France. This conference is billed as the digital health partner of the 12th European Public Health Conference and brings together the areas of public health, computer and data science, medtech, and NGOs. Conference information here.

Aging 2.0 New York Global Innovation Showcase 4 December, NYC. One of a series of global Aging 2.o events, startups will present aging-focused innovations. Want to pitch? It’s still open–apply here. Register to attend here. Additional information on this and on CREATE’s Design for Older Adults Workshop on 21-22 October at Weill Cornell is here.


HIMSS’ last full day highlights company partnerships

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/himss_chicago_2015-588×337.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]It’s almost time to Say Goodbye to Sinatra’s ‘My Kind of Town’, but there’s still news: Samsung+Partners Healthcare, IMS Health, AliveCor, Interoperability≠Humana, Panasonic+Cisco

  • Samsung and Partners HealthCare announced a direct-to-mobile partnership to develop chronic care management mobile software that monitors vital signs such as blood pressure, blood glucose and weight, as well as delivers mobile patient engagement, medication adherence and wellness self-management. Clinical trial is scheduled for June. Partners has always been a pioneer in the mHealth area, but playing with Samsung, Partners is flying at a slightly higher level than with Wellocracy and certainly the late Healthrageous. Partners release, Mobihealthnews (more…)

Verizon’s ‘white label’ telemedicine service debuts

Verizon is evidently sticking with its strategy of enterprise marketing when it comes to digital health. The Verizon Virtual Visits service released last week enables a video chat with a clinician via smartphone app (3G/4G OK as well as Wi-Fi; the full mobile enablement Verizon states as a key differentiator versus competitors such as American Well, MDLive and Teladoc) or alternatively, web portal. Prior to the average 30 minute chat, the service verifies eligibility and co-pay information, presents patients’ self-reported histories, symptoms, medication allergies and other information, then collects the co-pay; at the close if needed, an e-prescription via SureScripts is sent to the patient’s pharmacies. Verizon presents this as as a ‘white label’ service for groups such as health systems, insurers and health plans who will determine their unique co-pay and clinician mix. Clinicians can be contracted through Verizon’s provider network or, in a health system, their own or an in-house/contract mix. Neither clients nor third-party medical provider(s) have been announced yet, but VentureBeat states that the clients will be publicized in the next few months, which is deflating. Information Week, The IHCC. Verizon release.