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Feb. 8, 2018
Volume IX |  Issue 6         
A New Year Brings New Cyber Security Threats
Sanjay Narula, Mutual Matters

There is never a dull moment in the world of cyber security. In 2017:
  • WannaCry, Petya, Not Petya, became household names
  • 143 million personal records containing highly sensitive information leaked in a data breach at Equifax
  • Yahoo revealed that every single email account, (3 billion in total), were impacted by the 2013 data breach
  • Microsoft was compelled to release security patches for Windows XP and Windows server 2003 to mitigate risks presented by the EternalBlue exploits
2018 brings new challenges, including the security flaws dubbed Meltdown and Spectre.

M&A Risks in the Middle Market Healthcare Services Sector
Kevin Olvera & Shaun Buckley | BDO

Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in 2017 was at a high level with an enormous amount of capital available, Low borrowing costs, a strong equities market and a low rate of organic growth in many sectors of the economy. One industry sector that continues to be very active is healthcare services. This sector covers a broad array of services such as acute care, chronic care, and technology. There is a higher than average level of M&A activity in this area even though transaction multiples tend to be higher than in many other sectors.

M&A activity in the healthcare and life sciences sectors has been driven predominately by increased regulation in the marketplace, and consolidation of a...
CMS Encourages Innovation in MA, Asks Part D Plans to Combat Opioid Overuse, and Fine-Tunes Payments
Ankur J. Goel, Kate McDonald, Mary Moll Alexandre & Lauren E. Parisi

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its annual payment and policy guidance for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. CMS is continuing to find ways to inject more flexibility into these programs, spur innovation and diversification among plans, fine-tune payment models, and involve Part D plans in efforts to curb the opioid epidemic.  CMS is accepting comments on its proposals through March 5, 2018.

In Depth
On December 27, 2017, and February 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Parts I and II, respectively, of its annual payment and policy guidance for Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D plans (the Advance Notice). Our key takeaways include the following...
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FDA: Kratom is an Opioid
Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, on the agency's scientific evidence on the presence of opioid compounds in kratom, underscoring its potential for abuse

Additional adverse events associated with kratom use ID'd

FDA releases adverse events and scientific analysis providing even stronger evidence of kratom compounds' opioid properties.

Over the past several months, there have been many questions raised about the botanical substance known as kratom. Our concerns related to this product, and the actions we've taken, are rooted in sound science and are in the interest of protecting public health. However, we recognize that there is still much that is unknown about kratom, which is why we've taken some significant steps to advance the scientific understanding of this product and how it works in the body. Today, we're providing details of some of the important scientific tools, data and research that have contributed to the FDA's concerns about kratom's potential for abuse, addiction, and serious health consequences; including death.

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