This is a major announcement and one that I did not see coming from this administration. This should be done years ago, especially with most of the major players in this space HIPAA compliant already.
We are empowering medical providers to serve patients wherever they are during this national public health emergency. We are especially concerned about reaching those most at risk, including older persons and persons with disabilities. – Roger Severino, OCR Director.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for enforcing certain regulations issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, to protect the privacy and security of protected health information, namely the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules (the HIPAA Rules).
During the COVID-19 national emergency, which also constitutes a nationwide public health emergency, covered health care providers subject to the HIPAA Rules may seek to communicate with patients, and provide telehealth services, through remote communications technologies. Some of these technologies, and the manner in which they are used by HIPAA covered health care providers, may not fully comply with the requirements of the HIPAA Rules.
OCR will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. This notification is effective immediately…
Here is the position of the local BCBS agency (more here):
We are expanding virtual access to health care providers. Visits to doctors that previously required a face-to-face encounter can be performed virtually. These virtual visits must be medically necessary and meet the qualifying criteria.
We will waive early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (for example heart, diabetes, cancer, blood pressure). This way members can have a one-month supply on hand.
Testing for COVID-19 will not need prior approval. If you believe you need COVID-19 testing, call your doctor…
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) recently announced that its network of 36 independently owned BCBS companies will increase access to prescription drugs, enhanced telehealth, and other clinical support systems to combat COVID-19.
BCBS is making the shift to ensure that patients have access to care during the outbreak and to boost community support.
Spectrum Health Offers Free Virtual Screenings for Potential COVID-19 Patients
Spectrum Health announced that it is now offering free virtual screenings for individuals in Michigan who are experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms.
Bright.md Offers Free COVID-19 Tool to Hospitals
Bright.md is now offering a free COVID-19 evaluation and screening tool to all hospitals in the US to tackle to spread of this virus. The tool will ensure patients’ access to advice from home, 24 hours a day, to allow patients to stay quarantined during the outbreak…
The VA is expanding a program with the National Endowment for the Arts to give rural veterans living with traumatic brain injury or PTSD access to creative arts therapy through telehealth.
“Telehealth can be a hugely important tool in connecting rural veterans with the care they need,” Thomas Klobucar, executive director of the VA Office of Rural Health, said in a press release. “Our partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts adds an entirely new dimension of care to our Rural Veterans TeleRehabilitation Initiative (RVTRI), allowing us to treat the whole veteran regardless of where they live.”
The move to the cloud is one that started more than a decade ago for some companies and has yet to happen for some others. The reasons for the lag are varied, but for some governmental regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which regulates data privacy concerns for companies in the healthcare sector, are also to blame for the delay. With requirements around data retention and encryption, it can be easier to stay with what you know rather than make the move to the latest technology…
With Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) causing more deaths than the 2003 SARS outbreak and showing no signs of containment, one thing becomes clear: the disease is out of our control right now and we’re going to have to get innovative if we want to catch up with it.
The disease originated in China back in December, and while there’s been a lot of controversy around how it was handled, it’s important to recognize that our energy is best spent finding solutions.
Now, more than ever, the world needs to come together. We have to bring forth the best minds in healthcare and technology and innovate if we’re going to outsmart this disease.
Here is where the 3 main Cloud providers can get together to help solve this issue that affects everyone.
Imagine losing your child in their first year of life and having no idea what caused it. This is the heartbreaking reality for thousands of families each year who lose a child to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). Despite decades-long efforts to prevent SUID, it remains the leading cause of death for children between one month and one year of age in developed nations. In the U.S. alone, 3,600 children die unexpectedly of SUID each year.
For years, researchers hypothesized that infants who died due to SUID in the earliest stages of the life differed from those dying of SUID later. Now, for the first time, we know, thanks to the single largest study ever undertaken on the subject, this is statistically the case.
Working in collaboration with world-class researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Auckland, we analyzed the Center for Disease Control (CDC) data on every child born in the U.S. over a decade, including over 41 million births and 37,000 SUID deaths. We compared all possible groups by the age at the time of death to understand if these populations were different.
We hope our progress in piecing together the SUID puzzle ultimately saves lives, and gives parents and researchers hope for the future.