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Child with book for telehealth certification

Avera eCare to Develop New Telehealth Certification Program

In a nascent, growing field yet to standardize one generally-accepted standard for accreditation or certification, another player is entering the field. Avera eCare, one of the country’s largest telehealth networks, is developing a national telehealth certification program with a $4.3 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The program will allow healthcare providers to earn either a general certificate in telehealth as a delivery model or a specialty certificate in telemental health. Read more

Telemedicine in hospitals as demonstrated by patient, nurse, and physician

Beyond the ER: Expanding Telemedicine in Hospitals

At Cleveland Clinic, recovering stroke and epilepsy patients can use the TV in the room to watch a movie—or see their physicians for a follow-up visit via video conferencing. Last July, the facility opened a neurology step-down unit that had been newly-equipped with telemedicine capabilities. The director of Cleveland Clinic’s cerebrovascular center, Muhammad Shazam Hussain, MD, was interviewed recently about introducing telemedicine in hospitals, outside of emergency rooms. Read more

Doctor Accessing Data within Blockchain in Telemedicine

Exploring Blockchain in Telemedicine

In previous years, the buzz around blockchain technology has centered mostly around cryptocurrency. As blockchain becomes a more widely understood and accepted concept, however, early adopters in other industries are beginning to envision upgrades in healthcare delivery that could result from the integration of blockchain technology—essentially, blockchain in telemedicine. Touted for its ability to decentralize control of protected health information (PHI) while maintaining trust, accountability, security, and transparency in its data transactions, blockchain can offer a reliable method for transporting and verifying sensitive information while providing clinical researchers with a wealth of anonymous data. Read more

generic telemedicine app on tablet for telemedicine adoption rates

How to Raise Your Telemedicine Adoption Rates

Many people believe that older Americans don’t like new technology, don’t know how to use it, and don’t want it. On the other end of the spectrum, they perceive millennials—the youngest adults—as being born with video game controllers in their hands and embracing any form of technology, almost favoring superficial virtual interactions over deep, interpersonal relationships. Are these myths or facts? Out of these statements, survey results support just two claims: In general, older adults often want to but don’t know how (or are unable) to use the latest technology, and millennials do not value the continuity of care and long-term relationship provided by a primary care physician (PCP) as much as previous generations do. As any organization strives to increase telemedicine adoption rates, it may behoove marketing to emphasize different benefits of telemedicine according to the specific needs and preferences of each generation. Read more

EMT first aid bag prior to emergency telemedicine program

Six Tips for Planning Your Emergency Telemedicine Program Smartly

Five years ago, the Houston Fire Department (HFD) developed the Emergency Telehealth and Navigation (ETHAN) program as a way to respond to every call by providing the appropriate level of health care rather than bringing everyone to the emergency department—without using up resources to transport non-emergency patients. Since its inception, the ETHAN project has picked up a few tips that could prove helpful if your organization is designing, or will design, an emergency telemedicine program. Read more

CT scan of Ischemic stroke for telestroke reimbursement

HHS Urged to Adopt New Mexico’s Telestroke Reimbursement Program

Over the last five years, several telestroke programs have flourished around the country, but only one has successfully garnered Medicaid coverage: New Mexico’s Access to Critical Cerebral Emergency Support Services (ACCESS) model. Now, in a bid for telestroke reimbursement, an advisory committee is suggesting that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) use the ACCESS program as a model for building a nationwide telestroke network backed by Medicare. Read more

Campus telemedicine – students on smartphones

Campus Telemedicine or No Medicine?

College students—famous for their late-night cram sessions and 2 a.m. pizzas—have never been the model of perfect health, but with campuses starting to embrace telemedicine, this could soon change. Today’s students, Generation Z, are the least likely generation to visit a primary care doctor; only 55 percent even have a designated primary care physician, and 1.7 million college students are uninsured. To entice students to seek care more readily when it’s needed, telemedicine start-up 98point6 is partnering with Ohio Wesleyan University to offer students free campus telemedicine services. Read more

3-direction Street Signs for telemedicine benefits for employees

Navigating Telemedicine Benefits for Employees, Part 2

Last week, after observing that the vast majority of large employers either offer or plan to offer telemedicine benefits for employees, we considered the logistics of how a company might choose to launch such a program. Three methods present viable options: adding telemedicine as a new feature of a group health plan, incorporating telemedicine as part of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or creating a stand-alone telemedicine benefit. In all three cases, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements is non-negotiable; who bears the brunt of the responsibility depends on the strategy selected. In last week’s blog post, we explored the pros and cons of appending telemedicine benefits to a group health plan. Today, we’ll consider the other two approaches. Read more

3-direction Street Signs for telemedicine benefits for employees

Navigating Telemedicine Benefits for Employees

According to a survey conducted by the National Business Group on Health, 96 percent of large employers are either making or planning to make telemedicine available to their employees. Considering the time and cost savings for patients, insurance companies, and employers, this sounds like it could be a panacea. However, the logistics of implementing telemedicine benefits for employees are far from simple. An employer, whether insured or self-funded, who wants to provide telemedicine services can do so in one of three ways: integrate telemedicine as part of a group health plan, bundle telemedicine services as part of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or offer telemedicine services separately as a stand-alone benefit. Each method carries varying degrees of compliance issues with state and federal laws such as ERISA. Read more

cartoon of Freud psychoanalyzing brain on couch since telemental health isn't available yet

Telemental Health Crosses State Lines

Over the last several years, the growth of the telemedicine industry and its elimination of geographic barriers have highlighted the impracticality of requiring medical care providers to be licensed in every single state in which their patients live. To overcome this expensive and time-consuming administrative work, several states have banded together to create licensure compacts in which the participating states recognize each other’s medical licenses as being valid within their borders. Perhaps the most well-known agreement is the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) for physicians, although other types of medical providers have formed interstate bonds as well. Now, telemental health is about to receive a boost in popularity: The Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) is almost ready to go live. Read more