Telehealth in the News

Check out the latest in telehealth news and updates:

  • Patient Engagement Key to ACO Development, Telemedicine

    mHealth Intelligence

    Patient engagement and the patient experience continues to be a key aspect of healthcare reform throughout hospitals and clinics around the country. As medical care providers move toward value-based care and develop Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), many are finding that patient engagement will drive the reform toward better quality care and improved health outcomes.

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  • Changes to New York Telehealth Coverage Coming Soon

    The National Law Review

    After New York became the 22nd state to enact a telemedicine commercial coverage statute, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an amendment changing the statute. The amendment makes sweeping changes to telehealth coverage under New York Medicaid and commercial health insurance. With an effective date of January 1, 2016, providers and insurers need to be ready and positioned for the patients who will want to enjoy this new coverage. Those providers who develop their business models, finalize their contractual arrangements, and timely deploy their telehealth offerings will have a significant strategic advantage come January.

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  • I Have Seen the Future of Healthcare... and It Is Now

    No Jitter

    Who is old enough to remember when doctors made house calls? Using a mix of real-time communications methodologies, Mercy Virtual specialists offer patients a broad range of healthcare options, including home health services and in-depth consultations, in ways that would make Marcus Welby proud. Given the expansive and involved nature of healthcare, Mercy recognized that no single product would be able to solve all problems or meet every patient's needs. So, instead of trying to shoehorn everyone into a single solution, it has divided its telehealth undertaking into three distinct offerings.

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  • Legislative Barriers the Telemedicine Field Needs to Overcome

    mHealth Intelligence

    The telemedicine field is now growing across the country due to its benefits for the patient community. Along with offering more convenience for those unable to take time off work and drive long distances to see their healthcare provider, the telemedicine field also expands access to care among the elderly, the handicapped, and patients residing in rural locations and facing physician shortages.

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  • Mercy Debuts New $54 Million Virtual Care Center

    St. Lois Post-Dispatch

    Mercy’s main business line is providing care at its 33 hospitals spread across Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas. The 290 clinical workers monitor 2,431 patient beds in 34 hospitals across five states; all but five are Mercy facilities. The center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year. Mercy’s Virtual Care Center, the new hub for all of Mercy’s telemedicine programs, is set to officially open this week. The center is in a building encased in glass and nestled in dense woods along Interstate 64 near Clarkson Road. Telemedicine is becoming a more widely accepted form of delivering health care than just five years ago. It’s a hot topic in the medical industry, but it also has met resistance from some payers and providers. Some critics say there’s a risk of becoming too impersonal.

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  • Why Telehealth Technology Regulations Need to Expand

    mHealth Intelligence

    Telehealth technology is being implemented throughout the United States at a rapid pace, especially in more rural locations suffering from doctor shortages. Since telemedicine services offer a faster and more efficient method of communicating with one’s primary care physician via videoconferencing tools, healthy patients are less in need of brick-and-mortar doctor visits. Essentially, telehealth technology reduces the need for travel, decreases costs of care, and improves access to healthcare services across the country. In order to fully implement telemedicine among medical facilities, it is important to develop state and federal regulations that ensure healthcare payers fully reimburse doctors who use these tools. Additionally, various laws must be followed to ensure telehealth technology is used appropriately among the patient population

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  • US Behind the World in Telemedicine

    The Hopitalist

    The American College of Physicians (ACP) has issued a baker’s dozen of recommendations intended to guide the effective use of telemedicine in primary care settings. While ACP “supports the expanded role of telemedicine as a method of health care delivery that may enhance patient-physician collaborations,” it also recommends that direct-to-patient telemedicine services should be used only as an intermittent alternative to a patient’s primary care physician when necessary to meet the patient’s immediate care needs.

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  • When Patients Live Far From Care, Video Conferencing Can be a Palliative Support Lifeline

    PBS Newhour

    People facing life-threatening illnesses often turn to palliative care, not only to address their pain, but also to navigate end-of-life choices. It’s never an easy process, but it’s even harder for those living in remote rural areas. One doctor in Northern California is finding innovative ways to help ease the burden.  In this video, special correspondent Joanne Jennings reports from Humboldt County, California. 

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  • New Proposed Additions to FY 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

    Center for Connected Health Policy

    The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for FY 2016. For FY 2016, CMS proposes adding the following codes as reimbursable services if provided via telehealth:
     
    99356 – Prolonged service in the inpatient or observation setting requiring unit/floor time beyond the usual service (the first hour)
    99357 – Prolonged service in the inpatient or observation setting requiring unit/floor time beyond the usual service (each additional 30 minutes)
     
    CMS also proposes adding the following ...

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  • UC Davis Study Finds Significant Cost Savings in Pediatric Telemedicine Consults Compared to Phone Consults

    UC Davis Health System

    Researchers at UC Davis have conducted a comprehensive study to determine whether pediatric telemedicine consultations with rural emergency departments save money compared to telephone consults. The answer is a resounding yes. While telemedicine systems are expensive to install and maintain, they more than pay their way, saving an average $4,662 per use. The study was published in the journal Medical Decision Making - view the abstract.

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  • Several States Enact Telehealth Parity Laws in 2015

    The National Law Review

    Thus far in 2015, several States have enacted parity laws requiring that certain telehealth services be reimbursed to the same extent as in-person services. While on the whole more states are moving toward parity and encouraging or requiring reimbursement for telemedicine, that trend is not universal, and many of the States with parity laws only extend parity to telehealth services that meet certain conditions.

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  • Interstate telehealth licensing compact set to become reality

    mHealthNews

    A measure drafted by the Federation of State Medical Boards that enables physicians to practice across state lines is expected to take effect shortly, with seven states on board to honor the agreement and several more waiting in the wings.

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  • TeleICU saves California hospital thousands, improves patient satisfaction

    FierceHealthIT

    Dignity Health Woodland Memorial Hospital, a 108-bed community medical center in California, originally had one intensivist to cover eight beds in the ICU, so it launched a teleICU component to provide constant intensivist coverage. As a result of this new approach the hospital has reduced mortality rates, lessened emergency department transfers and significantly cut costs.

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  • Patient-doctor relationship increasingly forged through computer screens

    St. Lois Post-Dispatch

    Today, more patients than ever are seeing their doctors through computer screens and smartphones. It’s a trend that shows no signs of subsiding as hospitals and insurance companies continue to roll out the latest technological advances.  Patients can see a doctor without the inconvenience of traveling to an office and sitting in a waiting room, and doctors are freed up to see more patients in an efficient, cost-effective way.

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  • Telehealth Promises to Reshape Health Care

    H&HN ; Hospitals & Health Networks

    The transformational forces in play throughout health care today are driving the telehealth trend — the push toward pay for value, the growth of accountable care and risk contracts, reimbursement pressure, Medicare readmission penalties, increased consumer price sensitivity, and a growing demand for care paired with a limited physician supply.

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