Medicaid Expansion May Close Racial Health Disparities, Care Gaps

Courtesy of Health Payer Intelligence

Attention North Carolina General Assembly

For the past few years, you have refused nearly free money to expand Medicaid. If you or your staff were to read this, thinking twice about that political stance could be enlightening.

New data from Yale Cancer Center suggests that Medicaid expansion may have closed racial health disparities, connecting more patients with timely care access across racial lines.

 

Source: Medicaid Expansion May Close Racial Health Disparities, Care Gaps

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Lawsuit Challenges Indiana’s Ban on Telemedicine for Eye Exams

A telehealth company that offers online eye tests has filed a lawsuit challenging Indiana’s ban on the use of telemedicine for eye exams.

 

Source: Lawsuit Challenges Indiana’s Ban on Telemedicine for Eye Exams

In the story, I should point out that this statement as screenshotted:

Chrome-screenshot-getliner.com-2019.04.16-20-40-39

is not totally accurate. The representative in question is actually from Washington State, not South Carolina.

The company mentioned in the article has the ability to conduct eye exams in selected states that include North Carolina and charges $35 to do so. This is one of those infrequent occasions where something is valid in North Carolina and not in South Carolina; the states tend to enable similar laws, for good or bad.

Alabama, backward as usual.

Being from Alabama and not living there now, this doesn’t surprise me. Fortunately, when I lived there, I lived in counties with medical facilities and doctors. Even when I went to high school had at the time 2 hospitals. There is 1 there now.

CMS Gives Telehealth a Nudge With Coverage for Virtual Check-Ins | mHealth Intelligence

AH_telehealth

 

Leave it up to bureaucrats to do things slowly; eventually, they get around to the right thing, despite the current occupant of the White House.

 

While much of the attention was focused on expanded reimbursement for remote patient monitoring services, an overlooked section of the 2,378-page document detailed Medicare coverage for “Brief Communication Technology-Based Service” (HCPCS code G2012). Simply put, this new code gives providers an opportunity to use telehealth to check in with their patients at certain times on care management issues.

“The new code represents a sizeable change to allow providers to efficiently use new technologies to deliver medical care,” says Nathaniel Lacktman, a partner and healthcare lawyer with Foley & Lardner who chairs the firm’s Telemedicine Industry Team and co-chairs its Digital Health Work Group. “By reimbursing for virtual check-ins, the new code exemplifies CMS’ renewed vision and desire to bring the Medicare program into the future of clinically-valid virtual care services.”

Source: CMS Gives Telehealth a Nudge With Coverage for Virtual Check-Ins

Leveraging Microsoft Stream Content Within OneNote – HLS Show Me How – Microsoft Tech Community

Vivaldi-screenshot-techcommunity.microsoft.com-2018.11.05-21-18-37

Screenshot

I am just an individual blogger, not in the enterprise, so this content is only semi-relevant to me, however, the use of what can be best described as Microsoft’s version of YouTube can integrate with other tools in the Microsoft 365 chest, such as OneNote (their version of Evernote), Teams (their version of Slack), and SharePoint. This works for all verticals, not just healthcare and life sciences, which this blog has a focus on.

As an aside, when I was in the enterprise many moons ago, these collaborative tools would have been most helpful to me. I just don’t own a Windows Ink or active touch screens that make very good use of it.

Not discussed were the HIPAA implications of collaboration and access, stuff that as a former IT pro, keeps me up at night. The enterprise has these people in place to handle this, and Microsoft to back them up.

As healthcare and Life Sciences organizations look to Digitally transform one area of interest is the increased uses of video for tacit knowledge capture and re-use, for meeting capture, as well as for training. One of the stumbling blocks though for many is making that video readily available when and where it makes sense to utilize inline and making the inclusion of it simple for everyday users within and organization.

via Leveraging Microsoft Stream Content Within OneNote – HLS Show Me How – Microsoft Tech Community – 282491

UAB researchers study why some people don’t suffer Alzheimer’s effects – Alabama NewsCenter

Researchers believe that some people – perhaps 30 to 50 percent of the population – are resilient to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding what makes these people resilient to the debilitating symptoms of dementia could be a key to developing ways to treat or cure the disease.

 

“These are people who develop the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease: the tangles of tau protein and the accumulation of amyloid protein in the brain,” said Jeremy Herskowitz, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of NeurologySchool of Medicine. “But they don’t develop the symptoms of the disease and are resilient to its effects. If we can understand why this segment of the population is resilient, we might have a new target for slowing or preventing the disease in those who are not resilient.”

via UAB researchers study why some people don’t suffer Alzheimer’s effects – Alabama NewsCenter

Telemedicine’s ‘big day’ – POLITICO

AH_telehealthThe big news in the world of telemedicine is that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have finally done more than lip service to reimbursement for telemedicine services. In this world, there is an HCPCS code (“Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System,” 2018) for every conceivable service or product. Billing for both the actual visit and any imagery the helps the provider make further intervention decisions has separate codes and rates associated with them (not provided here). CMS is also finalizing policies to pay separately for new coding describing chronic care remote physiologic monitoring (CPT codes 99453, 99454, and 99457) and interprofessional internet consultation (CPT codes 99451, 99452, 99446, 99447, 99448, and 99449) (“Final Policy, Payment, and Quality Provisions Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Calendar Year 2019 | CMS,” 2018, pp. 4–5).

The final rules CMS released this week could advance virtual treatment further and faster than anything the government has done previously, advocates believe.

 

On Thursday, the agency finalized plans to reimburse physicians for virtually checking in with patients and remotely evaluating recorded images.

 

Thursday’s rule follows on the heels of a Wednesday CMS rule making it easier for home health agencies to get paid for remote monitoring of patients.

via Telemedicine’s ‘big day’ – POLITICO Continue reading