Inovalon to acquire Avalere Health for $140M; Patient safety organization wants 42 CFR Part 2 updated;

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> Inovalon, a Bowie, Maryland-based health technology company focusing on cloud analytics, agreed Monday to acquire District of Columbia-based healthcare business strategy company Avalere Health for $140 million. Avalere boasts more than 200 pharma/life sciences industry clients. Announcement

> A letter to House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) by the Patient Safety Movement Foundation calls for an update to 42 CFR Part 2, which stipulates that patients must give consent in order for providers to share their health records pertaining to substance abuse treatment. "At a minimum, this problem should be addressed by streamlining the consent process for the sharing [of] medical records in integrated care settings," the letter reads. Letter (.pdf)

Provider News

> The healthcare industry's long-held "top-down" management model no longer suits the modern healthcare environment, and must be replaced with a new model that better supports frontline workers, according to a recent Health Affairs Blog post. Article

Health Finance News

> Americans have deeply conflicted views about the pharmaceutical sector, grateful that the prescription medications help improve their health, but generally skeptical as to the reasons behind their cost increases, according to a new tracking poll by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Article

> So-called "cowboy doctors"--clinicians who provide intensive, but unnecessary care--account for more than a third of all Medicare expenditures at the end of life and 12 percent of all Medicare expenditures overall, according to a new study by Harvard University researchers. Article

Health Insurance News

> There has been a "considerable drop" in the number of people who say they get their primary health insurance through their employers as consumers continue to explore non-traditional coverage options, according to a new survey. Article

And Finally... Weeeeeeeeee! Article