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Welcome to The Economy Update, CED's collection of original and aggregated news stories, podcasts and videos with relevant news about the Phoenix economy. News stories can be filtered by topic when clicking on one  of the blue buttons. 

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Eric Jay Toll
Communications Manager 
Mobile:  602-617-3797​

Submit news stories for publication with at least one high resolution, full size JPG or PNG image, at least 2000 pixels wide; MP3 podcasts; or High Definition, 1080i MP4 video to Communications Manager Eric Jay Toll



Paradigm Diagnostics Receives Expanded Medicare Coverage for PCDx for Solid Tumors768Paradigm Diagnostics Receives Expanded Medicare Coverage for PCDx for Solid Tumors<div class="ExternalClassBEB6C615DA7740FF84D3BB7EA57408BF"><div style="text-align:center;"><figure> <img src="/econdevsite/MediaAssets/EconomyUpdate/NEWSROOM-20200110-Paradigm-Diagnostics.jpg" alt="Photo, laboratory seen from hallway with people working in lab and woman walking in hall" /> <figcaption>Image: <em>WRITE IMAGE CREDIT HERE<em> </em></em></figcaption><em><em> </em></em></figure></div><em><em>​<p>​Paradigm Diagnostics, Inc. announced that Palmetto GBA, the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for the Molecular Diagnostics MolDX program, has reviewed the technical dossier and broadly approved the Paradigm Cancer Diagnostic (PCDx) assay under the Local Coverage Determination for next-generation sequencing for solid tumors.<br></p> <p>The PCDx test provides physicians and their patients with a blueprint of the underlying mechanisms of a patient's disease, potential treatment approaches, and inventory of relevant clinical trials. The test gets results back to physicians in three to five business days, rather than weeks.  The PCDx assay detects substitutions, insertion and deletion alterations (indels), and copy number alterations in 234 genes and select gene rearrangements. PCDx also detects genomic signatures, including micro satellite instability (MSI) and tumor mutational burden (TMB) using DNA isolated from formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tumor tissue specimens in addition to select immunohistochemistry tests.</p> <p>"After an extensive technical review, the expanded Medicare coverage significantly enhances Paradigm's ability to enable broader and earlier access to biomarker-driven treatments that may improve survival for cancer patients," said David Mallery, CEO.<br></p></em></em></div>1/10/2020 7:00:00 AM
Equality Health Enters into Risk-Based Contracting in Arizona and California769Equality Health Enters into Risk-Based Contracting in Arizona and California<div class="ExternalClass0CEA1066B2484E2C8D80239EA9B79921"><p> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Equality Health®</a>, the Phoenix-based whole-health delivery system, announces that health plan partners in Arizona and California have agreed to contracts that will allow Equality Health to assume a larger percentage of risk from managed care organizations in these states. The new risk-based contracts are the result of two years of successful improvements in quality of care and lowering of healthcare costs. Equality Health taking on additional risk helps plans and practices optimize performance because doctors can spend less time on administrative tasks and more time caring holistically for their patients.</p><p>This new venture is a testament to the legitimacy of the whole-person care model innovated by Equality Health, rooted in population-specific approaches and data-driven methodologies for 'next generation' healthcare. This initiative would not be possible without the dedication of independent physicians working in partnership with Equality Health.</p><p>"Our organized whole-health delivery system positions health plans and physician practices for success within this new reimbursement structure and the decision to take on risk-based contracts speaks volumes about our proven approach," said Hugh Lytle, Founder and CEO of Equality Health. "Our contracts are designed to support plans and practices and at this point, all are in some form of shared risk. We are extremely grateful to have health plan partners who, through our collaborative partnerships, support this transition toward value-based care."</p><p>The move is in response to the recent decision by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)—the state's Medicaid program—to move from paying for volume to paying for value. In Arizona specifically, AHCCCS continues to align incentives for managed care organizations and providers, requiring up to 65 percent of managed care contracts adhere to value-based purchasing arrangements by 2021, with increasing levels of clinical and financial risk.</p><p>"AHCCCS initially began working to align care delivery with payment reform in 2013 when we first started implementing value-based purchasing. We continue to move the AHCCCS provider network to incentivize quality outcomes versus quantity in order to inspire new ideas and improvements in the delivery system for members," said Jami Snyder, Director of AHCCCS. "As healthcare continues to transform, addressing social determinants of health, those factors beyond healthcare that contribute to a person's overall health and wellness, is one example that we expect will be a differentiator for our state as we continue to identify ways to improve health outcomes while also slowing costs."</p><p>Equality Health has the proven know-how to support partners to help achieve higher quality and reduce inefficiencies and maintain the necessary integrated care standards. Equality Health partners with health plans to equip practices with the technology, training, aligned incentives, and practice management support necessary to engage with AHCCCS's vision for healthcare while building a more sustainable whole-person care model.</p><p>"Over the last three years, we have built out our technology, care management processes, ambulatory delivery system and many other offerings that invest in ways to expand the primary care model and produce outstanding results," said Lisa Stevens Anderson, President of Equality Health's Management Services organization. "We believe this approach to incentivizing quality care is the answer to succeeding in how Arizona, California and other states, will administer government-funded healthcare in the future."</p><p>The company aims to cultivate and expand practice transformation by supporting health plans and providers to address social determinants of health before they lead to situations that cost the healthcare system more than they should. Arizona has been acknowledged as a pioneer in serving the Medicaid population as the state has made great strides to integrate care across the care-continuum and coordinate physical and behavioral healthcare across the state.</p><p>Equality Health's initiative to take on some of the risk for providers, will allow them to manage individual care more efficiently, resulting in better outcomes and, in turn, more satisfied patients. The company's nationally proven tech-enabled model is already being deployed in markets outside of Arizona. New contracts begin this year in southern California and soon in Texas at the request of health plan partners, as a means of advancing their mission to provide better access to personalized, quality healthcare for all.<br></p></div>1/9/2020 7:00:00 AM
VillageMD Launches Village Medical in Phoenix and Hires 17 Providers770VillageMD Launches Village Medical in Phoenix and Hires 17 Providers<div class="ExternalClassC1A4A4E66A934E69BCABD670D2C27EAA"><p>​ <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">VillageMD</a>, a leading national provider of primary care, announced its first Phoenix clinic will open on Jan. 13 at 10240 W. Indian School Road, with more locations opening in the coming months. Additionally, VillageMD hired 17 new Phoenix-based providers, including primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, to staff planned area clinics.</p><p>"Village Medical will provide accessible and quality primary care to patients in the Phoenix area," said Tim Barry, CEO and co-founder of VillageMD.  "We are honored to launch in Phoenix with clinicians who have demonstrated expertise throughout their impressive careers.  Their 'patients first' approach is exactly the right mindset for delivering high-quality care in a value-based world."</p><p>Village Medical will offer a comprehensive suite of services including preventative care, treatment for illness and injury and management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and heart failure. The clinic hours are 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday and 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday.  Starting Monday, Jan. 13, patients can make an appointment online <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a> and learn more about the experienced providers in their areas. </p><p>Village Medical patients will have access to same day appointments and virtual health visits with a Village Medical provider. Additionally, homebound patients can take advantage of Village Medical at Home, which provides an experienced, primary care provider visit to patients in their homes.</p><p>Patients also benefit from VillageMD's patent-pending docOS operating platform, which integrates data and technology to give physicians 360-degree view of their patients' health profile and can help identify gaps in care, among other things.</p><p>VillageMD currently partners with primary care physicians in nine markets with plans for continued expansion in 2020.<br></p></div>1/9/2020 7:00:00 AM
OncoMyx Therapeutics Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board771OncoMyx Therapeutics Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board<div class="ExternalClass29B4B24AE9E7469BB32B3C31328BDC7E"><p> <a href="">OncoMyx Therapeutics</a>, a privately-held oncolytic immunotherapy company, announced today the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), comprised of experts in tumor immunology, oncology drug discovery and development, and oncolytic viruses. The SAB will work closely with the OncoMyx leadership team as the company advances a therapeutic pipeline of oncolytic immunotherapies based on the myxoma virus (MYXV) platform. The company’s pipeline includes both monotherapies and therapies to be used in combination with immune checkpoint blockade and other immuno-modulatory approaches, offering significant therapeutic promise to a wide range of cancer targets.</p><p> </p><p>“This is a group of highly-accomplished scientists and drug hunters, some whom I have known for many years,” said Leslie Sharp, Ph.D., chief scientific officer (CSO) of OncoMyx. “We are thrilled to welcome Tobias, Neil, Grant, Ronan, and Dominic to our SAB, and I look forward to working with the team to develop new therapeutic options for cancer patients.”</p><div class="wp-caption alignright" style="border:1px solid #e0e0e0;font-family:"helvetica neue", helvetica, arial, "lucida grande", sans-serif;margin:0px 0px 1.5em 1.5em;outline:0px;padding:8px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline;float:right;max-width:100%;box-sizing:border-box;text-align:center;color:#666666;background-color:#fcfcfc;width:235px;"><p> <img src="" alt="portrait" style="max-width:100%;margin:5px;width:217px;" /> </p><p>“We are assembling a world-class team with deep expertise in developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics,” said Steve Potts, Ph.D., MBA, founder and chief executive officer of OncoMyx. “Our SAB’s collective strategic, scientific, and clinical experience, together with our existing team, will help transform OncoMyx into a high growth clinical-stage therapeutics company.” Image: <em>OncoMyx Therapeutics</em><br></p></div><p>The SAB will be comprised of the following members:</p><p> </p><p>Tobias Bald, Ph.D. is the Head of the Oncology and Cellular Immunology Laboratory at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. He is a leading expert in tumor immunology with a strong focus on the role of the innate immune system during tumor development, progression and cancer immunotherapy.</p><p> </p><p>Neil Gibson, Ph.D. is President and CEO of PDI Therapeutics and Senior Vice President of COI Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Gibson has more than 30 years of drug development experience and has been involved in the successful discovery, development and commercialization of four approved oncology drugs (including temozolomide, sorafenib, erlotnib, and crizotinib). Dr Gibson’s extensive oncology experience includes being CSO of Pfizer Oncology Research Unit, CSO of Regulus Therapeutics and CSO of OSI Pharmaceuticals.  Dr. Gibson also serves on the board of TCR2, a new public company focused on T-cell therapies.</p><p> </p><p>Grant McFadden, Ph.D. is founder, research advisor, and director at OncoMyx. He is one of the top global leaders in oncolytic viruses with a specialization in pox viruses, including myxoma. The McFadden lab pioneered the field of viral immune subversion (also called “anti-immunology”) and is credited with the discovery of a wide spectrum of virus-derived inhibitors of the immune system.</p><p> </p><p>Ronan O’Hagan, Ph.D. is Senior Vice President of Research and Translational Sciences at Akrevia Therapeutics. Prior to Akrevia, Ronan served as Executive Director, Oncology Discovery at Merck Research Laboratories. In this role he led the oncology discovery program at Merck with a particular emphasis on approaches to enable and enhance immune-modulatory therapies in cancer. Earlier at Merck, he led target identification and validation for oncology and generated an early-discovery pipeline including both biologics and small-molecule programs. He has helped to bring multiple small-molecule and biologics programs into clinical development during his time in industry. His academic career included undergraduate and graduate work in Canada followed by post-doctoral work at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). In Dr. Ron DePinho’s laboratory at DFCI, he focused on genetically engineered mouse models of cancer and novel approaches to target discovery.</p><p> </p><p>Dominic Spinella, Ph.D. has over 25 years of experience in drug research and development and the discipline of Translational Medicine. He has been an executive leader at Chugai Biopharmaceuticals USA, where he was Vice President of Exploratory Research; at Pfizer where he served as head of Translational Medicine for the Oncology division; and at Amgen where he was Executive Director of Medical Sciences and head of Biomarkers and Diagnostics. A former professor of Medicine and Immunology at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and Howard Hughes postdoctoral fellow at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, he also served on several national and international cancer biomarker development bodies.</p><p> </p><p>“We are assembling a world-class team with deep expertise in developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics,” said Steve Potts, Ph.D., MBA, founder and chief executive officer of OncoMyx. “Our SAB’s collective strategic, scientific, and clinical experience, together with our existing team, will help transform OncoMyx into a high growth clinical-stage therapeutics company.”<br><br></p> ​​ </div>1/9/2020 7:00:00 AM
Valley woman creates app to manage her medical bills773Valley woman creates app to manage her medical bills<div class="ExternalClassBE97AB0D57A6493F8AA300A564F3510C"><div style="text-align:center;"><figure> <img src="/econdevsite/MediaAssets/People/Newsroom_CED_0027.jpg" alt="Photo, Courtnee Miller at RexPay from TV interview" /> <figcaption><em>Courtnee Miller, founder of RexPay, a medical technology company based in Phoenix, seen on an interview with ABC15 News on January 7, 2020.</em> <br>Image: ABC15 News <br> <em>By Mark Phillips for ABC15 News</em> </figcaption> </figure></div><p><span style="font-size:15px;">A few years ago, Rachel Mertensmyer sat at a table with stacks of medical bills in front of her. She had suffered a severe injury that resulted in 38 medical bills from 11 different providers.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:15px;">One stack was the bills she owed, a second was what she had paid. The third stack, well, Rachel wasn't sure if those bills needed to be paid or not. After 12 hours, when she realized there was no app to save her, Rachel did what entrepreneurs are born to do: she started a business.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:15px;">"This problem of managing multiple bills across several different providers is much more common than you might think," Mertensmyer said. "It doesn't require a catastrophic event to experience this problem."</span>​</p></div>1/8/2020 7:00:00 AM



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