Health systems continue to bet on AI
Plus: UHC gets into the loan business
Good morning and happy Friday. Welcome to the Friday Pulse Check from Fulcrum Strategies.
In the news:
More health systems betting on AI
Artificial intelligence continues to be the buzzword in the business and healthcare worlds. In fact, I made the AI art program make the picture above; I asked it to “draw artificial intelligence.” Anyway, ThedaCare in Neenah, Wisconsin has begun to roll out the Patient AI tool from Notable which uses the technology found in ChatGPT. Notable’s tool has been developed to check patients for co-morbidities, lapsed insurance cards, incorrect addresses, eligible clinical trials, and care gaps. Additionally, Philadelphia based Jefferson Health is rolling out a symptom checker based on AI that will integrate with Epic’s MyChart. ThedaCare and Jefferson Health are just two systems as of late to begin including artificial intelligence in their care plans with more likely coming soon. Read more from Cison PR Newswire and Becker’s Hospital Review.
Need a loan? Call UHC.
UnitedHealth Group’s (UNH 0.00%↑) Optum company launched Optum Pay Advance this week. The new product provides loans to physicians and healthcare organizations through Optum Bank. Applicants must be Optum Pay customers for at least two years. Read more from Becker’s Hospital CFO Report.
FTC puts 700 companies on watch for deceptive advertising
Of those, 670 of them were healthcare-related entities and their advertising for over-the-counter and homeopathic products as well as dietary supplements that have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Some of the companies include: AbbVie (ABBV 0.00%↑), Amazon (AMZN 0.00%↑), AstraZeneca (AZN 0.00%↑) , CVS Pharmacy (CVS 0.00%↑) , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 0.00%↑) , Pfizer (PFE 0.00%↑), Rite Aid (RAD 0.00%↑) , Walgreens (WBA 0.00%↑) , and Walmart (WMT 0.00%↑) . Now that a warning has been issued, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can seek financial penalties if changes aren’t made. Read more from the FTC.
Other articles of interest:
The FLATLINING Podcast
This week, in a rare occurrence, Ron and I had the opportunity to record our podcast face-to-face in our HQ in Garner, NC and we spent some time talking about the recent, dueling court rulings about the abortion drug mifepristone.
I want to stress that we did not comment on the morality or ethics of the drug; we know that physicians and healthcare workers are as diverse as the rest of America and thus have diverse opinions on the issue. Rather, we discussed whether or not a court has the ability to overrule an FDA decision.
Perhaps in some cases, a court may have that authority. I could envision a situation where a drug is dangerous and for some unknown reason the FDA hasn’t pulled it from the market, but there would have to be some damaged party suing the FDA for that to happen. In this case, the providers in Texas claim that the drug should be removed because there might be some sort of damage done in the future and that the approval process for drugs now is stricter than it was when mifepristone was approved.
Now, is there a case drugs should routinely undergo re-approval? Maybe? But you would still have to have a reason to do that.
Additionally, Ron and I agreed that the judge in Washington is also out of line by saying the drug should be available without its current restrictions in place, namely that it has certain warning labels that it will end a pregnancy or that it has to be taken under the supervision of a physician.
Near the end, Ron and I discussed a potential Medicare fee schedule increase for hospital inpatient services and an update to California’s decision to cut ties with Walgreens.
Ron and I will be discussing the No Surprises Act and what we might be able to expect from next week’s hearing.
The American Hospital Association shared in their podcast this week the story of an Illinois healthcare worker who is trying to get ambulances and other medical equipment to Ukraine as much of their medical infrastructure has been destroyed. Listen on AHA.org.
Live in Las Vegas
Next week, Ron and I will be at the EDPMA Solutions Summit presented by the Emergency Department Practice Management Association in Las Vegas, Nevada. I invite you to stop by booth #27 in the exhibit hall to meet myself and Ron Howrigon.
Ron will also be speaking on Thursday at 9:50am and his speech is titled “The Gathering Storm: The Uncertain Future of US Healthcare.”
My understanding is that registration is still open. Whether you’ve already registered or are registering now, we hope to see you at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
Have a good weekend,