Teladoc Sets Record with 100,000 Telehealth Visits during November

Teladoc, Inc., the undisputed leader in telehealth, providing access to care for millions, announced today that a company record was set during the month of November with a total of 101,600 patient visits. The impressive milestone was fueled by an increase in utilization among existing members, along with new members and expanded clinical services. The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) predicted the telehealth industry to record a total of 1.25 million visits in 2016, and Teladoc is accounting for significant growth in the market as demonstrated by its new record monthly visit volume.

“This new milestone of more than 100,000 monthly patient visits further substantiates that Teladoc has the scalable platform, clinical expertise and member support needed to effectively manage the increased volume as more and more consumers are engaging with us,” said Stephany Verstraete, chief marketing officer, Teladoc. “Our innovative approach to driving adoption is proving effective in shifting member mindset; members are embracing Teladoc as a valued care option.”

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FDA expands use of Genentech's Avastin

The FDA has expanded the approval for bevacizumab (Avastin) in ovarian cancer to include patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent disease as part of a combination regimen with chemotherapy followed by continued use of the angiogenesis inhibitor, according to Genentech, which developed the drug.

The approval is based on results from 2 randomized controlled phase III studies, GOG-0213 and OCEANS. GOG-0213 demonstrated that adding bevacizumab to chemotherapy led to a non-statistically significant median overall survival (OS) difference of 5 months compared with chemotherapy alone (42.6 months vs 37.3 months, respectively; HR, 0.84).

Both studies demonstrated a significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS). In the GOG-0213 study, median PFS improved by 3.4 months with the addition of bevacizumab to chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone (13.8 months vs 10.4 months, respectively; HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.51-0.72), according to Genentech.

The OCEANS study, which enrolled 484 women, showed a median PFS improvement of 4 months for bevacizumab with chemotherapy versus placebo plus chemotherapy (12.4 months vs 8.4 months, respectively; HR, 0.46, 95% CI, 0.37-0.58; P <.0001). The secondary endpoint of OS did not show statistically significant improvement (HR, 0.95).

In both trials, the bevacizumab-containing regimens resulted in higher objective response rates (ORRs). The ORR with bevacizumab was 78% in both studies; for the chemotherapy arms, the ORR was 56% in GOG-0213 and 57% in OCEANS.

The approval gives women with recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer a treatment option that is superior to chemotherapy alone, said Sandra Horning, MD, chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development for Genentech, touting the 5-month improvement in OS. Woman are considered to have a platinum-sensitive form of the disease if a relapse occurs 6 months or longer following the last treatment with a platinum-based chemotherapy.

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Tulane and Blue Cross Join Forces to Improve Louisiana Healthcare

Two of Louisiana’s premiere institutions have created a powerful and innovative partnership designed to improve healthcare and healthcare delivery across Louisiana.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Tulane University have created the Partnership for Healthcare Innovation, an unprecedented level of cooperation between the insurer and a university.  The venture will find solutions for healthcare issues in Louisiana, where a disproportionate share of the population suffers from diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

“Researchers from across Tulane are exploring different facets of these healthcare challenges,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Robin Forman. “This new partnership will combine their ideas, questions and analysis with the deep expertise and experience of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana to yield new insights and innovative solutions in healthcare delivery.”

Blue Cross President & CEO Dr. I. Steven Udvarhelyi said, “This collaboration is a tremendous opportunity. We are working with Tulane to share data, develop research projects and deliver findings to consumers, business owners, healthcare professionals and policymakers across our state—all with the goals of driving innovation and improving how our healthcare system works.”

The two organizations recently held an inaugural workshop at Tulane where nearly 100 people gathered to exchange information about the resources each can offer the partnership. John Maginnis, vice president of Corporate Communications at Blue Cross, told the crowd it was important to understand why they were there.

“There is a health crisis here in Louisiana,” Maginnis said, noting that Louisiana has the highest adult obesity rate in the nation at 36.2 percent, as well as ranking No. 4 in obesity for children ages 10 to 17,  No. 5 for adult diabetes, No. 4 for hypertension and fifth worst for heart disease.

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