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How Has Patient Monitoring Changed Since COVID-19?

Beyond the toll the novel coronavirus has taken on our friends and loved ones, COVID-19 has brought to light how our healthcare system has been challenged in the face of a pandemic and a surging influx of patients.

Beyond the terrible toll the novel coronavirus has taken on our friends and loved ones, COVID-19 has brought to light how our healthcare system has been challenged in the face of a pandemic and a surging influx of patients.

The strain has been felt in both in-patient settings and post-acute environments. Reports have…

NIH Targets COVID-19 mHealth, Telehealth Projects With New Awards

Almost $23 million in federal funding is going to several mHealth and telehealth projects aimed at improving detection, care management and monitoring of people infected with the coronavirus.

By Eric Wicklund

September 17, 2020 – The University of California at San Francisco and eight digital health companies are receiving almost $23 million in federal funding to develop telehealth and mHealth platforms that address the coronavirus pandemic.

The awards, announced this week by the National Institutes of Health, target programs to develop wearable devices, mHealth apps and other tools that monitor…

Federal Nursing Home Commission Calls on CMS to Adopt 27 Recommendations, ‘Reduce Suffering’

A special federal commission on nursing homes and COVID-19 on Wednesday released its formal report, focusing foremost on testing, personal protective equipment, and visitation as the nation’s long-term care facilities continue to grapple with the novel coronavirus.

The Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes laid out 27 primary recommendations for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), with a specific emphasis on a national testing strategy, providing operators with access to at least three months’ worth of personal protective equipment, continuing to facilitate proper cohorting of COVID-19 residents, and expanding visitation…

Taskforce on Telehealth Policy: 4 recommendations to maximize telehealth cost, quality benefits

Jackie Drees – Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

The American Telemedicine Association, National Committee for Quality Assurance and Alliance for Connected Care’s national telehealth policy taskforce released recommendations this month for permanent virtual care expansion.

The Taskforce on Telehealth Policy, which comprises healthcare leaders from 20 organizations including Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente, Humana and Amwell, compiled the recommendations after analyzing more than 300 public comments and holding a virtual townhall with about 1,000 stakeholders.

The taskforce recommended that most of the COVID-19 telehealth policy changes be integrated…

How the new patient consumer is powering remote monitoring growth: 6 details

Jackie Drees – Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

A new wave of consumerism is leading healthcare’s shift to remote patient monitoring, with big tech players like Apple and Amazon carving out a presence alongside smaller virtual care platforms, according to a Sept. 16 STAT report.

Six details:

1. Healthcare consumers are now focused on using digital technologies to either monitor and maintain their health and wellness or access more convenient care.

2. Tech giants such as Apple and Fitbit have gotten involved in the new wave…

Why Remote Medical Solutions Are More Than Just A Pandemic Response

Remote Patient Monitoring Brings mHealth Care Management Into the Home

The health industry has increasingly emphasized convenience these past few decades, with methods developed to seamlessly integrate health management into our daily routines. Gone are the days in which people needed an entire day off just to see the doctor. This same focus has taken on extra meaning as of late, with the pandemic creating a need for treatment options that work around the constraints of social distancing. As a result, a host of digital-based solutions began appearing, providing remote solutions for people’s medical requirements, particularly diabetes patients who need regular appointments with their doctors. But one…

Three virtual care components every senior care facility needs

As with any crisis, COVID-19 has exposed and widened existing cracks in the foundations of our nation’s healthcare infrastructure.

This instability is particularly evident in senior care, given the extreme levying of pressure on health systems, providers and staff. With the weight of the pandemic miring classic models of care delivery, how can virtual care help senior care facilities deliver more person-centered care?

To better understand the benefits of virtual care, we must first understand the term in its entirety. After establishing the definition, we will explore the three care components…

The telehealth strategy playbook for 2021 and beyond: 4 key articles for health system execs

When the pandemic hit, health systems across the U.S. rapidly scaled their telehealth platforms to meet the urgent demand for virtual care. The federal government and commercial payers relaxed regulations around telehealth to cover additional services and boost pay rates so health systems could continue to operate safely in the virtual environment.

CIOs and their IT teams now are focused on developing permanent and sustainable infrastructure for telehealth, anticipating continued demand after the pandemic wanes. Patients are now comfortable with virtual care and will expect the convenience of telehealth visits in the future. The…

Taskforce on Telehealth Policy releases final report on safeguarding virtual care

Its recommendations include lifting limitations on originating sites, allowing telehealth for various types of conditions and reinstating the HIPAA provisions temporarily lifted during the public health emergency.

By Kat Jercich September 15, 202002:01 PM

The Taskforce on Telehealth Policy released a final report on Tuesday outlining its findings and recommendations around safeguarding the future of telehealth after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The task force, which was convened by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the Alliance for Connected Care and the American Telemedicine Association, represented a broad…

Taskforce on Telehealth Policy Issues Final Report

Remote healthcare recommendations set guidelines for policymakers

Twenty-three of the nation’s leading healthcare experts released their much-anticipated final report on Tuesday, September 15, identifying challenges and opportunities for telehealth in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Taskforce on Telehealth Policy, convened by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the Alliance for Connected Care, and the American Telemedicine Association, spent the summer building consensus among its members on a comprehensive set of findings and recommendations.

Taskforce members – representing a broad spectrum of health plans, providers, consumer advocates and health quality…

Updated COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions Released by the CMS

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

On August 26, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) released an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guide for questions related to COVID-19 and the public health emergency (PHE). The guide supplements the previously released FAQ guidance pertaining to 1135 Waivers under COVID-19.  The new guide includes additional details from COVID-19 legislation, emergency rules, and waivers.  The policies included in the FAQ are effective for the duration of the PHE unless superseded by future legislation. 

The FAQs address provisions from the Coronavirus Aid,…

A Toolkit for Building and Growing a Sustainable Telehealth Program for Your Practice

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth technology had been incrementally changing the practice of family medicine in the United States. In March 2020, only 13% of American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) members had provided video or telephone visits to their patients. By May 2020, 94% of members were regularly doing so, aided by sweeping temporary policy changes that brought down many of the regulatory and reimbursement barriers that had inhibited the growth of telehealth for years.

For family medicine practices, the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the inadequacy of fee-for-service (FFS) payment. However, the…

Telehealth Providers May Get a Financial Boost Under the FCC’s Connected Care Pilot Program

The FCC’s Connected Care Pilot Program is poised to defray eligible health care providers’ costs of providing certain telehealth services. On September 3, 2020, the FCC issued additional information and guidance for potential applicants.

On April 2, 2020, the FCC adopted final rules to establish the Connected Care Pilot Program with the intent of helping defray the cost of providing certain telehealth services. The Connected Care Pilot Program will provide up to $100 million from the Universal Service Fund over a three-year period to support the provision of connected care services, with an emphasis on…

Medicare Shared Savings Program Saved a Record $1.19B in 2019

CMS also reported that ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program saved more under new Pathway to Success tracks and if they assumed downside risk.

By Jacqueline LaPointe

September 15, 2020 – Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) generated $1.19 billion in total net savings to Medicare in 2019, representing the third consecutive year for net program savings and the largest annual savings for the program to date, CMS Administrator Seema Verma recently reported.

In a Health Affairs blog post yesterday, Administrator Verma shared the results from the MSSP’s 2019 performance year. It…

A timeline of telehealth support from the federal government during the pandemic

Katie Adams

The White House, CMS and other federal agencies have been issuing new policies and grants to expand telehealth access and use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below is a list of updated policies, grants and other actions taken to support telehealth in response to COVID-19.

March 6: President Donald Trump signed an $8.3 billion emergency funding bill in response to the coronavirus outbreak, including $500 million in waivers for Medicare telehealth restrictions. The benefits expanded telehealth coverage to all Medicare beneficiaries regardless of location. CMS previously…

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