Google on Friday announced that it will buy wearables maker Fitbit for $2.1 billion, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Indiana, North Carolina, and West Virginia.
- California: Google on Friday announced that it will buy wearables maker Fitbit for $2.1 billion. According to The Verge, Google for years has tried to succeed in the wearables market with the Wear OS platform but has largely struggled to make a significant impact. FitBit in a release sought to address potential privacy concerns, saying, "Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads" (Gartenberg, The Verge, 11/1).
- Indiana: Indiana officials on Thursday announced that the state will temporarily halt part of its Medicaid work requirements until a lawsuit challenging the requirements is resolved. In September, two legal advocacy groups sued CMS over its decision to approve Indiana's work requirements. The state's work requirements took effect Jan. 1, but the state had planned to gradually phase in reporting and hourly obligations under the requirements. On Thursday, the state said it will suspend the reporting requirements until the litigation ends (Brady, Modern Healthcare, 10/31; Hellmann, The Hill, 9/27; Sullivan, The Hill, 10/31; Gillespie, WEKU, 10/31; Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, 10/31; Indiana Family and Social Services Administration release, 10/31).
- North Carolina: Premier has purchased Medpricer, a health care technology firm, as part of a $35 million deal. Medpricer serves a number of large health systems, including Geisinger Health and Banner Health. This is the second acquisition that Premier has made so far this year, according to the Charlotte Business Journal. It purchased Stanson Health in Los Angeles in a $51.5 million deal at the end of 2018 (Hudson, Charlotte Business Journal, 10/30).