Top Stories for 10/8

October 08, 2021 HIMSS Media
Top Stories for 10/8
Show Notes Transcript

Cerner mandating COVID-19 vaccines for all U.S employees; SWORD Health acquires wearable firm Vigilant Technologies . Plus: Air ambulance services among commercial insurers have risen 27.6% .

Links to the stories:

Cerner announces vaccine mandate as Feinberg takes the reins

SWORD Health buys workplace health-focused wearable company Vigilant Technologies

Air ambulance charges rise 28% in four years, analysis finds

A major health IT player is mandating that all of its U.S. employees be vaccinated for COVID-19. What brought the move on? I’m Jeff Lagasse with Healthcare Finance News, and we’ll explore that and other developments in this week’s Top Stories.

 Kansas City health IT company Cerner has told all of its U.S.-based employees that they must be vaccinated against the coronavirus, a move that coincides with David Feinberg’s first day on the job as Cerner’s new chief executive officer. HealthcareITNews reports (https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/cerner-announces-vaccine-mandate-feinberg-takes-reins) that the company, which may allow certain medical or religious exemptions, will otherwise mandate that all its U.S.-based employees be fully vaccinated by December 8, claiming the shots remain the most effective way of reducing the incidence and severity of the virus. Cerner joins Epic and Verona in implementing the vaccine mandates.

 Digital musculoskeletal care company SWORD Health has announced the acquisition of Vigilant Technologies, maker of a wearable that aims to prevent workplace injury. As we see in MobiHealthNews (https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/sword-health-buys-workplace-health-focused-wearable-company-vigilant-technologies), the acquisition announcement comes months after SWORD scooped up $85 million in Series C funding. Vigilant pairs a wearable device that provides haptic feedback to correct posture with educational content tailored to specific job types to avoid workplace injuries. According to World Health Organization data, musculoskeletal conditions are the leading contributor to disability worldwide, affecting 1.71 billion people across the globe, and in 2013 made up 33% of all worker injury and illness cases.

 Finally this week, costs linked to air ambulance services among commercial insurers have risen 27.6% since 2017, a substantial increase that has inflated costs from about $19,000 to more than $24,000 in 2020. According to Healthcare Finance News (https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/air-ambulance-charges-rise-28-four-years-analysis-finds), the average estimated allowed amounts rose 76.4% fr airplane transports, and 60.8% for helicopter transports. On the federal level, the No Surprises Act contains provisions to protect consumers from surprise bills, including balance bills from out-of-network air ambulance service providers.

 I’m Jeff Lagasse with Healthcare Finance News, and this has been Top Stories.