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Policy News

WEDI Brief Outlines Challenges to Telehealth Reimbursement

January 11, 2017 - Healthcare providers face many challenges in launching and sustaining a telehealth program – including finding the right CPT codes, if they exist, for reimbursement. In many cases, a telehealth or telemedicine procedure is so new, a proper definition and guidelines haven’t been written for it yet, the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) reports in a new issue brief....


Articles

How Project ECHO Will Advance Rural Health through Telehealth

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As we leave 2016 behind and celebrate the New Year, we are seeing continued progress for telehealth and rural health initiatives. One of the biggest milestones is Congress’ passing of the bipartisan, bicameral bill S. 2873 (the counterpart...

Joint Commission Clarifies Text Messaging Rules for Doctors

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The Joint Commission is clarifying its guidance on text messaging for providers, saying clinicians can use a HIPAA-compliant platform to send messages to each other but can’t text patient care orders. The commission reportedly made...

Michigan’s New Telehealth Law Requires Patient Consent

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Michigan lawmakers have approved telehealth legislation that enables healthcare providers to use the technology with the patient's consent. S.B. 753, introduced in February by State Sen. Peter MacGregor, passed unanimously in the House on...

Senate Unanimously Passes Telemedicine Legislation

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A telemedicine program born at the University of New Mexico is set to become a national model for pushing healthcare into remote and underserved regions. The Senate on Tuesday approved by a 97-0 vote S. 2873, the Expanding Capacity for Health...

AMA Adopts mHealth Principles, Takes Aim at App Security Standards

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The American Medical Association has signaled its support for mHealth with new policies designed to support physicians adopting mobile health apps and devices. While approving an eight-part set of mHealth principles at its mid-year meeting this...

AMA to Discuss mHealth App Data Security Guidelines

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mHealth app security tops the agenda at this week’s American Medical Association meeting, with delegates expected to vote on an 11-point policy that would strengthen privacy and transparency efforts. A report prepared by the AMA’s...

5 Keys to a Secure mHealth Messaging Platform

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A new survey finds that health systems can follow all the rules for protecting patient data in mHealth messaging platforms, but that won’t work if their employees have a cavalier attitude toward security. About half of healthcare providers...

Organization Vows to Tackle mHealth’s Murky Meanings

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The organization that recently defined “store-and-forward” telehealth says this is the first salvo in an ongoing battle to make the industry meaningful. The healthcare landscape is littered with outdated or vague words and phrases,...

Pennsylvania Joins Telehealth-Friendly Licensing Compact for Doctors

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Pennsylvania has joined the group of states supporting the telehealth-friendly Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which goes into effect in just over two months. Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature last week on legislation unanimously approved...

Payers urge CBO to Give Telemedicine a Fair Shake

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Nearly a dozen national health plans have asked the Congressional Budget Office to pay more attention to telemedicine when scoring Congressional bills on Medicare. In a letter to CBO Director Keith Hall, 11 health plans say telemedicine programs...

New Jersey Moves to Regulate Telehealth

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One of the last states to regulate telehealth is moving forward with legislation that would permit video visits and consults and store-and-forward technology – but not healthcare delivered by phone, e-mail or text message. The New Jersey...

FTC Sides With Teladoc in Texas Telehealth Battle

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Teladoc is gaining new support in its battle with the Texas Medical Board over proposed telehealth restrictions. The Federal Trade Commission last week sent a 44-page letter to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court that criticizes Texas medical officials...

The Future of mHealth May be Health Industry Collaboration

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mHealth stakeholders may wish to consider investing in partnerships with other members of the health IT industry, suggests a new white paper from the law firm Hogan Lovells in partnership with the EBD Group. According to the report, the mHealth...

AAFP Criticizes CMS on Telemedicine Reimbursement Restrictions

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The American Association of Family Physicians is taking CMS to task for elements of the 2017 Medicare physician fee schedule that hinder telemedicine reimbursements for store-and-forward, observational care and ED services. "In light of...

FDA Steps Back from ‘Low Risk’ mHealth Regulation

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Federal officials won’t regulate activity trackers and other mHealth devices and apps that focus on “general wellness” – though they may intervene if the products in question touch on clinical applications. The long-awaited...

ONC Report Exposes mHealth’s Security Flaws, But Who Should Fix Them?

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Federal oversight of consumer health information isn’t keeping up with the fast-moving mHealth ecosystem, according to a new report. And it’s up to the healthcare industry to close those privacy and security gaps. That’s the...

Text Messaging Ban Reinstated for Providers

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Federal officials are once again banning healthcare providers from using text messaging tools until at least late this year. The Joint Commission, which lifted its ban on text messaging this past May, has announced that it needs more time to...

Massachusetts Drops Parity from Telemedicine Reimbursement Bill

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Massachusetts legislators are debating telemedicine legislation that would, among other things, give insurers leeway to negotiate reimbursement rates - or not reimburse at all. A reworked bill recently issued by the commonwealth’s Joint...

Arkansas Telemedicine Proposal a ‘Good Compromise’

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A proposal to allow telemedicine encounters between a doctor and a new patient are headed to the Arkansas state legislature – although a last-minute amendment could keep one of the nation’s largest telehealth vendors out of the loop....

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