health system quality; Plus, an annual Covid vaccine

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RResearch has shown that hospital consolidation leads to higher costs for patients, but what about the quality of care? According to a study published this week in JAMA, while most doctors and hospitals are part of larger health systems in the US, quality is marginally higher compared to smaller, independent doctors and hospitals.

About 40% of doctors and 84% of hospital beds were part of 580 health systems in 2018, according to the study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the National Bureau of Economic Research, the health system dominating the market. Health systems scored slightly higher when it came to preventive care, clinical quality and patient experience, but the price paid was 12 to 26% higher for doctor services and 31% higher for hospital services. The authors write, “Small quality differences combined with large price differences suggest that health systems have not realized their potential to provide, on average, better care at the same or lower cost.”

One of the main arguments for health system consolidation has been economies of scale – larger systems can pool resources and increase purchasing power. But they can also be large enough that they can develop scale anomalies. “In the worst case, we may end up with a system that has lower quality and costs more than necessary, but we will never know because the only possible comparison will be between larger systems,” Lawrence Casalino, a Professor writes. in an editorial in Population Health Sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine (he was not involved in the research). Casalino argues that this is why we need more research and regulatory attention on health system (and health insurer) size and performance.


These venture giants launch a $350 million fund aimed at digitizing the life sciences

At first glance, it seems to be a rough time for venture capital, especially in the healthcare industry. But the founders of Dimension, a new fund focused on the intersection of life and computer science, found plenty of people to invest in their vision. Lux Capital alumni Zawain Dar and Adam Goulburn have teamed up with Clear Ventures alumnus Nan Li to raise $350 million, focusing on seed and Series A rounds. Read more here.


deals of the week

cancer treatment: Takeda announced that it is receiving an exclusive worldwide license (excluding China) for metastatic colorectal cancer treatment fruquinitinib from Chinese pharmaceutical company Hachmed. The drug, approved in China in 2018, will be submitted for regulatory approval in the US, European Union and Japan this year. The deal is worth $400 million upfront, with milestone payments of over $730 million in royalties.

Alopecia Treatment: Sun Pharma announced that it is acquiring Concert Pharmaceuticals for an upfront cash payment of approximately $576 million, plus contingent value to existing shareholders based on milestones achieved by Concert’s JAK inhibitor duraxolitinib, which currently Is in clinical development for the treatment of alopecia areata.

brain-computer implant: Precision Neuroscience Corporation announced that it has raised a $41 million Series B from investors including Draper Association, Alumni Ventures and others. Funding is geared toward development and regulatory review of its reversible brain-computer interface.


Noteworthy

Amazon launched a new prescription drug program this week that gives customers access to 50 generic drugs for $5 a month, as the online retailer tries to lure customers away from drug stores.

altitude fitness (formerly Anthem) reported $949 million in fourth-quarter profits, driven by Medicaid enrollment. Health insurer also acquired Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana for an undisclosed amount this week.

Lawsuits filed in North Carolina and West Virginia are asking the states to lift the ban abortion pillsArguing that the federal regulations allowing them should outweigh state restrictions.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback patrick mahomes Suffered a high ankle sprain during the playoff game with Jacksonville. Here’s what it means.

coronavirus update

On Thursday, an FDA committee will meet to discuss a proposal to change recommendations for COVID-19 vaccinations. The proposal is to drop the current vaccine recommendation of the initial two doses, replaced instead by a booster something more akin to seasonal flu shots, where adults receive the latest formulation of the vaccine once per year to combat the latest variant. Is. People who are elderly and immunocompromised will be advised to get two vaccines per year.

This new proposal comes as the country is already seeing a huge challenge in getting people to get booster shots for Covid. Only 15.3% of the country’s population has received the bivalent booster dose of Covid vaccines, and about 30% have not received any vaccine. Still, if people are getting Covid shots around the time of their flu shots, that alone could be a nice boost to the number, as more than 50% of Americans get their annual flu shot. Only that could make a difference, as COVID-19 is still causing significant harm to Americans: More than 4,000 people are being admitted to hospitals for COVID every day right now, according to the CDC, and in the past week nearly 4,000 people died of the disease.


Covid is still killing hundreds of Americans every day as pandemic enters fourth year

Vaccines, treatments and other public health measures have helped stop the spread of Covid and reduce deaths and hospitalizations, but as the US enters the pandemic’s fourth year, data shows hundreds of thousands of people are dying every day. Dying from the virus, an infectious Omicron branching out across the country and a hopeless appetite for updated booster shots. Read more here.

other coronavirus news

mRNA covid vaccines, such as the Pfizer and Moderna shots, are effective at preventing infection and severe disease and have a low rate of serious side effects little kidsAccording to a new study.

A new study has found that covid infection during pregnancy is associated with placental lesion From vascular malignancy, which can result in fetal growth restriction, rupture of pre-labor membranes, and an increased rate of miscarriage.

Conspiracy theories about Covid-19 vaccines have been weak public healthAnd also threaten to undermine responses to future pandemics.

Abbott Laboratories The company reported $1 billion in fourth-quarter profit despite “expecting a year-over-year decline in sales related to Covid-19 testing,” it said.

across forbes

A killer targeted expectant mothers in a private Facebook group, the feds said. Its operators claim that no one told them.

TikTok’s secret ‘heating’ button can make anyone go viral

America’s Most Generous Givers 2023: The Nation’s 25 Top Philanthropists

what else are we studying

The medicine was meant to save the lives of the children. Instead, they’re dying (Bureau of Investigative Journalism/Stat)

Trying to Stop COVID Long Before It Starts (The Atlantic)

How To Be An 18 Year Old For Only $2 Million A Year (Bloomberg)

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