Welcome to the WBD News Flash, your weekly highlight of HR benefits and healthcare news. Weekly, we will provide you with the top trending industry news stories in healthcare, human resources, legislation, benefits technology and administration, and more. Make the WBD News Flash your go to reference for current events!
CVS Caremark Adds Weight Management App
Employers using CVS Caremark will have a new wellness app to add to their benefits, as the plan will have access to Naturally Slim. This weight management app, developed with the input of psychologists, aims to help people understand their relationship with food. The brand says that between February and May, users of Naturally Slim lost weight, even while many Americans were putting on a few extra pounds due to pandemic lockdowns.
Naturally Slim’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tim Church, told Employee Benefit News that mindfulness tactics, like slowing down and savoring food, work because there’s a delay in communication between the stomach and brain. The app aims to improve healthy eating habits and, by extension, Naturally Slim says it will boost employee morale.
COVID-19 Could Change 60+ Lifestyles for Good
Experts in geriatric medicine tell Kaiser Health News that the pandemic will have long-lasting effects on how older Americans deal with their health. Most baby boomers felt they could live “for years and years” thanks to modern medicine, one expert says, but: “what we never calculated was that a pandemic could totally change the dialogue.
Predictions for the future of older Americans include a continued trend towards telemedicine, with as many as one-third of all medical visits going virtual. Avoiding the potential germs of a doctor’s office will also bolster drug-store vaccinations and home medical-monitoring devices. Disinfection and proof of vaccination could become sales pitches for cruises and other trips aimed at older travelers, as well as restaurants. And as older people are already staying in the workforce longer due to current trends, they’ll also want to continue to work from home—perhaps for the rest of their careers.
Teledoc to Acquire Medical Monitoring Company Livongo
As telemedicine’s use continues to soar, leading company Teledoc is planning to pay $18.5 billion in cash and stock for Livongo, according to FierceHealthcare. Livongo’s virtual care includes diabetes monitoring and remote monitoring. As a combined company, they could be worth $1.3 billion in revenue for 2020 — that’s year-over-year growth of 85%.
Teledoc’s acquisition aims to create a “depth and breadth of services that is unmated by any other company in the digital health space,” according to Teledoc CEO Jason Gorevic. Wall Street analysts see potential for the Teledoc/Livongo merger to be a single access point for virtual care over coming years. It will also boost the continued investment into digital and virtual health by other companies. In other words, telehealth is poised to continue its meteoric rise.