Telehealth – Archive
(10/28/20) Health Insurers Are Starting to Roll Back Coverage for Telehealth – Even Though Demand Is Way Up Due to COVID-19
The adoption of telehealth rapidly following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to significant increases in utilization with no end to the demand in sight. However, as the demand remains high, health insurers are reconsidering what services will be reimbursed over telehealth.
(10/28/20) Too Many Rural Americans Are Living in the Digital Dark. The Problem Demands A New Deal Solution
This blog post from Health Affairs highlights the problems rural Americans face in accessing telehealth services, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid expansion of telehealth services met the challenges of limited broadband connectivity, and expanding this connectivity could help both patients gain access to care and hospitals in rural locations increase revenue.
(10/27/20) Report Notes CMS Program’s Success With Telehealth for Senior Care
This article highlights a new report on the PACE program from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which has found success in funding telehealth services in 31 states for both patients on Medicare and Medicaid. The program may be a model of other programs to effectively improve telehealth service delivery.
(10/27/20) Telemedicine or In-person Visit? Pros and Cons
An article from Kaiser Health News discussing the benefits and drawbacks of telehealth visits compared to traditional, in-person care. Insurance coverage and reimbursement for the visit are major points of focus, as well as comfort with telehealth visits and technology available for the visit.
(10/27/20) Predicting the Future Role of Telemedicine
Given the massive increase in the use of telehealth during the pandemic, there are expectations that it will become a standard feature of health care delivery. This article makes some predictions about the future of telehealth, including predictions that patients will seek out better telehealth delivery services and expect increased access to specialists.
(10/21/20) Bridging the Miles — And the Pandemic — Teledentistry Makes Some Dentists Wince
An article jointly published by Fortune and Kaiser Health News which looks at the positive and negative consequences of teledentistry. While some have benefited significantly from the service, detractors complain of an inability to thoroughly test and diagnose a patient, leading to worse quality and potentially worse outcomes.
(10/20/20) Medicaid Telehealth Policies States Can Make Permanent to Ensure Access for Children/Families
This newsletter from Manatt Health discusses some of the policies enacted in response to COVID-19 that could be made permanent in an effort to expand access for children and families beyond the pandemic. Suggestions include changes to coverage, reimbursement, sites of care, and services offered.
(10/19/20) CMS Announces New Medicare Telehealth Services and Updates Medicaid Telehealth Toolkit
An article covering new services announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to be covered by Medicare during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. This emergency was recently extended to January 20, 2021, and meet an executive order from President Trump seeking to expand access to telehealth.
(10/16/20) Social Work and Tele-behavioral Health During COVID-19
The Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center at the University of Michigan has released a research brief covering the use of tele-behavioral health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings of the research include significant increases in use of tele-behavioral health and organizational telehealth capabilities.
(10/16/20) How Virtual Care Can Be Refined to Reach Those Who Need It Most
In this article, multiple experts are interviewed for their perspective on how to improve access to health care utilizing telehealth services and technology. Although virtual care offers some benefits to address issues with physical access to care, there are still issues with ensuring the technology is distributed and accessible equitably.
(10/15/20) CMS Will Reimburse for 11 New Telehealth Services During the Public Health Emergency
New guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has added 11 additional services to the list of reimbursable Medicare telehealth services. These additional services expand into such practices as neurology and both cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services.
(10/14/20) As Telehealth Surges, Dermatology Brings Experience With Access and Sustainability
Utilization of telehealth technology has expanded rapidly with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with apparent long-term staying power. This blog post from Health Affairs covers some of the opportunities and challenges for telehealth continuing forward based on the use thus-far in the pandemic.
(10/13/20) Top 3 Concerns with the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule
This article discusses some of the changes proposed for the 2021 Medicare Fee Schedule, which has some provider groups worried. These proposed changes include cuts to some specialty payments, changes to telehealth services eligible for reimbursement, and new quality reporting requirements.
(10/13/20) CMS Faces Another Call to Expand Telehealth Coverage for Specialists
An article covering calls from members of Congress to the the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand coverage for telehealth-based audiology and speech-language pathology services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(10/12/20) Telemedicine for Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Roundup and 5 Reporting Tips
This research roundup provides some information on utilization of telehealth services for drug addiction treatment. While the COVID-19 pandemic has captured the most attention this year, the United States is still dealing with a major crisis in drug and alcohol abuse.
(10/08/20) Establishing a Value-Based ‘New Normal’ for Telehealth
This blog post is part of the “Higher Health Care Value Post COVID-19” series from Health Affairs and highlights some of the policies and actions that have enabled widespread implementation and adoption of telehealth technology, as well as charting a path forward for Telehealth post-pandemic.
(10/07/20) Patient Satisfaction With Telehealth High Following COVID-19
An article covering the results of the J.D. Power 2020 US Telehealth Satisfaction Study, which has found that while telehealth is yielding high patient satisfaction ratings, there are still significant barriers to access for nearly half of patients.
(10/06/20) Telehealth’s Digital Divide Is Real, and Members of Congress Want to Address It
This article covers the legislative attempts being made in the House of Representatives to expand access to telehealth services following significant barriers seen throughout the pandemic. The focus of the legislation is to demand studies of the effectiveness of telehealth, expand broadband access, and ensure reimbursement to maintain the technology.
(10/05/20) Telehealth Patients Still Have Quality Doctor Time
This article covers the findings of a new study on surgical follow-ups conducted via telehealth technology. The study found that while patients spent more time at appointments in-person, this included checking in and time spent in the waiting room, and ultimately both telehealth and in-person appointments spent approximately 8 minutes discussing with their surgeon.
(09/30/20) Telehealth is Here to Stay. Are the Providers Who Refuse to Embrace it?
An article highlighting some of the reasons telehealth was slow to adopt prior to the pandemic, and which providers may be resistant to adoption even after the regulatory flexibility and increases in popularity.
(09/29/20) As Insurers Move This Week to Stop Waiving Telehealth Copays, Patients May Have to Pay More for Virtual Care
Insurers are preparing for and in some cases already enacting changes to policy to add or increase copays for telehealth visits. This article covers the expected changes and how virtual care may cost more for patients.
(09/24/20) Telemedicine: A Harbinger of Healthcare Transformation?
This opinion piece forecasts more reliance on the electronic and virtual changes to health care accelerated by the pandemic, even after the regulatory easing on privacy and insurance companies reconsider reimbursement. Issues to be considered include when virtual visits should be prioritized over in-person and how much should they be reimbursed.
(09/23/20) Telehealth Should Be Expanded—if it Can Address Today’s Health Care Challenges
This post featured on the Health Affairs blog promotes further expansion of telehealth following the rapid expansion and implementation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learning to integrate these advancements into the health care system in a post-pandemic world will be essential for continued adoption and improvement on telehealth services.
(09/21/20) Mayo’s Chief Digital Officer: The Hospital of the Future Isn’t Just About Technology
This interview with Rita Khan, Chief Digital Officer of the Mayo Clinic, discusses the nature of utilizing telehealth and technology to empower patience and encourage further transparency in health care delivery.
(09/21/20) Setting a Strategy to Maximize Telehealth’s Potential
An article from Margaret O’Kane, President of the National Committee for Quality Assurance, about strategically utilizing telehealth services to meet the needs of health care providers both during the pandemic and beyond. As health care workers risked their lives treating patients early in the pandemic, state and national governments relaxed restrictions on telehealth services and providers worked to fill in the gap with using the technology to meet non-emergency care needs.
(09/14/20) A Timeline of Telehealth Support From the Federal Government During the Pandemic
This timeline from Becker’s Hospital Review shows the timeline of support for telehealth from the federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning March 6 and progressing to early September.
(09/16/20) Telehealth Task Force Announces Policy Change Recommendations
An article covering highlights from the Taskforce on Telehealth Policy’s latest report on recommendations for the continued use of telehealth once the pandemic is over. This taskforce has been examining the impact of telehealth and preparing recommendations since June.
(09/10/20) Beyond COVID-19: Making Telehealth More Accessible and Equitable
An article from Sarah Krevans, the President and CEO of Sutter Health, discussing the ability for telehealth expansion to enable health care providers to reach traditionally underserved communities like never before. Sutter Health is based in Sacramento, California, serving a geographically and demographically diverse population and forming partnerships with local organizations and creating “telehealth champions” to help with adoption of services in diverse areas.
(09/09/20) Five Ways—Beyond Current Policy—to Truly Integrate Telehealth Into Primary Care Practices
This blog post featured on Health Affairs discusses opportunities for better integration of telehealth technology and services into primary care practice. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly expanded the use of telehealth, with many eyeing possibilities for further utilization.
(09/01/20) Telehealth Visits Are Plunging, Forcing Providers to Recalibrate
An article covering the decreasing trend of telehealth visits as a percentage of total visits to health care providers. Telehealth utilization dropped from nearly two-thirds of visits early in the pandemic to nearly one-fifth in mid July, leading to changes in the way providers operate their practices.
(08/31/20) As Telemedicine Replaces the Physical Exam, What Are Doctors Missing?
This interview from NPR discusses a physician’s perspective on what is potentially lost from the widespread adoption of telehealth services. As telehealth technology enables easier access to primary care from distant locations, some physicians are concerned about losing the physical examination, which provides opportunities to catch certain conditions, like heart failure, in ways not yet possible with remote technology.
(08/30/20) Fad or Future? Telehealth Expansion Eyed Beyond Pandemic
This article published by the Associated Press highlights how regulatory flexibility and technological advancement have enabled telehealth to expand rapidly under the COIVID-19 pandemic. Following this expansion are calls for a permanent place for telehealth in this enlarged capacity.
(08/27/20) Using Telehealth to Revolutionize the Speed of Making Rare Disease Diagnoses
This opinion piece discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid adoption of telehealth technology, and enabled some significant potential benefits of this expansion. As telehealth use increases and more providers utilize the technology, there is hope for increased speed and collaboration in making difficult, rare diagnoses.
(08/26/20) Can Telehealth Help Medical Practices Ditch the Waiting Room?
An article covering some of the unanticipated benefits of utilizing telehealth technology, especially in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Allowing patients to virtually check in, fill out forms, match insurance, and more can help clear waiting rooms and enable safer access to health care.
(08/21/20) A Pandemic Gives Telehealth a New Purpose With Community Paramedicine
This article discusses some of the important and innovative ways telehealth technology is being utilized to improve quality of service and care coordination in health care. Utilizing the technology, emergency medical service providers are providing better, more informed care outside of clinical settings.
(08/21/20) It’s Time to Permanently Suspend Regulatory Barriers to Telehealth
The use of telehealth technology to deliver quality health care has risen substantially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency regulations have enabled access and utilization like never seen before, and many are calling for permanent suspension of regulatory barriers to enable telehealth technology to continue to thrive.
(08/19/20) What We Learned From COVID: Telehealth is Here to Stay
An opinion piece from Republican Representative Kevin Hern of Oklahoma discussing the “new normal” that is telehealth expansion to address COVID-19, even beyond the eventual end of the pandemic. The expansion of telehealth has driven it from a scarcely used service to an essential and reliable component of health care, especially in rural communities.
(08/18/20) Telehealth Visits Skyrocket Among Americans Age 50-80
The percentage of adults aged 50-80 who utilize telehealth services has increased from just 4% in May 2019 to more than 30% in June 2020. This article discusses the opportunities of expansion, including increased access, ease, and comfort receiving health care, and threats to expansion, such as lack of tech experience and a preference for in person visits.
(08/17/20) Telehealth and the New Choreography of ‘Anywhere Care’
An opinion piece featured in STAT discussing some of the barriers of providing comprehensive health care using telehealth services. Issues with access to specialties to payment parity to maintaining provider-patient relationships are all concerns for the widespread adoption and success of telehealth.
(08/14/20) Moving On From Telehealth-by-desperation: What Will Make Telehealth Stick
Reports in April indicated that as many as 90% of physicians in the United States were utilizing some form of telehealth technology to treat patients remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This Health Affairs blog post offers some strategies to ensure continued use of the technology, including ensuring HIPAA compliance and addressing treatment quality concerns.
(08/13/20) Medicare Telehealth Expansion Could Be Here to Stay. Here’s Where Things Stand
An article describing the current status of telehealth expansion regulations for Medicare beneficiaries and where those restrictions may lead in the future. While the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled widespread implementation of telehealth services, policymakers are seeking ways to address cost and quality of the services provided.
(08/11/20) Reducing Barriers to Using Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring for Pediatric Populations under Medicaid
This report identifies strategies for reducing barriers to using services delivered via telehealth for the treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs) among pediatric populations under Medicaid.
(08/10/20) Telehealth and the Future of the US Healthcare Industry
This article examines the effects of telehealth on US healthcare during COVID-19 and looks at ways telemedicine is going to shape the future of healthcare.
(08/04/20) CMS Expands Telehealth Coverage in Physician Fee Rule Following Trump Executive Order
An article discussing a new executive order signed by United States President Donald Trump making permanent many expansions of telehealth regulations enacted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the public health emergency.
(08/03/20) Is Telemedicine Here to Stay?
An article featured in The New York Times recapping how telehealth has been used since the beginning of the pandemic, with many asking for the regulatory changes made to be maintained beyond the pandemic.
(08/03/20) COVID-19 Pandemic Drives Telehealth Boom, but Older Adults Can’t Connect
An article that examines how older patients are having difficulty accessing telehealth services during the pandemic due to inability to connect to necessary technology or unreadiness to use it, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco published in JAMA.
(07/31/20) Trump Administration Aims to Keep Telehealth Revolution Here to Stay
An opinion article in USA Today that addresses the barriers to telehealth and what strategies are needed to make telehealth more accessible such as regulatory reform and statutory changes in Congress.
(07/28/20) Telemedicine Explodes to the Forefront Amid COVID-19
An article covering the implementation and use of telemedicine before and throughout the pandemic, as well as thoughts on how telehealth usage will continue when the pandemic is over.
(07/28/20) ASPE Issue Brief: Medicare Beneficiary Use of Telehealth Visits: Early Data From the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation has released an issue brief examining changes to the Medicare fee-for-service primary care visits and utilization of telehealth since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency declaration.
(07/27/20) Virtual Care Advances Are the Silver Lining of COVID-19. Here’s How We Make Them Permanent
An article covering some of the advances seen as positive results of the COVID-19 pandemic, with suggestions to maintain the benefits beyond the crisis. Some suggestions include lifting geographic restrictions for both patients and providers, making permanent the expansion of allowed services, and maintaining reimbursement rates for meeting standards of care.
(07/27/20) My Patients Want the Good Old Days of Office Visits. That’s Not Happening Any Time Soon
An opinion piece from a primary care physician discussing her office’s usage of telehealth services at a time when their clinic is seeing less than a quarter of their usual in-person volume. While some patients have conditions requiring in-person care, there are many who would benefit from telehealth.
(07/23/20) Legislators and Healthcare Orgs Rally in Favor of Bipartisan Telehealth Bill
A bipartisan effort in the United States House of Representatives has been introduced with the intention of increasing access to telehealth services for people on Medicare. The popular measures being proposed include elimination of restrictions for geographic and originating sites, making it easier for providers to treat patients regardless of location.
(07/22/20) Care Delivery Transformation: Integrating Telehealth and Home-Based Care
Part of the Alliance for Health Policy’s Signature Series Summit on Disruptors and Transformers during the COVID-19 pandemic, this panel discusses the integration of telehealth and home-based care. Covered in the discussion are digital care delivery transformations as a result of COVID-19, and how the use of telehealth impacts patients, caregivers, and providers.
(07/20/20) Prioritizing Access to Care: Keeping Telehealth Options for All Americans
An opinion piece advocating for the importance of telehealth in protecting patients amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the current bipartisan legislation being introduced to maintain the expanded telehealth services and access beyond the pandemic.
(07/16/20) Expanding Telehealth in a Post-COVID World
An article from the National Law Review covering changes in regulation and expansion to telehealth services expected following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the changes made to address the pandemic. Historic regulations that worked to limit telehealth services have now been largely replaced with those in favor of telehealth service, and that is likely to remain.
(07/14/20) Patients Want to Keep Using Virtual Care After COVID-19 Pandemic Ends, Survey Finds
An article covering a new survey finding that a majority of patients who had experienced telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic would like to see these services remain in the future, among other metrics.
(07/13/20) 8 in 10 Consumers Stated COVID-19 Made Telehealth “Indispensable” in Healthcare Delivery
A new study featured in the 2020 Change Healthcare – Harris Poll Consumer Experience Index has found 8 in 10 consumers finding immense importance in the use of telehealth for treatment throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers also identified a desire for accurate cost estimates for the treatment they are receiving.
(07/13/20) NY Providers Urge Measures to Sustain Telehealth Access Post-COVID
Health care advocacy organizations in New York are calling for making permanent many of the regulatory changes that have improved access to health care through telehealth visits. They are also requesting more flexibility in which health care providers are allowed to offer telehealth services.
(07/08/20) Centering on Coronavirus Podcast: The Expansion of Telehealth
A podcast exploring the use of telehealth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and its potential for beyond. As Telehealth has become a main component of health care delivery following the COVID-19 pandemic, many providers and patients are finding value in the increased access and ability to avoid risk of infection of in person visits.
(07/06/20) Telehealth Providers Doing ‘More Visits Than Humanly Possible’ in a Day Draw CMS Scrutiny
Seema Verma, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, stated during an interview that the agency is examining methods for detecting and investigating fraud in telehealth utilization, following some clinicians providing more telehealth visits than is actually possible at the emergency increased reimbursement rate.
(07/06/20) The Return of Housecalls: How COVID-19 Will Change Healthcare Forever
An article discussing the way in which COVID-19 has forced major changes in the United States health care industry, with historic “housecalls” making a comeback, although this time virtually. As telehealth offers increasing convenience and high levels of care, it likely is here to stay.
(07/02/20) Telehealth Called a ‘Silver Lining’ of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This Time, It Might Stick
An article covering the change in the use of telehealth since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although use has currently fallen from its peak in April, for many situations, from patient questions to mental health visits, telehealth is proving to be a valuable and effective service that will likely continue in the future.
(06/30/20) A New Bill Asks Congress to Make Telehealth Coverage Expanded by the CARES Act Permanent
An article discussing a new bill introduced in the House of Representatives seeking to make permanent the telehealth regulations expanded by the CARES Act. The bill calls for ensuring reimbursement and technical assistance to providers to maintain or expand telehealth utilization beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
(06/25/20) Telehealth Privacy and Security: Investment and Education Are Key, Attorney Says
An article highlighting some of the challenges many health care providers are facing in utilizing telehealth services, which were adopted rapidly following closures to clinics in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The author cites recommendations of investing in technology and broadband access, as well as education for both patients and providers as the key to success.
(06/25/20) CMS: Upcoming Medicare Payment Rule to Include Permanent Telehealth Expansions
This article covers upcoming changes to Medicare payment rules to make permanent expansions of telehealth seen in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 100 new telehealth services have been made eligible for reimbursement since March 30.
(06/25/20) This is Supposed to Be Telemedicine’s Time to Shine. Why Are Doctors Abandoning it?
An opinion piece discussing some reasons for a reduction in telehealth usage by physicians following the record surge in utilization at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors believe that utilization has dropped as a result of both easing of restrictions for in-person visits as well as uncertainty about the financial stability and reimbursement of telehealth visits.
(06/22/20) APhA Coronavirus Watch: Pharmacists Eye Advocacy for Telehealth
An article covering dialogue at a recent American Pharmacists Association COVID-19 training that encourages pharmacists to advocate for telehealth coverage and to be allowed to provide services via telehealth in the future.
(06/22/20) A Regulatory Response to COVID-19: Unleash Telehealth
An opinion piece covering the use of telehealth services leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic and how the use has rapidly changed since. Some suggestions are then offered for how to move forward and better understand what regulatory changes are necessary to maintain cost-effective, quality telehealth utilization.
(06/22/20) Idaho Gov. Little Signs Executive Order Easing Telehealth Restrictions Permanently
An article describing a new executive order signed by the Governor of Idaho, Brad Little, to make some of the regulatory changes enacted to address the COVID-19 pandemic permanent. The state has seen widespread adoption of telehealth services compared to before the pandemic.
(06/22/20) Lawmakers Want a Full Study of Telehealth During the COVID-19 Crisis
As questions have arisen about the effectiveness and appropriateness of the transition to telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic, a bipartisan group of legislatures are seeking a study by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to analyze the use of telehealth in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
(06/22/20) State Efforts to Expand Medicaid Coverage & Access to Telehealth in Response to COVID-19
An issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation covering the ways in which states expanded telehealth access for Medicaid beneficiaries. This brief covers the broad authority states assume over what services are covered under telehealth in their Medicaid programs, as well as the additional actions taken to improve access for both patients and providers to telehealth technologies.
(06/17/20) Senate HELP Committee Weighs the Future of Telehealth
An article covering the debate among members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on which changes to telehealth should be maintained following the COVID-19 pandemic. Two regulatory changes likely to be maintained include the changes to originating site reimbursement and the expansion of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth visits.
(06/17/20) Telemedicine’s Tipping Point
An article discussing how COVID-19 has both been a leap and potential setback for telehealth services in the United States. While awareness of telehealth has greatly improved in the past few months, myths persist and questions about its quality potentially and how to compensate for care lead to issues with long-term transitions to telehealth.
(06/17/20) Telehealth Resource Centers Nationwide Aid Providers at No Cost
The 14 United States Health Resources and Services Administration-funded Telehealth Resource Centers are providing support for health care providers at no cost, and can help guide clinics in implementing telehealth programs effectively and safely both during and beyond the pandemic.
(06/15/20) What Sort of Staying Power Does Telehealth Really Have?
Amidst the widespread adoption and implementation of telehealth technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic, a question remains as to which regulations and what role telehealth will play after the pandemic ends.
(06/15/20) Experts Weigh in on Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Rules and Policies
An article covering some expert opinions on the changes to telehealth that are likely or beneficial post-COVID-19 pandemic. Some examples include changes to state licensure barriers, expanding broadband internet access, changes to health information privacy and data laws, and methods for dealing with fraud and abuse, among others.
(06/15/20) Senators Call for Permanent Changes to Expand Telehealth Access Post-Pandemic
An article covering the calls of at least 30 senators have made in support for expanding telehealth changes made during the pandemic to extend beyond the pandemic. These senators are also calling on the federal government to collect and analyze data on telehealth utilization, quality, and outcomes.
(06/11/20) Staying Connected in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Telehealth at the Largest Safety-Net System in the United States
A commentary published in Health Affairs discussing the use of telehealth at New York City Health + Hospitals amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This public hospital system is the largest in the United States and conducted over 100,000 virtual visits using telehealth technology.
(06/11/20) Telehealth Transformation Under COVID-19 and the Implications for Equitable Care
A podcast from Mathematica covering the implementation of telehealth as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the ways in which telehealth enables health care providers to deliver better, more equitable care.
(06/11/20) Internists Encourage Several Major Health Insurers and Associations to Keep Telehealth and Other Flexibilities In Place After the COVID-19 Health Crisis
A press release discussing a series of letters sent by internists with the American College of Physicians calling for private insurers to continue reimbursing for telehealth services following the COVID-19 pandemic.
(06/10/20) Louisiana Lawmakers Expand Access To Mental Health Services Via Telehealth
Issues with reaching those in need of behavioral health services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is being addressed by new legislation to expand telehealth guidelines in Louisiana. These expanded guidelines will allow providers to use telehealth to treat their patients, pending a signature from the Louisiana governor.
(06/09/20) Telehealth May Finally Shift Health Care To Be Patient-Centered
An article discussing the potential for the shift to telehealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to change the healthcare landscape in favor of patient-centered care. The author suggests that telehealth will help eliminate barriers to providing patient-centered care, which is typically burdensome on clinicians who are only receiving pay for procedures and visits.
(06/09/20) ‘I Can’t Imagine Going Back’: Medicare Leader Calls for Expanded Telehealth Access After COVID-19
An article describing comments from Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in which she advocated for maintaining the expansion of telehealth services beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Verma also commented that the federal government must reevaluate how reimbursement for virtual visits will continue forward.
(06/08/20) Rapid Changes To Health System Spurred by COVID Might Be Here To Stay
An article discussing how the typically change-resistant health care landscape of the United States has been fundamentally changed as a result of COVID-19, with changes to telehealth, primary care, and hospitals likely to remain after the pandemic is finished.
(06/05/20) Beyond COVID-19: Telehealth, Partnerships, Member Engagement
An article covering the ways in which some organizations around the United States are addressing COVID-19 and the increased use of telehealth, both during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
(06/04/20) New Survey Shows Higher-Than-Normal Use of Primary Care and Telehealth by Patients
New data from the Larry A. Green Center shows that telehealth use and availability is increasingly common in primary care settings. The data also shows that primary care use has increased compared to 2019, even as overall in-person visitation volume has declined.
(06/03/20) FTC Asks CMS to Lift Telehealth Access, Reimbursement Restrictions Permanently
An article discussing a new letter sent from the Federal Trade Commission to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services calling for removing regulatory barriers for both telehealth and increasing the scope of practice of some non-physician practitioners.
(06/02/20) The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Transformation of Telehealth
An article highlighting the ways in which telehealth usage have changed following widespread adoption in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both rural and urban settings have seen widespread increases in the use of telehealth.
(06/02/20) Telehealth Claim Lines Increase 4,347% Nationally from March 2019 To March 2020
An article covering the rapid growth of telehealth following the initiation of policies to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The most change was experienced in the southern United States and the least was experienced in the northeast.
(06/02/20) How the Rapid Shift to Telehealth Leaves Many Community Health Centers Behind During the COVID-19 Pandemic
A blog post discussing the shift from traditional ambulatory care to telehealth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and how that has impacted community health centers. Issues with receiving payment and lack of training and equipment are among the most critical barriers to broader adoption of telehealth services at community health centers.
(06/02/20) Telehealth Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic
An interview with Andrew J. Schuman of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, discussing how COVID-19 has changed the ways physicians practice medicine.
(05/27/20) The COVID-19 Crisis Created an Urgency for Telehealth. Now, Many Are Hoping It Sticks Around Post-Pandemic
An article highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on the adoption of telehealth technology, including barriers to implementation, how it has worked in practice, and what to expect for the future of telehealth post-COVID-19.
(05/27/20) RI lawmakers OK Bill Requiring Insurers Permanently Cover Telehealth Services
A bill signed into law by the Rhode Island legislature requires health insurers to cover telehealth services permanently. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo initially issued an executive order in March to cover telehealth services for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(05/27/20) Surveys Suggest Seniors Aren’t Using Telehealth During COVID-19 Crisis
An article discussing the results of a recent survey from the Better Medicare Alliance, which found that most elderly adults in the United States are not using telehealth services. Seniors that did use telehealth services reported overwhelming satisfaction with the services and willingness to use telehealth again
(05/27/20) The CMS Broadens Telehealth for Medicare Advantage Patients
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have announced an expansion to telehealth services for Medicare Advantage plans. The initial rule changes were implemented in response to COVID-19, and now will include specialties such as dermatology, psychiatry, and cardiology, among others
(05/26/20) CMS Modifies Rules to Allow for COVID-19 Tests Without Physician Orders, Expanded Telehealth and Enhanced Payments for Hospital Owned Practices
An article describing new waivers that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have enacted in order to further regulatory flexibility to impact COVID-19 testing, care capacity and the health workforce, and an expansion of telehealth services.
(05/26/20) COVID-19 and Access to Medical Care in the United States
An article from Allison K. Hoffman, a professor of law at University of Pennsylvania Law School, covering the strategies many states have implemented to address the COVID-19 crisis. These include assisting uninsured individuals, regulatory flexibility to health care providers, and increasing access to telehealth.
(05/21/20) After COVID-19: How to Rejuvenate Primary Care for the Future
A blog post discussing some of the innovative changes primary care can make based on what has been practiced during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include increasing utilization of telehealth as well as addressing barriers to access such as payment and organization, including solutions to move beyond those barriers.
(05/21/20) COVID-19 Effect on Mental Health: Patients and Workforce
A statement from a group of psychiatrists published in The Lancet discussing the measures that have been taken in various parts of the world to allow for access of telepsychiatry and training and availability of personal protective equipment for psychiatrists
(05/19/20) 9 Ways COVID-19 May Forever Upend the U.S. Health Care Industry
An article describing some ways in which the health care industry has changed as a result of COVID-19. These include increased adoption and advancement of telehealth technologies, shifts in the long-term care industry to home health care, and changes to scope of practice for non-physician clinicians.
(05/18/20) The COVID-19 Pandemic Will Have a Long-term Impact on Healthcare. Here are 4 Changes to Expect
An article highlighting some of the changes that may become important for delivering health care post-COVID-19 pandemic, including changes to how elective surgeries are performed, increased use of telehealth and more frequent cleaning of facilities.
(05/18/20) COVID-19 and Telehealth Revolution Policy Barriers Are Standing in the Way of Transforming Care
An article describing changes to improve access to health care remotely via telehealth in response to COVID-19. These improvements are time-limited, and risk becoming barriers to telehealth unless they are allowed to become permanent following the COVID-19 pandemic.
(05/15/20) Telehealth Policy in a Post-COVID-19 World
This webinar from Mei Wa Kwong, Executive Director of the Center for Connected Health Policy of the Public Health Institute, examines how the policy changes in response to COVID-19 will change telehealth services post-COVID-19
(05/13/20) COVID-19 Related State Actions
An updated list from the Public Health Institute Center for Connected Health Policy on regulatory changes to telehealth and telemedicine practices across the United States, with clear descriptions of legal changes and sources linked for each state.
(05/13/20) Psychiatrists ‘Pleasantly Surprised’ With Transition to Telemedicine
An article describing the forced shift for psychiatrists to telemedicine based treatment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some benefits and disadvantages are listed, with most psychiatrists reporting a desire to return to in-person practice beyond the pandemic.
(05/11/20) Opportunities and Barriers for Telemedicine in the U.S. During the COVID-19 Emergency and Beyond
An issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation highlighting the opportunities and issues relating to telehealth implementation in response to COVID-19. These include state and federal government responses as well as those implemented at the organization level by insurers and health systems.
(05/11/20) As MH Workforce Evolves During COVID-19, Telehealth Seen as New Normal
A newsletter describing the impact of COVID-19 on how the mental health workforce provides health care. Recent shifts to telehealth may become integrated in treatment after the pandemic has passed.
(05/08/20) Ensuring the Growth of Telehealth During COVID-19 Does Not Exacerbate Disparities in Care
A blog post describing how the move to provide health care services remotely via telehealth has the potential to leave many people behind, including minority and elderly populations. The post also includes potential solutions to reduce barriers and increase access to telehealth.
(04/30/20) COVID-19 Telehealth Coverage Policies
An updated list from the Public Health Institute Center for Connected Health Policy on federally made changes to telehealth laws from CMS, including specific non-permanent emergency actions taken for COVID-19.
(04/27/20) Telehealth Strategies
This National Governors Association memorandum discusses strategies for governors seeking to improve coverage and access to telehealth services in a manner that best addresses the COVID -19 pandemic.
(04/27/20) Navigating the Workforce Implications of COVID-19
Consultants from the Deloitte Consulting group outline strategies to address workforce issues that have arisen from the COVID-19 outbreak. These strategies include empowering the clinical workforce, improving telehealth usage and supporting remote work policies.
(04/14/20) Home Health Care Workers at Tipping Point Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
An article discussing the issues facing home health workers including lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and increased demand for home health services as individuals are avoiding hospital and nursing home treatment during the COVID-19 outbreak. The article also discusses increased use of telehealth from the home and calls for industrial reform to the home care industry.
(04/02/20) Silver Linings in State Responses to COVID-19
An article about 5 state responses to COVID-19 including: occupational licensing, scope of practice regulation, telemedicine and telehealth regulation, continuing education requirements, and Certificate-of-Need (CON) Laws.
(03/11/20) Virtually Perfect? Telemedicine for COVID-19
This article explains the workflow and benefits of telehealth given the current circumstances around COVID-19.