Loyola Clinic Serves Asylum Seekers • North West Student Health Costs Rise • AbbVie Misses Expectations

HEALTH CARE LEADERS IN THE CRAIN LIST OF COLOR EXECUTIVES IN CONSTRUCTION AND COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Among the 34 accomplished executives in Crain’s latest Notable Executives of Color in Construction and Commercial Real Estate are three executives with a particular focus on healthcare.

Maggie Beckley is focused on expanding healthcare real estate development in the Chicago and Milwaukee markets for Mortenson. She previously served as Director of Real Estate at Advocate Aurora Health.

Former Executive Director and CEO of the Medical District of Illinois, Suzet McKinney joined Sterling Bay in February 2021 to expand the company’s national life sciences footprint and build Chicago into a Tier 1 life sciences market. 1 as Director and Director of Life Sciences. She is a member of the board of trustees of Lurie Children’s Hospital and of the scientific and safety council of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Ankit Patel, senior vice president, corporate finance at Ventas, is responsible for budgeting and forecasting, the quarterly results process and investor relations. Ventas is a real estate investment company specializing in the ownership and management of healthcare facilities. Patel also serves on the internal affairs committee of EverThrive Illinois, a nonprofit organization that advocates for access to high-quality health care for women, children, and families in Illinois.

STERLING BAY LAUNCHES SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM: According to the Chicago Crusader, Chicago real estate developer Sterling Bay has created a scholarship program in partnership with Chicago State University to help students from diverse backgrounds pursue careers in the life sciences.

“Sterling Bay is deeply committed to opening doors for Chicago-area students who want to pursue careers that will strengthen our city’s growing life sciences sector,” said Suzet McKinney, Principal and Chief Science Officer of the life of Sterling Bay in the article. “Through our Sterling Bay Scholar program, we hope to support many emerging local life science leaders.”

The first recipient is Jillian Tyson, a sophomore at Chicago State University majoring in nursing.

MEDICAL INSURANCE BENEFIT PLANS UNDER CONTROL ON PRIOR AUTHORIZATION DENIAL: Medicare Advantage insurers could see more oversight of prior authorization practices, reports Crain’s sister publication, Modern Healthcare.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has endorsed policy recommendations set out in a federal report released last week, which shows how prior authorization has blocked enrollees from accessing needed care.

An estimated 13% of denied prior authorization requests reviewed met Medicare coverage rules and would likely have been approved under paid Medicare, according to the Department of Health Inspector General and social services. The watchdog further determined that about 18% of claims denied by insurance companies met Medicare coverage and Medicare Advantage billing rules. Insurers reversed their pre-authorization denials in about 3% of cases and their payment denials in 6% of cases within three months, the Office of Inspector General found.

The OIG looked at data from the 15 largest Medicare Advantage companies, including UnitedHealth Group, Humana, CVS Health, Kaiser Permanente and Anthem, over a one-week period in June 2019.

In a statement, insurance trade group AHIP noted that the report shows most Medicare Advantage pre-authorization applications are approved and cautioned against general conclusions based on the report’s limited sample.

Dr. Gerald E. Harmon, president of the Chicago-based American Medical Association, said in a statement that the inspector general’s investigation “reflects the experiences of physicians.” harm when necessary medical care is delayed, denied or interrupted. The American Medical Association agrees with recommendations from federal investigators to prevent the inappropriate use of authorization controls to delay, deny and disrupt patient care, but more needs to be done to reform prior authorization . .”

The AMA supports the Improving Timely Access to Care for Seniors Act, which would require Medicare Advantage plans to streamline and standardize pre-authorization processes and improve transparency of requirements.

COOK COUNTY HEALTH ADMINISTERS MILLIONTH DOSE: Since December 11, 2020, Cook County Health has provided over one million COVID-19 vaccines to residents, making it one of the first health systems in the nation to achieve this milestone.

CCH has opened some of the first mass vaccination sites in the country, the system said in a statement. The county also made doses available at CCH hospitals and health centers, correctional facilities, and later focused on a “hyperlocal” strategy to bring the vaccines directly to neighborhoods where vaccination rates had dropped. languished.

“This milestone represents lives saved, families preserved, and a reversal of the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Israel Rocha, Jr., CEO of Cook County Health said in a statement.

OPTUM RX GIVES 5,000 HOME COVID TESTS IN CHICAGO: Pharmaceutical services company Optum RX has donated 5,000 rapid home COVID-19 antigen self-tests to five organizations across Chicago.

The donations, focused on communities particularly at high risk of hospitalization or death, are in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health and have gone to:

• Mountain of fire and miracles
• United Esan Association of Illinois
• Irving Park Community Pantry
• Center North-West
• SWOP (South West Organization Project)

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, and at this point we are fortunate to have the tools to keep our communities safe,” said CDPH Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady. “We are grateful for the partnerships that help us provide much-needed resources to those who need them most. »

INNOVATIVE MEDTECH BUYS RX VITALITY IN STOCK DEAL: Innovative MedTech, a Blue Island-based health and wellness services company, announced last week that it had signed a share exchange agreement to acquire RX Vitality, a media and financial consulting firm.

Michael Friedman, President and CEO of Innovative MedTech, said in a statement that RX Vitality’s media, financial and technology experience will be crucial in developing and commissioning an in-development digital healthcare portfolio. .

COULD THE TUSKEGEE EXPERIMENT BE REPEATED? THE AUTHOR SAYS ETHICS IS THE ONLY TRUE GUARANTEE: Ultimately, the only thing that really stops the medical community from conducting unethical experiments on patients is the willingness of ethical professionals to speak out, says Dr. Martin Tobin, professor of medicine at Hines VA Hospital and Loyola University School of Medicine.

In an article published this week in the Journal of the American Thoracic Society, Tobin marks the 50th anniversary of New York Times reporting on the Tuskegee experiments.

Beginning in 1932, “the major health care branch of the US government began the Tuskegee Study. They intentionally withheld an effective treatment for a life-threatening disease in 400 African American men and continued to study for 40 years, because they wanted to document what happens to the body when syphilis continues to be treated.”

What happens with untreated syphilis is horrible, painful and deadly and medical science had useful antibiotics to treat it soon after the Tuskegee experiments began, Tobin said during a briefing on his paper the last week.

Nonetheless, the study continued for 40 years, in full view of the global medical community, Tobin said.

“The added tragedy here is that all of this havoc has been brought out into the open,” he said. “This was not a secret study… One of the real embarrassing things for the entire medical profession is that this havoc has been reported in 15 articles in high-profile medical journals, and not a single doctor has wrote an article in protest. It’s not just American doctors. It’s not just the CDC, this applies to the medical profession worldwide.

A social worker, rebuffed by the head of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, eventually went to The New York Times, leading to the experiments being halted, Tobin said.

The horrors of experimentation and subsequent reform led to important safeguards, including rules for informed patient consent and institutional review boards, Tobin said.

“But these regulations can never compensate for an unethical researcher. That’s the main thing is that you have the people doing the research, that they are asking questions, because there was a large number of different doctors involved in the Tuskegee studied for 40 years. And so these people all ended up with everything else. They didn’t ask any questions. And they saw that this was the way things were done, and they blindly followed everyone. And that’s the real lesson.”

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