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DEVELOPMENTS IN TELEMEDICINE


Altarum Institute Review Supplies Perspective on Telemedicine
InsuranceNewsNet.com A new review of research on clinical outcomes and cost effectiveness related to telemedicine shows promising findings for a range of conditions, even as coverage variations and restrictions continue to pose challenges, according to a new report issued by Altarum Institute, "Telemedicine Today: The State of Affairs."

Baptist Health Using Tele-health to Promote Breastfeeding KATV.com A new study suggests babies who breastfeed longer, end up smarter and more educated as adults. In Arkansas, breastfeeding rates are lower in rural areas. Technology at Baptist Health is being used to change that.

Telehealth Legislation Heats Up Nationwide mHealth Intelligence
The political landscape is ripe with telehealth legislation. As the technology matures and the benefits become clearer, states need to adjust their oversight and reimbursement to ensure they are maximizing the potential of the technology. Here is a round-up of some of the most recent developments.

BUSINESS NEWS

Mobile Health Accelerator News Federal Telemedicine News The Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator powered by Techstars is expanding its network of health system collaborators and will offer mentorship and possible opportunities for clinical validation or pilot programs.

Telehealth Firm's Monitor Project Garners Award at CES SCTimes The organizer of perhaps the world's largest electronics trade show has honored a local, self-described "muskie fisherman who works in digital health care." The Consumer Electronics Association and CE Pro magazine named Cybermation's Allison On Her Own system its health and wellness project of the year.

California Skin Institute Partners with Lagnosis to Provide Telemedicine Platform for Online Dermatology Treatment Digital Journal This innovative solution connects both new and existing California Skin Institute patients to one of the company’s board-certified dermatologists who can diagnose over 3,000 skin, hair and nail conditions virtually.

U.S. FEDERAL AND STATE NEWS

Mobile Cancer Survivor Clinic Brings Expertise to Doorstep of Underserved Cancer Survivors UT Southwestern UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Moncrief Cancer Institute and Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Centerdebuted the Mobile Cancer Survivor Clinic – a custom-designed, $1.1 million, fully equipped 18-wheeler that can deliver follow-up and screening services to cancer survivors in their communities.

Is Ohio about to be a model for federal telemedicine reimbursement? MedCity News Thanks to legislation sponsored by former State Representative Lynn Wachtmann (R-District 81) and State Representative Anne Gonzales (R-District 19), as of Jan. 2, 2015 and a new state Medicaid rule, there is Medicaid reimbursement for telemedicine in certain circumstances.

Telemedicine to link Bloomfield EMS with St. Joe's The Detroit News The (St. Joseph Mercy Oakland) hospital is partnering with the Bloomfield Township Fire Department to train the 57 firefighters, who are also certified paramedics, on how to use tablet devices to connect with emergency room doctors in real-time on their runs. The training begins in May.

TELEMEDICINE AROUND THE WORLD

Ontario Telemedicine Network launched in Mitchell MitchellAdvocate.com In January 2013, the southwest Local Health Integrated Network (LHIN) received funding from the Ministry of Health for the OTN system, which has been administered through behavioral support programs in Mitchell and across the region.

China Telemedicine Tackles Long Term Care: Business Opportunities and Government Guidance JDSUPRA Business Advisor A China government policy development program uses telemedicine as the lynchpin in China’s promotion of healthcare services for the elderly, including accelerated pilot programs for telemedicine services at elder care institutions in the Beijing municipality and Hubei and Yunnan provinces.

Telemedicine Project Launched in Botswana Bioscience Technology The Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP) is collaborating with Microsoft, the Botswana Innovation Hub, and other global partners to launch the first telemedicine service in Africa using TV white spaces to bring internet connectivity to hospitals and clinics across rural areas of Botswana.

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.
Read Bill Text

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.
Read Bill Text

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

March 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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