We may still be barely into the new year, but already state legislatures throughout the country have been busy—including when it comes to telemedicine-related bills. The latest state to consider telehealth legislation: Georgia, where the state Senate this past week unanimously passed two bills that, if signed into law, would significantly expand telehealth practice in the state. While one bill would facilitate treatment via telemedicine by patients in other states, the other would expand reimbursement, formally define “telehealth,” and take other steps to make Georgia a more telehealth-friendly state.
Last week, the federal HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) gave the greenlight to allow a virtual care company and pharmaceutical manufacturer to loan patients free smartphones, so the patients (which include Medicare beneficiaries) could use the smartphones to track their drug therapy adherence via a mobile digital health app. The OIG’s recent Advisory Opinionmarks the sixth favorable telemedicine/digital health advisory opinion issued by OIG to date. This article describes the drug and digital health technology, outlines the proposed program for free smartphones, and explains why OIG issued a favorable advisory opinion.
Rhinogram, a leader in cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant, telehealth solutions, today announced the seamless integration of their telehealth solution with the Cloud 9 practice management software. Through the collaboration with Rhinogram, Cloud 9 now offers practices the ability to communicate with patients in real-time via simple texts (SMS) and multimedia texts (MMS) or one-tap access directly from a practice’s Facebook ad, giving the practice the ability to better engage with patients while streamlining workflow.
Women’s Excellence is excited to soon offer a new Telemedicine program for women. Telemedicine visits allow patients to meet with a provider virtually utilizing a computer or mobile device with video and microphone capabilities. The Telemedicine program is scheduled to launch by April of 2019.
This morning Aetna and Apple announced a new wellness program that will leverage health data, a custom app and the Apple Watch. Called Attain by Aetna, the voluntary program will deliver personalized health goals, recommendations and rewards based on members’ daily activity.
According to a CNBC report, Apple is currently in talks with private Medicare plan providers to come up with ways to subsidize their watches and get them onto the wrists of senior citizens. Apple already has partnerships with Aetna and United Healthcare to provide such subsidies.
This week at CES 2019, Royal Philips unveiled a new app platform that links the company’s senior care products into a single digital ecosystem for family caretakers. Called Philips Cares, the app includes a range of features to track and manage a senior’s care, such as reminders, scheduling tools and access to emergency services.
Digital technologies create new opportunities to transform health care and empower patients to make better informed decisions about their health. Digital tools are rapidly evolving, and to keep pace with this promising innovation, the FDA must modernize its approach to regulation.
Change Healthcare — a provider of health IT software that ranges from network data analytics to revenue improvement — announced this morning the acquisition of several key assets from blockchain-focused API startup PokitDok, including its software, IP and employees. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.