HLTH22 news flash—DexCare ramps up its partnership with Kaiser Permanente; Babylon teams with Fitbit for health monitoring

UPDATED at 3:30 p.m. ET

DexCare, a Providence Health software platform spinout, said it has expanded upon its pilot partnership with Kaiser Permanente to soon begin handling its online clinic bookings across all 50 states. 

DexCare's platform helps hospitals and health system's orchestrate demand for services and scheduling. Either as a backend API or a customer-facing tool, it navigates patients to care options meeting their criteria and books in-person or virtual appointments in real time. 

Kaiser, which was already an investor in the company, has expanded its partnership to have DexCare handle all on-demand virtual care scheduling, load balancing across modality settings and "phone care" in states where the system has credentialed providers but no facilities, DexCare CEO and cofounder Derek Streat told Fierce Healthcare. 

Additionally, DexCare will be handling all of Kaiser's clinic bookings "imminently," Streat said while hinting at more likely expansions in the coming months.

"It's kind of a complete revamp of access for Kaiser, and the reason they do it is because they've got immense resources in the health system and need to manage those resources in a very efficient way," Streat said. "That's good for the patients, providers and health system."

DexCare has provider partners ranging from big names like Mass General Brigham to smaller academic systems and, through its deployments, can currently be accessed by 20% to 25% of the U.S. population, Streat said.

The CEO said his company's tools can deliver a 40% increase in physician capacity by identifying dead time between commitments and scheduling appointments more efficiently. Its current deployments have also been shown to bring a net 30% increase in new patients who are often commercially insured and distribute workloads across multiple regions to avoid backups.

As many providers look to offset rising costs via administrative efficiency, he said his company has been fielding increased interest from potential customers interested in automating these processes. 

"Even with the financial environment of health systems, we have not seen [demand] tail off, I would say we've seen it accelerate," Streat said.

"What we found is that because you're in a situation where finances are tougher, more health systems are in recovery mode. That's when you've got to double down on growth and sustainability within the organization. If you don't it could be a race to the bottom, right? If you're not doing it, some other, better-financed competitor is.

"I don't want to be cavalier about it, but I think you're gonna see health systems increasingly move toward these digital technologies that we've all been talking about for a decade ... now is truly the time to invest in and utilize these technologies."

UPDATED at 8 p.m. ET

LAS VEGAS—Digital health company Babylon is teaming up with Google's Fitbit to provide devices to a subset of members for care coordination and proactive health management.

Eligible members in select markets will be able to use Fitbit’s health and wellness features to track their activity levels, sleep patterns and other health metrics. Babylon care teams will have access to the health data care team to glean insights into members’ overall health and develop personalized care plans. The partnership is designed to encourage lifestyle behavior changes to help with condition management and help improve outcomes, the companies said.

"By distributing these devices to eligible populations, we're giving patients access to tools that will provide an engaging and enjoyable way to better engage in their own health,” said Darshak Sanghavi, Babylon Global Chief Medical Officer, in a statement. “We’re providing at-risk and traditionally underserved populations, like those living with diabetes in rural areas, with helpful monitoring and the partnership of an industry-leading digital platform and human care team to help them manage their health via our 24/7 care. We're excited to incorporate Fitbits so that we can create a digital-first, proactive care experience in near real-time for our members – another example of our mission to provide affordable and accessible care.”

UPDATED at 1:40 p.m. ET

Virtual care company Included Health has launched All-Included Care. The new offering will provide members with virtual and in-person care for all communities alongside a personal care team for guidance and advocacy.

“Better member experiences build trust that drives better engagement and clinical outcomes," Ami Parekh, M.D., chief health officer of Included Health, said in a press release. "We are proud to be the first and only company that has truly integrated virtual care with care navigation to deliver healthcare that’s easy to understand, navigate, use, and like.”

All-Included Care will be accessible through an app with live 24/7 concierge support, where members can get financial, clinical and insurance benefits guidance. The coordinated care team will be led by the member's primary care physician with insights into the patient care journey, facilitated by a shared EHR and care navigation tools. 

UPDATED at 4:45 p.m. ET

Parsley Health, a primary care provider that integrates technology, nutrition, wellness and preventive care, is expanding to the enterprise market to service payers, providers and self-insured employers.

This year, the startup signed contracts with numerous tier-one provider systems, health plans, self-insured employers, national pharmacy benefit managers and top women's health benefits providers, Robin Berzin, M.D., founder and CEO of Parsley Health, announced at the HLTH 2022 conference on Monday.

Interest from enterprise has been spurred by a recognition from employers, plans and provider systems that today's women face a significant primary care gap and lack a medical home for their complex health needs, according to the company. Studies show 20% of women do not have a primary care provider. Additionally, more than 20% of women rely on their gynecologist, a specialist, for their primary care needs. And even when women do have PCP access, many women have unique care needs that are not adequately supported by a conventional PCP model.

"Women drive 80% of healthcare spending decisions in the US. It's astounding that the core customer of healthcare has not had a primary care service designed for her, by her, until now," Berzin said in a statement. "In particular, women with health complexities account for 40% or more of the female workforce population, yet the reality is that no one is managing her health proactively, engaging her in preventive services, or tackling the root-cause of her often addressable conditions. That is why we created Parsley Health."

Through independent third-party actuarial analysis, Parsley has shown that it drives a 2X ROI through significantly reducing the need for specialists and chronic medications in harder-to-treat, chronic and high-risk populations such as maternity, preconception and autoimmune disease. Parsley's data also shows it helps 85% of patients significantly improve symptoms in year one - helping women see reduced absenteeism and most importantly, feel better in their day-to-day.

UPDATED at 2:50 p.m. ET

Verily and ResMed launched a sleep health joint venture that will combines digital tools with connection to providers and coaches.

Announced Sunday, Primasun's offering begins with an online screen of a user's symptoms before connecting virtually to a sleep physician for remote diagnosis and, if needed, at-home sleep testing support. Its app also delivers sleep coaching.

Primasun said its model works with employers and providers to identify initial patients who may be at risk. Its initial product offering will tackle obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia symptoms and other guidance surrounding sleep hygiene.

"Sleep is the foundation of physical and mental health, and at Primasun, we believe there's an opportunity to build a more efficient, equitable healthcare solution that helps patients clinically improve their sleep, and in turn, their quality of life," Jonathon Lobbins, CEO of Primasun, said in a statement. "We're proud to offer a solution that lowers barriers to care, empowers patients to take control of their health, and helps reduce poor sleep's strain on the home, workplace, and healthcare system."

UPDATED at 2:25 p.m. ET

Centene CEO Sarah London described to keynote interview attendees how the payer is aiming to codify health and social determinants data it's amassed over the years to streamline operations and drive better outcomes among underserved populations. 

With more than 26 million managed lives across 30 states, she said the company has "a mandate" to pull insights from its often low-income members to support social determinants of health interventions. 

Centene also benefits from such an initiative being relatively lower cost than other tech-heavy approaches, she noted. 

“To me, data is like the high-tech, low-cost intervention, which is really what we need more of in healthcare and particularly in the Medicaid [and] complex populations," she said. "The [other] high-tech stuff is exciting, but we can’t afford it, right? Data is the lowest cost way to have a huge impact.”

UPDATED at 2:15 p.m. ET

LAS VEGAS—Software platforms PreventScripts and CareEco announced a deal that will pair their respective tools for to tackle metabolic disease prevention among physician groups' patients.

Thanks to the collaboration, physician group customers will be able to spot gaps in patient care using CareEco's software platform and then, using PreventScripts' product, automate outreach such as behavior change suggestions, PreventScripts' platform also provides the physician group with reimbursable care plans should an intervention be recommended. 

“Most patients only reach out to providers when they experience a significant health problem and most providers are too busy for proactive patient outreach,” Corey Johnson, CEO of CareEco, said in the announcement. “This partnership with PreventScripts drives our mission to allow healthcare providers to keep their patients healthier by putting constant health engagement on autopilot."

UPDATED at 11:55 a.m. ET

LAS VEGAS—Android has launched Health Connect (Beta), a secure app for users to manage their health and fitness data from across apps on their device in one place. More than 10 apps are integrated at launch, including MyFitnessPal, Oura and Peloton. Using a standardized infrastructure, the app supports more than 40 data types. The app allows users to manage their privacy settings and shares data with user consent. 

UPDATED at 11:50 a.m. ET

LAS VEGAS—CertifyOS and Mocingbird are integrating their platforms to create a single mechanism for provider licensing, renewals, and CME requirement monitoring. This partnership will address gaps and lags in the system, and eliminate redundant data entry.

UPDATED at 11:30 a.m. ET

LAS VEGAS—Walgreens Boots Alliance and its subsidiary VillageMD announced Monday they are opening the first Village Medical at Walgreens primary care practice in Las Vegas, with more scheduled to open in the market by the end of this year. 

With the Las Vegas opening, VillageMD and Walgreens now have more than 150 Village Medical at Walgreens locations in markets across the country – including in Arizona, Florida, Texas, Kentucky, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Georgia and Rhode Island, in addition to Nevada – and are on track toward 200 practices by the end of this year. 

The retail pharmacy giant is expanding its healthcare footprint with on a focus on providing medical services. VillageMD, which is majority owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance, plans to shell out nearly $9 billion to pick up medical practice Summit Health, the parent company of urgent care clinic chain CityMD.

That deal will expand Walgreen's reach into primary, specialty and urgent care. The transaction creates one of the largest independent provider groups in the U.S., the organizations said. Combined, VillageMD and Summit Health will operate more than 680 provider locations in 26 markets.

“VillageMD and Walgreens are working together to provide coordinated primary care and pharmacy services that we know patients want and deserve for themselves and their family members,” said David Hatfield, president of Village Medical, in a statement.

Village Medical at Walgreens is a Village Medical primary care practice located alongside a Walgreens pharmacy location.

“From lab tests to annual physicals, management of chronic conditions and prescriptions, navigating healthcare can often be overwhelming,” said Anita Allemand, chief transformation and integration officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance in a statement. “Walgreens and VillageMD’s combined expertise in primary care and pharmacy allows patients to better manage their care, helping local communities get and stay healthy.” 

Village Medical at Walgreens primary care practices in the Las Vegas market will also create more than 45 full-time jobs and directly employ nearly 40 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals, such as physicians, nurse practitioners and medical assistants, according to the company.

UPDATED at 9:30 a.m. ET

LAS VEGAS—Information services company Wolters Kluwer Health is teaming up with Microsoft to tap into the tech giant's cloud computing capabilities to build out solutions for virtual care providers and payers.

Through the partnership with Microsoft, Wolters Kluwer plans to build new solutions and applications on the Azure cloud platform. One of those new solutions is Digital Health Architect, which integrates Azure DevOps, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and Azure Cosmos DB.

Digital Health Architect Consumer Education Suite is a content-as-a-service solution that helps virtual care companies build, customize and deliver their own digital health solutions that provide health consumers with trusted, consumer-friendly educational content at their fingertips, the company said.

The solutions are available today in the Microsoft Commercial Marketplace for virtual care companies and payer care management using the same technology-enabled content and tools that currently power Wolters Kluwer's UpToDate, Lexicomp and Emmi.

“The healthcare landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years with new digital health players, providers and payer business models, opportunities and challenges,” said Greg Samios, president and CEO of clinical effectiveness at Wolters Kluwer Health, in a statement. “One thing, however, has remained constant—the need to deliver better health outcomes and ensure every person has access to the best care. Beginning today, the combination of Microsoft and our trusted, tech-enabled content empowers virtual care providers and payers to rapidly build and deploy solutions to engage their patients and members.”

The company has unveiled a new member engagement solution for payers. The solution helps payers engage individual members at the right time, the right place and on the devices they already own, according to the company. This encourages better-informed, more cost-effective healthcare choices, promotes compliance with preventive care and treatment recommendations and advances medication adherence to help improve outcomes and reduce readmissions.


LAS VEGAS—It seems politics isn't the only thing that can divide people in this country.

A new survey conducted by AI-powered chronic condition platform juli reveals sharp differences among U.S. residents on the value they place on digital privacy. 

Amid growing concern about the privacy of patient data, the survey found that app users’ assessments of the importance of data privacy varied widely by age, gender and education level. Overall, women, older people and those with a college education all rated privacy as more important than men, younger people and those with a high school education.

Of respondents aged 54 and over, 71% said having strict control over their digital data was “very important,” compared to just 45% of those aged 18 to 25. More women than men rate data privacy “very important” (65% versus 58%)

More college-educated people of all genders rate data privacy “very important” than those with a high school education or less (67% versus 58%). The difference in privacy valuation is most pronounced between college-educated women and men with a high school education or less (70% versus 51%).

But regardless of demographics or attitudes towards data privacy, respondents expressed strong willingness to share their health data with their healthcare providers and family members.

The survey, based on responses from 482 consumers, also revealed an even split between respondents who found an app on their own and those who had one recommended to them by their physician or other healthcare providers. 

“Most people who use digital health apps seem to view privacy as a fundamental right, while others—especially younger consumers—seem more willing to sacrifice privacy in exchange for better health outcomes or other benefits,” said Bettina Hein, CEO and co-founder of juli, in a statement. “This survey confirms the willingness of consumers to use digital health to connect with their providers and take better care of themselves and reminds makers of digital health apps how critical it is to ensure their users’ data privacy is protected.”