ADVOCATE AURORA-BEAUMONT MERGER WOULD CREATE $17B SYSTEM: Advocate Aurora Health and Beaumont Health said Wednesday the not-for-profit health systems plan to combine to form a $17 billion system with hospitals in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. The resulting system would have 36 hospitals and employ more than 100,000 people. READ MORE.
On its face, the deal appears relatively safe from an antitrust perspective because of the systems' geography, said Peter Mucchetti, a partner with Clifford Chance and the former chief of the Department of Justice's Healthcare and Consumer Products section tells Modern Healthcare.
CHICAGO HAS A UNIQUE STRAIN OF COVID, RESEARCHERS SAY: A new study from Northwestern Medicine that has yet to be peer-reviewed shows that the virus circulating here is linked to the early outbreak in China. The Chicago area “is a melting pot for different versions of the virus because it is such a transportation hub,” Dr. Egon Ozer, an assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. READ MORE.
SINAI GETS FUNDING FOR WEST SIDE AMBULATORY SURGERY CENTER: Sinai Health System will receive $7 million from the City of Chicago for an ambulatory surgery center in the Ogden Commons development in North Lawndale, the system said in a statement. The surgery center, funded by the U.S. CARES Act, is scheduled for completion in July 2021, a Sinai spokesman said, and will also include a digestive health center and dialysis center.
The health system’s center is part of an $200 million, 11-acre mixed use development in an area that’s suffered throughout the years from disinvestment. It is a partnership between Sinai, the Chicago Housing ity, the Habitat Company and Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.
HCSC, EPIC INK DEAL FOR DATA PLATFORM: Health Care Service Corp. has entered into a contract with Epic Systems Corp. in which the Illinois Blue Cross and Blue Shield and other HCSC plans would be able link with provider organizations that use Epic’s electronic health records, Modern Healthcare reports.
MANUFACTURER GROUP LAUNCHES COVID-19 PRODUCT FINDER: The Healthcare Manufacturers Management Council has launched the COVID-19 Product Exchange site, where health care manufacturers can list the products they have to offer to address COVID-19 needs. Providers, government emergency management agencies, and first-responder organizations can post the kinds of products they’re in need of.
Joe Przepiorka, HMMC board member and vice president of Encompass Health Systems, said he knew the council had a role to play when he saw Gov. JB Pritzker early on during the pandemic reach out to the Illinois Manufacturers Association and the state Chamber of Commerce seeking personal protection equipment and medical devices. “We wanted to make sure that all the suppliers who weren’t finding things through their normal channels had a chance to find things through more non-traditional channels,” said Przepiorka, who is based in the Chicago area.
WHO DROPS HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE, BUT IS LOOKING AT ABBOTT DRUG: The World Health Organization has halted testing of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, following the U.S. FDA’s ending of the malaria drug’s emergency use ization. However, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said in a briefing Thursday the organization is looking at interim data on combination of the drugs lopinavir and ritonavir to decide whether those studies merit continuation. Abbott Laboratories sells the combination under the brand Kaletra.
STATE SUES PLASMA COMPANY ALLEGING DISCRIMINATION: Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has filed suit against CSL Plasma, Inc., alleging it ran afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act by refusing to serve individuals with disabilities at their plasma collection centers. The suit contends CSL Plasma refuses to make its collection centers accessible to people with disabilities and prevents deaf people, people with mental health disabilities and those who use a service animal from being compensated for their time. CSL Plasma did not respond to a request for comment before deadline.
HHS GIVES ILLINOIS NEARLY $3.5 MILLION FOR WORKFORCE TRAINING: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding six Illinois medical education programs nearly $3.5 million in funding to increase and train the health workforce in rural and underserved communities, the department said in a statement. Among the awards, $26.7 million will go to the Nurse Faculty Loan Program and $13 million will go to fund post-doctoral training in pediatric and general health dentistry.
MERIDIAN PROVIDES FUNDING TO ADDRESS RACIAL DISPARITIES: Meridian Health Plan will provide $480,000 in funding to eight Federally Qualified Health Centers in Illinois to help address health disparities among those communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The pandemic is disproportionally impacting minority communities and underserved populations across Illinois, and we are committed to working with our provider partners to find new and innovative ways to help narrow this gap," Karen Brach, Plan President and CEO, Meridian in Illinois said in a statement.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE:
• Alex Evans has been named chief executive officer of Chicago health technology company RareiTi Inc. She previously served as director of quality and governance for Healthcare at AG亚洲国际游戏home.
• Mandy Hale has been named the first chief nursing officer at kidney care company DaVita. Hale is based in the Chicago area.