Health Innovators: AireHealth CEO To Help Patients Monitor Lung Conditions From Home

AireHealth Inc. has for years been focused on incorporating digital health into health care for people suffering from respiratory ailments.

And the attention to digital health and home care is taking off amid the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, U.S. digital health companies raised $5.4 billion in venture funding in the first half of the year, more than the $4.2 billion raised by the sector in the first six months of 2019, according to San Francisco-based digital health venture fund Rock Health.

So Orlando-based AireHealth, led by CEO and co-founder Stacie Ruth, is growing in that space at the right time.

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Beach Vacation

The Dominican Republic Unveils Tourism Recovery/Health Safety Plan

The president of the Dominican RepublicLuis Abinader Corona, announced on Tuesday a set of initiatives to address the tourism industry’s challenges during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and to ensure that the country is a safe travel destination.

“Our goal is to minimize the effects of the pandemic and facilitate a responsible recovery that prioritizes health, maximizes the potential for job creation and economic growth, and promotes the further sustainable development of the sector,” said President Abinader, according to the Ministry of Tourism for the Dominican Republic.

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Digital Tech

How Digitization Can Help Pharma Weather The COVID-19 Storm

COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact on families, societies and economies. At the epicentre of the crisis, over-stretched healthcare organisations are battling to save lives and control infection rates, while also protecting their frontline staff.

Against this backdrop, intense scrutiny has been paid to the pharma industry’s ongoing efforts to develop a silver bullet vaccine and repurpose existing drugs to counteract the impact of the virus. So important is this work that it regularly makes front page news and has a tangible daily impact on stock markets.

Less prominent is the seismic impact that COVID-19 is having on the regular day-to-day operations of the pharma industry. With so much time and resources being allocated to the pandemic, every aspect of the pharma value chain from manufacturing to sales and marketing is having to adapt. The reality is that working practices across the industry may never be the same again.

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Health Tech

Electronic Prior Authorization is Catching On

Most providers absolutely dread prior authorization. It adds to administrative work and may seem to stand in the way of good patient care. But for payers, “prior auth” is among the sturdiest, sharpest tools in the managed care toolkit because it gives them a way to control costs and steer physicians toward cost-

Could electronic prior authorization (ePA) bring the two sides together?

“Prior authorization has not changed much in the last five years, but we have seen a shift in the method in which prior authorization requests are submitted,” says Caitlin Graham, vice president of Core Network, a division of CoverMyMeds, a healthcare technology company in Columbus, Ohio, owned by McKesson Corporation. Traditionally, the prior authorization process has been cumbersome, with providers and health plans exchanging phone calls and faxes, says Graham. It is a time-intensive process (Graham puts it rather mildly) that places a burden on pharmacists, providers, health plans and, most critically, the patient who is waiting. As ePA software becomes more accessible to providers, the hassle and wait time for prescriptions may be declining — assuming that providers are ready and willing to use the new technologies.

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White Pills

Senators Call For Federal Investigation of Hydroxychloroquine Use in Nursing Homes

Fearing the experimental use of hydroxychloroquine went “unchecked” in nursing homes struck by the coronavirus, three U.S. senators are calling on federal authorities to determine whether providers improperly treated patients, failed to disclose serious side effects or faced any repercussions from regulators responsible for oversight of the industry.

In a letter sent Thursday to the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) pointed to state inspection reports that cited nursing homes for treating residents with the antimalarial drug without the consent of patients or their family members.

Mental Health Ribbon

World Mental Health Day: An Opportunity To Kick-Start A Massive Scale-Up in Investment in Mental Health

Mental health is one of the most neglected areas of public health. Close to 1 billion people are living with a mental disorder, 3 million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide. And now, billions of people around the world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is having a further impact on people’s mental health.

Yet, relatively few people around the world have access to quality mental health services. In low- and middle-income countries, more than 75% of people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders receive no treatment for their condition at all. Furthermore, stigma, discrimination, punitive legislation and human rights abuses are still widespread.

The limited access to quality, affordable mental health care in the world before the pandemic, and particularly in humanitarian emergencies and conflict settings, has been further diminished due to COVID-19 as the pandemic has disrupted health services around the world. Primary causes have been infection and the risk of infection in long-stay facilities such as care homes and psychiatric institutions; barriers to meeting people face-to-face; mental health staff being infected with the virus; and the closing of mental health facilities to convert them into care facilities for people with COVID-19.

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Man Vaping

Primed For Disease: Vaping Negatively Affects Oral Health

The warnings about vaping – inhaling the vapor of electronic cigarettes – tend to focus on the potential dangers to the heart and lungs.

But an increasing amount of research shows the chemicals in e-cigarettes start to inflict damage right where they enter the body: your mouth.

Because e-cigarettes are a recent phenomenon, said Dr. Crystal Stinson, assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Dentistry in Dallas, “Studies on their impact are really new. But now we have a solid amount of evidence that shows the link between e-cigarettes and poor oral health.”

Nicotine, whether smoked or vaped, restricts blood flow to the gums, which can contribute to periodontal disease. The fluid in e-cigarettes, which can include propylene glycol, benzene, formaldehyde and other chemicals, only increases the risks.

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Application for Health Insurance

12 Million Have Lost Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance During Pandemic

The coronavirus is not only deadly, it’s also leaving many Americans without medical coverage as the unemployment rate continues to surge.

Since the pandemic hit the U.S., more than 6 million Americans have lost health insurance they’d previously had through their work. And when you take into account spouses and children, the number of those affected climbs to more than 12 million, according to new research.

“Because most U.S. workers rely on their employer or a family member’s employer for health insurance, the shock of the coronavirus has cost millions of Americans their jobs and their access to health care in the midst of a public health catastrophe,” according to Josh Bivens, director of research at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank.

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Hospital Building

Texas Hospitals, Still Battling COVID-19, Now Face Hurricane Laura

“Remember: Just because a hurricane is coming to Texas does not mean COVID-19 either has or is going to leave Texas,” Gov. Rick Abbott said.

HOUSTON — Emergency officials along Texas’ storm-battered coast have had plenty of practice responding to disasters in recent years, but they’ve never seen a scenario like this: A destructive hurricane slamming ashore in the midst of a pandemic.

Hurricane Laura intensified to an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said. Laura is forecast to make landfall around the Texas and Louisiana border on the Gulf Coast on Wednesday night or early Thursday.

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United Airlines To Cut 2,850 Pilot Jobs Without More U.S. Government Aid

United Airlines said on Thursday it will need to cut 2,850 pilot jobs between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30 if the government does not extend an aid package to help airlines cover employee payroll for another six months while they weather the coronavirus pandemic.

The job cuts, released in a memo to employees and shared with the media, would take place between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30 and are significantly higher than those announced earlier this week by rivals Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.

“It’s important to note that our numbers are based on the current travel demand for the remainder of the year and our anticipated flying schedule, which continues to be fluid with the resurgence of COVID-19 in regions across the U.S.,” United said in the memo.