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Medicaid Plans Need to Prioritize Maternal, Infant Telehealth

Medicaid Reimbursement

As payer and provider organizations look to improve health outcomes around the far-reaching impacts of the pandemic, they must consider the unique needs of some of our most vulnerable populations, such as new and expecting mothers and their infants.

As a byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry is faced with a formidable challenge—how to safeguard long-term health when in-person preventive care is reduced, and has been for most of the year. Fewer people have sought preventive care and testing over the past six months due to precautionary social…

CMS Expands Telehealth yet again under the PHE

Is this “new normal” a false reality?

As we are now well into October, many months into COVID-19, I think we all have to look at what all the associated changes are going to mean for healthcare. I have been seeing so many telehealth advocates saying “the genie is out of the bottle” and related phrases, such as this being the “new normal” and “we can never go back,” but I think there is still a lot more to be said about the future of telehealth.

I have clients…

CMS Looks Beyond COVID-19 For Telehealth Expansion

Here are the 11 additional services…

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has further expanded the list of telehealth services that Medicare Fee-For-Service will pay for during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) as of October 14, 2020. CMS is adding 11 new services to the Medicare telehealth services list and will begin paying eligible practitioners who furnish these services immediately and through the end of the PHE. The new telehealth services include neurostimulator analysis and programming services, and cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services.

Here are the 11 additional services…

What is the long-term prognosis for telehealth?

In healthcare technology, throughout the first 10 months of 2020, there’s been little discussed as much as telehealth and telemedicine topics. The reasons for such are obvious given COVID-19. The volume of coverage the topic received is more than nearly any other time in recent history.

According to Google Trends, since 2008, telehealth hasn’t received as much attention as it has in April 2020 — more than at any previous time by twofold. Before April, the most attention the topic received was in July 2019. Web searches for “telehealth” shot up 91% from…

Lawmakers Eye Medicare Coverage for Telehealth in Home Health Care

Bills introduced in both the Senate and House last week call for Medicare coverage for home health care services provided via telehealth during a public health emergency.

By Eric Wicklund

October 26, 2020 – A new bill before Congress aims to improve Medicare coverage for home health services delivered via telehealth during a public health emergency.

The Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act, introduced in both the Senate and House last week, aims at improving care management at home…

Will telehealth growth outlast the pandemic? 10 execs weigh in

Telehealth growth has sped up during the pandemic, but whether it continues long-term is a point of debate among hospital and health system CIOs.

The fate of telehealth rests on several factors, including CMS and commercial payers permanently extending payment benefits for telehealth and virtual care services.

“CMS keeps kicking the can down the road, which has been great for us, but it would be even better if they formally acknowledge and put in stone the payment models, so we aren’t worried the reimbursement is going away,” said Heather Nelson, senior vice president…

During pandemic, ‘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…

Smart hospitals deliver better quality care, report finds

A new report titled Digital Hospitals: Creating Growth Opportunities in Patient Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond , has found that COVID-19 has led to a widespread adoption of these advanced technologies in hospitals. The number of smart hospitals is expected to increase further in the next two to three years, as they…

Hospitals making use of smart technologies such as artificial intelligence, remote health monitoring and robotics, are delivering higher standards of care according to new research from business consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan. 

A new report titled Digital Hospitals: Creating Growth Opportunities in Patient Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond , has found that COVID-19 has led to a widespread adoption of these advanced technologies in hospitals. The number of smart hospitals is expected to increase further in the next two to three years, as they…

The Future of Telehealth: Patient-Generated Data

A doctor gets ready to meet with her patient on a telehealth visit, looking at the medical chart for real-time EKG and temperature results just before signing on to the video call. The hospitalist checks a list of at-home oxygen saturation levels for a dozen patients discharged from the hospital after COVID-19 treatment the previous week. During his morning routine, a nurse checks the blood pressures posted on the EMR for cardiology office patients seen for chronic high blood pressure, to determine if any need to discuss medication or diet adjustments.

The…

4 Ways to Use Technology Against the Pandemic

SEATTLE, Washington — The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is offering funds for tech upgrades across the United States. This is incentivizing companies to adapt to new technology faster than before. There are some great breakthroughs that have already come from this concept. Here are four ways the world is using technology against the pandemic.

UVD Robots

Ultraviolet Disinfection (UVD) robots kill 99.99% of bacteria in 10 to 15 minutes as it moves autonomously through the room. It uses Ultraviolet-C light to…

Defining Quality in Telehealth: An Urgent Pandemic Priority

Quality impacts health outcomes. But do in-person quality measures meaningfully translate to telemedicine? Do the same measures that predict a doctor’s ability to deliver excellent in-person care also predict if s/he is a good “virtualist?”

COVID-19 has transformed telehealth. Within weeks of the pandemic, most practices across America had adopted some type of virtual service. Recent surveys of patients and providers suggest this trend will continue. Meanwhile, telemedicine types are shifting to meet changing demand. Prior to COVID-19, “tele-urgent care” was predominant; however, the pandemic has spurred adoption of telehealth…

Here’s How Telehealth Can Save You (and Your Doctor) Money

When a mysterious rash broke out on Missy Eckstein’s face and stomach, her first instinct was to head to the local urgent care facility to have someone diagnose and treat her.

But the Massachusetts woman said that, in hindsight, she wished she had started with a telehealth appointment first.

“I was given a wrong diagnosis,” Eckstein said. “So I called a dermatologist and told them what was happening and they saw me virtually the next day.”

The telehealth appointment process was seamless for Eckstein, and the…

[Updated] Lawmakers Introduce New Bill Paving the Way for Home Health Telehealth Reimbursement

Home health providers are one step closer to getting the No. 1 thing they’ve been asking for since the COVID-19 pandemic began: reimbursement for telehealth-driven visits.

On Friday, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act, a bipartisan bill to provide Medicare reimbursement for audio and video telehealth services furnished by home health agencies during the COVID-19 emergency.

U.S. Representatives Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) introduced similar legislation in the…

Demand for virtual mental health care is soaring. Here are key trends on who is using it and why

Ginger, which offers text-based mental health coaching, teletherapy and psychiatry, reports that utilization rates rose to their highest level ever in the last week of September. Usage of Ginger’s text-based mental health coaching was up 159%, and virtual therapy and psychiatry was up 302%…

The COVID-19 pandemic is driving enormous demand for virtual mental health care services.

Teletherapy providers have seen record uptake since March, and the need for mental health support appears to be growing as patients confront the stress of the pandemic and social crises.

Ginger, which offers text-based mental health coaching, teletherapy and psychiatry, reports that utilization rates rose to their highest level ever in the last week of September. Usage of Ginger’s text-based mental health coaching was up 159%, and virtual therapy and psychiatry was up 302%…

Home Health Telehealth Benefit Goes Before Congress

Remote Patient Monitoring Brings mHealth Care Management Into the Home

WASHINGTON (October 23, 2020)—U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act late Friday, a bipartisan bill to provide Medicare reimbursement for audio and video telehealth services furnished by home health agencies during the COVID-19 emergency and future public health emergencies. U.S. Representatives Roger Marshall (R-KS), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged home health providers’ ability to provide care to patients in their homes. Home…

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