Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Partners with Fitbit, Lyft drives into the healthcare lane, and more.

Lyft partners with Solve.Care to improve patient care

Need a Lyft? Solve.Care and the on-demand transportation company have teamed up to help consumers request rides to health appointments. Solve.Care is a blockchain startup that automates data from patients, providers, employers and insurers into a single platform.

“By partnering with Lyft, our platform will provide a more efficient and seamless experience for patients and enable payers, employers and other agencies to improve patient satisfaction through timely access to care, reduced wait times and simpler cost-sharing and access to transportation subsidies,” Solve.Care CEO Pradeep Goal told BTCManager.

Anti-vax messages to blame for measles outbreaks

Measles is on the rise across Britain and experts blame the anti-vaccination movement on social media.

“Across the world, two to three million lives are saved each year by vaccination,” said Simon Stevens, head of England’s National Health Service. “But as part of the fake news movement, the vaccination deniers are getting some traction.”

Measles is a potentially fatal yet highly preventable disease. But from 2017 to 2018, measles cases have tripled in Britain. To combat the spread of misinformation, the Royal Society for Public Health released a study titled “Moving the Needle: Promoting vaccination uptake across the life course.” The study asks social media platforms to “clamp down on ‘fake news’ spread on their sites by prioritizing health information from reputable sources.”

Healthcare spending to reach $6T by 2027

National healthcare spending will grow at a rate of 5.5 percent annually through 2027, says a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of the Actuary. The increase translates to $6 trillion. Healthcare expenditures will also outpace the gross domestic product (GDP) by .8 percent over the next eight years.

“The report found that by 2027, federal, state and local governments are projected to finance 47 percent of national health spending, an increase of 2 percentage points from 45 percent in 2017,” CMS said.

Economic factors including income and employment increases will drive the national growth in health spending and enrollment, the report said.

Eli Lilly to offer cheaper insulin

Drug manufacturer Ely Lilly is listening to the outcry from patients with diabetes and lawmakers. The drug company has come under attack for the rising cost of Humalog, its diabetes medication. In 2001, Humalog sold for $35 a vial. By 2015, the price had risen to $234, an increase of 585 percent.

Lilly will sell its generic Insulin Lispro in the U.S. at half the cost of Humalog. Novo Nordisk and Sanofi SA, two other insulin producers, plan on making their insulin more affordable as well, especially to uninsured patients.

BCBSA and Fitbit team up to promote healthy living

Your fitness wearable may offer your health plan the data it needs to improve your care and lower your costs. That’s why the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) has partnered with Fitbit for its Blue365 program. The program will offer plan members discounts and special promotions for Fitbit’s activity trackers and smartwatches.

“Devices like wearables are designed to really get our members more engaged in taking an active role in their health, giving them real-time information,” said Mark Talluto, BCBSA’s vice president of strategy and analytics. “Wearables are a good way to remind them of how well they are achieving their own goals. It’s really important in terms of behavior change.”

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