View in browser
This Week in Connected Care:
Recent Developments and Clips

Week Ending May 29, 2020

The Alliance for Connected Care continues to maintain and update a COVID-19 website tracking guidance on telehealth and remote patient monitoring

Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe here

Federal Agency Telehealth Activity / Guidance

CMS: (5/27) – CMS updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Medicare FFS billing. The new questions are indicated within the document and include answers on:

  • Expansion of Virtual Communication Services for FQHCs/RHCs
  • Medicare Telehealth and Coding
  • Outpatient Therapy Services

Federal Communications Commission: (5/28) – FCC approved the eight set of COVID-19 Telehealth Program applications, funding an additional 53 health care providers. To date, the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program has funded 185 health care providers in 38 states and D.C. for a total of over $68.22 million in funding. List of funding recipients as of May 28.

    News and Reports

    Yahoo Finance: (5/25) – The easing of stay-at-home orders are creating a new playing field for the health industry – including reimbursements in the era of telemedicine and widespread testing. “We’re expecting that the use of telehealth, given that it’s your provider likely to remain,” said Maureen Sullivan, chief strategy and innovation officer at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

    JAMA: (5/27) – A group of researchers in JAMA note that telehealth for opioid use disorder treatment is likely to increase given the scale of the opioid epidemic and relaxed regulations around telehealth brought on by COVID-19. Researching outcomes including retention in treatment, the effectiveness of long-term treatment for OUD, and cost-effectiveness will be necessary for continued use of telehealth for OUD beyond the pandemic. 

    Morning Consult: (5/27) – A new poll of more than 1,000 seniors found 52% are comfortable using telehealth to receive health care. Of those who have used telehealth during the coronavirus, 91% reported a favorable experience, and 78% are likely to complete a medical appointment via telehealth again in the future.

    Healthcare Dive: (5/27) – The number of Medicare beneficiaries using telehealth skyrocketed in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic – from 11,000 in early March to 1.3 million in mid-April – an increase of more than 11,718% in just a month and a half.

    mHealthIntelligence: (5/27) – A Georgia health system converted its direct-to-consumer telehealth platform into a 24/7 on-demand COVID-19 screening service. The connected health platform, available on Apple and Android devices and online, uses a questionnaire to screen visitors for potential infections and directs them to the nearest testing center if necessary. After much success, the health system plans to expand the DTC telehealth platform for urgent care screening as well as ambulatory care services.

    UCLA: (5/28) – According to a report from the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, telehealth’s potential to facilitate patient access to care where and when they need it is particularly advantageous for medically and linguistically underserved communities. The report also identifies several policy recommendations to support the expansion of telehealth in both acute and chronic care settings.

    mHealthIntelligence: (5/28) – New guidelines published in the AHA’s Stroke journal calls for increased use of telemedicine technologies during triage and transport to improve care management of stroke victims.

    mHealthIntelligence: (5/28) – Rhode Island’s Senate Health and Human Services Committee unanimously passed a bill that would require payers to cover telehealth services including audio-only calls beyond the coronavirus. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

    McKinsey & Company: (5/29) – According to a claims-based analysis, up to $250 billion of current US healthcare spend could potentially be virtualized – or 20 percent of all office, outpatient, and home health spend across Medicare, Medicaid, and commercially insured populations. In addition, the article finds that consumer adoption has skyrocketed, from 11% of US consumers using telehealth in 2019 to 46% now using telehealth to replace canceled healthcare visits -- 76% of respondents indicated they were interested in using telehealth going forward -- 74% reported high satisfaction. Providers have also rapidly scaled offerings and are seeing 50 to 175 times more telehealth visits -- with 57% viewing telehealth more favorably now than they did pre-COVID-19. The article also identifies several actions payers, health systems, investors and health services and technology firms could take to shape the shift to more virtual healthcare. The Alliance is tracking COVID-19 telemedicine polling and research and continues to update our Studies & Reports page.

    Healthcare IT News: (5/29) – According to the analysis by Frost & Sullivan, non-contact patient monitoring technologies are gravitating toward the use of video, sound analysis and mobile-based platforms incorporating advanced technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. The report suggests a shift away from wearables to video analytics and mobile platforms.

    Upcoming Events 

    June 1 Thru June 3 – Fierce Healthcare, “A Look at the Year Ahead and What’s Next for Payers”  (includes telehealth content) Webinar

    June 4 – Bipartisan Policy Center, “Telehealth and COVID-19 in Rural AreasWebinar

    June 9 – AHRQ, “A National Web Conference on the Role of Telehealth to Increase Access to Care and Improve Healthcare Quality.” Webinar

    Event Recordings 

    Please send any news or events to for inclusion in this newsletter.

        Alliance for Connected Care

        1100 H St NW, Suite 740

        Washington, D.C. 20005

        twitter website

        You received this email because you signed up or registered for one of our events.