Health care must-reads: 40 under 40, how to grow and a Midwestern powerhouse

Last week’s most-read stories in SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders looked at health leaders in Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and how a merger between Sanford and UnityPoint could create a Midwestern giant. Also helpful were a look at what worked in a regional population health initiative in Spain and at how nontraditional partners can help health systems grow.

Health industry leaders make Fortune's 40 Under 40 list

Fortune's 40 Under 40 list includes several leaders in health care. CEO Mei Mei Hu's United Neuroscience is trying to develop a vaccine for Alzheimer's disease. Also on the list are Trevor Martin, an innovator in gene-editing technology, and Zipline CEO Keller Rinaudo, whose drones deliver medical supplies.

Full Story: Fortune

Executive order on drug prices in the works

President Donald Trump said his administration is working on an executive order that would create a "favored nations clause" for drug prices, in which the price the US pays for a drug is "whatever the lowest nation's price is." The executive order would call for drug companies to charge the US government no more than it charges in the nations with the lowest drug prices, Trump said.

Full Story: Axios

How a health merger could create a Midwestern "powerhouse"

South Dakota-based Sanford Health and Iowa-based UnityPoint Health are looking at a merger that would create a nonprofit company with annual revenues greater than $11 billion from hospitals, nursing homes and clinics across six states. Health care analyst Allan Baumgarten said the merger partners are a potential "regional powerhouse" in the Midwest because they fit together well with little geographic overlap.

Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model)

Health systems may need nontraditional partners for growth

Health systems that want growth and innovation can look to nontraditional partners, including those not in the health sector, writes Stephen Bernstein of McDermott Will & Emery. A prerequisite is the need to share data, Bernstein says, setting the stage for working with partners that have the tools to deploy that data in a way that helps drive change.

Full Story: FierceHealthcare

Population health initiative in Spain offers insights

Initiatives to address social determinants of health and improve population health in the Basque region of Spain could provide insights to similar projects in the US, according to US and Spanish researchers. One important factor is achieving "strategic alignment" among stakeholders, the researchers said, along with focusing on a specific issue to prevent efforts from becoming too spread out, and the challenge of data availability and using it to manage projects.

Full Story: Health Affairs Blog

Tom Parks is a health editor at SmartBrief who focuses on health care, leadership and nursing as well as care at the beginning and end of life. He launched and edits the SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders newsletter.

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This "most read" feature reflects the most read items in SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders from the previous week. Sign up for SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s health care newsletters, covering health IT, news for insurers, news for providers and more.