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Alignment Healthcare Adds MemorialCare Hospitals and Doctors to 2021 Medicare Advantage Provider Network

Nationally ranked nonprofit health system and Medicare Advantage insurance provider sign agreement to expand access to care for Medicare-eligible beneficiaries in Southern California

MemorialCare, a leading nonprofit health system in Southern California with hundreds of primary care and specialty providers, four top hospitals and 200 locations, is joining Alignment Healthcare’s Medicare Advantage provider network starting Jan. 1, 2021, expanding its scope of coverage to 2 million Medicare-eligible residents in Los Angeles and Orange counties.1

This means that Medicare beneficiaries who enroll in select plans from Alignment – named one of four 2020 Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage in California by U.S. News & World Report – will have access to MemorialCare’s hospitals, health centers and urgent care locations and may seek “in-network” care from physicians associated with MemorialCare Medical Foundation. Medicare’s annual enrollment period for the 2021 plan year begins Oct. 15.

“As part of Alignment’s network, we will ensure that more people will have increased access to MemorialCare’s renowned services,” said Mark Schafer, M.D., CEO, MemorialCare Medical Foundation, which includes MemorialCare Medical Group, Greater Newport Physicians, and Edinger Medical Group. “MemorialCare has a long, 113-year history of providing quality care to Southern California communities, and joining Alignment’s network allows us to continue delivering on that commitment.”

Alignment Healthcare continues to grow and recently announced in August that it plans to expand its Medicare Advantage plans into several new markets across California, Nevada, and North Carolina starting in 2021. Alignment’s health care delivery model – powered by its proprietary command center technology AVA™ – and ACCESS On-Demand Concierge program, launched in 2019, offers its Medicare Advantage members white-glove service such as round-the-clock access to a doctor by phone or video, a dedicated concierge team, and a black benefits card that can be used like a debit card – all at no additional cost. Depending on their plan, members receive a monthly allowance automatically loaded onto their black card to purchase eligible over-the-counter and grocery benefit items at more than 50,000 retailers nationwide.

“At Alignment Healthcare, we are always looking for ways to make our members happy, and we hope they will be pleased with having access to MemorialCare’s top-rated doctors, hospitals and services,” said Dawn Maroney, president of consumer and markets, Alignment Healthcare. “This announcement is also an important consideration for Southern Californians who are making a decision about their 2021 Medicare coverage during this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period – to know what health care providers will be available to them in their health plan’s network when they need it in 2021.”

MemorialCare’s Long Beach Medical Center, Orange Coast Medical Center, Saddleback Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Hospitals and “high performing” in numerous clinical categories since the rankings began. In addition, MemorialCare Medical Foundation comprises more than 350 primary care physicians and 2,250 specialists in the areas of internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, geriatric medicine, pulmonology,

Major hospital system struggling to recover computer network operations after cyberattack

Universal Health Services, a large hospital system with more than 400 locations across the country, was still working Tuesday to get its network and operations back online after a cyberattack early Sunday morning.



a close up of a sign: A logo sign outside the headquarters of Universal Health Services, Inc., in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania on June 28, 2015. Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***


© Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa/AP
A logo sign outside the headquarters of Universal Health Services, Inc., in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania on June 28, 2015. Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***

“We are making steady progress with recovery efforts,” the Pennsylvania-based company said in a statement late Tuesday. “Certain applications have already started coming online again, with others projected to be restored on a rolling basis across the U.S.”

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The company said it “experienced an information technology security incident in the early morning hours of September 27, 2020,” and as a result it was forced to shut down its entire computer network, impacting patient data, laboratory systems and clinical information.

“Patient care continues to be delivered safely and effectively,” the company’s statement noted, adding that at the moment there’s “no evidence that patient or employee data was accessed, copied or misused.”

Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a cardiologist at George Washington University Medical Center, a UHS acute care hospital impacted by the attack, told CNN it may take several days to reset the system.

“They proactively took down all, their entire network, to protect the network when they detected the attack and they’re working using these downtime protocols to maintain clinical operations in a safe way while they slowly bring systems back up online,” he said.

In the meantime, he said it’s a “big deal.”

Reiner said the affected facilities are back to using manual systems, which was once the norm, so patient safety isn’t necessarily a problem at all. “But it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal,” he repeated.

He said he had to cancel several surgical procedures Tuesday and added it’s “much more cumbersome to track down patient data.”

The UHS statement said its facilities are using “established back-up processes including offline documentation methods” — meaning pen and paper.

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Endpoint Health and Vanderbilt University Medical Center to Create World’s First Precision Medicine Trial Network Focused on Critical Illness

Late-stage interventional trials will evaluate personalized approaches to existing care and novel targeted therapies

Endpoint Health, the first targeted therapeutics company focused on integrated solutions for critical illnesses, today announced a new strategic partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) to create the first precision medicine clinical trial network focused on late-stage clinical trials in critical illness. The network will combine leading critical illness researchers, trialists and premier medical centers from across the country to create a sustained system for conducting phase II and III interventional trials intended to validate precision medicine technologies, therapies, and deployable patient-centric care approaches. It will prioritize trials investigating promising precision-driven interventions to prevent or treat critical illnesses such as sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which are the most expensive conditions to treat in the hospital setting and are associated with half of U.S. hospital mortality.

“Endpoint Health envisions a future where clinicians are empowered with an array of targeted therapies and personalized approaches to improve the outcomes of their sickest patients,” said Jason Springs, co-founder and CEO of Endpoint Health. “Our partnership with VUMC will establish a foundational piece of the ecosystem necessary to make this vision real for the critical care community.”

VUMC will serve as the trial network coordinating center with Endpoint Health providing the underlying technology that leverages digital and molecular patient data to predict likely therapeutic response. The goal of the network is to conduct an ongoing series of trials that study multiple precision-driven interventions to treat or prevent critical illness. Endpoint’s technology is already being piloted in a phase II randomized controlled trial at VUMC, which started enrolling patients this month. Endpoint will also sponsor the first precision interventional trial, which will evaluate one of the company’s investigational products.

“Precision medicine in critical care has long been a goal that healthcare has struggled to attain due to the complex and fast-moving nature of critical illnesses,” said Dr. Todd Rice, Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at VUMC. “Our partnership with Endpoint Health will help turn that vision into a reality. Together, we are building the infrastructure needed to run efficient and effective precision clinical trials that use advanced technologies to guide patient enrollment and treatment selection that ultimately improve patient outcomes.”

“COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the need for better, more personalized care that addresses critically ill patients in both the ED and ICU,” said Dr. Wesley Self, Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at VUMC. “Our ability to validate new treatments in a manner that can be translated into actual clinical practice quickly and effectively is an essential step to bringing life-saving targeted therapies to some of the sickest patients. This is an exciting development for the medical community, and ultimately patients, as it will facilitate significant new research and therapy discovery opportunities.”

About Endpoint Health

Endpoint Health combines therapeutics, companion diagnostics, and artificial intelligence (AI) into an integrated platform designed to improve outcomes of patients with critical