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Time for a Checkup: Recent Federal Efforts Regarding Telehealth – Part I

In a survey conducted by data and analytics company GlobalData between May 27, 2020, and July 2, 2020, on 70 specialists…

The public health emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 has brought about many changes to the way healthcare is practiced, delivered, and reimbursed. This article will discuss some of the major recent changes to telehealth on the federal level.

Disclaimer: For consistency, the term “telehealth” is used throughout this article and is intended to include telemedicine, telepsychiatry, and telenursing.

In a survey conducted by data and analytics company GlobalData between May 27, 2020, and July 2, 2020, on 70 specialists…

Why telehealth is here to stay: The opportunity for senior living

Imagine an 87-year-old woman living in a senior living community. She falls on her way to the bathroom, hurting her hip and hitting her head. She is able to call for help and the night staff comes to her room.

The young man on duty helps her back in bed but knows she needs medical attention. He types her name into the iPad on the wall and immediately is connected with an emergency department doctor.

The physician introduces herself, asks a few basic questions, and directs the night staff…

Time for a Checkup: Recent Federal Efforts Regarding Telehealth – Part I

In a survey conducted by data and analytics company GlobalData between May 27, 2020, and July 2, 2020, on 70 specialists across cardiology, gastroenterology, pulmonology,…

The public health emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 has brought about many changes to the way healthcare is practiced, delivered, and reimbursed. This article will discuss some of the major recent changes to telehealth on the federal level.

Disclaimer: For consistency, the term “telehealth” is used throughout this article and is intended to include telemedicine, telepsychiatry, and telenursing.

In a survey conducted by data and analytics company GlobalData between May 27, 2020, and July 2, 2020, on 70 specialists across cardiology, gastroenterology, pulmonology,…

Telehealth

The coronavirus pandemic has brought upon unprecedented challenges for all Americans. This is particularly true for our vulnerable senior populations who are most at risk for complications due to COVID-19, many of whom have continued to stay isolated away from loved ones.

I have long been an advocate for advancements in our healthcare, in particular, with technology like telemedicine. Over the course of this pandemic, we have seen substantial increases in the volume of individuals utilizing telemedicine, particularly for mental health visits and other healthcare related inquiries.

Recently, I…

Can Telehealth Support After-Hours Patient-Provider Communication?

Patients have the digital health literacy and tools needed to implement telehealth for after-hours patient-provider communication.

By Sara Heath

October 28, 2020 – Patients are receptive to the idea of using telehealth for patient-provider communication outside of traditional office hours, with about one-fifth saying it would likely get them answers to their health-related questions more quickly, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

However, a sizeable portion of patients do have concerns that connecting via telehealth may detract from the in-person…

Medicare Telehealth Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Program Integrity Risks

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS implemented a number of waivers and flexibilities that allowed Medicare beneficiaries to access a wider range of telehealth services without having to travel to a health care facility. This review will be based on Medicare Parts B and C data and will identify program integrity risks associated with Medicare telehealth services during the pandemic. We will analyze providers’ billing patterns for telehealth services. We will also describe key characteristics of providers that may pose a program integrity risk to the…

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS implemented a number of waivers and flexibilities that allowed Medicare beneficiaries to access a wider range of telehealth services without having to travel to a health care facility. This review will be based on Medicare Parts B and C data and will identify program integrity risks associated with Medicare telehealth services during the pandemic. We will analyze providers’ billing patterns for telehealth services. We will also describe key characteristics of providers that may pose a program integrity risk to the…

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS implemented a number of waivers and flexibilities that allowed Medicare beneficiaries to access a wider range of telehealth services without having to travel to a health care facility. This review will be based on Medicare Parts B and C data and will identify program integrity risks associated with Medicare telehealth services during the pandemic. We will analyze providers’ billing patterns for telehealth services. We will also describe key characteristics of providers that may pose a program integrity risk to the…

‘Telehealth’ emerging as important lifeline to connect patients with caregivers

When the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States early this year, it sent shockwaves across our economy and pushed many of the nation’s public health systems to the brink.

Frontline health care workers, hospitals and patients suddenly were forced to confront a silent, deadly, fast-moving virus with no known cure and no vaccine. For millions of anxious Americans, the isolation measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus only exacerbated the gaps in access to the health care services they need. It was especially hard on rural and older…

Cassidy, Colleagues Introduce MOM Act to Improve Health Care for Expectant Mothers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Todd Young (R-IN) and Tom Carper (D-DE) today introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at improving health care for expectant mothers.

The Connected Maternal Online Monitoring Services (MOM) Act requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to provide coverage recommendations for remote devices to check blood pressure, blood glucose and pulse rates. It also requires CMS to update state resources, such as state Medicaid telehealth toolkits, to correspond with the recommendations provided.

The goal is to…

Telehealth reimbursement may be changing. How should providers prepare?

Healthcare lawyer Andrew Selesnick said one key will be to establish a stable, user-friendly platform that can make documentation seamless.

By Kat Jercich October 27, 2020 10:58 AM

The future potential of telehealth hinges on how it’s reimbursed. Virtual care may be popular among patients, but if providers can’t get paid for their services, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to continue to provide them.

The government has signaled its support for reimbursing some…

Deloitte: Medicare Advantage plans that don’t embrace telehealth ‘will get left behind’

COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated the adoption of digital health, and a new analysis from Deloitte finds that trend extends similarly to Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries.

Deloitte researchers surveyed executives at MA plans, as well as digital health companies, and found that through April 2020 more MA members used telehealth than did so in all of 2019.

Through April, 26% of beneficiaries said they used telehealth or had a virtual visit for any reason, compared to 13% saying the same across all of 2019.

As open enrollment…

Predicting the Future Role of Telemedicine

As with any disruptive healthcare innovation, it takes time, validation, and the right catalyst before it becomes fully embraced across the medical community. With the coronavirus pandemic, one innovation is at the forefront of transforming the healthcare landscape – telemedicine.  
 
Since February 2020, telemedicine grew from less than 1% of primary care visits to nearly 43.5% in April 2020. With telemedicine’s current trajectory and rapid adoption rate, it has the potential to disrupt and redefine the way health systems operate, deliver care and manage costs, setting the stage for a vastly different…

How Telehealth Can Help Stroke Patients in Rural Hospitals

Using data from the 2016 National Inpatient Sample, the study specifically looked at stroke patients who sought treatment in rural hospitals. The researchers identified several factors they believe contributed to the patients’ poor outcomes, including the “weekend effect” and lack of resources. They also found that patients who had had a hemorrhagic stroke had…

A new study from the University of Georgia has investigated the reasons why stroke patients treated in rural hospitals have more negative outcomes and a higher risk of death.

Using data from the 2016 National Inpatient Sample, the study specifically looked at stroke patients who sought treatment in rural hospitals. The researchers identified several factors they believe contributed to the patients’ poor outcomes, including the “weekend effect” and lack of resources. They also found that patients who had had a hemorrhagic stroke had…

A new study from the University of Georgia has investigated the reasons why stroke patients treated in rural hospitals have more negative outcomes and a higher risk of death.

Using data from the 2016 National Inpatient Sample, the study specifically looked at stroke patients who sought treatment in rural hospitals. The researchers identified several factors they believe contributed to the patients’ poor outcomes, including the “weekend effect” and lack of resources. They also found that patients who had had a hemorrhagic stroke had…

Report Notes CMS Program’s Success With Telehealth for Senior Care

PACE, a Medicare-Medicaid program serving thousands of seniors in 31 states, used telehealth to keep that care going during the pandemic. That success could spur more programs to use connected health in the future.

By Eric Wicklund

October 27, 2020 – A CMS program that provides long-term care for seniors in need of support services used telehealth to keep those connections going during the coronavirus pandemic.

The success was charted in a recent study that could serve as a blueprint for new programs that use connected health to…

Telemedicine or In-Person Visit? Pros and Cons

As COVID-19 took hold in March, U.S. doctors limited in-person appointments — and many patients avoided them — for fear of infection. The result was a huge increase in the volume of remote medical and behavioral health visits.

Doctors, hospitals and mental health providers across the country reported a 50- to 175-fold rise in the number of virtual visits, according to a report released in May by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

The COVID-fueled surge has tapered off as patients venture back to doctors’ offices. But medical professionals and…

Bipartisan bill would improve access to telehealth services

The bipartisan Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Actintroduced by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), if passed, would provide Medicare reimbursement for audio and video telehealth services furnished by home health agencies during the COVID-19 emergency and future public health emergencies. Companion legislation also was introduced in the House of Representatives.

“The COVID-19 emergency has further underscored the critical importance of home health services and highlighted how these agencies are able to use telehealth to provide skilled care to their patients,” said Collins, the chairman of the Senate…

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