Telemedicine News & Updates 4-18-2018

GlobalMed Technology Powers First Telehealth Consults Aboard a Navy Ship
GlobalMed (@globalmed_usa), an international provider of telehealth solutions, announced that the U.S. Navy recently used GlobalMed’s technology to conduct its first-ever portable telemedicine broadcast from a ship at sea, transmitting vital signs and ear, nose, throat, head/neck skin examinations from the U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy.

CMS Paid Practitioners for Telehealth Services That Did Not Meet Medicare Requirements
The Office of the Inspector General reports that Medicare paid a total of $17.6 million in telehealth payments in 2015, compared with $61,302 in 2001. Medicare telehealth payments include a professional fee, paid to the practitioner performing the service at a distant site, and an originating-site fee, paid to the facility where the beneficiary receives the service. A Medicare Payment Advisory Commission study of 2009 claims found that Medicare professional fee claims without associated claims for originating-site facility fees were more likely to be associated with unallowable telehealth payments. We analyzed 2014 and 2015 (our audit period) telehealth claims and found that more than half of the professional telehealth claims paid by Medicare did not have matching originating-site facility fee claims. Therefore, we focused our review on telehealth claims billed through a distant site that did not have a corresponding originating-site fee.

American Academy of Family Physicians, Zipnosis Announce Strategic Partnership to Provide Virtual Care Solution for Family Physicians
The American Academy of Family Physicians (@aafp) and virtual care technology leader Zipnosis (@zipnosisannounced a strategic partnership to provide a virtual health care platform to the AAFP’s 129,000 members and their patients. The virtual care platform provides an online diagnosis and treatment solution that will allow AAFP members to offer their patients convenient access to care by connecting them virtually with their family physician.

AMD Global Telemedicine Announces Direct-to-Consumer Telehealth Platform for Healthcare Providers
AMD Global Telemedicine Inc. (@AMDTelemedicine), the pioneer of clinical Telemedicine Encounter Management Solutions (TEMS) ®, announces the development of OnDemand Visit, a direct-to-consumer telehealth platform. OnDemand Visit allows healthcare organizations to expand their service offerings and engage patients in a convenient way.

ATA18: Telemedicine Reaches an Inflection Point
Ann Mond Johnson believes telemedicine is reaching an inflection point reports HealthTech. The newly appointed American Telemedicine Association CEO says that a combination of more solutions, an insufficient healthcare workforce and a care cost burden is pushing the industry in a direction that caters even more to evolving consumer expectations than ever before.

Change Healthcare and Doctor On Demand Bring Integrated Lab Orders and Results to Telemedicine
The telemedicine consumer experience takes a giant leap forward with a new solution pioneered by an innovative collaboration between Change Healthcare (@Change_HC) and Doctor On Demand. In a first for the telemedicine market, Doctor On Demand, a leading video medicine provider serving health plans, enterprise customers, and the direct-to-consumer market, is now using the Change Healthcare Intelligent Healthcare Network to empower consumers to choose the most convenient and cost-effective lab for tests ordered by network physicians.

eWellness is Developing a Tokenized Telehealth Payment System for the Healthcare Insurance Industry
eWellness Healthcare Corporation, a provider of the state of the art PHZIO platform for the physical therapy (PT) and telehealth markets, announced that it is developing the first tokenized physical therapy payment system for insurance companies, large scale self-insured corporations and their insured members. Fintech Global Consultants (FGC) will assist the Company in completing this Blockchain and tokenized payment system.

First Video-Based Canadian Veterinary Telehealth Company Launched
Just as telemedicine continues to increase in popularity in the United States, the same can be said for our neighbors to the north. Although not considered routine in Canada, a growing number of Canadian companies offer human telehealth services that range from counseling and wellness coaching to emergency medical advice.  As people become more accustomed to receiving virtual medical advice for themselves, they want the same convenience for their pets. In the United States, veterinary telehealth companies — think whiskerDocs and Petzam — have been popping up with relative frequency. Last week, Canada’s first and only telemedicine service to offer on-demand video consultations with veterinarians launched.

State and Local News:

Hospital’s ‘virtual visits’ bring specialists closer to patients
Telemedicine is a fast-growing part of health care. Over half of all hospitals use some form of it, insurance companies are encouraging it, and Congress wants to expand Medicare coverage for it. For one area hospital, it’s bringing specialists to new places. Dr. Purcell sees most patients at her home office in Harrisburg. She also covers five hospitals that have part-time neurologists, using high-definition cameras, and two-way audio.

Kansas bill enhancing telemedicine stalled by abortion fight
The Herald reports that a political fight over abortion restrictions could prevent passage of a bill in the Kansas Legislature that would improve telemedicine access across the state, particularly in rural areas. The bill would require insurance companies in Kansas to cover health care services provided through telemedicine if insurance already covers the services during personal visits to a doctor.

Turning to telemedicine to help prevent school shootings
Districts across the country are looking for ways to prevent active shooter situations. KCBD News reports that now, some West Texas schools are turning to telemedicine to get students the help they need. The Texas Tech University Science Center has created a new technology called TWITR to prevent school shootings from happening in West Texas.

Upcoming Events:

ATA 2018 Annual Conference & Tradeshow
What: ATA 2018 Annual Conference & Tradeshow
When: April 29 – May 1, 2018
Where: Chicago, IL
Event Hashtag: #ATA18

SPS 2018
What: Telemedicine & Telehealth Service Provider Summit (SPS)
When: October 8-9, 2018
Where: Glendale, AZ

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.

Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP)
The Center for Connected Health Policy (@CCHPCA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to maximize telehealth’s ability to improve health outcomes, care delivery, and cost effectiveness. Follow CCHP for the latest in telehealth policy and news.