Telemedicine News & Updates 8-23-2016

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The time is right for expansion of telehealth services across the globe. While most physicians are open to incorporating telemedicine services into their daily routines, many find it a challenging implementation. Logicalis Healthcare Solutions suggests making telehealth part of an office’s daily workflow and the best way to do this “is to leverage the healthcare organization’s existing electronic health record (EHR) system, an application that is already a central part of clinicians’ everyday experience.” To secure clinician buy in of a new telehealth program, Logicalis offers CIOs four steps to follow in the early stages of planning.


Telemedicine Startup Aims to Redefine On-Demand Healthcare
The official launch of the Beta represents the dawn of a new era for telemedicine, and is another example of how Telemedicine is quickly maturing in healthcare. TreatMD introduced the first International platform for Telemedicine referred to as an “On-demand Healthcare Platform” that also combines the management of office visits, in-home visits, insurance reimbursement, E-Prescribing, and mHealth devices and monitoring.

A California First: Anthem Blue Cross Members Can Now Access a Spanish Speaking Doctor using a Tablet or Smartphone
For the first time in California, Anthem Blue Cross (@AskAnthem) members can now use their smart phones or tablets to connect with a Spanish speaking doctor to discuss common health conditions and receive treatment. The doctors use Cuidado Médico on LiveHealth to assess a member’s condition, provide a treatment plan and even send a prescription to the pharmacy if needed. The service looks to be successful since Latinos are among the most likely to go online using their smartphones according to a 2013 Pew study.  Even California residents who do not have Anthem coverage or who have no coverage at all can also have access to Cuidado Médico on LiveHealth Online in Spanish for $49 per visit.

Teladoc Connects to Employers with Quick Expansion in Michigan
According to Lisa Bana, Teledoc’s area vice president for broker and consultant relationships, the company has expanded quickly in Michigan. Bana says Teladoc (@Teladoc) saves clients an average of $673 per consultation by avoiding costs of visits the ER or urgent care centers.
Based on avoided costs of going to a hospital emergency department or urgent care center, Bana said Teladoc saves clients an average of $673 per consultation. Savings also break down this way: $191 by avoiding a physician office visit and $2,661 by not going to a hospital ER.

Government Funding for Telemedicine
Arizona Telemedicine Program Receives Federal Grant to Expand Telehealth Services in the Southwest
The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (@HHSGov), recently awarded the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC) a $325,000 grant. The Southwest Telehealth Resource Center is a division of the Arizona Telemedicine Program (@UA_ATP). The funding will support SWTRC from Sept. 1, 2016 through Aug. 31, 2017 and will help advance the use of telehealth and telemedicine throughout five Southwestern states.

Alaska Gets $1M Telehealth Grant for Veterans
More than half of Alaska’s population is located outside of Anchorage making it an ideal state for the telehealth market. Alaskan Governor Bill Walker recognizes this and in turn has been busy passing favorable telemedicine legislation for the state. Once again, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has come through with nearly $1 million in federal funds to support Alaska’s efforts to deliver more telehealth resources to veterans living in rural areas.

$16 million in Funding to Improve Health Care in Rural America
More than $16 million has been awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration to improve access to quality health care in rural communities, including funds that will expand use of telehealth technology. The funds will be administered by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and will support 60 rural communities in 32 states, along with seven Rural Health Research Centers.

Save the Date
ATA Fall Forum – September 28 – 30
“Join us in New Orleans this September for ATA Fall Forum! This multi-billion dollar industry is poised to explode, as technology, reimbursement, momentum at the state level, and international expansion are all fueling new ways to deliver cost-effective care with high-quality results.” Keynote speakers feature locals James Carville and Mary Matalin and space is limited so register today! [tweet_dis excerpt=”Join @AmericanTelemed in NOLA 9/28-30 for #ATAFallForum – The Dynamic Future of #Telehealth”]Tweet This[/tweet_dis]

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.