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telemedicine Archives - Page 2 of 3 - National Consortium of Telehealth Research Centers

Telemedicine brings new options to patients in Central Austin

By | Recent Telehealth News

Article Author: Emma Freer

Source: Community Impact Newspaper

Telemedicine is the provision of healthcare services to a patient by a doctor in a remote location using technology.

Or as Kristi Henderson, vice president of Patient Access, Healthcare Transformation and Virtual Care at Ascension Texas and a clinical professor at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, sees it, telemedicine is like the grocery store express lane.

“If you have a minor illness or injury and just need to have a follow-up appointment, why are you going to the line that has everybody with two buggies full of groceries and which costs more money? Why can’t you do it in an express lane?”

Although telemedicine has been practiced in Texas for years, in May 2017 the Legislature passed a bill easing restrictions on telemedicine and opening the door to increased use across the state. The bill took effect in November.

As a result of the legislation, local health care providers, including Ascension Texas, Austin Regional Clinic and CommUnity Care, have expanded their telehealth services and invested in developing new ones.

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State and Federal Approaches to Decreasing the National Opioid Epidemic

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released a State Medicaid Director letter addressing findings within the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis’ final report issued November 1, 2017. The letter identifies many of the strategies supported and emphasized within the President’s Commission report along with some of the potential benefits associated with implementing such strategies. State Medicaid programs are encouraged to consider adopting some of the strategies which are presented as potential approaches to decrease the national opioid epidemic.
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FCC commissioners boost Rural Health Care Program cap to $571M

By | Recent Telehealth News

Article Author: Greg Slabodkin

Source: Health Data Management

The Federal Communications Commission has voted in favor of a proposal by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to increase the annual cap from $400 million to $571 million for the Rural Health Care Program, which provides telecommunications and broadband services to rural communities supporting telemedicine.

Last week, Pai sent a draft order to his colleagues at the agency seeking an increase in the annual funding cap by $171 million for the Rural Health Care Program. In response, a majority of the FCC’s commissioners voted in favor of the proposal to take immediate action to address a funding shortfall and improve telemedicine in rural areas.

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Telehealth success varies by setting, according to AHRQ

By | Recent Telehealth News

Article Author: Les Masterson

Source: Healthcare Dive

Healthcare organizations are investing more in telehealth. Foley & Lardner’s 2017 Telemedicine and Digital Health Survey found three-fourths of healthcare organizations said they plan to offer telehealth services this year. Only four years ago, the same survey found that the vast majority of organizations said they didn’t expect patients would use virtual care by now.

Another 2017 survey found that 30% said telehealth was a high priority in their organization. The North American telehealth market is expected to reach $16.8 billion by 2020, fueled by chronic diseases and rising healthcare costs.

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VA Finalizes ‘Anywhere to Anywhere’ Telehealth Program For Vets

By | Recent Telehealth News

Article Author: Erick Wicklund

Source: mHealth Intelligence

A national telehealth program to connect veterans and healthcare providers no matter where either is located is set to become official.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has posted former Secretary David Shulkin’s ambitious connected care initiative in the Federal Register, finalizing a plan to improve access to healthcare for veterans who have difficulties visiting the VA’s estimated 900 hospitals and clinics around the country. The rule enables VA practitioners to use telehealth to connect with veterans in any state, effectively bypassing state licensure laws.

“This final rulemaking clarifies that VA healthcare providers may exercise their authority to provide health care through the use of telehealth, notwithstanding any State laws, rules, licensure, registration, or certification requirements to the contrary,” the rule, dated May 8, states. “In so doing, VA is exercising Federal preemption of conflicting State laws relating to the practice of healthcare providers; laws, rules, regulations, or other requirements are preempted to the extent such State laws conflict with the ability of VA health care providers to engage in the practice of telehealth while acting within the scope of their VA employment.”

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OIG Report: CMS Paid Practitioners for Telehealth Services That Did Not Meet Medicare Requirements

By | Recent Telehealth News

Article Author: Nathaniel M. Lacktman

Source: Health Care Law Today

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) just published a new report on OIG’s review of Medicare payments for telehealth services. The objective of the OIG review was to determine whether or not CMS paid practitioners for telehealth services that met Medicare requirements. The report concluded that, of the sampled claims reviewed by OIG, 31% did not meet the Medicare conditions for payment for telehealth services. Extrapolating the data, OIG estimated that Medicare could have saved approximately $3.7 million during its audit period if practitioners had provided telehealth services in accordance with Medicare requirements.

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MedPAC recommends ‘measured approach’ to Medicare telehealth coverage

By | Recent Telehealth News | No Comments

Article Author: Evan Sweeney

Source: Fierce Healthcare

Without a consistent comparison from commercial insurers, federal policymakers should adopt a “measured approach” to incorporating telehealth coverage into the Medicare program, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

In a new report (PDF) mandated under the 21st Century Cures Act, the advisory organization shied away from recommending the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expand coverage for certain telehealth services, and instead urged policymakers to evaluate emerging modalities based on the ability to lower costs, improve access and drive quality care.

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