Executive Summary: Tracking Telehealth Changes State-by-State in Response to COVID-19 – September 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…

Lawmakers detail how to transition telehealth from emergency response to permanent tool: 3 details

To ensure telehealth provisions lifted during the COVID-19 pandemic become permanent, U.S. Reps. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., and Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., are focusing on broadband access and Medicare reimbursement initiatives, according to NextGov.

Three details:

1. The lawmakers said that HIPAA relaxations enacted during the public health emergency, including allowing telehealth visits over platforms such as Zoom and FaceTime, should be made permanent to accommodate widespread access.

2. In June, Ms. Kelly introduced a bill requiring CMS to launch an evaluation of telehealth usage during the…

Patient Satisfaction with Telehealth High Following COVID-19

A new J.D. Power survey showed that patient satisfaction scores for telehealth reached 860 on a 1,000-point scale.

By Sara Heath

October 07, 2020 – Telehealth is one of the top health sectors yielding a high patient satisfaction score, but just about half of patients are still citing some barriers to virtual care access, according to the J.D. Power 2020 US Telehealth Satisfaction Study.

Although telehealth has been around for years, it has seen its biggest use case during the COVID-19 pandemic. As medical providers had to shutter their doors to…

Mayo Clinic using remote patient monitoring to help patients recover at home

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Mayo Clinic Hospitals are using technology to make sure those fighting coronavirus at home have some extra oversight from heath care professionals

Mayo Clinic first started this program several years ago to help treat patients with chronic conditions like diabetes or congestive heart failure. But when the pandemic hit, they used that framework to find another way to monitor patients. The remote patient monitoring program allows medical professions to watch patients’ vital signs and symptoms, but lets them recover from home. This allow limits coronavirus exposure to doctors at the hospitals…

Partnership to Advance Virtual Care Urges CMS to Extend and Make Permanent Certain Telehealth Flexibilities Issued in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, the Partnership to Advance Virtual Care (the “Partnership”) submitted comments in response to the CY 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule. As a leading coalition representing stakeholders advancing telehealth priorities, the Partnership’s comments urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to extend and make permanent certain flexibilities issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to implement an adequate transition period for all services added to the Medicare telehealth services list at the expiration of the public health emergency.

We have seen through…

Lawmakers See Equity-Enhancing Future for Telehealth Beyond Pandemic

Reps. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., and Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., view telehealth services as a key tool to promote equity in health care post-pandemic

Two House lawmakers active in tech policy on Monday outlined how to transition telehealth services used widely during the pandemic into permanent tools capable of reducing health care disparities in the U.S after the current crisis subsides. 

The coronavirus pandemic has hit communities of color and underprivileged Americans at disproportionate rates, highlighting persistent gaps in health care access in the U.S. Telehealth is touted as a tool…

Study: Changes Are Needed to Make Telehealth a Primary Care Platform

A new study out of Johns Hopkins finds that primary care visits and health and wellness check-ups have dropped during the coronavirus pandemic – and telehealth isn’t helping.

By Eric Wicklund

October 05, 2020 – While telehealth use has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, not everyone has made the jump to virtual care – and that could be putting some people in danger.

A recent study out of Johns Hopkins finds that primary care visits have decreased by more than 20 percent since 2018, while blood pressure check-ups have been…

Telehealth more time- and cost-effective for chronic pain patients, bolstering case for provider adoption

Patient satisfaction was high even before the pandemic, and anesthesiologists say 50% of visits could be virtual.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Patients who saw a pain medicine specialist via telehealth saved time and money and were highly satisfied with their experience, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study being presented at the Anesthesiology 2020 annual meeting.

The results bolster the case for provider adoption of telehealth technology, which has already been on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic and patient concerns about contracting…

HHS Adds $20B to Provider Relief Fund for Home Health Agencies, Others

The federal government announced Thursday that the Provider Relief Fund will be replenished with a tranche of $20 billion.

Unlike some of the previous rounds of relief, home health providers and others will have to apply for funding. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will begin accepting applications from providers on Oct. 5, marking the start of the third phase of the fund.

The Provider Relief Fund has sent out over $100 billion to health care providers during the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to home health providers, the…

Hospices Seek to Balance Technology with the Human Touch

By Holly Vossel | October 4, 2020

Hospices nationwide have leveraged technological advances to improve workflows, referral communications and enhance patient care. While telehealth in particular has been vital for hospices to continue reaching vulnerable high-risk patient populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, providers must proceed with caution when it comes to technology and patient care. 

Prior to the pandemic, technology in the hospice industry was evolving, with systems such as predictive analytics, telemedicine, artificial intelligence and virtual reality gradually changing the end-of-life care landscape.

“We have obviously seen an increase in the…

HHS Releases Rural Action Plan

On September 3, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its Rural Action Plan (the “Plan”). The Plan: (i) details the challenges rural communities endure; (ii) provides an assessment of current and upcoming rural healthcare efforts; (iii) lays out a “Four Point Strategy” to address the disparities between rural and urban communities; and (iv) lays out an action plan featuring 71 action items for remediating the disparities consistent with the Four Point Strategy.

Challenges Faced By Rural Communities

The Plan notes that rural communities are…

Bipartisan TIKES Act would improve telehealth access for kids

The legislation would require the HHS Secretary to issue guidance to states on virtual care strategies and mandate studies on the impact of telemedicine on healthcare access.

By Kat Jercich October 02, 2020 02:41 PM

This week, U.S. Reps Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., and Dr. Michael C. Burgess, R-Texas, introduced legislation aimed at increasing telehealth access, particularly for children.  

The Telehealth Improvement for Kids’ Essential Services, or TIKES, Act of 2020 would require the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human…

Advocating for underserved populations: Is remote patient monitoring the answer?

It’s crucial that today’s providers, innovators, and regulators alike continue to push for such tech adoption, driving virtual, continuous care in populations disproportionately affected by disease.

By TARA DAVIS Post a comment / Oct 2, 2020 at 12:03 PM

For years, healthcare providers have struggled to ensure that minorities, individuals residing in rural and low-income populations, and patients living with chronic conditions have equal access to the healthcare services they desperately need. In early 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit…

New Uses for Telehealth: How Virtual Care Has Extended Its Reach

From physical therapy to dentistry, a wide range of specialties are being delivered with a click.

by Kevin Joy

Telehealth isn’t just for urgent care. Consumers’ growing comfort with the platform — coupled with the demands of a public health emergency — has helped broaden the use of virtual visits to support a wide range of specialties that manage chronic illness.

Some connections may seem surprising.

Clinicians who practice endocrinology, rheumatology and gastroenterology are among the top users of telehealth in 2020, according to 

Maximize Reimbursement Now

7 changes affecting HME paymentsby Miriam LieberFriday, October 2nd, 2020

Although home medical equipment (HME) providers are accustomed to constant change, the uncertainties of the pandemic have left them in a crisis unlike any other. The key coping mechanism—adaptability—remains the constant for the industry. Knowing that Competitive Bidding Round 2021 is looming and has not been delayed (as of this writing) and that some audits have resumed, HME providers are focused on controlling costs for today while trying to plan for tomorrow. Maximizing reimbursement now is the first step in securing a spot…