Week-end short takes: Change Healthcare/UHG breach notification starting (updated); fundings for Pomelo Care, Marigold Health, Humata Health

Change Healthcare finally starting notifications, but not yet to consumers. A press statement today from Change/UnitedHealth Group confirmed that the long process of notifications has started with hospitals, insurers, and other customers. Individuals and practices will not be notified until late July. Change confirmed that the Blackcat/ALPHV cyberattack exposed names, addresses, health insurance information, and personal information like Social Security numbers, but at the individual level investigation isn’t finalized. At this point, they have reviewed over 90% of impacted files and have not seen signs that doctors’ charts or full medical histories were taken. Technically, UHG has made the 21 June deadline stated in the Hassan/Blackburn Senate letter [TTA 19 June] but not within the 60-day HHS-OCR window, which opens them up to an HHS fine. After paying a cyberransom of $22 million in bitcoin and uncounted (to us) millions in rebuilding systems, HHS’ fine may look like the lesser cost of doing business. The Change website also contains a very carefully worded ‘HIPAA Substitute Notice’ that reads like a consumer data breach notification. AP via Yahoo! News UK   One wonders if there’s a fair amount of ‘buyer’s regret’ going on at UHG in fighting so hard to buy Change. Due diligence would have helped over that year-plus.

Update: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced earlier this week that the provider financial assistance program will be ending 12 July as billing activities have largely resumed. It has advanced over $2.55 billion in payments to Medicare Part A providers and $717.2 million to Part B providers. FierceHealthcare

Fundings this week:

Virtual maternity support platform Pomelo Care scored $46 million in Series B funding. Lead investors are Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and First Round Capital with participation from Stripes, BoxGroup, Operator Partners, and SV Angel. Pomelo’s markets for virtual fertility, pregnancy and newborn care from preconception through a baby’s first year services are employers, health plans and providers. The company claims 3 million covered lives across 46 states through their commercial and Medicaid health plan partners. Release, Mobihealthnews

Telemental health provider Marigold Health now has an $11 million Series A. Marigold is structured as an anonymous social network where people with mental health and substance use conditions provide peer-based support. Lead investors for the Series A are Rock Health and Innospark Ventures. Additional participants are the Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA), Wavemaker360, Stand Together Ventures Lab, Epsilon Health Investors, Koa Labs, VNS Health Plan and KdT Ventures. Their substance use disorder (SUD) programs are currently available to 25,000 members in Delaware, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. The new funding will be used for expansion to at least four additional states by the end of 2025. Release (Marketwatch), Mobihealthnews

Humata Health, which has developed AI-based technology to automate prior authorizations for payers and providers, closed an unlettered $25 million funding round. Lead investors are Blue Venture Fund (representing the majority of BCBS plans) and LRVHealth (representing nearly 30 health systems and payers), with participation from Optum Ventures, .406 Ventures, Highmark Ventures, and VentureforGood. The funding will be used to broaden its generative AI technologies, expand their provider base, and begin to partner with payers and delegated entities. Humata bought the base prior authorization technology from Olive AI out of its bankruptcy [TTA 31 Oct 2023]. Its founding chairman and CEO is Jeremy Friese, MD, who had been Olive AI’s president for their payer business after selling Verata Health, also in the prior authorization automation area, to Olive.  Release, FierceHealthcare

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