Telemedicine News & Updates 10-5-2016

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Telemedicine is viewed as a cost-effective alternative to the more traditional face-to-face way of providing medical care (e.g., face-to-face consultations or examinations between provider and patient) that states can choose to cover under Medicaid. This definition is modeled on Medicare’s definition of telehealth services (42 CFR 410.78). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently clarified their requirements for state amendments for telemedicine services. Telemedicine terms and guidelines have been more clearly defined and explained by CMS. According to CMS, states need not submit plan amendments for telemedicine coverage under Medicaid if they intend to pay for services provided via telemedicine in the same way they reimburse in-person visits. CMS approval is only needed if payment amounts differ.

Telehealth Getting Added to a CR?
Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz, a supporter of telemedicine, is hopeful that legislation to expand Medicare reimbursement of the technology will be included in one of the must-past, end-of-the-year bills. He and his staff have worked hard to build bipartisan support for the bill and if it were to pass it would be an important milestone for supporters of telemedicine.

TreatMD Expands Internationally & Aims to Globalize Telemedicine
The growth of telemedicine is increasing around the world and in developing countries. TreatMD was developed to be country agnostic featuring over 30 languages and custom international features such as custom procedure coding and flexible payment solutions. Out of the box, TreatMD allows any provider, practice, hospital, facility, or healthcare organization to start providing telemedicine services in any country. Currently in 22 countries and growing, TreatMD continues to expand its telemedicine platform globally. Additionally, TreatMD has a long term goal of building the TreatMD infrastructure to collaborate medicine and treatment on a global scale. Patients, as well as providers in one country can search and communicate with providers or facilities in another country to seek consultation, second opinion, or even learn about emerging treatments.

MyTelemedicine Launches “Acceso a un Médico” a Comprehensive Telemedicine Service Delivering Round-the-clock Access to Spanish Speaking Physicians Nationwide
MyTelemedicine (@MyTelemedicine), a National Telemedicine service provider, recently announced the launch of “Acceso a un Médico” the first comprehensive Telemedicine experience targeting Hispanics in the U.S. Members will now have the ability of accessing their personal health portal via desktop or mobile application to maintain their electronic health records, manage dependents and schedule a virtual consultation by video or phone with a physician licensed in their state, all in Spanish.

Global Telemedicine Market Worth USD 48.985 Billion by 2021 – Analysis, Technologies & Forecasts Report 2016-2021 – Key Vendors: AMD Global, Cerner, Cisco – Research and Markets
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Telemedicine Market – Forecasts from 2016 to 2021” report to their offering. Telemedicine market has been witnessing a high growth due to increasing government expenditure in healthcare, favorable industry regulations, focus towards privacy and the new trend of personal healthcare. Global Telemedicine market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 16.76% over the forecast period to reach US$48.985 billion by 2021, from the current estimate of $19.336 billion. The report provides comprehensive market dynamics through an overview section along with growth drivers, challenges, and opportunities which exist in the current market.

USDA Funds 18 Distance Learning and Telemedicine Projects in 16 States
USDA (@USDA) is investing in 18 projects in 16 states to use communications technology to expand access to health care, substance misuse treatment and advanced educational opportunities. USDA is awarding $4.7 million in Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program grants to support 11 distance learning and seven telemedicine projects. “These investments will help provide better health care and educational opportunities for rural residents,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. These DLT projects will join those we reported on in July when USDA announced funding to address the opiod epidemic in Appalachia.

More Rural Hospitals Choosing Telemedicine for Night Coverage Solutions
Rural hospitals often experience problems with night coverage and telemedicine may be the solution. Eagle Telemedicine (@eaglehp) offers a solution to meet the nighttime staffing needs of hospitals. Eagle’s approach uses a cart or robot on wheels with a two-way videoconferencing monitor that brings a patient face-to-face with a physician, who is “beamed in” from a remote location. The physician and patient have direct interaction, and the technology enables the physician to monitor the patient remotely with a stethoscope, otoscope, and blood pressure gauge. Rural hospitals working with Eagle have achieved up to 40% savings on nighttime coverage and a 50% increase in nighttime admissions.

Cigna Telehealth Connection Expands Access and Choice to Millions, Including Adding Access to Behavioral Health Consults
Millions of Americans enrolled in Cigna (@Cigna) administered medical and behavioral health plans for 2017 will now have expanded access and choice to affordable telehealth services thanks to the addition of AMWELL (by @AmericanWell) to its existing offering of MDLIVE (@MDLIVEInc). Both services operate national networks of board-certified doctors that are able to treat minor medical conditions such as allergies, cold and flu and sinusitis.

10 Companies to Watch in the Field of Telemedicine

InTouch Health Surpasses 800,000 High Acuity Clinical Teleconsultations
InTouch Health (@InTouchHealth), a specialty telehealth enterprise network provider, recently announced it has surpassed 800,000 clinical teleconsultations, InTouch Health is the first telehealth company to deliver high acuity and life-saving care, performed over the InTouch network and enterprise solution platform. InTouch network customers have reported specialist productivity doubled, patient access increased by a factor of 16, treatment rates quadrupled and treatment speed increased by up to six times. In addition, InTouch this month celebrates a significant milestone in the evolution of telemedicine with the 15th anniversary of the Lindbergh operation, the world’s first complete telesurgery procedure. [tweet_box design=”default” float=”none” excerpt=”Congrats @InTouchHealth on your 15th anniversary of the world’s 1st #telesurgery & 800,000 clinical #teleconsultations”]Tweet This[/tweet_box]

CMS Covered Telehealth Services
You can download the list of services payable under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule when furnished via telehealth on the CMS website.