Medicare Spending on Telehealth Increases, But Barriers Remain

By Eric Wicklund

August 28, 2017 — Healthcare providers may be using more telehealth and telemedicine than ever before, but Medicare Is still a significant barrier to growth.

An analysis of the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services’ 2016 payments for telehealth and telemedicine shows a strong uptick in total reimbursements, claims submitted and originating site claims, but the total is still a small fraction of CMS’ total payments of $600 billion-plus and nowhere near what the federal government anticipated spending some 15 years ago.

That difference between actual use and potential use is pushing a groundswell of support to change how CMS reimburses for digital and connected health technology. Aside from several letters calling on CMS to loosen the purse strings, more than a half-dozen bills have surfaced in Congress seeking those changes.


Notable for its absence is the patient’s home. Medicare does not reimburse for telehealth or telemedicine services provided to a patient at home, hindering many mobile health and remote monitoring programs.

 

The current cost of the service.

And therein lies the problem. People on all sides of the political spectrum can agree that the US Government does not always use common sense in making regulations and rules. This is one of those times. If the goal of medical treatment is positive outcomes at less cost, seems to me that telemedicine is one of the tools to achieve this. There is a disincentive to do that, especially if the goal is a single-payer system where most would have Medicare/Medicaid and everyone would have some form of healthcare plan/insurance. To someone on a fixed income, even the amount listed (actual price for the service, fewer insurance considerations) is a barrier to treatment.

 

 

Source: Medicare Spending on Telehealth Increases, But Barriers Remain

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What Rep. John Conyers’s sweeping single-payer health care bill would actually do

 

North America and UK current systems. Canada is a national network of province systems. 

You can’t fault the Democrats and Liberals for trying. After all, the base (which includes me) is finished with half-measures. I am among them, though I’m not quite ready to go all-in for the total government system. My preference is that everyone who is not covered by an employer or Veterans Affairs coverage is eligible for Medicare with everyone 200% or less of poverty level eligible for Medicaid. Medicare isn’t perfect, and I have some issues with it myself, but it is certainly better than the alternative. If I say, Carolinas Healthcare, it’s in my operating interest to take care of patients that are done now in the Emergency Rooms, without having to worry about them getting paid or trying to collect on folks that will probably never pay it back, due to chance or choice.

H/T Vox.com

While Republicans were trying and failing to repeal Obamacare, Democrats in Congress were quietly lining up behind a single-payer health plan that, as written, would fundamentally reshape American health care for every single person in the country.

That plan has now gained the backing of 60 percent of House Democrats, the most support a single-payer plan has ever enjoyed in Congress, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is planning a national campaign for a similar proposal in early September.

But by its author’s own admission, the House single-payer plan — Rep. John Conyers’s (D-MI) HR 676 — may not be ready for legislative prime-time. For instance, it contains only a skeletal outline of how to raise the trillions of dollars needed to achieve the universal, free coverage it wants to give every American.

But the bill is the sudden rage among the Democratic base and its congressional officials, aligning the party with a piece of legislation whose scope and speed would likely be unrivaled by any recent law in the Western world, according to four health care experts.

Source: What Rep. John Conyers’s sweeping single-payer health care bill would actually do

How Wi-Fi could get a boost from Li-Fi

I have previously written about this technology and haven’t got much of it lately until now. This time it’s being marketed as a compliment to 4G/5G and WiFi, not a replacement. What comes to mind is the “complementary” nature of Bluetooth and WiFi.  To explain from Wikipedia:

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short-wavelength UHF radio wavesin the ISM band from 2.4 to 2.485 GHz[4]) from fixed and mobile devices, and building personal area networks (PANs) (“Bluetooth,” 2017)

As Bluetooth come to mind, the IEEE working group associated with this also sees LiFi as a Personal Area Network (“IEEE 802.15.13 Task Group,” 2017). For this technology to take off, the current usage of Compact Fluorescent Lamps would have to give way to LED light bulbs. The transition from Incandescent light bulbs isn’t fully complete so this could be a while, compounded by the current Administration and their views on such energy advances.

Source: How Wi-Fi could get a boost from Li-Fi

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Mayoral candidate Ingrid Lafleur proposes a universal basic income for Detroit – The Michigan Chronicle

Ingrid LaFleur –PHOTO CREDIT: Justin Millhouse

H/T Scott Santens via Twitter.

I really like the idea of a citywide Universal Basic Income. Half regular money $1000 and half cryptocurrency $1000.

A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of new units. Cryptocurrencies are a subset of alternative currencies, or specifically of digital currencies. Bitcoin became the first decentralized cryptocurrency in 2009. Since then, numerous cryptocurrencies have been created.

WikiPedia

The current Federal Poverty Level is $1,005 monthly per person and $348.33 additional person. This means that the FPL will be covered, and the D-Coin concept takes care of city services and businesses as it is basically the modern version of scrip. This past weekend, I spent quality time with family members who live in and around Detroit at a family function; The direct topic did not arise, but attempting to catch up with Mom’s side of the family, Detroit’s renaissance was a topic. Doubts about the veracity of it were communicated, but we shall see where it lands.

via Ingrid Lafleur proposes a universal basic income for Detroit | The Michigan Chronicle

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Kansas: Schools, Funding, Taxes, and Lies from the Koch Brothers’ Spokesman

Why does the MSM let these folks get away with this? It’s beyond time to bring real subject experts on these programs.

Diane Ravitch's blog

While driving yesterday, I listened to a panel discussion on taxes led by correspondent Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC.

With the usual left-right line-up of guests, they debated whether the Trump tax plan would benefit the rich or everyone.

The man from the right was part of the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity. He insisted that massive tax cuts would be very beneficial for middle-income and poor Americans. The man from the left (center, really) disagreed and insisted that the big winners were the rich.

Then the center-left man said that the governor of Kentucky tried massive tax cuts and it backfired. He quickly was corrected (or corrected himself) and said it was Kansas, not Kentucky.

That’s where Governor Sam Brownback cut taxes, predicting an economic boom–that never happened. Instead, the state is facing a budget hole of nearly $900 million, and even Republicans recognize they must raise taxes.

But Mr…

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Fast Neural Style | TensorFire

H/T to Serdar Yegulalp of Infoworld on this story.

from this: before_manu

to this: f6abc5cf-094d-43a0-823e-5ffda88af886.jpg

with just Javascript and a modern browser, such as Vivaldi 1.11 [chromium 59]

via Fast Neural Style | TensorFire

In Chrome 60, I used my local webcam: The results, 1st is the straight webcam outside the program, 2nd is the output.

WIN_20170802_09_57_21_Pro.jpg

merp (1).png

In Firefox 54, again the before (enlarged) and the after.

FF-FireShot Pro Screen Capture #007 - 'Fast Neural Style I TensorFire' - tenso_rs_demos_fast-neural-style

merp(1).png

So as you can see, this works in multiple browsers. Edge is currently not one of them:

2017-08-02.png

Another reason why Microsoft Edge isn’t happening. Also, the new Windows 10 S limits you to this browser, which can’t get the basics of JavaScript support right.