Telemedicine 2020 – Coronavirus Edition

We are combining our Telemedicine and Virtual Care reports into Telemedicine 2020. We are seeking out the latest developments around Telemedicine. How is telemedicine used to benefit patients and care givers? What are the newest innovations in telemedicine technology? How telehealth and virtual care fit into the realm of Telemedicine.

Policy News:

OCR Announces Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (@HHSGov) announced, effective immediately, that it will exercise its enforcement discretion and will waive potential penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients through everyday communications technologies during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

FCC Acts to Support Telehealth & Remote Learning During Coronavirus Pandemic
The Federal Communications Commission (@FCC) announced important changes to the Rural Health Care (RHC) and E-Rate programs that will make it easier for broadband providers to support telehealth and remote learning efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has waived the gift rules until September 30, 2020 to enable service providers to offer, and RHC and E-Rate program participants to solicit and accept, improved connections or additional equipment for telemedicine or remote learning during the coronavirus outbreak.

HHS Announces Historic Expansion of Telehealth Access to Combat COVID-19
HHS announced unprecedented steps to expand Americans’ access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Centers for Medicare & and Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded Medicare coverage for telehealth visits, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced it will waive potential HIPAA penalties for good faith use of telehealth during the emergency, and the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) provided flexibility for healthcare providers to reduce or waive beneficiary cost-sharing for telehealth visits paid by federal healthcare programs.


Healthcare IT Today: Patient Communication and Telehealth Greenspace
Host John Lynn’s reflects on the episode, “For the 32nd episode of the Healthcare IT Podcast, we’re talking about Patient Communication and Telehealth Greenspace. Who would have known when we recorded this on March 2, 2020 that this topic would become so important thanks to COVID-19. Please take that into account when listening to this episode though. No doubt a lot has changed in the last 3 weeks since we recorded it. However, the fundamental needs of patient communication and telehealth are still the same…”

COVID-19 Webinars:

ATA COVID-19 Response Webinar Series
The ATA COVID-19 Response Webinar Series will bring together experts and thought leaders, and those in the trenches, to share practical insights and real-world experiences to help create the right solutions, implement the right technologies and support all of your incredible efforts to leverage telehealth solutions help ensure timely triaging and treatment of patients and help to ‘flatten the curve.’

Using Rhinogram to Flatten the Curve of COVID-19
Don’t miss the free webinar from Rhinogram (@rhinogram) on Friday March 27 @ 11:00 am EST. Dr. James Thomas shares how your practice can flatten the curve of COVID-19 using Rhinogram. Continue delivering high-quality care through virtual visits and remote check-ins. Plus, internal communication tools to keep your entire team connected and informed.

Rhinogram’s HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform will help flatten the curve of COVID-19, keeping patients, providers and their teams safe. Start texting with patients today. Custom templates and tools will make messaging even easier. Rhinogram can have your office live within hours. Sign-up today and they will waive your setup fee. *Limited time offer

Product News:

MobileSmith Health Supports Hospital Response to COVID-19 through Launch of Mobile Apps
MobileSmith Health (@TheMobileSmith), a leader in the digital health and mobile development sector that is reshaping traditional healthcare, announced the launch of two COVID Response Mobile Apps to support hospitals in their response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. The secure mobile platforms can be deployed in as little as 72 hours and provide timely push notifications and alerts to convey breaking news, vital updates, and customized facility information.

Amwell Launches National COVID-19 Telehealth Response Program
American Well (@amwelll), a national telehealth technology and services company, announced that it is working with key stakeholders across healthcare to ensure telehealth is seen and used appropriately as a first line of defense to mitigate the impact and spread of COVID-19. As recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within their Preparing Communities for Potential Spread of COVID-19 action plan, leveraging telehealth tools to direct people to the right level of healthcare for their medical needs should be part of first responders’, healthcare providers’, and health systems’ response to this global outbreak.

Carbon Health Announces Immediate Availability of First COVID-19 Home Test Kits
Carbon Health (@carbonhealth), the technology-enabled healthcare provider designed from the ground up to put patient care first, announced that it is actively shipping COVID-19 home test kits to patients who feel sick and who are recommended by providers to stay at home, but who wish to be tested to limit potential exposure to vulnerable people around them. The tests are currently available to patients located in California for an at-cost fee of $167.50. Carbon Health plans to offer them nationwide, pending state regulations.

VitalTech Offers Free Virtual Care to Combat COVID-19
VitalTech (@VitalTechInno), a rapidly growing market leader in Telehealth and Virtual Care, announced that it is offering free Telehealth access* to health systems, physicians and senior living facilities through their VitalCare® platform in an effort to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Industry News:

AMA Quick Guide to Telemedicine in Practice
In an effort to keep our health care workers and patients safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Medical Association (@AmerMedicalAssn) has designed this quick guide to support physicians and practices in expediting the implementation of telemedicine, so care can continue to be provided to those who need it most.

Teladoc Health Sees Daily Virtual Medical Visits Up 50% in Past Week
Teladoc Health (@teladochealth), the global leader in virtual care, shared that the company is experiencing unprecedented daily visit volume in the United States as the novel coronavirus continues to spread globally. This week, patient visit volume spiked 50 percent over the prior week and continues to rise. The company had been handling visit demand consistent with peak flu volumes, but on Wednesday began to see that number accelerate to as much as 15,000 visits requested per day. Teladoc Health has provided approximately 100,000 virtual medical visits to patients in the United States in the past week, helping to alleviate pressure on the broader health care system.

Charlotte’s Atrium Health Launches Virtual Hospital Care for COVID-19 Patients
According to the Charlotte Business Journal, Atrium Health (@AtriumHealth) is bringing hospital care to patients’ homes as the Charlotte-based health-care system prepares for an increase in coronavirus patients.

To Read:

How COVID-19 is Changing Telemedicine Reimbursement
According to GlobalMed’s (@globalmed_usa) Joel E. Barthelemy, in late January, GlobalMed published their forecast on telemedicine reimbursement this year. That was just two months ago, and yet it feels like a lost era compared to the world we’re living in today. The worst global pandemic in years has changed life as we know it, from our jobs to our families to our hopes for the future. No industry has been more dramatically disrupted than healthcare – but the pandemic has also illuminated telemedicine in what many are calling an ignition event.

ATA Calls On Governors to Recognize Out-Of-State Licensed Clinicians and Waive Telemedicine Restrictions to Help Combat COVID-19
The ATA (@AmericanTelemed), the premier organization working to accelerate the adoption of telehealth, pledged to support states across the nation and their health care needs by encouraging governors and state professional licensing boards to allow out-of-state clinicians holding a license in good standing to treat residents in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

National Emergency declaration boosts telehealth
Telehealth advocates may have been surprised to hear Trump describe virtual care, which healthcare providers have used for more than a decade, as a “fairly new and incredible thing.” But they say his national emergency declaration could boost use of the technology, which could minimize patients’ exposure to coronavirus.


ATA2020 Conference & Expo
May 3-5, 2020 Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix AZ
Hashtag: #ATA2020
Register for this event.

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and restrictions for in-person events, ATA2020 is going 100% virtual. ATA2020 will come to you as a fully online event this summer. ATA believes this is the right decision for their community. Learn more about what that means to you as a participant.

ATA2020 is the world’s largest telehealth innovation and networking event. It’s where providers, technology developers, business professionals and leaders from across the healthcare sector come together to have an in-depth, thoughtful, critical discussion about the future of health.

The American Telemedicine Association Events
ATA is a non-profit association based in Washington DC with a membership network of more than 10,000 industry leaders and healthcare professionals. We are a leading telehealth association helping to transform healthcare by improving the quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world. Find their next event.

Defining the industry according to the AAFP

Telemedicine is the practice of medicine using technology to deliver care at a distance. It occurs using a telecommunications infrastructure between a patient (at an originating or spoke site) and a physician or other practitioner licensed to practice medicine (at a distant or hub site).

Virtual Care is a patient service model for healthcare providers.

Telehealth refers to a broad collection of electronic and telecommunications technologies that support health care delivery and services from distant locations. Telehealth technologies support virtual medical, health, and education services.

Hashtags to follow for updates on Telemedicine: