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Showing 3 posts in Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Telehealth/Telemedicine: An Opportunity for Physicians and Providers to Add a New Line of Service

The cost effectiveness of providing health care via telemedicine or telehealth promises to be an effective tool to increase coverage and reimbursement of healthcare provided remotely or through telehealth. Towers Watson, a national consulting company, recently published a 2014 study that suggests that telemedicine could save $6 billion annually for the health care industry. "Achieving this savings requires a shift in patient and physician mindsets, health plan willingness to integrate and reimburse such services, and regulatory support in all states," according to Dr. Allan Khoury, a senior consultant at Towers Watson.[1] Recent studies have assigned significant cost savings generated by telehealth use that include cost savings of $537 million per year for emergency departments using telehealth to reduce transfers and spending reductions of 7.7% to 13.3% per person per quarter in the cost of care for chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries using a health buddy via telehealth. [2] As the cost effectiveness of providing services via telehealth and telemedicine is proven, Medicare, most state Medicaid programs and commercial insurers are increasing coverage as well as reimbursement for telehealth services. State law requirements for providing telehealth and coverage differ greatly. Consequently, physicians and health care providers should be aware of the complexity of providing telehealth and its requirements, but should also incorporate telehealth services into their practices as a new way of providing services and a new line of business. More >

Guidance on Mobile Medical Apps

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued its much-anticipated final guidance for developers of mobile medical applications (“apps”). Apps run on mobile communication devices and can present unique problems not only to consumers, but also to providers who must walk a fine line between meaningful use requirements and HIPAA regulations regarding personal health information (“PHI”). More >

THE “WILD WILD WEST” OF SMS

SMS text messaging is quickly becoming the preferred method of communication for many people who find it a quick and convenient way to share information with friends, family and, increasingly, with colleagues.  This is true in the health care space as well with patients increasingly using text messaging to communicate with providers and to receive health-related reminders and updates, including for health care appointments, medication therapies and health news.  For example, anyone can text the word HEALTH to 87000 and begin receiving text messages from the Center for Disease Control regarding emergency alerts, new research and reports, as well as health information and tips. More >

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