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Ttherapist at mental health startup Resilience Lab voted to join on Wednesday, one of the first successful unionization efforts at a digital health company. The move comes two months after the New York-based company announced a $15 million Series A round led by Viewside Capital Partners and Morningside. Current and former employees I spoke with said there was growing concern among employees after the company laid off 12 therapists, changed how it paid the rest and introduced third-party software to track patient progress.
In 2022, about 1.2 million health care workers were members of unions, making up 13 percent of the total health care workforce, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It remains to be seen whether employees at more health tech companies can follow suit. “All workers deserve the support of a union, whether they conduct their business online or face-to-face,” Henry Garrido, executive director of District Council 37, which represents Resilience Lab employees, said in a statement.
A quick remedy proves elusive for life-saving pulse oximeter problems with darker skin
Since the start of the pandemic, the popular medical device has been indispensable for measuring blood oxygen, but dangerously inaccurate in patients with darker skin. Now the FDA is on the hot seat, and black researchers at Brown University and Tufts University are working separately to redesign the pulse oximeter so it’s accurate for everyone. While the FDA is expected to move slowly, industry watchers say there is one way the agency can make medical devices generally work for all patients — change testing requirements. The FDA requires that only 15% of study participants, or two people, have dark skin, far less than a number that would be representative of the US demographic.
Offers of the week
Diagnosis: Sherlock Biosciences has acquired Sense Biodetection as the company looks to bring more handheld and synthetic biology-based Crispr diagnostics to market. Sherlock took it the first authorization of emergency use for Crispr-based technology from the FDA for its Covid test in 2020.
Value-based care: Pearl Health, which provides platform technology to help primary care providers transition to value-based care models, has increased a $75 million Series B round to accelerate product growth and development.
Cancer treatments: UK-based Gray Wolf Therapeutics, a biotech startup focused on developing new types of cancer immunotherapies, has raised a $49 million Series B round co-led by Pfizer Ventures and Earlybird Venture Capital.
Telehealth for parents: Simplified, which provides a telehealth platform for infant care and support, announced this week that it is now an in-network provider for Aetna health insurance plans.
It’s worth to mention
Humana reported a net loss of $15 million in the fourth quarter, but provided health insurer enrollment in its Medicare Advantage plans will increase by more than 625,000 people in 2023.
Major drugstore chains, including CVS, Walgreens and Walmart, have announced will decrease hours in the following March pharmacist labor shortages.
Global use of antibiotics in animals will increase by the end of the decade, which may accelerate the spread of hard-to-treat resistant superbugs, according to a new study.
SSince the beginning of the pandemic, Covid-19 has caused the death of over 1.1 million Americans. According to the CDC, more than 3,900 Americans were hospitalized each day for the disease last week, and more than 500 a day died from it. However, the Biden administration has stated this it will not be renewed the current public health emergency declaration for the Covid-19 epidemic when it expires on May 11. The World Health Organization, at a meeting earlier this week, took the opposite approach, stating that the pandemic continues be a global health emergency.
What does ending the public health emergency mean in practice to combat the disease?
First, it could leave several million Medicaid patients without health insurance coverage and others in limbo as states go through the process of figuring out who is eligible for Medicaid and how to deal with the loss of additional funding provided by the federal government under the current emergency. . .
Second, it would mean rolling back Medicare’s three-day rule, in which the agency would only pay for care in a skilled nursing facility if the care followed at least three days of hospitalization.
Third, it also means that Congress will have to make decisions about how Medicare pays for telehealth visits. During the public health emergency, Medicare is paying for these visits, but the law only extends that until 2023 if the emergency ends.
These are just one few of the changes that will hit the country after the public health emergency ends because there were many policies made at the direction of the federal government to address how the pandemic affected the health care system. Absent that, many health care decisions will revert to the states, meaning providers will have to make adjustments in response to those governments’ actions. Time will tell how this will affect patients.
Study reveals that Covid is a leading cause of death among children and teenagers
According to a new study, Covid was ranked in the top 10 causes of death for children of all age groups, but there are some precautions (such as vaccines, masks and isolation) which effectively protect against the virus.
Other news about the Coronavirus
Tuesday, Pfizer said it expects sales for its Covid-19 vaccine and oral treatment significant decline this year with the stabilization of Covid cases and hospitalizations and with the government subsidy for the drying of injections.
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche launched a new Covid test designed to help searchers find the very sticky branch of omicron XBB.1.5 – unofficially nicknamed “The Kraken”– which is better at evading immune defenses and spreading rapidly across the US and other countries.
After layoffs and CEO change, Cometeer’s iced coffee business is in hot water
Fallen unicorns: Startup billionaires nearly $100 billion poorer than a year ago
The most connected black woman on Wall Street has a smart idea to narrow the wealth gap
What else are we reading?
Will a new wave of RSV vaccines stop the dangerous virus? (Nature)
Amgen pricing for its Humira biosimilar may benefit PBMs and insurers more than patients (Stat)
Bleach is toxic, but many Americans are still drinking it (Bloomberg)
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