- On July 21, Amazon and One Medical announced that the online retailer is set to purchase the primary care provider for $18 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $3.9 billion.
- The pandemic likely resulted in an increase of healthcare-associated, antimicrobial-resistant infections, according to a special report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- A study shows disparities in the prevalence of diagnosis and treatment of major depressive disorder or major depression among majority white, Black and Hispanic communities.
Over the last few weeks, I have found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals.
1. Amazon and One Medical announce intent to merge
Amazon will acquire One Medical for $18 per share “in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $3.9 billion, including One Medical’s net debt,” it was announced July 21 in a news release.
San Francisco-based One Medical is “a membership-based primary care practice in twelve major U.S. markets” and works with “more than 8,000 companies to provide One Medical health benefits to their employees,” according to One Medical’s “About” statement.
In the news release, Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, said, in part, “We think health care is high on the list of experiences that need reinvention. … We love inventing to make what should be easy easier and we want to be one of the companies that helps dramatically improve the healthcare experience over the next several years.”
In the same release, Amir Dan Rubin, One Medical CEO, said, “There is an immense opportunity to make the health care experience more accessible, affordable, and even enjoyable for patients, providers, and payers. We look forward to innovating and expanding access to quality healthcare services, together.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by One Medical’s shareholders and regulatory approval, according to the release. On completion of the deal, Rubin will remain as One Medical’s CEO.
2. Special CDC report says threat of antimicrobial-resistant infections is worse since the pandemic
“The COVID-19 pandemic pushed back years of progress made combating antimicrobial resistance (AR) in the United States,” according to a July 12 news release issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Immediately following the 2020 peaks of the pandemic, the CDC analyzed the state of antimicrobial resistance in the United States, with data showing “an alarming increase in resistant infections starting during hospitalization, growing an overall 15% from 2019 to 2020 among seven pathogens,” according to the release.
The release went on to say, “In U.S. hospitals, CDC data show significant surges in antibiotic use and difficulty in following infection prevention and control guidance, which are key to preventing antimicrobial-resistant infections and their spread. During the pandemic, hospitals experienced personal protective equipment supply challenges, staffing shortages, and longer patient stays. Hospitals also treated sicker patients who required more frequent and longer use of medical devices like catheters and ventilators. The impact of the pandemic likely resulted in an increase of healthcare-associated, antimicrobial-resistant infections.”
“CDC is exploring investments in the U.S. infrastructure to better respond to the challenges of antimicrobial resistance and emerging threats simultaneously,” according to the agency’s special report.
Next steps include:
- Supporting the uninterrupted availability of laboratory supplies and equipment for patient care, infection control and data tracking during emergencies and surge outbreaks
- Expanding the use of automated data in the National Healthcare Safety Network to reduce manual data collection and submission and allow healthcare facilities to send information on antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance
3. Study shows major depression goes undiagnosed and untreated at greater rates in Black and Hispanic communities
“Major depression goes undiagnosed and untreated at disproportionally greater rates in majority Black and Hispanic communities, leading to unnecessary suffering,” according to a May 31 report released by Blue Cross Blue Shield.
“The prevalence of diagnosed major depression is 31% lower for majority Black communities and 39% lower for majority Hispanic communities than for White communities,” according to the report.
The authors also noted that having more mental and behavioral health providers in Black and Hispanic communities increased the rates of major depression diagnoses to levels that were “more similar to those of White communities.”
Racial and ethnic disparities in frequency of drug treatment and counseling
Not only did fewer members of Black and Hispanic communities receive prescription drug treatment for major depression, according to the report, but the average frequency of prescription drug treatment was lower than in white communities. The percentages of those diagnosed with major depression who received a prescription for drug treatment in 2020 were:
- Majority white communities – 60%
- Majority Black communities – 52%
- Majority Hispanic communities – 40%
“Rates of counseling for diagnosed major depression are 21% lower for Hispanic communities than White communities, but there is no discernable difference between Black and White communities,” wrote the authors.
The analysis for the report was based on the medical claims of 3.1 million Blue Cross and Blue Shield commercially insured individuals with major depression between the ages of 12 and 64, spanning 2016 to 2020. For additional insights, more than 2,700 adults, ages 18 to 75, were surveyed about their attitudes and perspectives around mental health and how they access care.
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