Breaking News. Teladoc–one of the two giants in telemedicine–has been placed on ‘under corrective action’ status in its latest (15 May) two-year accreditation with the National Committee for Quality Assurance, better known by its initials, NCQA. Their next review is slated for six months (18 Nov).
According to the earliest breaking report on Seeking Alpha, a business and stock market website, the move to ‘corrective action’ status has been brewing for some time. Teladoc was the first telemedicine company to win this coveted status in 2013. Now, of course, all major telemedicine players have this accreditation.
This is the latest mark against the company, which has gone through some recent ‘interesting times’ financially with accounting problems based on booking stock awards (2018), the CFO’s resignation, and lack of replacement. The report by a ‘bear’ on the stock indicates that its large contract with Aetna, among others, is up for renewal.
Exactly what this ‘corrective action’ is related to has not been made public by either NCQA or Teladoc. Comments under the article sourced from a Wells Fargo analyst that the action is arising from a workflow that Teladoc uses for credentialing providers.
A good portion of this article discusses revisions on the Teladoc website and marketing materials which ensues when something like this happens and it is the basis for a superiority or credentialing claim.
NCQA is a non-profit that advocates quality standards and measures for healthcare organizations, health plans, and organizations that provide services to the former. Their standards are widespread in the industry as a means of review and accreditation for providers and hospitals, as well as incorporated into quality metrics used by HHS and CMS. For those who may not be able to access the full article–requires free membership (but you’ll get emails) registration with the Seeking Alpha site–attached is a PDF of the article.
DHACA, the Digital Health and Care Alliance, with some 850 members currently, is having a new membership drive among SMEs working in the UK’s digital health & care space, following the kind offering of new sponsorship by Kent Surrey and Sussex AHSN and UCL Partners.
The organisation’s objective is to help members develop their innovative products and services commercially, to achieve successful sales to the NHS. DHACA works right across the UK.
If you aren’t a member, you an sign up here to ensure you are kept aware of important news and of DHACA events. Membership is entirely free and members’ details will of course never be passed on to any other organisation.
Whether or not you are currently a member, booking is now open for the next DHACA Day. This event is primarily aimed at informing members working in the digital health & care sector of the major recent changes they need to be aware of, and how best to navigate them to make greater sales to the NHS and other health & care organisations. There is a small charge of £30+VAT to provide lunch, otherwise all other costs will kindly be covered by the event Sponsors, Baker Botts, in whose premises at 41 Lothbury (the opposite side of the Bank of England to the Bank Tube) it will be held.
The draft agenda includes talks by Luke Pratsides, Clinical Lead, Digital Development, NHS England about NHSX, Sam Shah, Director of Digital Development at NHS England and James Maguire, Clinical Advisor in Digital Innovation & AI at NHSX on NHS England’s digital development strategy, Mark Salmon, Programme Director, NICE on their HealthTech Connect and Evidence Standards, Neil Foster, Partner, Baker Botts on Finance for digital health start-ups, Neil Coulson, Partner, Baker Botts, on IP protection and the GDPR, Rob Berry, Commercial Director, UCL Partners on how the AHSNs can help SMEs and much more. Neil McGuire, Clinical Director of Devices, MHRA, has also been invited to update attendees on MDR implementation – a most important topic.
DHACA is keen to get members’ views on how they’d like it to be organised and governed in order to deliver what members want, so there will be time in the middle of the day for this too.
The quest for a sub-2 hour marathon (and the shoes it spawned) has grabbed quite a few headlines, but that’s far from the only record pro runners are hustling to break. Last weekend, a group of American and Japanese ultrarunners gathered to attempt another impressive feat: smash the current men’s and women’s 100K records (roughly 62 miles). Although they weren’t able to crack those two records, one athlete, American ultrarunner Jim Walmsley, managed to break a different one. He set a new 50-mile record with a time of 4:50:08, shattering the previous benchmark by an incredible 43 seconds.
Walmsley’s record-setting run was part of the Project Carbon X, a 100K record attempt sponsored by running shoe company HOKA ONE ONE. The event was staged to promote HOKA’s new Carbon X racing shoe, and all the participating athletes wore them while running. Walmsley, along with seven other runners, traversed a 100K road course from Folsom, California, to Sacramento on Saturday morning in their dash to set new records (the men’s time to beat is 6:09:14; the women’s is 6:33:11). Hideaki Yamauchi of Japan won Saturday’s race with a time of 6:19:54, and Walmsley finished with a time of 6:55:24—but by blazing through the first 50 miles of the race, he nabbed a different record.
Walmsley already has a few FKTs under his belt. In 2018, he set course records at the Western States Endurance Run and the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile. He’s also been named “Ultrarunner of the Year” by Ultrarunning Magazine three years in a row. But the Carbon X run was a little different than his usual races, since it took place entirely on the road.
“My passion and love of running is rooted in the trails; however, road ultras have a history that excites me,” Walmsley said in a press release.
As for the Carbon X shoe, it’s HOKA’s answer to ultra-light racing shoes—like Reebok’s Floatride Run Fast Pro and Nike’s ZoomX Vaporfly, the latter of which Eliud Kipchoge wore in his record-breaking London Marathon finish in April. Although HOKA is known for well-cushioned shoes that err on the heavier side, the Carbon X combines the company’s signature plush ride in a lightweight (read: fast) package for runners looking to set new PRs—and possibly clock some new records along the way.
The new kicks go on sale on May 15 at hokaoneone.com and select retailers June 1.
Are you still trying to get into summer shape? The hardest part about any weight loss plan is, well, feeling hungry all the time. If you’re serious about losing your belly and trimming down in time for summer, the Boombod 28-day Achiever program can help you lose weight, fast.
Even if you’re crushing your daily HIIT workout, cutting calories, and avoiding desserts, losing weight is not easy, especially as we get older. We find ourselves thinking about food, never feeling satisfied with our meals, and being constantly hungry. This can lead to snacking, over-indulging, and downright cheating on our diet. And it can completely counter all the hard work we put in at the gym.
Boombod is a simple, quick, and painless way to lose weight naturally without feeling hungry. Each 10 calorie shot contains a unique vitamin blend to help your body achieve its goals, and a natural fiber that works to reduce your appetite—and is clinically proven to aid weight loss.
What’s the Secret to Boombod?
The key is the natural fiber glucomannan. It’s the only active ingredient that’s been recognized by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in relation to weight loss. Each Boombod shot contains a quality source of Glucomannan, which works by leaving less room for food, reducing your appetite, and helping you eat less. Glucomannan also sweeps through the digestive tract collecting food particles and toxins, performing a thorough cleanse without laxative effects.
Combine the Boombod 28-day Achiever program with a steady workout and fitness regimen, and before long you’re creating a daily calorie deficit. That means you’re burning more calories than you take in. And that means you’re losing weight. Period.
There are three unique vitamin blends in each Boombod shot. The Morning Energizer has iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and Glucomannan to boost your metabolism. It will get you going and keep you moving, without feeling hungry. The Afternoon Motivator shot provides zinc, vitamins B12, B6, and B1, as well as Glucomannan. It will reduce the tiredness and general fatigue we all feel after lunchtime, and help you avoid the dreaded 3 o’clock munchies. The Night Rejuvenator offers hair- and skin-rejuvenating biotin, selenium, vitamin D3 and Glucomannan. It will contribute to a healthier, more natural-looking you—and keep you from craving that late-night snack.
When Do I Take Boombod?
Take each shot about 30 minutes before meals in the morning, afternoon, and night. Boombod will keep you from feeling hungry and help your body prep for the fitness regimen and diet program you’ve set out for yourself. Within a month, Boombod will combine with your regimen to help get you slim, trim, and confident in time for beach season. Boombod comes in three Achiever plans: 7, 14, and 28 days. They all feature the same shots; your choice will depend on how much weight you want to lose.
And how much money you want to save. They’re all on sale right now. The 7-Day Achiever plan normally costs $40; it’s on sale right now for $32—that’s 20 percent off. The 14-Day Achiever plan ($60; regularly $80) is 25 percent off. The 28-Day Achiever is the best value. It’s regularly $160, but right now it’s just $112. That’s a 30 percent savings! And you get a free shaker bottle to boot.
So if you’re serious about losing your belly by summertime but are having trouble avoiding the temptations, try Boombod today. You’ll feel full and create that calorie deficit, so you’re burning calories rather than storing them. And you’ll have the confidence to whip that shirt off then the sea and sand come calling.
Michael K. Ryan, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon in Birmingham, Alabama, tells us why the Jefferson curl is his favorite move for desk jockeys.
THE JEFFERSON CURL is the stretch with the highest return on investment, helping the most muscles in the least amount of time. It’s ideal for anyone who stands for long periods of time, or who have desk jobs—basically all of us.
The curl addresses posterior chain issues, referring to the muscles that run from the base of the neck to the heels. Typing at a computer or cradling a phone on your shoulder lead to neck and shoulder tightness, which can pull up on the middle back, glutes, and hamstrings. Sitting stiffens calf muscles and glutes, pulling down on the mid-back and shoulders. Either way, your posterior chain needs TLC.
To do the curl, stand tall at the edge of a bench or plyo box, without a weight or holding a light kettlebell in both hands. Keeping legs straight, slowly bend over, starting with the head and neck, then progressing down one vertebra at a time. As you get to your lower back, keep knees locked out and fold over until kettlebell bottom goes past toes. Hold at the bottom, then tuck chin and draw chest toward thighs. Hold again, then slowly reverse, focusing on activating the core, hamstrings, and hip flexors.
Do this pattern 4 or 5 times, ideally every day. The combination of forward and reverse means each muscle gets an eccentric and concentric stretch—or stretch and release. Not only does this curl target every major muscle group up and down your back and legs, it also stretches out the smaller muscles, ligaments, and joints that make up the spine, which helps you bend and move in all directions. Done properly, it’s one of the few stretches that can completely alleviate tight posterior chain muscles after a long day, week, or month.
Ever notice when you start a low-carb diet, the first five pounds or so just drops off like magic in that first week? It seems miraculous, but the reason it happens is simple: You’re shedding water weight. Now, low-carb diets are great and all, but there are plenty of ways to lose water weight. So what’s the best diuretic supplement?
Shedding water weight is a quick and easy way to lose a bit of weight, fast. Done correctly, it’s perfectly safe. It’s ideal for making sure you look your best for a special occasion. Headed to a beach wedding or vacation this summer? Entering a bodybuilding competition? Going to a high school reunion? Anytime you want to drop a few quick pounds and enhance your muscular definition, here’s an experiment you can try.
How To Shed Water Weight
About a week or ten days out, just stop eating processed foods. Don’t starve yourself! Stay away from fast foods and junk, and eat plenty of chicken and fish. Mix in lots of whole grains and vegetables, and switch to a low-salt, low-carb diet overall. At the same time, start taking a diuretic supplement. Most importantly, make sure to maintain your regular exercise regimen. Because if you’re going to do this, you may as well make the most of it. And nothing sheds water like a good, sweaty workout.
Make sure to drink plenty of water; you’ll need to stay hydrated with all the fluids your body is flushing out. After a few days, chances are you may start to look and feel a bit trimmer and within a week or so, most people find themselves a few pounds lighter. Those who are already fitness enthusiasts should notice a bit more muscular definition. The effect is much the same as after you start that low-carb diet, but the diuretics should aid in flushing out excess water from your system. (Of course, you should always consult your doctor before beginning any kind of weight-loss regimen.)
As with any low-carb diet, once the water weight sheds off (your body will only regulate itself so far) your sudden, semi-drastic weight loss will temper itself. Then it’s up to you to continue eating right and exercising regularly. Clearly, avoiding processed and junk foods and cutting back on salt overall is good diet advice, anyway. But with any luck, you’ll not only look your best for the occasion, but you’ll have the discipline to stay the healthy, trim course.
There are plenty of products on the shelves that claim to help you lose water weight and ease bloating. Most of them are all-natural, herbal supplements that use a variation of dandelion root, cranberry powder, burdock root, and the like. Many are stimulant-free and vegetarian. Which diuretic supplements are best? Here are nine we think will help you shed water weight and ease bloating, naturally.
The next chapter of the ‘Perils of Pauline’ saga that is the CVS-Aetna merger won’t commence until June, as it turns out, but already the amici curiae are piling up on both sides. Judge Richard Leon of the US District Court for the District of Columbia has been lining up the witnesses he’ll be hearing from, both for and against.
On the ‘anti’ side, testifying that the settlement agreement would be anti-competitive and not in the best interest of consumers, the American Medical Association (AMA) had called in three professors, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation three, and Consumer Action and the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) one. On the ‘pro’ side, put forward by CVS and for the Department of Justice, are five witnesses, healthcare executives and government consultants, who will testify that actions taken by CVS and DOJ will preserve competition and benefit consumers.
Certainly as we clock the ninth month after DOJ approved the merger and the companies have closed the deal, the drama continues, as Judge Leon continues to get coverage and the merger continues to be held up in this highly unusual proceeding. HealthLeaders 22 April and 7 May.
Update 13 May.The DOJ is challenging the three AMA witnesses, saying that they will be broadening the hearing beyond the settlement agreement which is what the review by Judge Leon is supposed to be about. On the other hand, the judge has already stated that the settlement covers “about one-tenth of 1%” of the merger, so he is already staking out a much larger territory. The AMA, of course, is quite pleased with the opportunity. Is this hearing pushing the envelope of judicial overreach in this judge’s interpretation of what a District Court can do under the Tunney Act? We can only wait and see.Healthcare Dive 13 May. Our coverage of the hearing to date here.
Update 14 May. DOJ of course lost its fight with Judge Leon to limit the scope of the hearing and the AMA witness testimony, with the judge stating it is “essential” to understand how PBM affects Medicare Part D drug plans, though Aetna divested itself of the latter at DOJ’s direction. Both sides have three approved witnesses each for the three-day hearing. The ‘antis’ are Neeraj Sood (AMA), Diana Moss (Consumer Action/PIRG) and Michael Wohlfeiler (AIDS Healthcare foundation). The ‘pros’ are Alan Lotvin (CVS Health), Terri Swanson (Aetna) and Lawrence Wu (NERA Consulting). Healthcare Dive 14 May
For women, it’s well known that putting off having kids until middle age can be risky, both for their health and the health of their child. But men have never really been a part of that picture. Until now. New research suggests men need to be aware of their biological clocks, too.
Men who have children at the age of 45+ put their partners at risk for pregnancy complications, and their children have elevated risks of birth defects, childhood cancers, and other health issues, according to a study published in Maturitas. Researchers reviewed 40 years worth of studies on how parental age affects fertility, pregnancy, and a child’s well-being over time.
The findings come at a time where more and more men are delaying having children. The number of infants born to fathers over 45 has risen 10 percent in the U.S. over the past 40 years. To address the impacts of this trend, the study focused on three main risk areas: fertility, pregnancy, and children’s health. The researchers found that men 45 and older can experience decreased fertility, and if they decide to have children, their partners may experience a higher risk of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and premature birth. The data also showed that their children had a higher risk of issues like low scores on the Apgar test (a basic examination used to assess a baby’s heart rate, breathing, and overall health), low birth weight, congenital heart disease, and cleft palate.
The potential issues continued as the children grew up. Children born to older fathers had an elevated risk for several other mental and physical health problems, including childhood cancers, psychiatric and cognitive disorders, and autism.
Bachmann points to the natural process of aging as the root cause of most of these issues, although she cautions that more research is needed to really clarify how they’re all related. As men get older, their testosterone levels decline, and the quality of their sperm and semen starts to degrade as well, which helps explain the fertility issues older men often deal with. In addition, aging can cause genetic changes in male sperm, and these mutations may explain the correlation between high paternal age and increased risk of health issues in their children.
Overall, the study illustrates the importance of understanding how fertility changes with age, regardless of gender.
“Women tend to be more aware and educated than men about their reproductive health,” says study author Gloria Bachmann, director of the Women’s Health Institute at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “Most men do not consult with physicians unless they have a medical or fertility issue.”
But this doesn’t mean you have to have kids while you’re young, researchers say. Sperm banks provide another option. The researchers recommend men who want to delay fatherhood should bank their sperm before they turn 35, which should mitigate the risks to their partner and child.