elderly woman at home on telemedicine visit

New Budget Deal Boosts Telemedicine Coverage

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump signed into law a bipartisan budget deal that impacts Medicare’s telemedicine coverage more than any past legislation, as described by one senator. After a brief government shutdown, Congress approved a two-year budget deal including parts of the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act, the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act, and the Increasing Telehealth Access to Medicare Act. Read more

nurse taking patient's blood pressure at home

The Year Ahead in Healthcare Delivery

In 2017, we watched the beginning of a trend toward value-based and patient-centered care, but where is healthcare delivery headed in the coming months? As 2018 unfolds, we at swyMed expect continued growth in patient-centered care, particularly in the following areas: Read more

Telemedicine Benchmark Survey Reveals the State of the Industry

A new telemedicine industry benchmark survey, published by REACH Health, reveals the state of the industry and where it’s headed. Respondents include healthcare executives, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in various organizations with revenues varying from under $50 million to over $1 billion. Read more

youth football player

Teleneurology Can Deliver Real-Time Concussion Care to Young Athletes

Each year, up to 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries occur—over 75 percent of which are sports-related. Although the professional and elite levels are addressing the issue, many youth and collegiate programs can’t keep concussion specialists on hand to provide an immediate response on the sidelines. A recent study, spearheaded by Mayo Clinic, explored whether telemedicine technology could be used by concussion specialists to assess players’ conditions in real time. Although teleneurology has already been shown to be effective for evaluating and treating acute neurologic conditions such as stroke, concussion management is a new territory. Read more

Innovative Ways to Overcome Rural Health Care Challenges

A new report by The Commonwealth Fund showcases several representative solutions implemented by organizations to meet the challenges of rural health care. While Americans living in these underserved areas have a higher poverty rate, a higher incidence of illness, a lower life expectancy than their urban counterparts, and less access to health insurance and physicians, the innovation of rural health care facilities suggests that with enough time and creativity, the difference between rural and urban health care and outcomes can be significantly reduced. Below are some of the problems and approaches described in the report. Read more

Man in Wheelchair Needs Help Getting into Van

Patients Enjoy the Transportation Benefits of Telemedicine

Most telemedicine analyses focus on whether the technology reduces costs and improves outcomes, but few have explored the benefits of telemedicine for individual patients. Researchers at University of California Davis sought to remedy this oversight by looking at transportation costs for patients; they found that the transportation gains are measurable and not insignificant. Read more

Abdominal pain can be a symptom of hepatitis C

Rural Telemedicine Levels the Playing Field for Hepatitis C Patients

According to a new study in the American Journal of Medicine, rural patients diagnosed with the Hepatitis C virus were more likely to receive treatment if their primary care physicians (PCPs) engaged in telemedicine consults with infectious disease specialists. The researchers found that patients with physicians who participated in the VA-ECHO telemedicine program showed a 21.4% treatment rate, compared with 2.5% among patients with a PCP who did not take part in VA-ECHO. Read more

Report Card: Most Improved A+

ATA’s Annual Reports Reveal Growth in Telemedicine Adoption

Last week, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) issued its yearly reports of telemedicine coverage, reimbursement, and standards across the country. In general, telemedicine has consistently become an accepted tool by patients, providers, and third-party payers in all states, with improved coverage and reimbursement in several states. Some state legislatures are removing restrictive requirements for physician practice standards, even allowing them to practice telemedicine across state lines. Read more

Becker’s Hospital Review: Disruptive Healthcare Companies to Watch in 2017

Healthcare is ripe with opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs. Mobile health, sophisticated consumer expectations, data transparency and preference for on-demand services at a flat fee have ushered in a class of companies that resist the status quo. Here are 11 companies disrupting healthcare today. They’re worth keeping an eye on. Read the full article here.

Doctor holding sign that says, "Medicare"

Telemedicine Use Rising Rapidly among Medicare Beneficiaries

In one of the first published studies to measure exactly how often telemedicine is utilized, Harvard Medical School researchers discovered that telemedicine use among Medicare patients grew roughly 28 percent each year between 2004 and 2013. This rise is even more impressive in light of Medicare’s restrictive reimbursement policy: Medicare only pays for telemedicine visits if the patient lives in a rural area and travels to a clinic for the telemedicine visit. Read more