On July 11th, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr made a statement announcing the establishment of the FCC’s “Connected Care Pilot Program.” The $100 million program is intended to support the development of telehealth services and delivery for low-income Americans, particularly rural and veteran populations. The decision comes from trends toward connected care observed by the FCC. Commissioner Carr acknowledged that health care is no longer limited to in-person care and that the FCC is exploring ways to support the movement towards connected care. He also noted the significant cost savings and improved patient outcomes associated with telehealth. Read More
Article Author: Eli Richman
Source: Fierce Healthcare
WASHINGTON—A $100 million telehealth initiative announced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this month will largely focus on delivering virtual medical technologies directly to low-income patients in remote areas of the country, according to Commissioner Brendan Carr.
At a Tuesday event held by the Connected Health Initiative (CHI) at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center, Carr spoke with ACT | The App Association President Morgan Reed about how stakeholders can expect the FCC’s Connected Care Pilot Program to work.
Article Author: Eric Wicklund
Source: mHealth Intelligence
– In the latest effort by Congress to compel Medicare to embrace telehealth, a group a lawmakers have submitted a bill that would enable skilled nursing facilities to adopt connected health technology.
The Reducing Unnecessary Senior Hospitalizations (RUSH) Act of 2018 aims to reduce rehospitalizations at qualified SNFs by giving them more incentives to use telemedicine and telehealth to improve patient care.
The bill was introduced by U.S. Reps. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.).
Effective October 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will implement a new telehealth waiver within the Comprehensive ESRD Care (CEC) Model, aimed at services provided to Medicaid End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) beneficiaries. The model was first implemented in October 2015, under authority granted to CMS by Section 1115(A) of the Social Security Act, to test new ways to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries with ESRD.
Article Author: Erick Wicklund
Source: mHealth Intelligence
– Telemedicine advocates have long argued that virtual care is equal to in-person care. But for some specialists augmenting their “day job” with eConsult services, that telehealth platform enables them to do more than they normally do during an office visit.
On such specialist is Dr. Camille Introcaso, a dermatologist with the Pennsylvania Center for Dermatology, a private practice in the Philadelphia area, who joined AristaMD’s Smart Care eConsult service roughly a year ago. The connected care platform, which she usually accesses at home in the evening, offers her the opportunity to flex her clinical muscles and help people who can’t afford her services, but who often need them more than the patients she sees in her office.
Article Author: Nathaniel M. Lacktman
Source: The National Law Review
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services just issued a proposed rule introducing monumental changes to the physician fee schedule, paving the way for asynchronous telemedicine and new technologies through a new set of virtual care codes. CMS explained the impetus for the bold changes, declaring:
“We now recognize that advances in communication technology have changed patients’ and practitioners’ expectations regarding the quantity and quality of information that can be conveyed via communication technology. From the ubiquity of synchronous, audio/video applications to the increased use of patient-facing health portals, a broader range of services can be furnished by health care professionals via communication technology as compared to 20 years ago.”
Last week CMS released its proposed Calendar Year (CY) 2019 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) containing its proposal for momentous changes for Medicare, aiming to modernize the healthcare system and help “restore the doctor-patient relationship” by reducing administrative burden. Among the changes, the proposed rule not only expands telehealth reimbursement, but communicates a new interpretation by CMS of the applicability of their statutory requirements for reimbursement of telehealth. Telehealth delivered services under Medicare are limited in statute by 1834(m) of the Social Security Act which limits the use of telehealth to certain services, providers, technology (mainly live video) and patient locations (needing to be in certain types of healthcare facilities in rural areas). CMS, in their rule, expresses concern that these requirements may be limiting the coding for new kinds of services that utilize communication technology.