News and Reports
FAIR Health: (6/2) - According to a FAIR Health data, telehealth claim lines increased 4,347% nationally from March 2019 to March 2020. The influence of COVID-19 was most pronounced in the Northeast at more than 15,500% increase. Much of the increase was found in mental health. U.S. News Article. The Alliance is tracking COVID-19 telemedicine research and polling on our Studies & Reports page.
Health Affairs: (6/2) - Despite the changes to telehealth, many health centers are still not ready to implement high-quality telehealth. As noted by the article, COVID-19 may pose long-lasting damaging effects on CHCs and the patient populations that they serve. Nonspecific federal and state funding will allow CHCs to survive; however, deliberate action is needed to enhance telehealth capacities and ensure long-term resilience.
Fierce Healthcare: (6/2) – During a FierceHealthPayer event, Donna O'Shea, M.D., chief medical officer of population health management for UnitedHealthcare said that “the genie is out of the bottle,” on telehealth. UnitedHealthcare wants providers to continue to deliver telehealth but will need to follow some state regulations and CMS' lead with Medicare in order to make it work, O'Shea said.
Forbes: (6/2) - Telehealth and AI are helping to stem the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic by expanding the essential resources such as time, distance and medical staff capacity. The industry needs to improve the user experience and make telehealth appointments more accessible for people of all ages and backgrounds. We also need permanent solutions to data and privacy concerns.
Modern Healthcare: (6/2) – In comments to CMS’ emergency changes to the Medicare program, provider groups want CMS to press forward by allowing more providers to take part in virtual care and boosting reimbursements for telehealth services. They also argued that the federal government should make these changes permanent.
AXIOS: (6/3) - The use of telemedicine has exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, telemedicine is not the only aspect of the health care sector that experts anticipate changes. Jeff Semenchuk, Chief Innovation Officer at Blue Shield of California, says the pandemic has pushed his company to digitize health care whenever possible. That includes efforts to make electronic patient health records more easily accessible and to simplify the laborious process of payment claims.
InsideHealthPolicy: (6/3) – CMS told IHP that extending many of the newly waived restrictions on telehealth beyond the pandemic would require Congress to step in, despite the president’s executive order aimed at making some COVID-19 regulatory waivers permanent.
Modern Healthcare: (6/4) – HHS is reviewing possible steps to extend telemedicine flexibilities pushed through during the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior adviser at HHS said Thursday, but eliminating regulatory barriers will require support from other federal agencies, Congress and state governments.
NCQA: (6/5) - The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced a sweeping set of adjustments to 40 of its widely-used HEDIS measures – in support of health plans, clinicians and patients who rely on telehealth. NCQA will release HEDIS measures for telehealth in the HEDIS Volume 2 Technical Specifications, to be published on July 1, 2020.