A group of US Senators introduced a new version of a bipartisan bill today seeking Medicare-covered expansion of telehealth and remote patient monitoring services nationwide. The bill was previously introduced by the six-Senator group, which is headed by Brian Schatz (D-HI), in February.
What if someone told you that if your health system leveraged the right type of virtual care platform you could add 2,000 new patients by offering a virtual care service line?
What if you could ultimately convert a quarter of them into primary and specialty care services patients? What if, over time, this could turn into a revenue bump of $1.5 million annually? This may sound too good to be true, but depending on the size of your healthcare system, it isn’t. It could be a realistic return by adding the right virtual care platform to your health system’s care continuum.
The American Telemedicine Association Training Program Accreditation Committee voted to award accreditation for a Certificate in Telehealth offered by Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. The Telehealth Facilitator program is offered through the Institute of Emerging Health Professions at the University. The program consists of five learning modules (each designed to be completed in five weeks following the start of each program cohort), and successful completion of all program requirements will earn graduates a certificate and continuing medical education credits for some health professionals.
An Illinois-based law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against telemedicine company MDLive, alleging that the company takes screenshots of sensitive patient health information and sends them to TestFairy, an Israeli company that does quality control on apps, and that this is a violation of patient privacy. MDLive, for its part, denies that there’s anything improper about its procedures.
Wearables are at something of a crossroads right now. While companies might have previously differentiated new generations of wearables with new sensors and sleeker designs, now consumers are looking for something more: wearables that don’t just track their life, but help them improve it.
Federal standards for telemedicine reimbursement are becoming more of a reality. The newly reintroduced Senate Bill 870, called Creating High Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic Care Act of 2017 (also referred to as CHRONIC), aims to hone in on Medicare payment reform in order to expand telemedicine services for chronic disease management and at-home care coordination.
Healthcare organizations are increasingly looking to adopt telemedicine as a way to provide less expensive care to patients, particularly in a value-based care environment. However, providers may fail to achieve maximum benefits from the technology if they don’t take workflows and human factors into consideration.
The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact eases the path for telehealth licensing in 18 member states, giving physicians the opportunity to practice telehealth across state lines.
Telehealth in the United States is entering a new phase of accelerating growth. Indicators of this next phase include: FDA approval of remote diagnostic tools; the rapid evolution of telehealth platforms focused on managing chronic conditions as well as achieving specific patient outcomes; the expansion of telehealth services offered by private and government operated healthcare systems (such as the Veterans Administration).
While there may be considerable variation in telemedicine policies and reimbursement models from state to state, standards in some specialized types of telemedicine should be consistent, according to new practice guidelines from the American Telemedicine Association.