Healthcare Roundup—UPMC's chief innovation officer heads to new gig at Atrium Health

Atrium Health
(Atrium Health)

Atrium scores high-profile hire, nabbing UPMC's innovation chief

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's well-known chief innovation officer, Rasu Shrestha, M.D., is heading to a new gig at Atrium Health.

Shrestha will become Atrium's new chief strategy officer, officials announced Tuesday.

In the role, Shrestha will be leading enterprise strategy, including planning and tactical direction for Atrium Health's strategic roadmap and lead a "renewed focus on innovation, launching new healthcare inventions, discoveries and ideas to benefit Atrium Health patients and the communities it serves." (Release)

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Health Care Transformation Task Force: Members have nearly half of business in value-based contracts

The Health Care Transformation Task Force’s members set a goal of having 75% of their business in value-based arrangements by the end of 2020, and it announced Tuesday that they’ve already made significant strides in that effort.

The task force said that its payer and provider participants now have 47% of their business in value-based contracts. That’s a significant bump from 2015, when 30% of business was in these models.

HCTTF also announced that Sentara Healthcare, an integrated not-for-profit system based in Virginia, has joined as a new member. (Announcement)

Elizabeth Warren pitches plan to have the feds produce generic drugs

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has unveiled a bill that would have the federal government manufacture generic medications.

Warren’s plan would create an Office of Drug Manufacturing within the Department of Health and Human Services, which would produce generics for products that are no longer produced by any company, are produced by just one or two companies and recently experienced a price hike, or are produced by only one or two companies and access is a barrier for patients.

“The solution here is not to replace markets, but to fix them,” Warren said in a statement. “The Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act will introduce more competition into the prescription drug market and bring down prices for consumers.”

The legislation is not likely to make any headway in a Republican-controlled Senate. (Announcement)

Judge says ex-hospital CEO’s libel suit against CNN can proceed

A federal appeals judge has ruled that a lawsuit against CNN filed by a former hospital CEO can move forward.

Appeals Court Judge William Pryor, whose circuit includes parts of Alabama, Florida and Georgia, where CNN is headquartered, dealt a blow to CNN, which had tried to prevent the case from proceeding.

David Carbone resigned as CEO of St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida, after a CNN report dove into the hospital’s mortality rates for pediatric procedures. In the article, CNN said the hospital’s death rates were three times the national average, but Carbone argued that the figures are skewed.

CNN compared the hospital’s mortality rate for pediatric open-heart surgery—a high-risk procedure—to the nationwide mortality rate for all pediatric procedures, which Carbone said is an unfair comparison. (The Hill)

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