Telemedicine News & Updates 8-22-2018

WEDI Releases New Telehealth Resource Guide
WEDI’s Telehealth Workgroup (@WEDIonline) has recently issued the Telehealth Resource Guide for the healthcare industry. The document provides a convenient place to access various telehealth resources, identifies telehealth resources that are relevant, up-to-date, and represent a diversity of views on the topic and provides relevant federal and state regulations and policies.

CVS Health’s MinuteClinic Introduces New Virtual Care Offering
CVS Health (@cvshealth) recently announced that MinuteClinic, the company’s retail medical clinic, is rolling out a new virtual health care offering for patients with minor illnesses and injuries, skin conditions and other wellness needs. MinuteClinic Video Visits, a telehealth offering, will provide patients with access to health care services 24 hours a day, seven days a week from their mobile device.

The Tate Chronicles – Telemedicine on the Blockchain with Bhavani and Mehta of MedNetwork
On this episode, host Jim Tate’s guests are Santosh Bhavani and Amit Mehta, MD, co-founders of MedNetwork, a full service platform provider for telemedicine on the blockchain. Their platform permits and supports the transfer, transmission, storage, interpretation, second opinion, and evaluation by artificial intelligence of medical data and medical images.


As CMS Seeks to Advance Virtual Care: 46% of Medicare Advantage Plan Members Unsure if Plan Offers Telemedicine, another 37% Say it is Not Offered: HealthMine Survey
The proposed 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program, unveiled by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in July 2018, includes expanding Medicare-covered telehealth services to include prolonged preventive services. While coverage of telehealth services is expanding, a survey of 781 Medicare Advantage members shows that few Medicare Advantage members are aware if their plan offers or recommends online and phone-based telehealth services. The survey results revealed that 46 percent were unsure if their plan offers telehealth, 37 percent said it is not offered, and 17 percent noted it is offered. The HealthMine Medicare Survey queried 781 insured age 65+ consumers with a chronic condition who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage and/or Supplemental plan.

FCC commissioner: Telehealth push is designed to aid low-income Americans
The Hill recently reported that a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner said in an interview the FCC’s newest telehealth program is aimed at aiding low-income Americans.

Teladoc Announces Corporate Name Change to Teladoc Health
Teladoc, Inc. (@TeladocHealth), the global leader in virtual care, announces that it is changing its corporate name to Teladoc Health, Inc. in order to better reflect its broad portfolio of services and mission to transform how people access healthcare around the world. The company will continue to trade on the NYSE under the symbol “TDOC.”

Pediatric telemedicine services can work well under the right conditions
According to EurekaAlert, doctors who provide pediatric care over the telephone – known as “telemedicine” – face a range of challenges that do not come with traditional face-to-face contact. In a qualitative study led by Motti Haimi of Clalit Health Services at the Children’s Health Center in Haifa in Israel, researchers found that physicians in a pediatric telemedicine service frequently face difficulties and challenges. Physicians described the difficulties with diagnosing from a distance (especially of children), treating unfamiliar patients, working alone, and managing the urgency and volume of calls. They also often faced technological hurdles, as well as a moral conflict between the desire to meet parents’ expectations and maintain standards of care. The research is published in the Springer Nature journal Pediatric Research.

Latest in health: MIT researcher pushes for advancements in telemedicine
WRVO Public Media (@WRVOreports that though obstacles still impede its application, telemedicine — using technology to remotely connect physicians to patients — is growing throughout the nation and the world, and a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) believes it’s a crucial tool to treating patients in the modern age. Amar Gupta teaches a popular telemedicine course at MIT, and his work has led to several major technological advancements at MIT and other universities. Gupta said telemedicine has an important practical application that is not being fully utilized due to the nature of health care in the U.S.

Nurx Launches First-Ever End-to-End Telehealth HIV Prevention Service Line
In a major step forward for HIV prevention, Nurx (@nurxapp), a direct to consumer telemedicine platform, announced the launch of a new at-home lab testing kit for patients seeking PrEP, a medication that helps keep HIV negative people from becoming infected. The kit allows patients to discreetly complete all the testing required before initiating PrEP, including a 4th generation HIV test and kidney monitoring. While Nurx has offered PrEP treatment since 2016, this is the first time any company has been able to offer a service that allows patients to consult with a provider as to whether PrEP is right for them, complete the necessary lab work, receive a prescription, fill the prescription, and get PrEP medication delivered straight to their door—all without needing to visit a physical health clinic.

Upcoming Events:

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.