A weekly news and analysis podcast from the folks behind Healthcare IT News, MobiHealthNews, and Healthcare Finance News.

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How Oscar Health is taking on legacy players to bring innovation to health insurance — with Mario Schlosser

These days, Insuretech is its own burgeoning startup ecosystem. But in 2012, a startup elbowing into a space dominated by big longterm players like United, Humana, Cigna, and the Blues was audacious and unheard of. Enter Oscar Health, the health insurance startup that’s been pushing the envelope, exploring ways technology can improve the experience. For today's HIMSSCast, Oscar CEO Mario Schlosser joins host Jonah Comstock and Healthcare Finance News Managing Editor Susan Morse to tell his story and answer some questions about the company's latest moves. Along the way we discuss telehealth, value-based care, and more.Talking points:What makes Oscar’s full-stack approach to technology differentDifferentiators: Automation, virtual primary care, +OscarMajor factors driving trends in healthcareHow COVID boosted the virtual primary care businessHow Oscar overcame (and overcomes) healthcare’s first-mover curse‘Shifting the battlefield” toward value-based careDriving Oscar towards profitabilityOscar’s relationship with Cigna, and with other payersMoving toward the frontier of risk-based paymentsWhy telemedicine and value-based care need each otherThe Catch-22 of risk-sharing in healthcareThe emerging “orthogonal” healthcare systemThe last mile in telehealthIncreasing provider interest in being in the health plan businessMore about this episode:With $400M injection, tech-savvy health insurer Oscar eyes 1M member mark (from 2016)Alphabet's $375 million in Oscar Health will expand insurer into Medicare Advantage business (from 2018) Oscar's new program aims to give providers and third-party payors access to its tech-backed insurance platformCigna, Oscar plan to expand affordable coverage for small businesses in ConnecticutOscar launches no-cost virtual primary care in planned 2021 expansionTech-minded insurance company Oscar Health announces IPOHealth insuretech company Oscar scores $225M in new fundingOscar lands $140M more as it prepares to scale in 2021
June 11, 2021

Top Stories for 6/11

UnitedHealthcare institutes policy allowing it to retroactively deny ED claims; Apple unveils walking stability assessments in iPhone update . Also: Mount Sinai Health System teams with Caregility and Language Line to help cater to patients with limited English proficiency.Links to the stories:UnitedHealthcare looks to retroactively deny emergency room claimsApple adds walking stability, family and provider health sharing, and more at WWDC 2021Mount Sinai eases translation in 200 languages through its Epic telehealth platform
June 11, 2021

From big pharma to the startup world — with Eugene Borukhovich

Eugene Borukhovich, COO of YourCoach, former global head of digital health at Bayer, and co-host of the podcast "A Shot of Digital Health Therapy", joins HIMSSCast for a wide-ranging discussion about his career and his unique perspective on digital health and health innovation. Be sure to check out host Jonah Comstock's appearance on Eugene's podcast as well.Talking points:YourCoach: Applying digital health ideas to health coachingHow the business of YourCoach came togetherMissing pieces in the healthcare pictureEugene’s experience in pharma and how it set him up for the entrepreneur worldDoing things better versus doing better thingsLessons learned from the health accelerator spaceEugene’s book-in-progress “Hard Pill to Swallow”The health tech podcast experienceEugene’s thoughts on the current funding boomThoughts about the term "patient engagement"More about this episode: YourCoach looks to employer space with new version of wellness platformWith many regulatory barriers clear, remaining roadblocks for digital therapeutics are cultural, logisticalBayer plans launch of US accelerator focused on self care marketsDigital health completes a record-breaking first quarter driven by mega dealsHard Pill to Swallow on Substack
June 9, 2021

Top Stories for 6/4

President Joe Biden’s proposed 2022 budget includes funds set aside for healthcare, including health IT infrastructure and the Strategic National Stockpile. Plus: A new digital health accelerator with a focus on pharma.Links to the stories:HHS: Biden's FY22 budget will invest in pandemic preparedness, expanding affordable careBiden's $6T budget includes cybersecurity, broadband infrastructureNew accelerator aims to help pharma and digital health companies get on the same page
June 4, 2021

Age-related cognitive decline is not inevitable — with Dr. Charles Alessi

Is losing your mental faculties just a part of getting older? In his new book, Dr. Charles Alessi, HIMSS Chief Clinical Officer, says no. Host Jonah Comstock welcomes Dr. Alessi to discuss "Increase Your Brainability — and Reduce Your Risk of Dementia", his recently published book with co-authors Larry Chambers and Sir Muir Gray.Talking pointsWhy write this book now? Reducing the mystery and misinformation about dementiaDr. Alessi’s co-authors, Muir Gray and Larry ChambersMisconceptions about dementia and inevitabilityNew technology addressing cognitive declineResilience and neural plasticityOther things people can do to stave off cognitive declineQuestioning the inevitability of agingThe digital divide and the importance of designing products for older peopleThe link between mental and physical healthMore about this episodeOrder the bookImproving education levels, heart health trigger decline in dementia prevalence, JAMA study saysClinical trial explores whether video conversations can prevent dementia in isolated seniorsNewly launched, Brain U Online aims to stymie dementia in aging consumersInterSystems, Cognetivity partner on early dementia detection
June 4, 2021

Telehealth in the trenches — with Carol Hornbeck and Edwin Shurig

In this very special episode of HIMSSCast, host Jonah Comstock welcomes his mother Carol Hornbeck, a marriage and family therapist in Minneapolis, and her colleague Edwin Shurig, a mental health counselor in Indianapolis. Along with Healthcare IT News Senior Editor Kat Jercich, we discuss what it was like for small practices and independent therapists to make the sudden move to telehealth in the face of COVID-19 — and how the experience will shape the future of their practice.This podcast is brought to you by OnTrak.  Talking pointsEdwin and Carol’s telehealth experiences prior to the pandemicWhich telehealth tools helped with the transitionPros and cons of teletherapyTelehealth: Great for couples, tough for kidsGoing beyond telehealth: apps in the session roomTherapeutic applications of fitness apps and trackers Thoughts on teletherapy startupsThe importance of therapists connecting to each otherRegulatory challenges of teletherapy— especially licensureHow Edwin and Carol will use telehealth going forwardPayment parity and reimbursement challengesAdvice for telehealth tech vendorsMore about this episodeThe Virtual Care Paradigm Episode 1Carol on "Talking Your Way to Change"COVID-19 ratcheting up demand for virtual behavioral healthcare, Cigna findsTelehealth use on rise for behavioral healthNow is the time for providers to be proactive about telehealthTeladoc Health data shows virtual mental healthcare boom
May 28, 2021

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HIMSSCast is a podcast produced by the HIMSS Media editorial team behind Healthcare IT News, MobiHealthNews, and Healthcare Finance News.

In each episode, host Jonah Comstock is joined by editors from one or more of the brands and/or special guests from around the health tech industry to discuss major news stories or trends in the space. The aim of the show is to add depth, analysis, and color to our ongoing coverage of the digital health, health tech, and healthcare finance realms, as well as to facilitate lively conversations about hot health tech topics.
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Jonah Comstock

Jonah Comstock

Editor in Chief, HIMSS Media

Jonah Comstock is the Director of Content Development and Editor in Chief for HIMSS Media, which includes MobiHealthNews, Heathcare IT News, and Healthcare Finance News.

A Columbia Journalism alum, Jonah has previously written for Psychology Today and the Columbia Journalism Review. He's also a Dow Jones Copy Editing Fellow and has worked on the copy desks at Newsday and the Tampa Bay Times. Jonah works out of MobiHealthNews HQ in Cambridge, MA. He has spoken at numerous industry events including Health 2.0, the Connected Health Conference, and the HIMSS Global Conference, and has served as a judge for the GSMA Global Mobile Awards and the MEDinIsrael Innovation Awards.

Reach him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter @JonahComstock.

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