Morning Read: GAO shows vulnerable to fraud, the next telemedicine IPO?

A report by the government accountability office showed that the federal marketplace is vulnerable to fraud, a physical therapy startup could be next telemedicine IPO.

TOP STORIES continues to be the source of bad news. In a troubling report from the Government Accountability Office, it showed that the federal marketplace is vulnerable to fraud. The GAO had submitted 12 fake applications over the phone and online. Although the marketplace re-enrolled 11 of the 12 fake applicants for 2015, it later canceled six of them but five of them were later reinstated with larger subsidies. The report found that the Marketplace did not terminate any coverage for several types of inconsistencies, including Social Security data or incarceration status.

The report found that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees implementation of the 2010 health law, isn’t required to detect fraud and that CMS officials acknowledged “limited ability” to respond to fraud attempts. CMS told the GAO that there haven’t been signs of a significant level of fraud.

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing today on the findings.

Government Accountability Office, The Wall Street Journal

What will be the next digital health IPO? American Well? Jawbone? Actually, it may be this telemedicine meets physical therapy company, eWellness Healthcare. The early stage has filed an amended S-1 seeking to raise a modest $574,000 IPO. The company uses remote monitoring to track the progress of users. The initial target customers are people diagnosed with pre-diabetes. But given that its first S-1 fling dates back to April and since then, FitBit, Evolent Health and Teladoc have gone public, at the rate it’s going it will likely be overtaken by more digital health offerings.  — eWellness Healthcare


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Fujifilm Medical Systems submitted the 1st module of its FDA premarket approval application for digital breast tomosynthesis as an upgrade for its Aspire Cristalle mammography system.  — MassDevice

Rubicon Genomics announced it has raised $2 million in a structured debt deal. The financing was led by BroadOak Capital Partners in Bethesda, MD, with participation from Tucson, AZ-based Research Corporation Technologies.



AmeriHealth Caritas, a Medicaid managed care organization, has inked a deal to cover Theranos diagnostic testing, the second dedicated insurer to do so. AmeriHealth Caritas is part of Independence Health Group in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  — AmeriHealth Caritas

The average provider network for plans offered on the health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act include 34 percent fewer providers than the average commercial plan offered outside the exchanges. Becker’s Hospital Review

Mental health deserves more attention all around the country, but funds don’t always go that direction. In a effort toward progress, in California, Sacramento County has now received $5.7 million in grant funding for three new 15-bed mental health crisis residential treatment programs.

“The region’s four not-for-profit health systems are united in the view that additional crisis residential facilities in Sacramento County will increase access and lead to better patient care for those in need,” Bill Mueller, executive director at Valley Vision and project manager for a local mental health improvement coalition, said in a news release.

Sacramento Business Journal


A new study from Northwestern used an individual’s smartphone habits to predict whether or not the he or she was depressed.

Led by Dr. David C. Mohr, director of Northwestern’s Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies, the study tracked behaviors that previous studies have linked with depression, including hours spent in certain locations (e.g. work and home) and time spent interacting with the phone. Exactly 40 individuals were chosen from Craigslist to participate in the study; 28 ended up with data sufficient enough to analyze after two weeks.

The Daily Beast

Zoom+ leaders are offering $35 video medical visits. The company formerly known as ZoomCare will also offer the visits for free for its Zoom+ Performance Health Insurance members. Those who want to self-pay can fork over the $35. For both sets of patients, the service is available immediately. Those covered by other insurance providers can tap in starting Jan. 1, according to Dr. Dave Sanders, Zoom+s CEO. Portland Business Journal


Colorado may be a bastion of recreational drug use but they are a little more conservative when it comes to medical marijuana, it would seem. The state’s board of health rejected a proposal to prescribe weed for PTSD by a 6-2 vote, despite a recommendation from the chief medical officer for the state. Board members cited a lack of research. Minneapolis Star Tribune


The need more women involved in the technology industry is being addressed directly in a new platform. Boardlist is a new database service, currently in beta, was designed for tech companies to search for female candidates.  USA Today

Photo: Flickr user David Yu