Telehealth in the News

Check out the latest in telehealth news and updates:

  • State Medicare Policies for Telemedicine Impact Use of Services

    FierceHealthIT

    State policies on telemedicine use under Medicare can have a great impact on adoption of the technology, according to a report published in Telemedicine and e-Health. For example, the paper's authors found that after Michigan enacted commercial payer telemedicine parity in 2012, a jump in Medicare telemedicine use was seen just a year later; an increase of 77.5 percent for encounters and 118.4 percent increase in Medicare fees. Illinois also saw its telemedicine use rise just two years after a Medicaid expansion rule was adopted, according to authors Jonathan D. Neufeld, Ph.D., Charles R. Doarn and Reem Aly. The researchers examined data on Medicare outpatient claims from 2011-2013.

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  • Using Telemedicine to Improve SNF Clinical Outcomes

    McKnight's

    Many skilled nursing facilities have evolved over the years by expanding post-acute care services. This evolution has required significant enhancements to the SNFs clinical processes to ensure they meet the demand of acute care partners. SNFs are also positioned to meet the regulatory changes that will impact reimbursement in the upcoming years. It's time to consider evaluating the use of telemedicine to help improve clinical outcomes.

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  • Making Telehealth a Priority: Congress Mulls Changes to Medicare

    mHealth Intelligence

    A report prepared by a working group of the Senate Finance Committee lists five policy changes that could boost telehealth - and its reimbursement - in a number of Medicaid programs for people with chronic conditions. The Senate Finance Committee is mulling a number of policy changes that would make telehealth a key component of chronic care management for Medicare beneficiaries. The changes are contained in a policy document created last month by the Bipartisan Chronic Care Working Group and are not proposals endorsed by the group at this time. But if they’re accepted, they could make telehealth the preferred method of care delivery for millions of people dealing with chronic conditions. The document outlines five potential care policy options:

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  • States Begin 2016 with Expansion of Telehealth Services

    The National Law Review

    As we enter into the new year, the health industry continues to see expanded access to telehealth services.  After a whirlwind 2015 in which we saw over 200 telehealth-related bills introduced in 42 states, New York and Connecticut emerge as the first states in 2016 to implement laws that expand patients’ access to telehealth services. Effective January 1, 2016, three new laws will greatly expand telehealth services across the state of New York.

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  • State Finance Committee Considering Telehealth Options to Improve Care and Lower Costs

    The National Law Review

    On December 18, 2015, the United States Senate Committee on Finance (the Committee) released a Bipartisan Chronic Care Working Group Policy Options Document (available at http://src.bna.com/bEV) (the Policy Document), which outlines approaches under consideration to improve the care and treatment of Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic diseases.  Significantly, the Policy Document contemplates a number of changes that could expand the use of telehealth strategies to address the needs of Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions.  In doing so, the Policy Document directly asks the question of whether telehealth strategies can help to improve quality, reduce costs and increase care coordination for beneficiaries with chronic conditions.

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  • 2016 Will be the Year of Telemedicine and ACOs

    HealthData Management

    If 2015 was the year that brought telemedicine directly to consumers, 2016 will be the year of telemedicine and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). ACOs are expected to increase the use of telemedicine technologies as a way to improve patient care quality, achieve greater cost savings, and meet Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) patient threshold. According to a CMS report of 2014 data, while CMS considered the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) a success, only 27% of ACOs achieved enough savings and quality improvements to trigger financial incentives. At the same time, only 20% of ACOs employ telemedicine services, according to separate recent research.

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  • 47% of UK Prefer Telehealth Visits Over Face to Face Visits

    HIT Consultant

    Almost half (47%) of UK adults would be happy to see their doctor virtually via telehealth visits rather than face-to-face with a doctor, according to Aviva’s latest Health Check UK report. The report reveals a growing appetite for digital health technology (including wearable health monitors, health advice mobile apps and video consultations with doctors) among UK adults. Digital health has the potential to remove the need for some doctor appointments and alleviate pressure on stretched healthcare services, helping the 58% of adults who struggle to get an appointment with a GP at a convenient time.

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  • State Legislatures Expanding Focus on Telehealth

    Medscape

    The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) released a report Thursday that examines the policy issues related to telehealth and the state laws that govern the use of this technology.  NCSL defines telehealth as an umbrella term for virtual visits, remote patient monitoring, mobile health applications, and online patient education. These approaches may be used in primary care and a number of other care settings. The interest of state legislatures in telehealth is increasing, NCSL observes. In 2015, 200 bills addressing telehealth were introduced in 42 states.

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  • USC Telehealth expands its services for families with special needs

    USC News

    On  any given day at USC Telehealth, the phone will ring and a desperate parent of a child with special needs will reach out for help. They are trying to be the best caregivers they can to their son or daughter, but their resilience and resources have been stretched thin. They know they need someone to talk to, but publicly funded mental health care is geared toward the individual with special needs, leaving no supportive services for the overburdened caregiver.

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  • Stroke Rounds: Telemedicine Shortens Door-to-Needle Time

    MEDPAGE TODAY

    A mobile stroke treatment unit (MSTU) operated by Cleveland Clinic which uses telemedicine to connect emergency team members to a hospital-based vascular neurologist, reduced time to tPA treatment by more than 25 minutes in an analysis of the first 100 patients transported. Ninety-nine of the 100 transports were successful with just one connection failure occurring due to crew error, and door to CT completion times were also shortened, researcher Ken Uchino, MD, and colleagues wrote in the journal JAMA Neurology, published online Dec. 7.

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  • Congress Set to See a Flurry of Telehealth Activity

    mHealth Intelligence

    A Senate bill introduced this past week would spur additional Medicare coverage of telehealth in rural areas by allowing more telehealth projects at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. The Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act, sponsored by Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), would require the Health and Human Services Department to allow eligible hospitals to test new telehealth concepts at the CMMI. It would also compel the CMMI to separately evaluate new telehealth models on the basis of cost, effectiveness and improvement in quality of care without increasing the cost of delivery.

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  • CHS' Telehealth Push Shows Growing Interest In On-Demand Care

    Modern Healthcare

    Community Health Systems, the largest U.S. healthcare chain by hospital count, is rolling out a wide-reaching telehealth program for primary-care services in at least four states. The Franklin, Tenn.-based company, which has a non-urban focus, has previously used telemedicine to provide specialty services to patients. But a new partnership with American Well, called VirtualHealth Now, will allow patients to access urgent care services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The move from a large player like Community highlights the growing push from healthcare providers to expand access to telemedicine. The technology is being used not only to link rural hospitals with tertiary care facilities but to provide ongoing chronic disease management.

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  • Telemedicine Going Global in 2016

    The National Law Review

    International markets – particularly developing countries with a need for the depth of expertise offered by U.S. health care providers – will play a significant role in driving telemedicine growth and continued health care transformation in 2016.  Arrangements between U.S. health care providers and overseas medical institutions are becoming an increasingly important pathway to new patient populations, revenue growth, and stronger global brands. The advantages fueling telemedicine’s stateside growth – lower costs, greater convenience, and fewer unnecessary emergency room visits – are equally compelling abroad. An international telemedicine model offers great benefits to rural and developing regions, where access to medical facilities is limited.

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  • Bipartisan Senate bill aims to waive telemedicine restrictions for VA docs

    Modern Healthcare

    A Senate committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bipartisan bill meant to ease telemedicine licensing requirements and facilitate mental health e-visits for Veterans Affairs healthcare professionals.Current rules call for physicians using telemedicine to be licensed in the state where the patient resides.According to bill sponsor Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), state licensure requirements are waived for the VA if both patient and doctor are in a federal facility during the e-visit. Home e-visits are allowed only if the two parties are in the same state. Ernst's “Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act of 2015” would allow home e-visits regardless of where the VA clinician is located or licensed. This would apply to both VA-employed physicians and those under contract to deliver care outside of VA facilities.

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  • Five Telemedicine Trends Transforming Health Care in 2016

    Foley & Lardner LLP

    Telemedicine is a key component in the health care industry shift to value-based care as a way to generate additional revenue, cut costs and enhance patient satisfaction. One of the biggest changes to health care in the last decade, telemedicine is experiencing rapid growth and deployment across a variety of applications. The quick market adoption of telemedicine is fueled by powerful economic, social, and political forces — most notably, the growing consumer demand for more affordable and accessible care. These forces are pushing health care providers to grow and adapt their business models to the new health care marketplace. 

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