Humana may be snapped up by Walmart
Despite the enthusiasm surrounding the transaction, from the financial standpoint, Walmart can easily afford the acquisition. The Company has over $300B in enterprise value vs. Humana, with only $42B.
We believe that the move has a subtle message. As more and more of Walmart’s sales move to its on line channel, the company is facing challenges of how to fill its 5,000 stores. Providing healthcare seems to be a good idea. Walmart’s Care Clinics are already in high demand. Combining the provider and the payor under one roof will materially increase operational efficiency and risk management. We will see if it happens. Health insurance business is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the U.S.
Six New Jersey hospitals combined forces to self-insure their 50,000 employees
Health Transformation Consortium, as it is called, will bring six competitors under one grand mission. HTC will select one third party administrator (TPA) and one carrier in the next few months. Scheduled launch is Jan 2019.
This is not dissimilar to the venture formed by JPM/Berkshire Hathaway/Amazon. Exception being that the providers themselves are aiming to reduce cost of care of their employees. Due to advances in interoperability and connectivity, these providers are in a stronger position to exchange and share medical data with each other. Plan is to take the product to large local employers and potentially nationally once tangible savings are evidenced.
FDA approves the first ever autonomous AI diagnostic device for diabetic retinopathy
This is a historic moment for our FDA to bless a device that can detect a form of eye disease by looking at the photos of the retina. No doctor is needed for the diagnosis.
Once the pictures of the eye is uploaded, IDX-DR software algorithm analyses the images of the eye to determine whether the patient has the condition.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common vision complication for people with diabetes inflicting 200,000 patients a year. We expect a wave of autonomous diagnostic tests hitting the market in the coming years.