AAFP Says CMS Changes Could Tilt the Scales to DTC Health

American Academy of Family Physicians says proposed changes to Medicare Advantage plans will improve members’ access to telehealth, but they may also support direct-to-consumer channels at the expanse of the primary care providers.
News Author: 
Eric Wicklund

Growth in Use of Telemedicine Seen from 2005 to 2017

HealthDay News —  From 2005 to 2017, there was a substantial increase in telemedicine use, although use was still uncommon in 2017, according to a research letter published online Nov. 27 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Telemedicine helps transplant patients stay close to home

Grand Valley and Western Colorado patients who go through blood and marrow transplant procedures at the Huntsman Cancer Institute can now have some of their follow-up appointments locally after they return home.

Salt Lake City's Huntsman Cancer Institute and Grand Junction's Community Hospital recently teamed up to open a telemedicine clinic to serve Mesa County patients.

News Author: 
Joe Vaccarelli

The Doctor Will Video Chat With You Now: Insurer Covers Virtual Visits

If you can live stream movies, why not live stream medical care?

Insurance company UnitedHealthcare will start covering visits to the doctor's office — via video chat. Patients and physicians talk live online — on smartphones, tablets or home computer — to get to a clinical diagnosis. This move to cybermedicine could save insurers a ton of money — or have unintended consequences.

Cybermedicine has been long-discussed by the experts. Now, Eric Neiman, father to a little girl in San Francisco, can explain how it works — from personal experience.

News Author: 
Aarti Shahani

Doctors see potential revenue boost under Medicare changes, telehealth

Primary care physicians stand to earn additional revenue starting Jan. 1 under Medicare's new fee schedule for care coordination of chronically ill patients and for using certain telehealth services. 

To bill for the $40.40 per member per month fee, physicians must offer some type of 24/7 access, a minimum of 20 minutes per month of clinical team time, a creation of care plan, coordinate community-based services and agree to manage hospital, emergency department and home care services. 

News Author: 
Jay Greene

Data Collection, Telehealth, and Importance of Primary Care Physicians Get Attention at ACO Coalition Meeting

More than 50 attendees spent two days here learning how the power of data, better use of staff, and advances like telehealth can free up primary care physicians (PCPs) for their core mission: spending more time with patients whose complex conditions put them at risk for driving up healthcare costs. The ACO and Emerging Healthcare Coalition, a multistakeholder initiative of The American Journal of Managed Care, held its second live meeting October 16-17, 2014, at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay.

Legislation Aims for More ACO Flexibility

Proposed legislation introduced in the U.S. House calls for Medicare to pilot a reimbursement mechanism for accountable care organizations based on outcomes and encourages ACO use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring services.

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), a registered nurse for 40 years, sponsors The ACO Improvement Act (H.R. 5558) along with Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT). Both serve on powerful committees--Black on Ways & Means and Welch on Energy & Commerce.

News Author: 
Joseph Goedert

Docs leery of sharing risk with payers in value-based reimbursement

This lack of trust called "a huge hurdle' for insurance companies

Physician distrust of payers is a significant impediment to creating value-based reimbursement programs, according to a new survey from global business advisory firm FTI Consulting.

In fact, 41 percent of physicians who do not participate in a value-based relationship point to distrust of payers as the major reason.

News Author: 
Susan D. Hall

ACOs restrained by IT obstacles

Interoperability and technology costs cited as challenges

The ability of accountable care organizations to meet the goals of improving care and lowering costs may be hindered by health IT obstacles suggests a new analysis.

Of the 62 ACOs polled by Premier healthcare alliance this past summer, 88 percent report "significant obstacles" in integrating data from disparate sources; 83 percent say they have a hard time fitting analytics tools into their workflow; and 90 percent say IT costs and a lack of return on investment are key roadblocks to more effective implementation of health IT.

News Author: 
Mike Miliard

House Bill Would Allow ACOs To Expand Use of Telehealth Services

Two lawmakers have introduced a bill (HR 5558) that aims to improve the accountable care organization model in part by allowing ACOs to expand telehealth services, Becker's Hospital Review's "Health IT & CIO Review" reports

Bill Details

The ACO Improvement Act was introduced by Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) (Gregg, "Health IT & CIO Review," Becker's Hospital Review, 9/24).

The legislation would permit ACOs to use:


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