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Top Chinese Think Tank Visits Boston for Study on Health Information Technology

2019-06-18T14:09:11-04:00November 27th, 2018|Categories: Recent News|Tags: , |

Top Chinese Think Tank Visits Boston for Study on Health Information Technology

28 November 2018

Earlier this month, Boston Healthcare Associates hosted a delegation from the China Development Research Foundation (CDRF), a public foundation initiated by the Development Research Center of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, with the mission to provide policy research support for policy making on a national level.

CDRF supports evidence-based policy research, leadership training, high-level forums and symposiums to promote economic cooperation and development, and the promotion of responsible public policy.

The delegation visited Boston to learn more about the role that Health Information Technology (HIT) plays in the healthcare system, how its development has progressed, and future opportunities for improving efficiency and quality of care. Boston, as a global leader in the healthcare and life sciences industry, and home to some of the world’s leading hospitals and community health centers, health IT, and digital health companies, was chosen as one of the field study sites.

The delegation heard from innovative leaders in the HIT space from Partner’s Healthcare, Watson Health, and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare on day one of the trip during a half day Forum at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge. Speakers provided the delegation with an in-depth overview of the application of health information technology in healthcare delivery and management.

While in Boston, the delegation also visited and toured Boston Children’s Hospital, the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

With the Chinese government seeking to improve efficiency and quality of healthcare services and health insurance, especially at the community level, the exchange of information between innovative health organizations is timely.

Boston Healthcare has a deep understanding of the evolving value and access landscape in China. Please contact us for more information.

Germany’s Approach to Biosimilars

2019-06-18T13:47:25-04:00November 27th, 2018|Categories: Recent News|Tags: |

Germany’s Biosimilar Policies

28 November 2018

Germany’s Health Minister, Jens Spahn has called for the faster adoption of cheaper copies of biotech drugs to cut the cost of healthcare in Germany.

In recent years, biotechnologically produced drugs have become a significant driver of drug spending in Germany, with 6.7 billion Euro in Statutory Health Insurance (SHI) funds spent on the treatment of rheumatic diseases alone between January and September 2018. Biosimilars are recognized as a way to contain such costs.

The National Association of SHI accredited Physicians recommend quotas for biosimilars to improve prescription uptake, with the SHI providing incentives to physicians to prescribe biosimilars through quotas, budgeting, and monitoring programs.

With quotas being difficult to manage in Germany, Spahn favors a policy based on price, requiring pharmacists to deliver the cheapest biosimilar,  in a similar way as generics are dispensed. If consistent use of biosimilars were enforced, the health ministry has estimated that this would have saved the healthcare system 279 billion euro in 2017. Projected savings are expected to rise due to many expiring patent protections for several biologics in the coming years.

Details of the proposal will be issued in the revision of the German Medicines Act (AMG), which was presented as a draft earlier this month.  This move once again demonstrates the cost-oriented approach of the governments’  health policy, which is seconded by both providers and health insurance funds.

New developments across Germany’s healthcare industry provide significant opportunities for global innovators, however many hurdles and barriers to entry still exist. If you are interested in learning more about gaining access to Germany’s healthcare market, please contact us.

The growing role of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

2019-06-18T14:11:55-04:00October 31st, 2018|Categories: Recent News|Tags: |

The growing role of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

The digitalization of healthcare has changed how the industry manages diseases, with artificial intelligence (AI) providing the industry with the opportunity to capture and analyze data in a new way that is beneficial to patients, physicians, and the broader healthcare community.

In October, Boston Healthcare connected with the innovators of AI-enabled companies at the AI in Healthcare Conference. Discussions focused on the use cases of AI in healthcare, barriers to adoption, as well as measures to ensure successful integration of AI.

Also discussed were the many value propositions of AI in healthcare, including:

  • Improving workflow efficiencies,
  • Reducing or controlling healthcare costs and spending,
  • Lessening the time and cost of developing new personalized treatments, and
  • Avoiding repeat visits and readmissions.

Despite clear use cases for AI in healthcare, many barriers to adoption still exist.

For successful AI adoption, there needs to be increased and secure data sharing as well as communication between AI innovators and physicians, lab technicians, and other potential users of AI technologies.

Increased communication between AI innovators and AI technology users is particularly important as the value and utility expectations for an AI product or service may vary amongst different stakeholders. In AI, as is in other healthcare fields, being able to bypass or pass FDA regulations does not guarantee product adoption. Being able to understand the unmet needs that are important to healthcare stakeholders will ultimately create value and demand for AI healthcare products and services.

Boston Healthcare is aware of the growing market for AI in healthcare and is prepared to help AI innovators realize the value of their product and navigate AI adoption and implementation barriers in the healthcare landscape.

CMS Proposes International Pricing Index for Medicare Part B Drug Spending

2019-06-18T14:15:34-04:00October 31st, 2018|Categories: Recent News|Tags: |

CMS Proposes International Pricing Index for Medicare Part B Drug Spending

Increasing competition among private-sector vendors and aligning Medicare payments for drugs with prices that are paid in foreign countries is the focus of a new model to improve Medicare beneficiary access and quality of care and reduce expenditures for specific physician-administered drugs.

The ‘International Pricing Index’ (IPI), announced last week by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services would be phased in over five years from Spring 2019, initially focusing on single source drugs and biologicals as these encompass a high percentage of Part B drug spending.

Under the proposed rule, existing payments for separately billable Part B drugs would move from the average sales price and 6 percent add-on to a ‘Target Payment’ derived from international price index.

CMS is seeking public comments on the potential parameters of the IPI Model. The advance notice of rulemaking (ANPRM) can be accessed from the CMS Newsroom here.

Boston Healthcare is actively monitoring this situation and its potential impact on physicians and pharmaceutical companies.

Comments are due to CMS on Monday, December 31, 2018.

Defining Value in Digital Health

2019-06-18T14:16:21-04:00October 31st, 2018|Categories: Recent News|Tags: |

Defining Value in Digital Health

Team members at Boston Healthcare attended the annual Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit, a meeting place for innovators, investors, payers, providers, policymakers, and advisors to discuss the current and future landscape for digital health. The event covered major areas of digital health, from investment prospects and digital-evidence-based medicine to patient consumerism through technology.

It has never been a better time to be involved in the digital health space; 2018 is set to be the most significant funding year for digital health companies, with over $11B in committed capital. Diagnostics and genomics players that emphasize patient engagement, patient wellness, biometric data acquisition, and clinical workflow capabilities continue to dominate the digital health investment space.

With providers and payers demanding clear value propositions for the adoption and reimbursement of innovative products or services, and for investors becoming more targeted in their approach, evidence development is becoming a clear differentiator for digital therapeutics in an increasingly competitive landscape. Through our work, we have found that evidence to support: value-based pricing payer models; healthcare under- or overutilization; and patient engagement and wellness are often identified as key drivers to adoption by healthcare stakeholders. Types of evidence that produce real-world data will become even more significant over time.

Boston Healthcare continues to monitor the growth and trends in the digital health space to drive commercialization of our clients’ digital health innovations.