Elderly man, having trouble seeing, lifts eyeglasses and leans towards computer screen using telemedicine for seniors

Telemedicine for Seniors: Helping Patients Get the Most Out of Their Visits

Out of necessity, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic jump-started the widespread adoption of telemedicine. Most patients have welcomed the convenience and protective advantages offered by the technology, including the elderly. Despite the impressive rise in utilization rate within this demographic, however, telemedicine for seniors still presents significant, more personal challenges that cannot be ameliorated by changes in legislation alone. For this particular population—coined “unready for telemedicine”—any long-term solutions should consider factors that contribute to unreadiness, such as hearing or sight disability, challenges with speaking or conveying thoughts, possible dementia, lack of an internet-capable device, or not having used email, text messages, or the internet in the last month. Read more

"Paid in Full" rubber stamp, representing zero cost sharing for telemedicine

Pandemic Freebies Are Ending—It’s Time for Cost Sharing for Telemedicine

During the anxiety-fraught early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, most major insurers joined the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in waiving co-pays and deductibles for telemedicine visits — cost sharing for telemedicine — in order to encourage people to remain at home, thus reducing possible exposure and transmission of COVID. The public, many of whom were new to telemedicine, readily adopted the technology in favor of convenience and safety, reduced costs, and less travel. Now, however, those halcyon days may be gone. Some major private health insurers have stated that as of Oct. 1, they are no longer paying the full costs for virtual visits that are unrelated to COVID; instead, patients are expected to pay a portion of the costs for the virtual visit, as is the norm for in-person visits. Read more

Gavel for Healthcare

Are Lightened Telemedicine Regulations Here to Stay?

As we’ve noted previously, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust telemedicine into the spotlight with pro tem lifted telemedicine regulation, allowing both patients and providers to embrace low-contact methods for accessing healthcare. Now, several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, industry stakeholders are examining the currently active telemedicine regulations to determine which changes would encourage medical facilities and providers, ranging from small-practice primary care providers to tertiary care hospitals, to permanently add telemedicine to their routine options for health care delivery. Read more

2020 State of Telemedicine Report cover by Doximity

New Report Deciphers Adoption of Telemedicine Trends

Since the beginning of the pandemic-driven rise in the adoption of telemedicine, data regarding the attitudes and uses of telemedicine have largely remained scattered. To bring order to the chaos, Doximity, a network for professional medical providers including physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, has reviewed recently published studies and conducted their own research. Now ready to present their findings, a comprehensive report was released earlier this month to examine how the rate of telemedicine adoption among healthcare providers and patients has evolved from pre-COVID 19 days. Read more

sick man on telemedicine house call with doctor

Telemedicine House Calls: Our Past Is Catching up to Our Future

After years of evolution, the health care delivery system is slowly returning to its roots: house calls. In the 1800s, ailing patients remained at home, waiting for the roaming doctor to arrive via horseback. By the mid-20th century, home visits were abandoned in favor of bringing ill patients to the doctor’s stationary office. Fast forward to the 2020s: The ubiquitous nature of technology, paired with looming physician shortages and climbing health care costs, is bringing us full circle via telemedicine house calls. Along with the highly touted benefits of in-home virtual visits, clinicians have found that this method provides information about the patient’s home environment that is often overlooked during traditional office visits. This additional insight can be a major factor in designing an appropriate treatment plan that accounts for the daily obstacles presented in the patient’s home. Read more

Banner for Life Image + swyMed webinar

Telemedicine Webinar Featuring Partners Life Image and swyMed to Explore Patient Care, Operations, and Networks

Life Image and swyMed Partner to discuss optimizing the use of telemedicine audio/visual data in challenging situations
swyMed cordially invites you to join us in an upcoming webinar hosted by our partner, Life Image.

“Improve Care and Operations with Network Access”

As special guests, we will explore how imaging and telehealth “silos” in the telemedicine market can be integrated for more efficient, easier provider workflow, as well as improving patient care. We’ll discuss how audio/visual data can be optimized for use in remote patient monitoring (RPM), low-bandwidth network situations, and business intelligence.

Don’t miss us on Thursday, September 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET!

Register today to save your spot! Click here to register.

Possible Telemedicine CPT Codes Shutdown Looms

Telemedicine CPT Codes in Danger

We may still be in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that isn’t stopping policy makers from planning ahead to determine whether temporary telemedicine CPT codes should be a permanent part of the “new normal” that is expected to reign after the emergency situation dissipates. As mentioned previously, quick changes to legislation, especially those that reimburse telemedicine visits at the same value as in-office visits, made telemedicine a much more convenient and financially viable alternative to the traditional model of in-office visits—for both patients and providers. As we look ahead to 2021, however, debate surrounds the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)’ decision to drop a large majority of the recently-enacted billing codes, which may return the state of telemedicine almost to where it was before the pandemic began. Read more

Doctor warning during telemedicine visit on laptop

Is Telemedicine Losing Its Novelty?

Considering the eagerness with which the health care industry embraced telemedicine as COVID-19 started circling the world, it may seem surprising that lately, physicians have been less enthused than they were earlier in the pandemic. Initially, physicians and industry watchers predicted the widespread adoption of telemedicine as a permanent aspect of primary care. However, a recent report reveals an unexpected trend: In one large health care company, telemedicine usage has been falling steadily since late April. What happened to the early enthusiasm? Read more

Great Job glass trophy on blue background

swyMed Recognized as Notable Player within Industry

Just another indicator that here at swyMed, we know what we’re doing when it comes to telemedicine: For the fourth year in a row, swyMed has been named as a telemedicine company that is worth watching, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. Read more

FirstNet logo

swyMed Telemedicine Solutions Now Include FirstNet®

  LEXINGTON, Massachusetts, July 8, 2020 – swyMed, a provider of industry leading telemedicine and connectivity solutions, announced today the general availability of its telemedicine software suite and DOT backpack as an embedded solution with FirstNet. As part of this relationship, swyMed’s mobile telemedicine and connectivity solutions can operate on FirstNet, the only nationwide wireless, high-speed […]