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DEVELOPMENTS IN TELEMEDICINE

Evidence-Based Telemental Health Therapies on the Rise Government Health IT Online telehealth platforms for treating mental health have been proven effective for many years, which is good news for mental health providers and accountable care organizations who are unfamiliar with such services. These telemental health platforms are tremendously cost-effective tools for enhancing traditional in-person interventions and improving patient engagement.

Electronic Pillbox Boosts Remote Care for Diabetics FierceHealthIT A telehealth program for patients with poorly controlled diabetes showed encouraging results, though it involved a small sample made up primarily of African-American women, according to research published this month in Telemedicine and e-Health.

Vuzix' M100 Smart Glasses Key Part of Octovis Portable Telemedicine Platform Market Watch
Octovis' secure, HIPAA compliant Telle™ platform combines multiple Bluetooth® enabled medical devices, such as an EKG, pulse oximeter, stethoscope, otoscope, and others, to bring the examination room to the patient's bedside.

BUSINESS NEWS

Mednax Completes Acquisition of Telemedicine Business Sun Sentinel Mednax had announced its agreement last week to acquire Virtual Radiologic, a radiology physician services and telemedicine company.

UnitedHealth Expands Telehealth Service Options for Patients mHealth Intelligence Access to telehealth is becoming easier for millions of patients insured by UnitedHealth Group as the payer expands its remote care offerings over the coming months, the payer announced in a press release.

Teladoc To Launch IPO Despite Texas Setbacks Health IT Outcomes Telemedicine provider Teladoc announcedit has submitted a draft registration statement with the SEC to launch an initial public offering of its common stock. The submission of the Form S-1 was done confidentially, and no determination has yet been made regarding number of shares to be sold or the price range of the shares.

U.S. FEDERAL AND STATE NEWS

21st Century Cures Act Has Supporters, Detractors as Markup Begins Health Data Management A May 15 memo from the committee’s majority staff argues that the “ability to share research and clinical data is a cornerstone of our drive for new cures” and notes that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has led the charge in the area of HIT interoperability “but recently has identified barriers to nationwide interoperability of health technology.”

Interstate Telehealth Licensing Compact Set to Become Reality
mHealthNews A measure drafted by the Federation of State Medical Boards that enables physicians to practice across state lines is expected to take effect shortly, with seven states on board to honor the agreement and several more waiting in the wings.

SSA Expanding Health IT Federal Telemedicine News
In general, SSA has partnered with 38 healthcare organizations, reported on health IT partners in 30 states and the District of Columbia, and has identified ways to improve health IT case processing and data analytics.

TELEMEDICINE AROUND THE WORLD

Telemedicine Project to Help Treat Wounded Navy Personnel on Ships The Economic Times New Delhi: The government has recently sanctioned a Rs 61.59-crore telemedicine project for the Navy. "It would bring a revolutionary change in attending to severely injured patients in remote locations where a specialist is not available," a senior Navy official said.

SCB Uses Telemedicine Mode to Educate Docs on Heartburn The New Indian Express CUTTACK: In a bid to combat heartburn, a common but much-neglected health problem, the SCB Medical College and Hospital has launched a novel programme to educate doctors working at the grassroots and raise awareness in the community by using Telemedicine.

Doctors Want Telemedicine to be Part of Medical Curriculum Bangalore Mirror The ministry of health and family welfare has proposed to set aside a sum of close to Rs 15 lakh (per unit) under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), to set up telemedicine centres across rural areas. It had also promised to initiate national standards and guidelines for telemedicine applications. But there still exists a lack of modernisation in medical textbooks.

U.S. TELEMEDICINE LEGISLATION

(Arizona) SB1050. Telemedicine; Naturopaths: Introduced January 14, 2014, amending previous Telemedicine legislation section 36-3601.
Read Bill Text

(Hawaii) SB2469. Telehealth; Insurance; Health Care Providers; Reimbursement: Introduced January 21, 2014, Requires reimbursement for services provided through telemedicine to be equivalent to reimbursement for the same services provided via face-to-face contact between a health care provider and a patient. 
Read Bill Text

(Maryland) SB198. Maryland Medical Assistance Program - Telemedicine: This bill would amend the state’s law regarding Medicaid coverage of telemedicine.  It would remove restrictions, such as requiring the use of telemedicine only in the case of providing for the treatment of cardiovascular disease or stroke; in emergency department settings and when an appropriate specialist is not available.  If passed, this bill would take effect October 1, 2014.
Read Bill Text

(Washington) HB1448. Regarding Telemedicine. Re-introduced January 13, 2014, this bill will be amending RCW 70.41.020 and 2 70.41.230; adding a new section to chapter 41.05 RCW; adding a new 3 section to chapter 48.43 RCW; creating new sections; and providing an 4 effective date.
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S. 1932: Better Care, Lower Cost Act: Introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR] in January 2014, the goal of this bill is to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to establish a Medicare Better Care Program to provide integrated care for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions, and for other purposes.
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H.R. 6719 TeleHealth Promotion Act: Introduced by Rep. Thompson (D-Calif.) in late 2012, the goal of this bill was to prevent readmission and help with interstate licensing. It was introduced Dec. 30, 2012, but not enacted.
Read Bill Text

H.R. 3577 (Introduced Nov. 21, 2013): To establish the Commission on Health Care Savings through Innovative Wireless Technologies Read Bill Text

H.R. 3077: TELE-MED Act of 2013 (Introduced Sept. 10, 2013): To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to permit certain Medicare providers licensed in a State to provide telemedicine services to certain Medicare beneficiaries in a different State.
Read Bill Text

H.R. 3306 Telehealth Enhancement Act of 2013: Introduced by Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), along with Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.). It was introduced on Oct. 22 with the goal of promoting and expanding the application of telehealth under Medicare and other federal healthcare programs.
Read Bill Text

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TELEMEDICINE.COM NEWS

May 2015

Telemedicine Keeps Kids in School

Over ten years ago, the University of Kentucky Medical Center conducted a study on the effectiveness of telemedicine in school-based clinics. Using POTS-based technology, they conducted 150 consultations where “average family savings per encounter were 3.4 hours of work time (43 dollars) and 177 dollars in emergency department or 54 dollars in physician costs.” And though the 2003 study concluded that the technology was effective and affordable and all involved agreed it was a suitable alternative to traditional medical care; in 2009 it was found that only 18 state and community-based programs operating around the country used school-based telemedicine (Children’s Partnership).

According to the Center for Rural Health Innovation (CRHI), “School-based health centers (SBHCs) have been shown to improve attendance and reduce barriers to learning.” CRHI touts one of the most successful SBHC telemedicine programs in the form of My Health-e-schools. This program has a rather small reach, accessible in just 3 counties in North Carolina, but it is successful and growing. One enrolled student has a heart murmur and now misses only 30 minutes of class to see his cardiologist, as opposed to the 100 miles round-trip and full day of school he was accustomed to. A University of Rochester study determined 28 percent of visits to a pediatric emergency department could have been avoided with telemedicine. Nearby, Georgia schools took their first step in improving the school-based telemedicine statistic when, on February 6th “the School Nurses from the Decatur County Board of Education Schools received training for telehealth equipment.” (sowegalive.com)

The increase in Telemedicine usage among the SBHCs around the country is a great indicator of future growth, but it is still not climbing at the same rate as other telemedicine models. Last year, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) published a Medicaid policy guide for telemedicine usage in schools and found it to be “one area overlooked by many Medicaid health plans as a recognized model for quality and cost-effective healthcare delivery.” This report outlines clear paths for improving Medicaid legislation in every state. Across the board, telemedicine, when enacted in SBHCs, has been proven to reduce hospitalization rate, increase parent and patient satisfaction, and keep kids in school, whenever possible.

Telemedicine.com is available to assist with developing your school-based Telemedicine program. Call us at (530) 676-0421 or email mail@telemedicine.com

In California, the California Telehealth Resource Center (CTRC), has a current grant through Blue Shield of California Foundation to offer FREE ONSITE TRAINING SESSIONS . See the training flyer for more information!

We are proud to work closely with the TRCs to provide education and guidance to our health care providers, hospitals and clinics. Contact us to find out how we can team up to help your organization. (530) 676-0421 or mail@telemedicine.com



Telemedicine.com is always looking to assist facilities at any stage in their remote care project development. Please let us know how we can assist you with your telemedicine needs, contact us today at mail@telemedicine.com!

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MEDICARE AND MEDICAID

House Lawmakers Float Draft Bill on Medicare Telehealth Payments iHealth Beat Lawmakers in the House circulated a draft bill that would grant HHS more freedom to waive Medicare restrictions on reimbursements for telehealth services, Politico's "Morning eHealth" reports.

House Bill Seeks Active-Duty Telehealth Healthcare IT News. Continuing the recent spate of mHealth activity in the nation's capital, a pair of California Congressmen have submitted a bill that would expand telehealth coverage to active-duty service members, their dependents, retirees and veterans.

Final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule for 2013 Includes a 26.5% Decrease. HANYS. Telehealth: CMS adopted its proposal to add eight Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes to the list of services approved for coverage under the Medicare telehealth policy.

Delaware Medicaid Program Announces Reimbursements for Telemedicine-Delivered Services. HIMSS. This initiative will help to improve patient’s access to care, better the quality of care and help to transform the state’s mental health system.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Telehealth and Telemedicine - View here.

Medicare Payment Policies for Telehealth Services

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WHAT IS TELEMEDICINE?

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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