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The business drivers for telehealth after the pandemic

The surge in telehealth brought on by COVID-19 catalyzed an era of care distribution and decentralization powered by care delivered outside the traditional healthcare facility.

Business models that build on this momentum will require new payment and regulatory operating models and a frictionless experience for patients.

During a fireside chat at the Becker’s Healthcare Telehealth Virtual Forum on Nov. 3, Sara Vaezy, chief digital strategy and business development officer at Renton, Wash.-based Providence, and Derek Streat, CEO of DexCare, discussed new digital requirements for health systems and opportunities associated…

CMS aims to expand telehealth, discuss payment reform next year, Verma says

CMS Administrator Seema Verma touted the gains in virtual care and digital health her agency has made during the pandemic and said she plans to increase the number of services available via telehealth during an interview with Business Insider.

“We have to continue to increase the number of services available through telehealth, and I think you’ll see in next year’s rulemaking that we’ll be contemplating how these services should be reimbursed,” she said.

Ms. Verma also said payment reform has to be part of the conversation toward making digital health…

8 observations on telehealth heading into 2021

Telehealth became an important aspect of clinical response to COVID-19 during the early days of the pandemic and remains an essential tool for physicians to connect with patients.

At the Becker’s Healthcare Telehealth Virtual Forum on Nov. 2-3, healthcare executives from across the U.S. gathered to discuss the big challenges and opportunities in telehealth and virtual care.

Here are eight takeaways from the event:

1. Organizations that had already made investments in telehealth infrastructure in the last three to six years said they were better prepared…

Year-Long Study Validates Telehealth Use in Diabetes Prevention Efforts

Supporters of digital Diabetes Prevention Programs say the PREDICTS trial proves that telehealth and mHealth tools can improve clinical outcomes for people at risk of developing the chronic disease.

By Eric Wicklund

November 04, 2020 – A year-long study conducted by the University of Nebraska and Wake Forest University has found that a telehealth platform can help reduce the risk of diabetes in people with a high likelihood of developing the chronic disease.

Participants in the Preventing Diabetes with Digital Health and Coaching for Translation and Scalability…

CMS Finalizes 1.9% Boost for Medicare Home Health Reimbursement

That is a $390M increase in Medicare home health reimbursement, according to a new final rule that also expands coverage of telecommunications tech and keeps the PDGM’s behavioral adjustment.

By Jacqueline LaPointe

November 04, 2020 – CMS has finalized a 1.9 percent, or $390 million, increase in Medicare home health reimbursement in 2021.

The boost in reimbursement is significantly less than the 2.6 percent increase proposed by CMS in June. The proposed rate increase would have added $540 million in Medicare home health reimbursement.

According…

2020 trends in health care

As the health care industry continues to navigate through challenges in an uncertain and rapidly-evolving landscape, we’ve learned that what worked a year ago may no longer make sense in today’s socially distanced, shelter-in-place environment.

Changing consumer needs — and expectations — have dictated many of this year’s latest trends, reflecting an urgency for safe, convenient, and affordable high-quality care in the right setting, at the right time. From expanding virtual care through emerging technologies to designing new benefit and coverage solutions, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated innovation in our delivery models…

The 146 telehealth services Medicare is covering during the pandemic

CMS since March has expanded the number of services Medicare will cover when provided via telehealth to help support access to healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here are the 146 additional services, and their respective codes, that CMS will cover when provided via telehealth through the duration of the public health emergency: 

1. 77427: radiation management

2. 90853: group psychotherapy

3. 90875: psychophysiological therapy 

4. 90952: end stage renal disease, two to three visits per month,…

HHS prioritizing health data access through smartphones in 5-year strategic plan

Federal health IT officials outlined their top goals and priorities for the next five years with a big focus on pushing the industry to make more patients’ health data accessible through smartphone apps.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published Friday the final 2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan (PDF). The plan is designed to align goals and help prioritize resources related to health IT and health data exchange across federal agencies. 

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) developed the road map in collaboration with more than…

Verma: Older Adults Must Have a ‘More Robust’ Set of Home Care Options

“The COVID-19 crisis has shone a harsh light on the human costs of a long-term care system that relies too heavily on institutional…

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday touted several tools designed to help states rebalance their long-term care ecosystem toward home- and community-based services. 

The development is the latest in a series of CMS efforts aimed at strengthening home- and community-based services amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with the ultimate goal of decreasing America’s reliance on nursing home care.

“The COVID-19 crisis has shone a harsh light on the human costs of a long-term care system that relies too heavily on institutional…

CMS fines 2,545 hospitals for high readmissions: 5 things to know

In fiscal year 2021, CMS will penalize 2,545 hospitals for having too many Medicare patients readmitted within 30 days, according to federal data cited by Kaiser Health News

This is the ninth year of the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program. To determine penalties for fiscal 2021, CMS examined hospitals’ 30-day readmission rates for patients who had originally been treated for the following conditions: heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hip or knee replacement, and coronary artery bypass graft surgery. 

CMS used patient data from July 2016 through…

Senators Seek CMS Support for Telehealth Services for Expectant Moms

November 02, 2020 – A bill introduced last week in the Senate aims to establish Medicare and Medicaid coverage for telehealth programs that monitor the health of expectant mothers.

The Connected Maternal Online Mothering Services (MOM) Act (S.4859) would establish coverage for remote patient monitoring programs for pregnant women that track blood pressure, blood glucose and pulse rates through connected health devices. The bill was introduced by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Todd Young (R-IN) and Tom Carper (D-DE).

“Devices that can remotely monitor a patient’s vital signs can…

CMS Finalizes Calendar Year 2021 Payment and Policy Changes for Home Health Agencies – Summary

CMS released the 2021 home health final rule on Thursday, October 29, 2020. 

There were minimal changes compared to the home health proposed rule that was released in July 2020. Probably the best news in the rule was the 1.9% aggregate increase (or $390 million) in reimbursement that agencies will realize in 2021. Although the increase was less than the original 2.6% increase that was in the proposed rule.

Other highlights from the final rule are…

Executive Summary: Tracking Telehealth Changes State-by-State in Response to COVID-19 – October 15, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the United States, states, payers, and providers are looking for ways to expand access to telehealth services. Telehealth is an essential tool in ensuring patients are able to access the healthcare services they need in as safe a manner as possible. In order to provide our clients with quick and actionable guidance on the evolving telehealth landscape, Manatt Health has developed a federal and comprehensive 50-state tracker for policy, regulatory and legal changes related to telehealth during…

Executive Summary: Tracking Telehealth Changes State-by-State in Response to COVID-19 – October 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the United States, states, payers, and providers are looking for ways to expand access to telehealth services. Telehealth is an essential tool in ensuring patients are able to access the healthcare services they need in as safe a manner as possible. In order to provide our clients with quick and actionable guidance on the evolving telehealth landscape, Manatt Health has developed a federal and comprehensive 50-state tracker…

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the United States, states, payers, and providers are looking for ways to expand access to telehealth services. Telehealth is an essential tool in ensuring patients are able to access the healthcare services they need in as safe a manner as possible. In order to provide our clients with quick and actionable guidance on the evolving telehealth landscape, Manatt Health has developed a federal and comprehensive 50-state tracker…

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the United States, states, payers, and providers are looking for ways to expand access to telehealth services. Telehealth is an essential tool in ensuring patients are able to access the healthcare services they need in as safe a manner as possible. In order to provide our clients with quick and actionable guidance on the evolving telehealth landscape, Manatt Health has developed a federal and comprehensive 50-state tracker…

The Role of Whole Person Care in Population Health, Telehealth

Whole person care is considered critical to payer strategies, but how can payers ensure it remains central to evolving population health and telehealth strategies?

By Kelsey Waddill

November 02, 2020 – As the healthcare environment faces major changes, payers may face challenges in maintaining their focus on whole person care across all strategies.

Given the influence of the pandemic, payers may need to pay close attention to the role that whole person care plays in their population health and telehealth strategies.

“Whole person health…

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