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Rural Health
News by Topic: Telehealth

Remarks of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ “Anywhere To Anywhere, Together” Telehealth/Virtual Care Thought Leader Summit
Dec 6, 2018 - Prepared remarks from the Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Ajit Pai, to a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' event on telehealth and virtual care. Discusses the impact telehealth can have on improving access to care, as well as the necessity of expanding broadband in order to facilitate that.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
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Telemedicine Sees a Dramatic Rise in Minnesota, with Urban-Rural Contrast
Dec 5, 2018 - Discusses a study on the ways people in Minnesota used telemedicine from 2010 to 2015. The study demonstrated that the use of telemedicine is growing, and that it is used differently in rural and urban areas. In urban areas, patients tended to use online portals to receive routine care. In rural areas, patients used telemedicine to connect with doctors in other communities and to get second opinions from specialists without having to travel.
Source: Star Tribune
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Study Finds Tele-ERs Save Money, Improve Physician Recruitment in Rural Hospitals
Dec 3, 2018 - Highlights a new study from the University of Iowa which found that rural hospitals that use telemedicine to assist emergency room (ER) providers save money and struggle less with recruitment of new physicians. The study author says the results suggest that expanded use of tele-emergency services could help small, rural critical access hospitals maintain their ERs.
Source: Iowa Now
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How Hospitals and Health Systems Are Using Telehealth in Rural Areas
Nov 27, 2018 - Details ways that telehealth are being used to improve health in rural areas across the country. Touches on the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) designated Telehealth Centers of Excellence in South Carolina and Mississippi and successful telehealth programs in Maine, including one that provides telepsychiatry and one that provides preventive care to patients with multiple, high-risk diagnoses.
Source: American Hospital Association
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CMS: Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2019; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; Quality Payment Program; Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program; Quality Payment Program Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstance Policy for the 2019 MIPS Payment Year; Provisions From the Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care OrganizationsPathways to Success; and Expanding the Use of Telehealth Services for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention That Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act Federal Register
Nov 23, 2018 - Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of a final rule and interim final rule to address changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and other Medicare Part B payment policies and finalize policies included in the interim final rule entitled "Medicare Program; CY 2018 Updates to the Quality Payment Program; and Quality Payment Program: Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstance Policy for the Transition Year" to address the uncontrollable circumstances that MIPS eligible clinicians faced due to hurricanes in calendar year 2017. Also addresses some of the changes proposed in the Medicare Shared Savings Program for Accountable Care Organizations that were included in the August 2018 proposed rule. Finally, the interim final rule implements changes to permissible telehealth originating sites for treatment of a substance use disorder or co-occurring mental health disorder for telehealth services furnished on or after July 1, 2019. Includes comments received and CMS's response to them for all sections of the rule.
Source: Federal Register
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Labor Pains: The OB-GYN Shortage
Nov 16, 2018 - Discusses several programs that are working to address OB-GYN shortages across the United States. They range from telemedicine options to rural OB-GYN residency tracks.
Source: AAMCNews
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Better Broadband Needed to Meet Telehealth Needs, USDA Report Warns
Nov 8, 2018 - Summarizes a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture which found that rural residents lagged behind urban residents in various types of telehealth usage. It also found that in order to meet future telehealth demand, wider availability of high-quality broadband would be necessary.
Source: Healthcare Dive
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Educational Attainment a Key Factor in Rural Patient Uptake of Telehealth Activities
Nov 6, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) studied factors affecting telehealth use. They found that educational attainment is strongly associated with telehealth activity, with rural people with college degrees being significantly more likely to use telehealth than the rural average.
Source: Amber Waves, USDA Economic Research Service
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CMS: Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), Medicaid Fee-For-Service, and Medicaid Managed Care Programs for Years 2020 and 2021 Federal Register
Nov 1, 2018 - Notice of proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to revise the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (Part C) regulations and Prescription Drug Benefit program (Part D). The revisions would implement certain provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, improve quality and accessibility, clarify program integrity policies, and reduce burden on providers, MA plans, and Part D sponsors, among other things. Includes information about MA plans offering telehealth benefits beginning in plan year 2020 and other rural considerations throughout. Comments on the proposed rule are due within 60 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for November 1, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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IHS Announces a New Policy to Expand Access to Medication Assisted Treatment in Remote Locations
Nov 1, 2018 - Blog post from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the Indian Health Service's (IHS) new Internet Eligible Controlled Substance Provider Designation policy. This policy allows IHS, tribal, and urban Indian organization healthcare providers the opportunity to provide medication assisted treatment through telemedicine in an effort to improve access to treatment for opioid use disorder for American Indian and Alaska Native people in rural and remote areas.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Blog
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