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Policy News

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....

AMA Tries Again to Set Telemedicine Ethics

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The American Medical Association is once again ready to wade into telemedicine ethics. After punting the issue last June and again in November, the AMA’s House of Delegates will begin debate this weekend on guidelines that define “the...

What the Joint Commission’s Guidance on Texting Means for Physicians

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The Joint Commission recently issued new guidance to give physicians and other independent practitioners the ability to not just communicate via text, but to actually use secure texting platforms to deliver orders. This is a major change from...

Arkansas May Loosen Telemedicine Restrictions

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One of the last states to restrict initial telemedicine encounters may be changing its tune. The Arkansas Board of Medicine is eyeing an amendment to its current codes that would, if approved, allow a physician to establish a valid relationship...

WHO Creates mHealth Adoption Research Standards Guide

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mHealth adoption and tool development has seen a surge as patients seek convenient and cost-effective methods to manage their own health and wellness. With that, testing for new mHealth tools and interventions for chronic disease management has...

Alaska May Open its Doors to Telemedicine

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Alaska lawmakers are uniting behind a bill that would, for the first time, enable the state’s Medicaid participants to access telemedicine services from out-of-state providers. SB 74 “could be a major change that will affect the entire...

9 Connected Health Recommendations to Help Seniors Aging in Place

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A White House advisory council is calling on the federal government to support connected health technologies and platforms for America’s aging population. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), in an...

Will mHealth be a Key Ingredient in the Precision Medicine Initiative?

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mHealth devices and platforms will play a crucial role in President Barack Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, as healthcare looks to make medicine very personal. Unveiled a year ago by President Obama during his State of the Union Address...

FDA Urged to Clarify Clinical Decision Support Regulations

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Among the biggest promises of mHealth is that it will enable clinical decision support in real time and at the point of care. But that won’t happen if federal officials can’t decide how to regulate the technology. A broad-based coalition...

Feds Urged to Make Telehealth a Standard of Care

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Telehealth should be an integrated standard of care for people with chronic conditions, not a separate path of care alongside traditional in-person visits. That’s the early take from comments so far submitted to the Senate Finance Committee...

FCC Petition: Better Rural Broadband Means More Telehealth Services

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A coalition of telehealth and health IT organizations is petitioning the Federal Communications Commission to improve wireless and broadband access to rural healthcare providers, calling it critical to the development of virtual visit and remote...

Large Employer Trade Group Pushes for Better State Telehealth Legislation

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A national organization representing large employers is throwing its weight behind state efforts to expand and regulate telehealth – and that’s not an easy task, says its chief health executive. The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC),...

Is the FDA Abandoning its mHealth App Regulation Plans?

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Healthcare providers looking for guidance from the Food and Drug Administration on the regulation of mobile medical apps may have to wait a while – possibly a few years. Speakers at a recent Food and Drug Law Institute conference in Washington...

Cross-State Licensing Compact Gains Momentum

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Twelve states have now signed an agreement to streamline the licensing process for clinicians wanting to practice medicine across state lines. Wisconsin became the latest state to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, with Gov. Scott...

Congress Set to See a Flurry of Telehealth Activity

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A Senate bill introduced this past week would spur additional Medicare coverage of telehealth in rural areas by allowing more telehealth projects at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. It’s one of two pieces of telemedicine...

Telehealth Scores Big in Joint Replacement Bundled Payment Plan

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A new payment model finalized this week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may open the door for telehealth in remote patient monitoring programs. CMS’ long-anticipated Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model...

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