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Connected Care Update

September 28, 2020

Please find below updates on how the health care system is leveraging telehealth and remote patient monitoring - including research, data, and polling on its current use in response to COVID-19.

Legislative Updates

We are tracking these and other bills on the Alliance website.

VA Mission Telehealth Clarification Act: (9/22) – On September 22, the House unanimously passed six bipartisan veteran bills, including the VA Mission Telehealth Clarification Act (H.R. 3228), which would authorize certain postgraduate health care employees and health professions trainees of the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide treatment via telemedicine. The bills now move to the Senate for consideration. View the press release and a press release with bill texts. We are tracking these and other bills on the Alliance website.

PREVENT Diabetes Act: (9/24) – On September 24, Sens. Scott (R-SC), Warner (D-VA), Cramer (R-ND), Sinema (D-AZ), Cotton (R-AR) and Smith (D-MN) introduced the PREVENT DIABETES Act (S. 4709), which would permit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recognized virtual diabetes prevention program suppliers to be included in the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Expanded Model conducted by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation under section 1115A of the Social Security Act. View the press release, bill text, and one-pager.

Federal Agency News

National Institute on Aging: (9/23) – The National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Aging (NIA) issued a press release noting how telehealth can help manage dementia issues at home before a crisis happens. In addition, the press release finds promising evidence suggesting that telehealth dementia services may also reduce emergency department visits, which may help reduce the costs of dementia care.

Research, Surveys, and Telehealth News

Check out the Alliance for Connected Care studies and polling website for more reseources.  

mHealthIntelligence: (9/21) – Two New York health systems published a blueprint for using telehealth to diagnose and treat patients infected with the coronavirus. “The rapid expansion of telemedicine in response to the COVID-19 pandemic allows physicians to safely maintain connections to their patients in a way never before achieved…,” Eric R. Goldberg, MD, senior medical director and clinical associate professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Health, said in a press release.

NYU Langone Health: (9/21) – In a recent press release, NYU Langone Health discusses the use of telehealth in diabetes management and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article notes that video visits enhance the ability of NYU Langone’s diabetes team—including endocrinologists, nurse practitioners, diabetes educators, and nutritionists—to provide support that fits patients’ evolving needs.

Healthcare Dive: (9/22) – Microsoft announced that the video platform, Teams, is integrating directly with Epic’s EHR health records software to let clinicians launch virtual visits straight from their EHR.

The Street: (9/22) – Sam’s Club announced that it will begin offering doctor visits with a new quarterly telehealth subscription.

Healthcare IT News: (9/22) – Amazon Care is expanding an initiative to allow employees and dependents access to healthcare via text-based messaging or video visits throughout Washington state.

mHealthIntelligence: (9/23) – A global survey of people with type 1 diabetes found that three-quarters who moved to a telehealth platform during the coronavirus pandemic would stay on the platform once the emergency has ended.

Modern Healthcare: (9/24) – HHS, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) plans to release a survey next month that providers can use to assess patient experience with telehealth visits.

Equal Access to Telemedicine during COVID‐19 Pandemic: A Pediatric Otolaryngology Perspective: (9/24) – A new study comparing urgent pediatric otolaryngology services through telehealth between March and May 2020 to in-person visits during the same time period in 2019 found that telehealth was able to successfully provide access to services, even for the most vulnerable populations.

The Laconia Daily Sun: (9/25) – “If the quality is staying the same or better, and cost is going down, that’s a high-value healthcare alternative,” Corey A. Siegel, a doctor with a gastroenterology and hepatology practice at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center said. Elizabeth Harrison, a family nurse practitioner at Families First Health and Support Center, a community health center in Portsmouth and the other practitioners at Families First found that telehealth opened more appointment slots, and also reduced no-shows, which can be costly for a practice. For patients who have transportation challenges, it is particularly helpful.

Business Insider: (9/25) – Best Buy announced a partnership with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to launch a telehealth-enabled flip phone for seniors.

Upcoming Events

September 29  Health Resources and Services Administration, Telehealth for HIV Care

September 29 – October 1 – Vitra Health, “Beyond Telemedicine, Transforming health through a virtual care revolution.” Conference

Past Events

Recording of Aligning for Health and the American Hospital Association exploring how three leading health systems have worked to improve community health and to address health and social needs. The event speakers highlighted the many ways telehealth has allowed for these organizations to continue addressing social needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and successfully leverage virtual programs to address behavioral health, maternal health, food insecurity and other social needs.

Recording of the Task Force on Telehealth Public Release 

Recording of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Telehealth Affinity Group Use of Telehealth for Post-Hospitalization Care

Urge your Representatives to Cosponsor H.R. 7663: Ask your Member of Congress to support and cosponsor commonsense legislation that would ensure Medicare beneficiaries may continue to access care through telehealth after the current health crisis has passed. The Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act of 2020 (H.R. 7663) would do just that. 

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Alliance for Connected Care

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Washington, D.C. 20005

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