Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] Tele Taking Off (Telehealth, Telemedicine…)

From the 30 January 2015 post By CECI CONNOLLY at The Health Care Blog
telemedicine-full

http://ishcmcwiki.wikispaces.com/Telemedicine

In Washington, sometimes the most significant developments quietly creep up on you. No epic debate or triumphant bill-signing ceremony, but rather a collection of seemingly small events begin to tip the scales.

That’s what is happening today with telehealth. Almost under the radar, federal and state officials have been giving a much-needed push in support of virtual care. Though the technology has long existed, until recently the money had not followed. And sadly in our current fee-for-service healthcare system, little gets done without a payment code, even if it makes eminent medical and economic sense.

Consider some of the recent action. In November, the Department of Agriculture released more than $8.5 million in health-related grants to 31 recipients in rural communities. Many are using the money to purchase telehealth equipment such as high-quality cameras and broadband Internet.

The previous month the federal government issued rules expanding Medicare payment for a range of telehealth services. Caregivers can earn about $42 per month for chronic care management under the new regulations. Seven new procedure codes were also added, covering such services as annual wellness visits and psychotherapy.

And the end-of-year spending bill approved by Congress designates more than $26 million for telemedicine programs largely in rural communities and through the Veteran’s Administration.

Legislation filed in the new Congress would continue the trend loosening anti-kickback restrictions for the purchase of telemedicine equipment and requirements that physicians receive a separate license to practice in each state (a major barrier for doctors aiming to deliver virtual care to patients across the nation.)

Consumers can’t wait. Nearly 40% of 1,000 adults nationwide surveyed by PwC’s Health Research Institute say they would be willing to have an appointment with a physician via smartphone, representing a potential $42.1 billion market. Significant percentages of American consumers indicate they are eager for virtual care alternatives such as a device that attaches to a mobile phone, snaps an image of an ear canal or rash and transmits it to a physician for an instant reading.

Read the rest of the article (with comments) here

Related articles

  • What is Telemedicine (American Telemedicine Association)
  • Telehealth (US Department of Health and Human Services)
    The Role of Telehealth in an Evolving Health Care EnvironmentInstitute of Medicine report (11/20/2012)Telehealth professionalTelehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.HRSA works to increase and improve the useoftelehealth to meet the needs of underserved people by:

    • Fostering partnerships within HRSA, and with other Federal agencies, states and private sector groups to create telehealth projects.
    • Administering telehealth grant programs.
    • Providing technical assistance.
    • Evaluating the use of telehealth technologies and programs.
    • Developing telehealth policy initiatives to improve access to quality health services.
    • Promoting knowledge exchange about “best telehealth practices.” “
  • Telemedicine  (Medicaid.gov)
    “Provider and Facility GuidelinesMedicaid guidelines require all providers to practice within the scope of their State Practice Act. Some states have enacted legislation that requires providers using telemedicine technology across state lines to have a valid state license in the state where the patient is located. Any such requirements or restrictions placed by the state are binding under current Medicaid rules.”
  • Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Telemedicine
    Since itsinception, the Telemedicine program has conductedapproximately 19,000 consultations. Approximately 5000 such consults in 12 different medical specialties are now completed each year. Medical careis initiated at the local prison by the nurses and physiciansonsite. Telemedicine is then used to present the inmate and his or her medical condition to the specialty physicians at The Ohio State University Medical Center forappropriate care. In addition to the medical services provided by theOSUMC,ODRC staff conduct psychiatric and dietary consultations from a Central Office video systemlocated in the Office of Correctional Health Care. Thirty-two prisonsparticipate in the Telemedicine program.The Telemedicine network is part of a larger ODRC videoconferencing network that also includes the Division of Parole and Community Services’ eight regional offices and 3 district offices. The prison school system known as the Ohio Central School System has 6 distance learning centers included on the network as well. Thus, the videoconferencing network is used to not only to provide improved access to specialty care, but also continuing education to health care, administrative, security, and other support staff, as well as legal hearings, parole board hearings, administrative meetings, and patient transfer meetings.”
  • Telemedicine at UPMC (University of Pittsburg Medical Center)
    “The UPMC Telemedicine Program connects small or rural community hospitals and outpatient locations to specialists at UPMC, allowing patients to receive world-class care close to home.

February 1, 2015 Posted by | health care | , , | Leave a comment

Five Accelerants to the Adoption of Connected Health

The cHealth Blog

So, at the risk of ‘dumbing down’ adoption, here is my list of five accelerants.  If we could make these go faster, the adoption of connected health would accelerate too.

1. Increase value-based reimbursement for providers.

Virtual Visits_Homebase program

The more providers are financially rewarded for outcomes/quality and efficiency, the more they will be receptive to virtual care.  This is more acute in situations where providers take on downside risk, i.e., they lose money if they do not achieve the targets mentioned above.  Virtual care enables improved efficiency by allowing us to scale our human resources across more individuals/patients.  It enables improved quality by enhancing ‘just-in-time’ decision-making.  And, patients are almost universally in favor of it.  For instance, a recent survey showed that 64% of consumers were receptive to virtual visits with their doctor.

2. Create more mechanisms for provider reimbursement for non face-to-face care (like the new CMS CPT code that…

View original post 579 more words

February 1, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

[Reblog] Precision Medicine Initiative: Some quick resources

 

1.29.15_precision_medicine

From the 30 January 2015 post BY PIA CHRISTENSEN  at Covering Health – Monitoring the Pulse of Healthcare Journalism 

 White House has announced its anticipated “Precision Medicine Initiative,” which it describes as an “emerging field of medicine that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, microbiomes, environments, and lifestyles – making possible more effective, targeted treatments for diseases like cancer and diabetes. ”

….

The practice of medicine has always been personal regarding the treatment of individual patients, but science has fostered a new era of so-called personalized medicine that takes into account each person’s specific clinical, genetic, genomic and environmental information in designing tailored treatment plans

The White House released this fact sheet today.

This interview with the director of the program in personalized health at the University of Utah offers a good explanation of what personalized care is and examples of what it could do.

For Science magazine, Jocelyn Kaiser writes that the Obama precision medicine plan would create huge U.S. genetic biobank. She follows up with more details about the price tag and budget.

The White House released this fact sheet today.

This interview with the director of the program in personalized health at the University of Utah offers a good explanation of what personalized care is and examples of what it could do.

For Science magazine, Jocelyn Kaiser writes that the Obama precision medicine plan would create huge U.S. genetic biobank. She follows up with more details about the price tag and budget.

 

Related articles

“I have been thinking lately about the cultural and business phenomena that are currently shaping and accelerating the adoption of connected health and, in that context, came up with five accelerants.  The best part of the story is that four of the five are already going on and we can see their early-stage effects.

So, at the risk of ‘dumbing down’ adoption, here is my list of five accelerants.  If we could make these go faster, the adoption of connected health would accelerate too.”

1. Increase value-based reimbursement for providers.
2. Create more mechanisms for provider reimbursement for non face-to-face care (like the new CMS CPT code that just took effect).
3. Accelerate consumer choice in the marketplace as well as ‘consumer-driven health care’ (i.e., high deductible plans, health savings accounts (HSAs), etc.).
4. Make the consumer-facing technology truly frictionless.
5. Create a universal privacy/security technology and make it a public good.

  • Integrated approach to customer relationship management and patient relationship management (From the 28 January 2015 post at Health Care Conversation)

    A comprehensive consumer and patient engagement model should help providers attract and engage individuals in the key areas they value:

    • Help in understanding and navigating the health care system
    • Personalize information and care based on an individual’s needs
    • Easy access and communication with provider and care team
    • Support in managing an acute episode or a chronic illness
    • Secure access to personal health records

 

Read the entire article here

February 1, 2015 Posted by | health care, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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