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Telemedicine Payment Parity Fails in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania remains one of the few states that still lacks a dedicated Telemedicine Act. In an attempt to address both telemedicine payment parity and professional regulation in one Act, Pennsylvania Senate Bill 780—including its clause on coverage and reimbursement for its use—was unanimously approved last June by two Pennsylvania Senate committees, the full Senate, and the House Professional Licensure Committee. However, it failed to pass in the House of Representatives in October. Read more

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College Telepsychiatry Finally Catching Up—Slowly

The majority of American college students feel overwhelmed, depressed, and/or anxious, according to the latest American College Health Association survey. Unfortunately, many schools lack easy access to needed mental health care—if they have any at all. And this doesn’t even take into account the students’ hesitation to seek help due to the stigma often associated with mental illnesses. With the growth of telemedicine, telepsychiatry and telemental health present a viable solution that could overcome many of these challenges. Read more

woman in bed with cold

Walmart Offers Free Telemedicine for Consumers

The next time you head to Walmart, you may pick up more than just your groceries and cold medicine—you might also take home a voucher for a no-cost telemedicine consultation with Doctor On Demand, a direct-to-consumer virtual care provider. A new three-way partnership between Walmart, Doctor On Demand, and RB, a leading consumer health and hygiene company, is seeking to provide the public with unprecedented access to physicians from their digital devices during this cold and flu season through telemedicine for consumers. Read more

elderly woman looking out a window

Hospitalizations Drop with SNF Telemedicine

Previously, we’ve discussed the pending Reducing Unnecessary Senior Hospitalizations Act of 2018 (RUSH Act) and the potential impact it could have by allowing Medicare to participate in SNF telemedicine (skilled nursing facilities) to keep residents healthier and reduce hospital admissions. However, some facilities aren’t waiting for the bill to pass; they’re charging ahead with SNF telemedicine services, and they’re already seeing results. Read more

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SUPPORT Act Eases Way for Telemedicine for Opioid Treatment

This week, on the one-year anniversary of declaring a national opioid public health emergency, President Trump signed into law the bipartisan “Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act,” known as the “SUPPORT Act” for short. The goals of the legislation are to reduce “access to and the supply of opioids” and expand “access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services” through multiple angles, including via telemedicine for opioid treatment. Read more

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The Future of Telemedicine for Home Health Care: Tracking Vital Signs with a Camera

A key component of Remote Patient Monitoring and its successor, Remote Patient Evaluation, is measuring the patient’s vital signs. Traditionally, this has been accomplished through the use of medical devices, however unreliable or complicated, that sometimes must be operated by healthcare providers dispatched to the patient’s home. Both the devices and home visits can be expensive, thus increasing the program’s bottom-line. So if the purpose of using telemedicine for home health care is to raise patient convenience while reducing costs, how can we measure a home health patient’s vital signs accurately, easily, and cost-effectively? Read more

smart watch health app

Consumers Ready for In-Home Telemedicine

When it comes to health care, what do consumers want? According to the Deloitte 2018 Survey of US Consumers, consumers are looking for convenient and in-network health care providers, wearable devices and apps to use at home, and the ability to share personal health data from the wearable devices. These priorities suggest that consumers are ready to embrace in-home telemedicine, which can address all three desires easily. Read more

Doctor questioning

Why Are Some Physicians Slow to Embrace Telemedicine?

A recent survey has revealed that although doctors and consumers agree on the benefits of telemedicine, doctors have been slower to embrace the technology than their patients. According to the Deloitte 2018 Surveys of US Health Care Consumers and Physicians, over half of the consumers who have not yet tried video visits are willing to use the technology in the future, but less than one out of five physicians without video visit capability plans to add the service to his/her practice during the next couple years. Read more

JKroon & EGerritsen, presenting award

swyMed Wins Smart Solutions Award

Just this week, at the World of Health Care 2018 (WoHC), conference delegates voted swyMed as the winner of the Smart Solutions Award due to our DOT Telemedicine Backpack’s innovations in tackling challenges to modernize, optimize, and increase the quality, affordability, and accessibility of healthcare. Read more

pulse oximeter on finger

Telemedicine at Home Can Prolong Lives, Study Says

A new study from Germany, published in The Lancet, has shown that for patients with chronic heart failure, supplementing traditional care with remote patient management intervention via telemedicine can reduce hospitalizations and increase life expectancies in both rural and urban settings. During the study, patient data measured at home was transmitted to the telemedicine center for immediate analysis; a deterioration in values was addressed instantly, such as adjusting the medication dosage, with a recommendation for an outpatient office visit or inpatient treatment. Read more