News Blog

Report: Telemedicine is behind many of the largest non-US digital health deals in H1 ’16
Friday, July 08, 2016

The first of half of 2016 is off to a roaring start for digital health investment and has reached $3.9 billion — that’s about $1B more than this time last year, according to a report from StartUp Health. Many of the investments in the first six months of the year reflected the development of digital health outside the U.S. in places like Israel, China and India, especially in telemedicine. Here’s a look at some of the companies that attracted the most investment.
Ping An Good Doctor China-based insurance company spinout Ping An Good Doctor was the largest non-U.S. deal. It’s an atypical healthcare startup since it came out of a large, established business large. it launched a mobile health app last year to help patients to schedule healthcare appointments and interact with physicians through text messaging, images and video. Doctors can also use the app to manage patient records and follow up on cases. The company tapped “large central enterprises, internet companies and overseas investment funds” for the $500 million Series A round. China is a market many digital health companies would love to participate in since increasing access to healthcare is seen as a big priority.

Read More: http://medcitynews.com/2016/07/telemedicine-and-non-us-digital-health-deals/   ...

Medicaid plans can now pay mental health institutions. Most won't until 2017
Thursday, July 07, 2016

A policy that lifts a 50-year ban on Medicaid pay for mental health institutions kicked in Tuesday, but it may be months before many enrollees can take advantage of the new coverage

Since the creation of Medicaid in 1965, the program has excluded payment for institutions of mental disease (IMDs) for beneficiaries 21 and over. Most residential treatment facilities for mental health and substance-use disorders with more than 16 beds did not qualify for Medicaid reimbursement.

At the time Medicaid was created, states were responsible for the care of people with severe mental illness and the federal government did not want to supplant the state funding with federal Medicaid dollars.

In April, the CMS finalized a policy allowing Medicaid managed-care plans to pay the facilities for short-term stays lasting 15 or fewer days in a month.

Few beneficiaries were expected to take advantage of the new permission immediately.
Read More: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20160705/NEWS/160639991?utm_source=modernhealthcare&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20160705-NEWS-160639991&utm_campaign=am   ...

CMS angers hospitals with plans for site-neutral rates in outpatient payment rule
Thursday, July 07, 2016

The CMS has responded to calls to eliminate patient satisfaction on pain management from Medicare's value-based purchasing program. The agency angered hospitals, however, with plans to stop paying their off-campus facilities the same as hospital-based outpatient departments.

Both policies are included in the proposed rule for the 2017 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System issued Wednesday.

The CMS' actuary has estimated that so-called site-neutral payments for ambulatory care, which Congress called for a 2015 spending bill, would save Medicare about $500 million in 2017. The American Hospital Association quickly issued a harshly worded statement criticizing the CMS for declining to include support for hospital outpatient departments.
Read More: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20160706/NEWS/160709964?utm_source=modernhealthcare&utm_campaign=am&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20160706-NEWS-160709964   ...

How the AMA is pushing telemedicine
Thursday, July 07, 2016

The American Medical Association continues to see telemedicine as part of the future of the practice of medicine, and it took two steps during its annual meeting to connect its members with new ways to deliver care.
With this week’s actions, the nation’s largest professional organization for doctors continued to embrace distant and virtual care delivery as an appropriate way to treat some patients. In years past, the AMA had questioned the efficacy of telemedicine care.On Wednesday, the AMA approved a policy to include formalized training in telemedicine as a part of training for medical students and residents. The move means the organization wants to ensure that clinicians in training learn how to use telemedicine in clinical practice, said AMA Immediate Past President Robert M. Wah, M.D.
Read More: http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/news/how-the-ama-is-pushing-telemedicine?reading_list=%5B%2700000155-a607-d683-abdf-fe1f73da0000%27%2C%2700000155-727a-d67a-a1d5-f2fb45880000%27%2C%2700000155-55df-d6bd-a7df-dfffa3440000%27%2C%2700000155-ba9b-d116-a57d-bfff6dc40000%27%2C%2700000155-799a-dab3-a5df-7b9a02380000%27%2C%2700000155-81f9-dbc0-a575-81f95b550000%27%5D
  ...

‘Medicalized’ smartphones to put health data in hands of patients
Thursday, July 07, 2016

The world is on the verge of a fourth industrial revolution, characterized by artificial intelligence, robots, big data, and deep learning and analytics, but medicine is still stuck at the beginning of the third industrial revolution, which has already brought digital capabilities to billions of people worldwide.
That’s the contention of Eric Topol, MD, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and chief academic officer of Scripps Health in La Jolla, Calif., who says that the digital revolution has been occurring since the middle of the last century. Even so, the healthcare industry continues to only minimally leverage information technology.
However, Topol, a practicing cardiologist at Scripps Health and author of The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands, sees mobile devices as the technological enabler for the “democratization” of medicine by giving patients control of their own health data, which has historically been the exclusive domain of doctors.

Read More:  http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/news/medicalized-smartphones-to-put-health-data-in-hands-of-patients?reading_list=%5B%2700000155-a607-d683-abdf-fe1f73da0000%27%2C%2700000155-727a-d67a-a1d5-f2fb45880000%27%2C%2700000155-55df-d6bd-a7df-dfffa3440000%27%2C%2700000155-ba9b-d116-a57d-bfff6dc40000%27%2C%2700000155-799a-dab3-a5df-7b9a02380000%27%2C%2700000155-81f9-dbc0-a575-81f95b550000%27%5D   ...

AHRQ: Telehealth especially effective for cardiovascular, respiratory diseases
Thursday, July 07, 2016

The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality combed through 58 systematic reviews amid a substantial volume of research on telemedicine to pinpoint when telehealth interventions work best.
The data suggests telehealth improves outcomes such as mortality, quality of life and reductions in hospital admissions when used for remote patient monitoring for certain chronic conditions as well as for psychotherapy as part of behavioral health.
Top chronic conditions for telehealth success: cardiovascular and respiratory disease, according to AHRQ

Read More:  http://www.mobihealthnews.com/content/ahrq-telehealth-especially-effective-cardiovascular-respiratory-diseases   ...

EHR interoperability, regulations top patient record concerns
Thursday, July 07, 2016

Electronic health records are used more frequently as healthcare providers learn to balance their function against EHR regulations. Patients also are clamoring for access to their data as a way to communicate with their physicians and better understand their care.
Meaningful use requirements, which hounded many hospital EHR efforts, will change with new regulations that will require physicians and healthcare systems to prove they're not blocking information flow among EHRs. The lack of interoperability between EHR systems is a common problem making headlines that healthcare providers and vendors will need to tackle more aggressively.
In this SearchHealthIT essential guide, read about EHR regulation updates, common EHR interoperability and security issues and what EHR software vendors are up to -- plus, top patient record concerns.

Read more: http://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/essentialguide/EHR-regulations-interoperability-top-patient-record-concerns?utm_medium=EM&asrc=EM_NLN_60406217&utm_campaign=20160707_HealthIT%20Digest:%20ONC%20sets%20MACRA%20interoperability%20measures_bmatturro&utm_source=NLN&track=NL-1809&ad=908745&src=908745   ...

ONC sets MACRA interoperability measures
Thursday, July 07, 2016

Responding to Congress’ call last year to define health IT interoperability measures that Medicare providers must meet to receive reimbursement under new value-based models, ONC has published the measures.The new measures are now part of MACRA, the Medicare Access and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act.
The measures, as detailed in an ONC blog post, are:

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Integrating Medical And Social Services: A Pressing Priority For Health Systems And Payers
Thursday, July 07, 2016

The United States spends more on health care than any other nation in the world—more than double the amount that some industrialized countries do—yet our health outcomes are comparatively horrible. We live with higher incidence of chronic illness, we face many more financial barriers to care, and we die younger than people in just about every industrialized nation in the world. Since 2004, theCommonwealth Fund has ranked the health system performance of at least five industrialized countries. It expanded that work to eleven countries in 2014. The result: the United States has consistently come in last.
Read more: http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2016/07/05/integrating-medical-and-social-services-a-pressing-priority-for-health-systems-and-payers/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202016-07-07%20Healthcare%20Dive%20%5Bissue:6478%5D&utm_term=Healthcare%20Dive   ...

CMS proposes site-neutral outpatient payment rates, flexibility in EHR program
Thursday, July 07, 2016

  • CMS announced Wednesday proposed updates to payment rates and policies in the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System.
  • The changes, based on feedback from providers and patient advocates, are aimed at improving the care of Medicare patients by better supporting their healthcare providers, CMS said.
  • The proposed rule (764 pages) would increase OPPS payments by an estimated 1.6% and ASC payments by 1.2% in 2017.

Read more: http://www.healthcaredive.com/news/cms-proposes-site-neutral-outpatient-payment-rates-flexibility-in-ehr-prog/422158/   ...


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