Telehealth in the News

Check out the latest in telehealth news and updates:

  • Lung Transplant Patients use Telehealth at Home

    PR Newswire

    SAN FRANCISCO, May 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AidCube, a health tech company that enables health plans and healthcare providers to deliver home-based pulmonary rehabilitation, announced today that UCSF's Department of Pulmonary & Critical Care will conduct trials with the AidCube platform for home-based pre- and rehabilitation of lung transplant patients. The new partnership allows UCSF to provide mobile-enabled support to patients, while delivering evidence-based programs in physical rehabilitation coupled with nutrition optimization and patient education. Despite an overhaul in the system for donor lung allocation to reduce death rates on the waiting list, nearly 1 in 5 patients listed for lung transplantation dies before receiving a suitable donor offer. After transplant, there are trends towards increasing complications in the perioperative period; the immediate post-transplant hospital stay lasts more than a month for one in four patients and half are discharged to places other than home without in-home nursing support (e.g. skilled nursing facility).

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  • Telemedicine – A Growing Enabler of the Triple Aim and Shift to Value-Based Care

    Healthcare IT News

    There is an unprecedented convergence occurring between healthcare and technology – and telemedicine is an increasingly important initiative in the connected health market. Advances in health technology, improved telecommunications systems and a shift toward value-based care are all working together to deliver connected, high-quality care – no matter where patients and providers may be. Patients are pushing the expectation for on-demand access to health information and care. And, telemedicine is enabling more convenient and quick access to care, physicians, treatment, diagnosis and so on. 

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  • Telehealth Sees Success in Therapy

    mHealth Intelligence

    Telehealth-based therapy programs for stroke survivors have helped increase cognitive and language skills and enabled patients to receive therapy five times more often, according to one company. The survey of more than 20 million therapy sessions by Boston-based Constant Therapy is in line with reports from mHealth advocates who say home-based physical and cognitive therapy programs can improve outcomes and frequency. The platform is now being considered for everything from post-discharge, remote patient monitoring and PT programs to Veterans Administration programs that help veterans with physical and emotional issues. eith Cooper, Constant Therapy’s CEO, says mHealth platforms take advantage of online capabilities and big data analytics engines to custom-design therapy programs. As the patient goes through each therapy session at home, via a tablet, data gathered from the session is used to measure success, and to adjust the next session accordingly.

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  • Arkansas New Proposed Rules Allow Telemedicine Exams

    The National Law Review

    Arkansas was ranked last among all states in a recent report by the American Telemedicine Association on telemedicine practice standards. Earlier this year, we reported on the Arkansas Board of Medicine’s plans to remedy its ranking through the issuance of new telemedicine rules. Draft rules articulating telemedicine principles were circulated last October, and the Board recently issued proposed amendments to its regulations, specifically revising Regulation 2 and creating a new Regulation 38. Currently, Arkansas Code 17-80-117, enacted in April 2015, and Regulation No. 2 require an initial in-person encounter to establish a valid physician-patient relationship. The new proposal revises the text of Regulation No. 2(8)(A) and (B).  Proposed Regulation 38 acts as a complement to the statutory requirements.  If enacted, it will allow a doctor to establish a valid relationship with a patient, without the need for an in-person exam, if the doctor “performs a face to face examination using real time audio and visual telemedicine technology that provides information at least equal to such information as would have been obtained by an in-person examination.”  The doctor must also provide or arrange for the patient to receive follow-up care, when medically necessary.

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  • Andy Slavitt: Health IT Must Be 'a National Priority'

    FierceHealthIT

    WASHINGTON--When Andy Slavitt came to the District of Columbia two years ago, it was because technology was putting health reform in the U.S. at risk. Now, he says, technology is not doing all it can when it comes to patient care, and the industry must "refocus on our customers and rise above proprietary interests to make this a national priority." "Robots can perform your mom's surgery, but reminding her to refill a prescription? No, it can't do that," he said during a keynote speech Tuesday at Health Datapalooza. "Technology isn't doing what we know it can. It's not helping make us smarter, it's not helping us make better decisions, it's not reducing our waste of time." However, that doesn't mean it can't do those things and more.

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  • Can Telehealth Solve the Indian Health Service’s Problems?

    mHealth Intelligence

    The Indian Health Service is turning to telehealth to improve access to more than 130,000 Native Americans spread out across the Great Plains states. The national health system has put out the call for telehealth proposals to serve a seven-hospital region covering Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakotas following pressure from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to overhaul its practices and a federal audit that highlighted excessive patient wait times.The IHS is seeking one- to four-year contracts for emergency services, specialty referrals and provider-to-provider consults in a number of fields, including behavioral health, maternal and child health and cardiology, with the potential to extend those contracts to multiple years.

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  • 4 Tips to Figuring mHealth Into Healthcare Construction Projects

    mHealth Intelligence

    When configuring mHealth or telehealth into a health system renovation, expansion or new construction, it’s important to remember one rule. Make sure you have enough power outlets. OK, that may seem a bit simplistic, but many health systems fail to take in the power requirements of a digital health ecosystem when they’re building or renovating. Never mind the smartphones, tablets, laptops and computer stations – what about connected devices at the bedside, or RTLS systems, or communications hookups with other offices or hospitals? And of course, all these connected devices generate heat, and need to be cooled down.

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  • Telehealth Study Finds a Willing Market in ACA Enrollees

    mHealth Intelligence

    A RAND Health study has found that teledermatology can boost the number of people accessing dermatology services, both online and in person.That includes people who might not otherwise want – or need – to see a dermatologist. The study by Lori Uscher-Pines, a policy researcher at the non-profit, targeted some 380,000 Medicaid enrollees in California’s Central Valley, including about 108,000 who’d recently enrolled under the Affordable Care Act. Faced with a shortage of dermatologists, the region’s MediCal managed plan, the Health Plan of San Joaquin, launched a teledermatology program in 2012. According to Uscher-Pines, just having access to a dermatologist online prompted primary care physicians to use the service, doubling the number of patients who received care from a dermatologist.

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  • UAB Doctor Uses Telemedicine to Treat Colbert County Dialysis Patient

    WHNT News

    SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) - A Colbert County woman is making history for medical treatment and technology. Something extraordinary is happening inside the walls of the Colbert County Health Department. Ellen McGowen is having a face-to-face visit, even though she is hours away from her doctor.  She's the first patient to have a comprehensive dialysis check-up using telemedicine. “This has been the greatest thing to happen to me since I started dialysis. I have been a dialysis patient for five years,” stated McGowen. She’s required to visit with a doctor once a month.  But Ellen can be treated closer to home through UAB Hospital and Dr. Eric Wallace. It’s a pilot program with the Alabama Department of Public Health. Their goal is to offer telemedicine for dialysis patients in every county in the state. McGowen is just glad she can get the treatment she needs in Colbert County, instead of spending hours on the road.

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  • Connecticut Medicaid is First in Nation to Approve Reimbursement for eConsult Telehealth Solution from Safety Net Connect in partnership with Community Health Center, Inc.

    Business Wire

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative web-based care coordination solutions, is pleased to announce that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) have approved payment by Medicaid to federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in Connecticut for electronic consultations (eConsults) with medical specialists. SNC’s proprietary eConsult platform is utilized by Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) to provide increased access to expert care for the state’s medically underserved population. Daren Anderson, MD, Director of Weitzman Institute, and Vice President, Chief Quality Officer of CHC of Connecticut has been instrumental in working with the Department of Social Services to obtain reimbursement status for the eConsult program. “Garnering Medicaid reimbursement approval for healthcare initiatives is a complex process,” explains Anderson.

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  • 6 Key Takeaways on Health System Telemedicine Integration

    Becker's Health IT & CIO Review

    More and more hospitals are looking to a science fiction staple of days gone by as a kind of skeleton key to the evolution of patient care — telemedicine. Although some large health systems have adopted robust telemedicine programs, and a number of startup companies are pushing their own brand of the product, healthcare is still in the early days of integration. A panel of experts at the Becker's Hospital Review 7th Annual Meeting in Chicago on April 28 discussed barriers, boons and the general state of telemedicine integration for hospitals. Experts included Dan Kinsella, a leading CIO consultant; Alan Papa, president and CEO of Akron (Ohio) General Health System; and Alan Roga, MD, senior vice president and general manager of Teladoc's provider market. Here are six takeaways from the panel. 

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  • New Mexico's Project ECHO Put Forth as National Telehealth Model for Rural Care

    Healthcare IT News

    Project ECHO, a health IT pilot that launched in 2003 in rural New Mexico to connect rural doctors to specialists, is now front and center in Congress as lawmakers consider employing the model across the country. Senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, introduced the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes Act this past week. The bill calls for studies on how best to expand the model. In New Mexico, Project ECHO has recorded unprecedented success in treating patients with hepatitis C. "Project ECHO has proven that technology can help overcome traditional barriers to adequate healthcare treatment, such as distance, income and lack of specialized medical professionals for underserved communities with no access to treatment," Sanjeev Arora, MD, project director, told Healthcare IT News back in 2008.

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  • Going the Distance with Virtual Medicine for Better Access and Experience

    Consult QD

    Earlier this spring, Cleveland Clinic announced that its providers will be available to patients for online and mobile visits for nonemergency urgent care needs via CVS MinuteClinics in Ohio. The move is just the latest in a string of Cleveland Clinic distance health initiatives in recent years (see sidebar below), and its Neurological Institute has been at the forefront of many of those efforts.
    The case for distance health
    “We are responding to patients’ needs for better care, greater convenience and improved access to our services,” says Peter Rasmussen, MD, Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Director of Distance Health and Director of its Cerebrovascular Center. He adds that using distance health technologies for the right patients in the right place at the right time can maintain or enhance the quality of care while reducing healthcare costs, such as by curbing unnecessary ER visits. 
    “Virtualizing the practice of medicine drives value where it makes clinical and economic sense,” Dr. Rasmussen notes. He points out that telemedicine-enabled virtual visits can increase providers’ efficiency in the era of bundled payments while providing a lower-cost care option for many patients, especially if they have to travel to see a provider. 

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  • Providers Aim to Cut Nurse Licensing Requirements to Encourage Telemedicine Growth

    McKnight's

    Some healthcare providers are pushing state lawmakers to relax rules requiring nurses to be licensed for each state they work in, claiming the laws are stunting telemedicine growth. The groups are seeking more states to join nursing licensing compacts, which require states to implement fingerprint-based state and federal criminal background checks. Nurses who pass the checks can then hold a multi-state nursing license, and provide patient care via phone or the internet. Advocates of the nursing compacts, which include the Mayo Clinic, say it would help clear the path for the ever-growing field of telemedicine, which is expected to boom to $1.9 billion in 2018 — up from just $240 million in 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported. But the compacts have raised suspicions from nurses' groups and unions, who say the multi-state licenses could put patients at risk and take away providers' bargaining powers.

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  • Project ECHO Poised to Become a National Telehealth Model

    mHealth Intelligence

    A ground-breaking telehealth project launched in 2011 to push hub-and-spoke videoconferencing platforms out to rural providers may become a national initiative. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have introduced the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act, which seeks to expand the University of New Mexico’s Project ECHO model to rural health networks around the country.“Technology has the potential to transform how we train doctors and deliver healthcare,” Schatz, a noted telehealth proponent who earlier this year introduced the CONNECT for Health Act, said in a release on his website. “Our bill would help connect primary care providers in underserved areas with specialists at academic hubs, making it easier for medical professionals to access the continuing education they need and provide healthcare to more people.” 

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