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See info here 1 2 1 2 3 1 2 Income $884 (up from $875 in 2020) $1300 (up from $1,284 in 2020) $1,482 $2,004 $2,526 $2,146 $2,903 Resources $15,900 (up from $15,750 in 2020) $23,400 (up from $23,100 in 2020) NO LIMIT** NO LIMIT 2020 levels are in GIS 19 MA/12 – 2020 Medicaid Levels and Other Updates and attachments here * MAGI and ESSENTIAL plan levels are based on Federal Poverty Levels, which are not lasix pills online released until later in 2021. 2020 levels are used until then. NEED TO KNOW PAST MEDICAID INCOME AND RESOURCE LEVELS?. WHAT IS THE HOUSEHOLD lasix pills online SIZE?. See rules here.

HOW TO READ THE HRA Medicaid Levels chart - Boxes 1 and 2 are NON-MAGI Income and Resource levels -- Age 65+, Blind or Disabled and other adults who need to use "spend-down" because they are over the MAGI income levels. Box 10 on page 3 are the MAGI income levels -- lasix pills online The Affordable Care Act changed the rules for Medicaid income eligibility for many BUT NOT ALL New Yorkers. People in the "MAGI" category - those NOT on Medicare -- have expanded eligibility up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Line, so may now qualify for Medicaid even if they were not eligible before, or may now be eligible for Medicaid without a "spend-down." They have NO resource limit. Box 3 on page 1 is Spousal Impoverishment levels for Managed Long Term Care &. Nursing Homes and Box 8 has the Transfer Penalty rates for nursing home eligibility Box 4 has Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities Under Age 65 (still 2017 levels til April 2018) Box 6 are Medicare Savings Program levels (will be updated in April 2018) MAGI INCOME LEVEL of 138% FPL applies to most adults who are not disabled and who do not have Medicare, AND can also apply to adults with Medicare if they have a dependent child/relative lasix pills online under age 18 or under 19 if in school.

42 C.F.R. § 435.4. Certain populations have an even higher income limit - 224% FPL for pregnant women lasix pills online and babies <. Age 1, 154% FPL for children age 1 - 19. CAUTION.

What is counted as income may not be what lasix pills online you think. For the NON-MAGI Disabled/Aged 65+/Blind, income will still be determined by the same rules as before, explained in this outline and these charts on income disregards. However, for the MAGI population - which is virtually everyone under age 65 who is not on Medicare - their income will now be determined under new rules, based on federal income tax concepts - called "Modifed Adjusted Gross Income" (MAGI). There are good changes and bad lasix pills online changes. GOOD.

Veteran's benefits, Workers compensation, and gifts from family or others no longer count as income. BAD lasix pills online. There is no more "spousal" or parental refusal for this population (but there still is for the Disabled/Aged/Blind.) and some other rules. For all of the rules see. ALSO SEE lasix pills online 2018 Manual on Lump Sums and Impact on Public Benefits - with resource rules HOW TO DETERMINE SIZE OF HOUSEHOLD TO IDENTIFY WHICH INCOME LIMIT APPLIES The income limits increase with the "household size." In other words, the income limit for a family of 5 may be higher than the income limit for a single person.

HOWEVER, Medicaid rules about how to calculate the household size are not intuitive or even logical. There are different rules depending on the "category" of the person seeking Medicaid. Here are the 2 basic categories and the rules for calculating lasix pills online their household size. People who are Disabled, Aged 65+ or Blind - "DAB" or "SSI-Related" Category -- NON-MAGI - See this chart for their household size. These same rules apply to the Medicare Savings Program, with some exceptions explained in this article.

Everyone else -- MAGI - All children and adults under age 65, including people with disabilities who are not yet on Medicare -- this is the new "MAGI" population. Their household size will be determined using federal income lasix pills online tax rules, which are very complicated. New rule is explained in State's directive 13 ADM-03 - Medicaid Eligibility Changes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 (PDF) pp. 8-10 of the PDF, This PowerPoint by NYLAG on MAGI Budgeting attempts to explain the new MAGI budgeting, including how to determine the Household Size. See lasix pills online slides 28-49.

Also seeLegal Aid Society and Empire Justice Center materials OLD RULE used until end of 2013 -- Count the person(s) applying for Medicaid who live together, plus any of their legally responsible relatives who do not receive SNA, ADC, or SSI and reside with an applicant/recipient. Spouses or legally responsible for one another, and parents are legally responsible for their children under age 21 (though if the child is disabled, use the rule in the 1st "DAB" category. Under this rule, a child may be excluded from the household if that child's income causes lasix pills online other family members to lose Medicaid eligibility. See 18 NYCRR 360-4.2, MRG p. 573, NYS GIS 2000 MA-007 CAUTION.

Different people in the same household may be in different "categories" and hence have different lasix pills online household sizes AND Medicaid income and resource limits. If a man is age 67 and has Medicare and his wife is age 62 and not disabled or blind, the husband's household size for Medicaid is determined under Category 1/ Non-MAGI above and his wife's is under Category 2/MAGI. The following programs were available prior to 2014, but are now discontinued because they are folded into MAGI Medicaid. Prenatal Care Assistance lasix pills online Program (PCAP) was Medicaid for pregnant women and children under age 19, with higher income limits for pregnant woman and infants under one year (200% FPL for pregnant women receiving perinatal coverage only not full Medicaid) than for children ages 1-18 (133% FPL). Medicaid for adults between ages 21-65 who are not disabled and without children under 21 in the household.

It was sometimes known as "S/CC" category for Singles and Childless Couples. This category had lower income limits than DAB/ADC-related, but had no asset lasix pills online limits. It did not allow "spend down" of excess income. This category has now been subsumed under the new MAGI adult group whose limit is now raised to 138% FPL. Family Health Plus - this was an expansion of Medicaid to families with income up to lasix pills online 150% FPL and for childless adults up to 100% FPL.

This has now been folded into the new MAGI adult group whose limit is 138% FPL. For applicants between 138%-150% FPL, they will be eligible for a new program where Medicaid will subsidize their purchase of Qualified Health Plans on the Exchange. PAST INCOME &. RESOURCE LEVELS -- Past Medicaid income and resource levels in NYS are shown on these oldNYC HRA charts for 2001 through 2019, in chronological order. These include Medicaid levels for MAGI and non-MAGI populations, Child Health Plus, MBI-WPD, Medicare Savings Programs and other public health programs in NYS.

This article was authored by the Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program of New York Legal Assistance Group.Samuel Salganik, an attorney at Community Health Advocates of the Community Services Society (CSS) wrote this incredibly thorough article breaking down the types of appeal rights available to individuals covered by the various types of private health insurance plans in New York. This article includes coverage of the changes to patient protections wrought by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The article was originally published in the Winter 2012 edition of the New York State Bar Association Health Law Journal. Some notations were added to the article on pp.

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Visitors to a patient in critical condition, when death may be imminent.Details are forthcoming on how the required changes will be enacted in the Emergency Department.UC Davis Health plans to roll-out the requirement across more units and departments throughout the month.Beginning Monday, Aug. 16, this requirement will be expanded to include visitors (including parents and caregivers) who accompany patients for scheduled hospital procedures, such as imaging and surgeries.College graduates seeking to boost their pre-med credentials to prepare for applying to medical school can enroll in a Postbaccalaureate program at several UC campuses and other institutions. These programs offer a science-focused curriculum designed to enhance a student’s competitiveness for admission. New research confirms pre-med Postbaccalaureate programs boost diversity in medical schoolsPostbaccalaureate (post-bacc for short) programs, including UC Davis’s own, have for many years led to an increase in the number of medical school applicants from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds, which leads to a more diverse medical field.Most scientific research about these programs is outdated, but a new study involving UC Davis School of Medicine faculty members confirms that among students admitted to UC medical schools, those who had completed post-bacc coursework before admission were indeed more likely to be from an underrepresented in medicine (UIM) racial or ethnic group than those who did not complete post-bacc coursework.“We wanted to examine how well post-bacc coursework seems to facilitate entry of such students,” said lead researcher Anthony Jerant, chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. €œWe think it is imperative that we work toward training a physician workforce with characteristics that mirror those of the general California population – and are still a long way away from doing that at most medical schools.”The study – believed to be the only one to use data collected within the past 15 years – explores the connection between post-bacc coursework hours and medical students’ backgrounds, academic performance and pursuit of primary care training.While many post-bacc applicants belong to UIM racial and ethnic groups, a growing number of medical school applicants have also benefitted from recent changes to how schools approach admissions.

UC Davis has one of the most diverse medical schools in the nationJerant noted that UC Davis does much better than most other institutions. The School of Medicine, in fact, ranks fourth in the country this year in the U.S. News and World Report Most Diverse Medical Schools ranking.The post-bacc study relied on data from five UC medical schools. Davis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Irvine and San Diego.Researchers also found that:Students who had completed post-bacc coursework scored about the same on medical licensing examinations as students who did not. €œFor us, this means that absolutely students who did post-bacc coursework to bolster their readiness for medical school deserve strong consideration for admission.

This should not be something application screeners look down on,” Jerant said.Students in the highest post-bacc coursework hours category tended to be older and fewer were from UIM backgrounds. Jerant said this category consists primarily of individuals changing to medicine from another profession, thus needing to complete many science prerequisites.Post-bacc coursework was not associated with a higher match rate for primary care residency. This contrasted with findings of some earlier studies, but those studies failed to adjust for other factors even more strongly associated with primary care training, such as UIM race and ethnicity. Those factors were accounted for in the new study.Jerant said completing post-bacc coursework can help “level the playing field” for medical school admission, especially for students with less conventional paths to medicine. But the programs, he added, should not be the only option for students who want to increase their chance of getting into medical school.For example, he praised the UC Davis School of Medicine for its holistic approach to recruitment – which considers a number of factors in an applicants’ background that go well beyond grade-point averages and results of the Medical College Admission Test – to decide which students to admit.“Extremely high GPA and MCAT scores may seem like comforting numbers to focus on for admissions screening, but really aren’t known to predict who becomes a great physician,” Jerant said.

€œSo why do so many schools place so much emphasis on those numbers, often with little consideration of other application factors — especially when there is a critical need for a more representative group of physicians?. €Holistic admissions boost diversityAs a result of holistic admissions, more students from UIM backgrounds are accepted into the school. Many of those students, Jerant said, then fill physician shortages in places with the greatest need, such as the Central Valley. Often students who grew up in such medically underserved regions want to return to practice in those areas.Therefore, another option for broadening medical school admission, he said, is for more schools to adopt holistic practices similar to those now in place at UC Davis. This approach could lead to fewer students needing to complete post-bacc coursework, which further increases the high cost and long duration of medical training, both already particularly burdensome for UIM students.“The approach we suggest could be justified for broad use among U.S.

Medical schools in the interest of increasing class diversity and improving the representation of the physician workforce by turning out graduating classes that mirror the demographics of the general population,” Jerant said.For example, currently Latinos represent about 40 % of California’s population yet represent less than 12% of California medical school graduates and only 6% of practicing physicians. Others have pointed out that at this rate, it will take 500 years for the number of Latino physicians to be proportional to state’s Latino population.The post-bacc study involved seven co-authors, including three others from UC Davis. Tonya Fancher, associate dean for workforce innovation and community engagement. Mark Henderson, associate dean for admissions. And Peter Franks, professor emeritus of Family and Community Medicine.Their paper is titled, “Associations of Postbaccalaureate Coursework with Underrepresented Race/Ethnicity, Academic Performance, and Primary Care Training among Matriculants at Five California Medical Schools.”It is published in the current quarterly issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved..

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Visitors to a patient in critical condition, when death may be imminent.Details are forthcoming on how the required changes will be enacted in the Emergency Department.UC Davis Health plans to roll-out the requirement across more units and departments throughout the month.Beginning Monday, Aug. 16, this requirement will be expanded to include visitors (including parents and caregivers) who accompany patients for scheduled hospital procedures, such as imaging and surgeries.College graduates seeking to boost their pre-med credentials to prepare for applying to medical school can enroll in a Postbaccalaureate program at several UC campuses and other institutions. These programs offer a science-focused curriculum designed to enhance a student’s competitiveness for admission.

New research confirms pre-med Postbaccalaureate programs boost diversity in medical schoolsPostbaccalaureate (post-bacc for short) programs, including UC Davis’s own, have for many years led to an increase in the number of medical school applicants from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds, which leads to a more diverse medical field.Most scientific research about these programs is outdated, but a new study involving UC Davis School of Medicine faculty members confirms that among students admitted to UC medical schools, those who had completed post-bacc coursework before admission were indeed more likely to be from an underrepresented in medicine (UIM) racial or ethnic group than those who did not complete post-bacc coursework.“We wanted to examine how well post-bacc coursework seems to facilitate entry of such students,” said lead researcher Anthony Jerant, chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. €œWe think it is imperative that we work toward training a physician workforce with characteristics that mirror those of the general California population – and are still a long way away from doing that at most medical schools.”The study – believed to be the only one to use data collected within the past 15 years – explores the connection between post-bacc coursework hours and medical students’ backgrounds, academic performance and pursuit of primary care training.While many post-bacc applicants belong to UIM racial and ethnic groups, a growing number of medical school applicants have also benefitted from recent changes to how schools approach admissions. UC Davis has one of the most diverse medical schools in the nationJerant noted that UC Davis does much better than most other institutions.

The School of Medicine, in fact, ranks fourth in the country this year in the U.S. News and World Report Most Diverse Medical Schools ranking.The post-bacc study relied on data from five UC medical schools. Davis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Irvine and San Diego.Researchers also found that:Students who had completed post-bacc coursework scored about the same on medical licensing examinations as students who did not.

€œFor us, this means that absolutely students who did post-bacc coursework to bolster their readiness for medical school deserve strong consideration for admission. This should not be something application screeners look down on,” Jerant said.Students in the highest post-bacc coursework hours category tended to be older and fewer were from UIM backgrounds. Jerant said this category consists primarily of individuals changing to medicine from another profession, thus needing to complete many science prerequisites.Post-bacc coursework was not associated with a higher match rate for primary care residency.

This contrasted with findings of some earlier studies, but those studies failed to adjust for other factors even more strongly associated with primary care training, such as UIM race and ethnicity. Those factors were accounted for in the new study.Jerant said completing post-bacc coursework can help “level the playing field” for medical school admission, especially for students with less conventional paths to medicine. But the programs, he added, should not be the only option for students who want to increase their chance of getting into medical school.For example, he praised the UC Davis School of Medicine for its holistic approach to recruitment – which considers a number of factors in an applicants’ background that go well beyond grade-point averages and results of the Medical College Admission Test – to decide which students to admit.“Extremely high GPA and MCAT scores may seem like comforting numbers to focus on for admissions screening, but really aren’t known to predict who becomes a great physician,” Jerant said.

€œSo why do so many schools place so much emphasis on those numbers, often with little consideration of other application factors — especially when there is a critical need for a more representative group of physicians?. €Holistic admissions boost diversityAs a result of holistic admissions, more students from UIM backgrounds are accepted into the school. Many of those students, Jerant said, then fill physician shortages in places with the greatest need, such as the Central Valley.

Often students who grew up in such medically underserved regions want to return to practice in those areas.Therefore, another option for broadening medical school admission, he said, is for more schools to adopt holistic practices similar to those now in place at UC Davis. This approach could lead to fewer students needing to complete post-bacc coursework, which further increases the high cost and long duration of medical training, both already particularly burdensome for UIM students.“The approach we suggest could be justified for broad use among U.S. Medical schools in the interest of increasing class diversity and improving the representation of the physician workforce by turning out graduating classes that mirror the demographics of the general population,” Jerant said.For example, currently Latinos represent about 40 % of California’s population yet represent less than 12% of California medical school graduates and only 6% of practicing physicians.

Others have pointed out that at this rate, it will take 500 years for the number of Latino physicians to be proportional to state’s Latino population.The post-bacc study involved seven co-authors, including three others from UC Davis. Tonya Fancher, associate dean for workforce innovation and community engagement. Mark Henderson, associate dean for admissions.

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"So if your doctor is 30 miles away, and how do you spell lasix you live in rural America, we can track down that doctor 30 miles away from you. But if your doctor was 3,000 miles away from you, that's a tougher sell for a consumer who is now trying to get accountability for a service that wasn't properly provided," he continued. When it came to broader technologies – beyond telehealth – Becerra how do you spell lasix pointed to the role digital health tools can play in strengthening U.S.

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"There’s going to continue to need to be things that are done in person, how do you spell lasix but I think as a system we recognize the huge efficiency gains and and huge satisfaction gains which come from vets spending less time traveling to our facilities while still getting good care," he said. "We want to maintain it, because it’s ease of access for vets how do you spell lasix who don’t need to be seen in person," he said. The VA has faced scrutiny in other digital health arenas recently, with an Office of Inspector General audit finding that the Veterans Health Administration needs improvement when it comes to integrating non-VA medical data to veteran's electronic health records.Sen.

Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said he'll encourage VA leaders to preserve the new telehealth options and explore avenues for how do you spell lasix Congress to enable them. "There’s going to be a tendency to want to snap back to pre-lasix times, and I just think there’s going to be a patient revolt,” said Schatz, who praised telehealth in a recent interview for HIMSS TV."Ten years ago, if you told someone to interact with their clinician via iPhone, it would be an insult. Now, if you can’t how do you spell lasix do that, that’s an insult," Schatz said.

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.Twitter. @kjercichEmail. Kjercich@himss.orgHealthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.As the only hospital in a 10,000-square-mile area, Sky Lakes Medical Center provides a complete range of medical services for the residents of four rural counties, including cancer treatment, joint and spinal care, diagnostic imaging, and an assortment of primary and specialty physician clinics.Located in Klamath Falls, Oregon, Sky Lakes Medical Center is a not-for-profit, community-owned, internationally accredited acute care teaching hospital serving more than 80,000 people in south-central Oregon and northern California.THE PROBLEM"As a critical component of the community's healthcare center, the Sky Lakes information services department responds to critical and sometimes competing demands.

Deliver unfailing reliability and availability from our infrastructure for lifesaving patient care, and do it on a modest budget," said John Gaede, director of information systems at Sky Lakes Medical Center."As director of Sky Lakes information services, I've spent years making do with what we had. Four racks of traditional three-tier information technology architecture – including a rack of blade servers running 500 virtual machines and 200 terabytes of storage in a single data center – and only a team of six to manage all of it," he said.In a community hospital, anyone who works in IT wears multiple hats. A network administrator could be doing everything from fixing a PC to configuring switches or solving wireless problems, all in the same day, he added."We are now able to isolate and assign distinct security zones for specific endpoints and applications in our standalone community hospital.

Traditionally, this would only have been available in very large healthcare organizations with deep technical personnel benches and pocketbooks."John Gaede, Sky Lakes Medical Center"In late 2016, it became clear that major upgrades to our core IT infrastructure would be necessary," he recalled. "Servers and storage were nearing the end of support. At the same time, Sky Lakes' diagnostic imaging clinicians were eager to adopt new tools that require massive amounts of data processing and storage."I knew we had to be smart about tackling the big challenges we faced," he continued.

"With our limited resources, we needed to find a way to provide state-of-the-art, highly available and reliable IT infrastructure to support healthcare when patient lives depend on it."PROPOSALTo solve this problem, Sky Lakes turned to hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). Instead of managing separate but integrated compute, storage and networking tiers, now the IT team could unify and manage it all in a single solution."Hyperconverged infrastructure brings something we need desperately in the community hospital. Simplicity," Gaede explained.

"We don't have enough hours in the day or enough money in a year to do all the things we need to do for the organization. Solutions that simplify our infrastructure help us a great deal."To make sure we found the right partner, my team undertook extensive HCI vendor evaluations of five potential solutions," he said. "Through a rigorous nine-month process, Cisco won us over with the simplicity of Cisco HyperFlex, its commitment to the solution and an attainable implementation roadmap."MEETING THE CHALLENGETo date, Sky Lakes has migrated all of its workloads to Cisco HyperFlex, including clinical systems for the Cancer Treatment Center, perinatal monitoring and radiology imaging, running two clusters with a total of 16 nodes."We're not defining only certain workloads for HyperFlex.

We're all in," Gaede said. "Sky Lakes is running about 634 virtual servers and every flavor of system on Cisco HyperFlex, and with Cisco Intersight we have a single pane of glass for management."The small footprint of HyperFlex also provides Sky Lakes with savings on power and cooling," he continued. "By reducing four racks of compute, storage and networking to just two-thirds of one rack, Sky Lakes now spends 70% less on data center power usage.

The compact, relatively self-contained platform now permits Sky Lakes to fully replicate the entire HyperFlex environment."In the past, it would have been much less efficient and more costly to do with multiple systems. Now the organization has full redundancy, he added.Gaede also breathes more easily, knowing that patient information is secure, with HyperFlex data storage drives self-encrypted at the core. In addition, Sky Lakes is implementing a full portfolio of enterprise security features, including Cisco DNA Center network management, a cloud-based secure Internet gateway, firewalls and security analytics."Micro-segmentation in our network is huge," Gaede noted.

"We are now able where to buy lasix online to isolate and assign distinct security zones for specific endpoints and applications in our standalone community hospital. Traditionally, this would only have been available in very large healthcare organizations with deep technical personnel benches and pocketbooks, and it helps us protect clinical systems, even when many vendors struggle to keep up with security updates."Sky Lakes extended the system to its new Collaborative Health Center, which provides a single location for five clinics to increase patient access to healthcare. In addition, Sky Lakes implemented Cisco's upgraded networking backbone, wireless and unified communications system, running on HyperFlex and managed through Intersight.By running the unified communications system on HyperFlex, Sky Lakes now is able to efficiently and economically complete an enterprise-wide transformation of its entire legacy phone system, Gaede said.

Sky Lakes further integrated Stanley Healthcare Technologies with Cisco DNA Spaces for real-time location services (RTLS) and temperature monitoring of vital lifesaving equipment and medications.RESULTSWhen hypertension medications hit the community, because of the technology already in place, Sky Lakes was able to set up a drive-through testing site in 24 hours and establish telehealth capabilities in 48 hours.When the first hypertension medications treatment arrived at Sky Lakes, there was no time to waste. Within three hours of receiving the first doses, Sky Lakes administered its first shot and stood up a call center for scheduling vaccinations over a weekend. Instantly the call center was able to take on up to 1,000 calls at a time.Sky Lakes also implemented a robot running on the Cisco wireless solutions to do bedside visits.

The result was the ability to reduce the use of PPE and provider exposure, while still managing to appropriately treat hypertension medications patients and eventually discharge them home to more fully recover."As noted, by reducing four racks of compute, storage and networking to just two-thirds of one rack, Sky Lakes now spends 70% less on data center power usage," Gaede said. "The compact, relatively self-contained platform now permits Sky Lakes to fully replicate the entire Cisco HyperFlex environment at a second data center."ADVICE FOR OTHERSIn healthcare, most organizations operate on a margin of 3% or less, so investments have to be absolutely strategic, Gaede stated."What drove Sky Lakes to make investments in advanced technologies like hyperconverged infrastructure and Intersight is efficiencies," he advised."With limited budgets and resources, there is always more demand for technologies than there are people or resources, so we need technologies that make us more efficient and are highly available because they are critical to patient care."With technologies that provide real efficiencies, we're able to quickly stand-up solutions in urgent situations – critical to saving lives," he concluded.Twitter. @SiwickiHealthITEmail the writer.

Bsiwicki@himss.orgHealthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.NHS ENGLAND STAFF FACE REDUNDANCY UNDER ICS REFORMS Following plans to reform integrated care systems across the NHS, NHSE has stated that its employment commitment to protect jobs for most commissioning staff will not apply to senior NHSE/I staff in clinical commissioning groups.The recently published new employment guidance has stated that there will be no commitment in relation to “senior posts within NHSE/I functions that are expected to be the responsibility/function of an ICS in the future”.NHSE/I said in a statement. €œAssessments will take place locally for senior colleagues when new executive level structures are confirmed. The NHS will ensure that as we work on these important changes, staff are fully supported any uncertainty is minimised.”GE HEALTHCARE AND WAYRA ANNOUNCE AI STARTUPS The Edison Accelerator in EMEA, a healthcare startup and scale-up acceleration programme designed by GE Healthcare in partnership with the innovation organisation, Wayra UK, has selected five startups to become the first cohort.

The startups all focus on applying AI to medical imaging, operational AI in oncology and using AI to improve the patient experience. The startups that were chosen, demonstrate innovative and scalable solutions to pressing problems in the healthcare sector such as diagnostic accuracy and slow patient pathways, and include, Legit Health, Spryt, Radiobotics, Lucida Medica and Vinehealth.BARKING, HAVERING AND REDBRIDGE TO IMPROVE STROKE CAREUK-based Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital NHS trust is implementing AI-powered software to improve its response to stroke care.The Brainomix software will analyse CT images of the brain and blood vessels and alert clinicians of any blocked blood vessels to indicate areas of damage.The new technology encompasses a set of tools to help doctors diagnose heart attacks more accurately. It also includes an algorithm to detect lung cancer, a mental health app and technology to identify undiagnosed spinal fractures.The project comes off the back of the UK government announcing a £36 million AI research boost for the NHS, where 38 AI projects are set to benefit as part of the NHS AI Lab's £140 million AI in health and care award.

DUBAI HEALTH AUTHORITY INTRODUCES ONLINE HEALTH FACILITY INSPECTION The Dubai Health Authority’s Health Regulation Sector has introduced online inspections for health facilities to accelerate the adoption of digital technology in the region.Although in-person inspections will continue, the sector will adopt the digital method for areas where online inspections are possible. In February, DHA’s Health Regulation Sector introduced the pilot and then began implementing online inspections in March.Dr Marwan Al Mulla, CEO of Health Regulation Sector at the DHA said. €œWe adapted to changes during the lasix and we saw an opportunity to enhance online inspections where possible.

For example, for checking new services that are introduced in healthcare facilities etc. The inspections will ensure faster turnaround time, more efficiency and will save costs as well. We have always focused on using healthcare technologies to improve efficiencies, speed up processes and provide our stakeholders with added convenience.”NORTHERN LINCOLNSHIRE AND GOOLE NHS FT LAUNCH TECH FOR hypertension medicationsNorthern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS FT (NLAG) has implemented the Healthcare Communications Patient Engagement Portal across its outpatient service.The new platform is also supporting NLAG in its recovery from the hypertension medications–19 lasix by allowing patients to reschedule and cancel appointments via their mobile devices, reducing the number of ‘did not attend’ appointments (DNAs).The patient portal delivers digital appointment letters to patients, improving trust capacity and easing admin burden amongst staff.Since going live with the technology, over 26,000 digital messages have been delivered to patients, with 48% of users adding appointments to their calendars.

In addition, through digital cancellations and re-bookings, over 900 appointments have been reutilised for waiting-list patients.GPS MISTAKENLY GIVEN ACCESS TO ONLINE PENSION DATAA number of UK GPs found they were mistakenly given access to other people's pension information in a system error which has been described by GP Survival chair Dr John Hughes as a 'serious breach of confidentiality'.The glitch meant that when GPs looked at their accounts, the system would present a list of names and their pension numbers, which could be used to access someone's pension payment details. This latest error follows news of around 1,000 GP practices having not received their QOF payments this month.The Australian Digital Health Agency, a statutory body responsible for implementing various digital health initiatives, has announced that it will launch an online platform where healthcare providers in the country can place and update information about their services and practitioners.WHAT IT DOESAccording to a press release, Provider Connect Australia maintains the accuracy of healthcare service and practitioner contact details. It can also automatically send new details to nominated hospitals, pathology and radiology services, public service directories, secure messaging providers and others.Previously, health organisations were required to fill out between 10 and 20 paper or online forms to notify other providers about the changes in their services or practitioner information.

The ADHA said Provider Connect Australia eliminates that "substantial" red-tape burden.Formerly called Service Registration Assistant, Provider Connect Australia was first tried out in Northern New South Wales last year, where it was found that 99% of participating practitioner records held in the health district's address book were "out of date".WHY IT MATTERSADHA CEO Amanda Cattermole said the platform will enable "greater" interoperability and the adoption of secure messaging across the healthcare system. She mentioned that secure messaging is a key strategic priority under Australia's National Digital Health Strategy. The new initiative will help providers easily locate each other to "securely" share patient information.The agency stressed that "accurate and reliable" information about healthcare services is a "key foundation to support a digitally connected healthcare system".

As it eliminates the administrative burden of manually filling out forms to update information, it prevents inaccurate and out-of-date information to find its way across the system, affecting efficiency and quality of care.The platform is also expected to bring benefits to patient care as having the most up-to-date information is "essential" for sending hospital discharge summaries, like treatment plans and progress notes, to the right person "as quickly as possible"."The objective is to improve the efficiency of administrative processes for publishers and subscribers managing their data and help provide prompt, safe and seamless patient care across settings and providers," Cattermole said.The ADHA projects Provider Connect Australia to deliver over AU$30 million ($22.8 million) in yearly economic benefits by 2025.ON THE RECORD"Provider Connect Australia will deliver efficiencies for practice support staff who will only have to update any changes in practice information once and will increase confidence at the point of care that all of the incoming information about patients will be there, and that outgoing address books are complete and up-to-date," said ADHA Chief Clinical Adviser Dr Steve Hambleton."By providing this national service, the Agency can improve the quality and reliability of healthcare service details in directories and other services, including Medicare, and significantly reduce the administrative burden on healthcare organisations," Cattermole said.The Commonwealth Fund released an issue brief this week reviewing state actions to expand individual and group health insurance coverage of telemedicine between March 2020 and March 2021. It found that 22 states changed laws or policies during that time period to require more robust insurance coverage of telemedicine."If telemedicine proves to be a less costly way to deliver care, payers and consumers may benefit from expanding coverage of telemedicine after the lasix," wrote report authors. WHY IT MATTERS In March 2020, federal regulators temporarily relaxed restrictions for telemedicine visits for Medicare patients, raising payments to the same level as in-person visits and reducing cost-sharing, among other changes.

Officials encouraged states and insurers to provide similar flexibility under private insurance – and many took that encouragement to heart. Of the 22 states that expanded access to telemedicine during the lasix, the report found that most pursued changes via administrative action. "Use of executive authority allowed states to move relatively quickly during the crisis, though it has meant that the new telemedicine coverage requirements are temporary," wrote the researchers.

They noted, for example, that seven governors included specific telemedicine coverage requirements in executive orders, which will expire after the public health emergency. Some states used bulletins, notices, or executive orders from the department of insurance or a similar agency to enhance coverage. New legislation, which takes more time, but is necessary for permanent changes, passed in eight states.Utah, Illinois, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Massachusetts – which had not previously required coverage – changed their policies during the lasix.

At this point, 40 states require coverage.These policies do not all carry equal impact. Eighteen states required coverage of audio-only services for the first time during the lasix, bringing the total number up to 21. Four states eliminated cost-sharing for telemedicine services, and three added a requirement that cost sharing not exceed in-person identical services.

And 10 states newly required insurers to pay providers the same for telemedicine and in-person visits. Report authors noted that insurers were cooperative with these changes, but longer-term adoption of policies like reimbursement parity "would likely be contentious." They pointed out the states will need data to inform debates on how best to regulate telemedicine. In 2021, at least 30 states have weighed legislation that would revise telemedicine coverage standards, found the Commonwealth Fund.Despite the known benefits of telemedicine, researchers also cautioned that it has not been equally beneficial to all patients.

"Research shows telemedicine use is lower in communities with higher rates of poverty and among patients with limited English proficiency, potentially undermining goals of expanding access to underserved communities and exacerbating health inequities," read the report. THE LARGER TREND As the report notes, multiple states have implemented pro-telehealth policies to enable access during and beyond the hypertension medications public health emergency. But a major question remains regarding federal legislation, which could fill in many state-by-state gaps and prevent a so-called "telehealth cliff." "If Congress does not act before the public health emergency ends, regulatory flexibilities that now ensure all Medicare beneficiaries maintain access to telehealth will go away," said Kyle Zebley, director of public policy at the American Telemedicine Association, during a conference panel earlier this month.

ON THE RECORD "Whether telemedicine reduces overall healthcare costs depends on how services are reimbursed and if virtual visits reduce other services or simply add to utilization," said Commonwealth researchers. "Having access to data can help stakeholders understand how longer-term expansion of telemedicine affects access, cost, and quality of care." Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.Twitter. @kjercichEmail.

Kjercich@himss.orgHealthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication..

In recent public appearances, lasix prices walmart U.S lasix pills online. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Veterans lasix pills online Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough both indicated their support for telemedicine in the long term. Even as states have moved to enact their own laws aimed at telehealth expansion, questions have persisted about a federal response. Becerra emphasizes equity in technology "We are absolutely supportive of lasix pills online efforts to give us the authority to be able to utilize telehealth in greater ways," said Becerra during a Washington Post live event earlier this week. "We want to make sure that we don't leave anyone behind … so that telehealth should be available to all Americans universally," Becerra continued.At the Post event, Becerra reiterated that the Biden administration is supportive of recent moves in Congress that would safeguard access to telemedicine after the hypertension medications lasix.

Becerra also emphasized the importance of making technology available to lasix pills online everyone, not just those with means. "That includes, of course, making sure broadband, and quality broadband, is out there for all communities," he said. When asked about the danger of telehealth exacerbating inequities – which many lasix pills online advocates have warned against – Beceerra said, "not under my watch." "We're going to do everything we can to include everyone. It should make no difference what Zip code you live in, lasix pills online in America," he said. "You should have access to whatever technologies we as a government through our taxpayer dollars make available, and so that's why we want to make sure we do this the right way and that there's accountability on both ends of the system," he continued.

He also referred to concerns around spending and overutilization, which have dogged discussions of virtual care."We want to make sure that these providers are providing a service that might not have been available had we not had telehealth, but that it also results in better quality services and treatment, because we don't want to be billed for things that don't result in better health for Americans," he said.When it came to interstate licensure, another sticky proposition, Becerra called it an "accountability issue."Though he avoided directly weighing in on whether doctors lasix pills online should be allowed to work outside their states, he seemed to lean against the issue. "The farther away you go from the direct connection between patient and provider, the more difficult it will be to try to provide for the accountability, quickly and fairly, for the patient," he said. "So lasix pills online if your doctor is 30 miles away, and you live in rural America, we can track down that doctor 30 miles away from you. But if your doctor was 3,000 miles away from you, that's a tougher sell for a consumer who is now trying to get accountability for a service that wasn't properly provided," he continued. When it came to broader technologies – beyond telehealth – Becerra pointed to lasix pills online the role digital health tools can play in strengthening U.S.

Public health infrastructure."hypertension medications showed us lasix pills online where the holes are in our public health system. That's what happens when you have the most technologically advanced healthcare in the world, but it's not evenly distributed, and as a result, we had pockets in America where hypertension medications was devastating," he said."And technology helps us close those gaps faster, but once again, we want to make sure that technology is our friend and technology is being used properly, so accountability will be so important," he continued. Telehealth options are a hit with vetsMeanwhile, VA Secretary McDonough appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee this week to offer an update on veterans' lasix pills online use of telemedicine. "There were almost 230,000 visits at the end of February this year," said McDonough, as reported by the Military Times. "Nearly 2 million vets have had one or more lasix pills online episodes of video care.

That tells us that there’s massive demand." McDonough noted that the department is working on addressing the reluctance of some staffers to pivot to virtual care. "There’s going to continue to lasix pills online need to be things that are done in person, but I think as a system we recognize the huge efficiency gains and and huge satisfaction gains which come from vets spending less time traveling to our facilities while still getting good care," he said. "We want to maintain it, because it’s ease of access for vets who don’t need to be seen in lasix pills online person," he said. The VA has faced scrutiny in other digital health arenas recently, with an Office of Inspector General audit finding that the Veterans Health Administration needs improvement when it comes to integrating non-VA medical data to veteran's electronic health records.Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said he'll encourage VA leaders to preserve the new telehealth options and explore avenues for Congress to enable them lasix pills online.

"There’s going to be a tendency to want to snap back to pre-lasix times, and I just think there’s going to be a patient revolt,” said Schatz, who praised telehealth in a recent interview for HIMSS TV."Ten years ago, if you told someone to interact with their clinician via iPhone, it would be an insult. Now, if you can’t do that, that’s an lasix pills online insult," Schatz said. Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.Twitter. @kjercichEmail. Kjercich@himss.orgHealthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.As the only hospital in a 10,000-square-mile area, Sky Lakes Medical Center provides a complete range of medical services for the residents of four rural counties, including cancer treatment, joint and spinal care, diagnostic imaging, and an assortment of primary and specialty physician clinics.Located in Klamath Falls, Oregon, Sky Lakes Medical Center is a not-for-profit, community-owned, internationally accredited acute care teaching hospital serving more than 80,000 people in south-central Oregon and northern California.THE PROBLEM"As a critical component of the community's healthcare center, the Sky Lakes information services department responds to critical and sometimes competing demands.

Deliver unfailing reliability and availability from our infrastructure for lifesaving patient care, and do it on a modest budget," said John Gaede, director of information systems at Sky Lakes Medical Center."As director of Sky Lakes information services, I've spent years making do with what we had. Four racks of traditional three-tier information technology architecture – including a rack of blade servers running 500 virtual machines and 200 terabytes of storage in a single data center – and only a team of six to manage all of it," he said.In a community hospital, anyone who works in IT wears multiple hats. A network administrator could be doing everything from fixing a PC to configuring switches or solving wireless problems, all in the same day, he added."We are now able to isolate and assign distinct security zones for specific endpoints and applications in our standalone community hospital. Traditionally, this would only have been available in very large healthcare organizations with deep technical personnel benches and pocketbooks."John Gaede, Sky Lakes Medical Center"In late 2016, it became clear that major upgrades to our core IT infrastructure would be necessary," he recalled. "Servers and storage were nearing the end of support.

At the same time, Sky Lakes' diagnostic imaging clinicians were eager to adopt new tools that require massive amounts of data processing and storage."I knew we had to be smart about tackling the big challenges we faced," he continued. "With our limited resources, we needed to find a way to provide state-of-the-art, highly available and reliable IT infrastructure to support healthcare when patient lives depend on it."PROPOSALTo solve this problem, Sky Lakes turned to hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). Instead of managing separate but integrated compute, storage and networking tiers, now the IT team could unify and manage it all in a single solution."Hyperconverged infrastructure brings something we need desperately in the community hospital. Simplicity," Gaede explained. "We don't have enough hours in the day or enough money in a year to do all the things we need to do for the organization.

Solutions that simplify our infrastructure help us a great deal."To make sure we found the right partner, my team undertook extensive HCI vendor evaluations of five potential solutions," he said. "Through a rigorous nine-month process, Cisco won us over with the simplicity of Cisco HyperFlex, its commitment to the solution and an attainable implementation roadmap."MEETING THE CHALLENGETo date, Sky Lakes has migrated all of its workloads to Cisco HyperFlex, including clinical systems for the Cancer Treatment Center, perinatal monitoring and radiology imaging, running two clusters with a total of 16 nodes."We're not defining only certain workloads for HyperFlex. We're all in," Gaede said. "Sky Lakes is running about 634 virtual servers and every flavor of system on Cisco HyperFlex, and with Cisco Intersight we have a single pane of glass for management."The small footprint of HyperFlex also provides Sky Lakes with savings on power and cooling," he continued. "By reducing four racks of compute, storage and networking to just two-thirds of one rack, Sky Lakes now spends 70% less on data center power usage.

The compact, relatively self-contained platform now permits Sky Lakes to fully replicate the entire HyperFlex environment."In the past, it would have been much less efficient and more costly to do with multiple systems. Now the organization has full redundancy, he added.Gaede also breathes more easily, knowing that patient information is secure, with HyperFlex data storage drives self-encrypted at the core. In addition, Sky Lakes is implementing a full portfolio of enterprise security features, including Cisco DNA Center network management, a cloud-based secure Internet gateway, firewalls and security analytics."Micro-segmentation in our network is huge," Gaede noted. "We are now able to isolate and assign distinct security zones for specific endpoints and applications in our standalone community hospital. Traditionally, this would only have been available in very large healthcare organizations with deep technical personnel benches and pocketbooks, and it helps us protect clinical systems, even when many vendors struggle to keep up with security updates."Sky Lakes extended the system to its new Collaborative Health Center, which provides a single location for five clinics to increase patient access to healthcare.

In addition, Sky Lakes implemented Cisco's upgraded networking backbone, wireless and unified communications system, running on HyperFlex and managed through Intersight.By running the unified communications system on HyperFlex, Sky Lakes now is able to efficiently and economically complete an enterprise-wide transformation of its entire legacy phone system, Gaede said. Sky Lakes further integrated Stanley Healthcare Technologies with Cisco DNA Spaces for real-time location services (RTLS) and temperature monitoring of vital lifesaving equipment and medications.RESULTSWhen hypertension medications hit the community, because of the technology already in place, Sky Lakes was able to set up a drive-through testing site in 24 hours and establish telehealth capabilities in 48 hours.When the first hypertension medications treatment arrived at Sky Lakes, there was no time to waste. Within three hours of receiving the first doses, Sky Lakes administered its first shot and stood up a call center for scheduling vaccinations over a weekend. Instantly the call center was able to take on up to 1,000 calls at a time.Sky Lakes also implemented a robot running on the Cisco wireless solutions to do bedside visits. The result was the ability to reduce the use of PPE and provider exposure, while still managing to appropriately treat hypertension medications patients and eventually discharge them home to more fully recover."As noted, by reducing four racks of compute, storage and networking to just two-thirds of one rack, Sky Lakes now spends 70% less on data center power usage," Gaede said.

"The compact, relatively self-contained platform now permits Sky Lakes to fully replicate the entire Cisco HyperFlex environment at a second data center."ADVICE FOR OTHERSIn healthcare, most organizations operate on a margin of 3% or less, so investments have to be absolutely strategic, Gaede stated."What drove Sky Lakes to make investments in advanced technologies like hyperconverged infrastructure and Intersight is efficiencies," he advised."With limited budgets and resources, there is always more demand for technologies than there are people or resources, so we need technologies that make us more efficient and are highly available because they are critical to patient care."With technologies that provide real efficiencies, we're able to quickly stand-up solutions in urgent situations – critical to saving lives," he concluded.Twitter. @SiwickiHealthITEmail the writer. Bsiwicki@himss.orgHealthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.NHS ENGLAND STAFF FACE REDUNDANCY UNDER ICS REFORMS Following plans to reform integrated care systems across the NHS, NHSE has stated that its employment commitment to protect jobs for most commissioning staff will not apply to senior NHSE/I staff in clinical commissioning groups.The recently published new employment guidance has stated that there will be no commitment in relation to “senior posts within NHSE/I functions that are expected to be the responsibility/function of an ICS in the future”.NHSE/I said in a statement. €œAssessments will take place locally for senior colleagues when new executive level structures are confirmed. The NHS will ensure that as we work on these important changes, staff are fully supported any uncertainty is minimised.”GE HEALTHCARE AND WAYRA ANNOUNCE AI STARTUPS The Edison Accelerator in EMEA, a healthcare startup and scale-up acceleration programme designed by GE Healthcare in partnership with the innovation organisation, Wayra UK, has selected five startups to become the first cohort.

The startups all focus on applying AI to medical imaging, operational AI in oncology and using AI to improve the patient experience. The startups that were chosen, demonstrate innovative and scalable solutions to pressing problems in the healthcare sector such as diagnostic accuracy and slow patient pathways, and include, Legit Health, Spryt, Radiobotics, Lucida Medica and Vinehealth.BARKING, HAVERING AND REDBRIDGE TO IMPROVE STROKE CAREUK-based Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital NHS trust is implementing AI-powered software to improve its response to stroke care.The Brainomix software will analyse CT images of the brain and blood vessels and alert clinicians of any blocked blood vessels to indicate areas of damage.The new technology encompasses a set of tools to help doctors diagnose heart attacks more accurately. It also includes an algorithm to detect lung cancer, a mental health app and technology to identify undiagnosed spinal fractures.The project comes off the back of the UK government announcing a £36 million AI research boost for the NHS, where 38 AI projects are set to benefit as part of the NHS AI Lab's £140 million AI in health and care award. DUBAI HEALTH AUTHORITY INTRODUCES ONLINE HEALTH FACILITY INSPECTION The Dubai Health Authority’s Health Regulation Sector has introduced online inspections for health facilities to accelerate the adoption of digital technology in the region.Although in-person inspections will continue, the sector will adopt the digital method for areas where online inspections are possible. In February, DHA’s Health Regulation Sector introduced the pilot and then began implementing online inspections in March.Dr Marwan Al Mulla, CEO of Health Regulation Sector at the DHA said.

€œWe adapted to changes during the lasix and we saw an opportunity to enhance online inspections where possible. For example, for checking new services that are introduced in healthcare facilities etc. The inspections will ensure faster turnaround time, more efficiency and will save costs as well. We have always focused on using healthcare technologies to improve efficiencies, speed up processes and provide our stakeholders with added convenience.”NORTHERN LINCOLNSHIRE AND GOOLE NHS FT LAUNCH TECH FOR hypertension medicationsNorthern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS FT (NLAG) has implemented the Healthcare Communications Patient Engagement Portal across its outpatient service.The new platform is also supporting NLAG in its recovery from the hypertension medications–19 lasix by allowing patients to reschedule and cancel appointments via their mobile devices, reducing the number of ‘did not attend’ appointments (DNAs).The patient portal delivers digital appointment letters to patients, improving trust capacity and easing admin burden amongst staff.Since going live with the technology, over 26,000 digital messages have been delivered to patients, with 48% of users adding appointments to their calendars. In addition, through digital cancellations and re-bookings, over 900 appointments have been reutilised for waiting-list patients.GPS MISTAKENLY GIVEN ACCESS TO ONLINE PENSION DATAA number of UK GPs found they were mistakenly given access to other people's pension information in a system error which has been described by GP Survival chair Dr John Hughes as a 'serious breach of confidentiality'.The glitch meant that when GPs looked at their accounts, the system would present a list of names and their pension numbers, which could be used to access someone's pension payment details.

This latest error follows news of around 1,000 GP practices having not received their QOF payments this month.The Australian Digital Health Agency, a statutory body responsible for implementing various digital health initiatives, has announced that it will launch an online platform where healthcare providers in the country can place and update information about their services and practitioners.WHAT IT DOESAccording to a press release, Provider Connect Australia maintains the accuracy of healthcare service and practitioner contact details. It can also automatically send new details to nominated hospitals, pathology and radiology services, public service directories, secure messaging providers and others.Previously, health organisations were required to fill out between 10 and 20 paper or online forms to notify other providers about the changes in their services or practitioner information. The ADHA said Provider Connect Australia eliminates that "substantial" red-tape burden.Formerly called Service Registration Assistant, Provider Connect Australia was first tried out in Northern New South Wales last year, where it was found that 99% of participating practitioner records held in the health district's address book were "out of date".WHY IT MATTERSADHA CEO Amanda Cattermole said the platform will enable "greater" interoperability and the adoption of secure messaging across the healthcare system. She mentioned that secure messaging is a key strategic priority under Australia's National Digital Health Strategy. The new initiative will help providers easily locate each other to "securely" share patient information.The agency stressed that "accurate and reliable" information about healthcare services is a "key foundation to support a digitally connected healthcare system".

As it eliminates the administrative burden of manually filling out forms to update information, it prevents inaccurate and out-of-date information to find its way across the system, affecting efficiency and quality of care.The platform is also expected to bring benefits to patient care as having the most up-to-date information is "essential" for sending hospital discharge summaries, like treatment plans and progress notes, to the right person "as quickly as possible"."The objective is to improve the efficiency of administrative processes for publishers and subscribers managing their data and help provide prompt, safe and seamless patient care across settings and providers," Cattermole said.The ADHA projects Provider Connect Australia to deliver over AU$30 million ($22.8 million) in yearly economic benefits by 2025.ON THE RECORD"Provider Connect Australia will deliver efficiencies for practice support staff who will only have to update any changes in practice information once and will increase confidence at the point of care that all of the incoming information about patients will be there, and that outgoing address books are complete and up-to-date," said ADHA Chief Clinical Adviser Dr Steve Hambleton."By providing this national service, the Agency can improve the quality and reliability of healthcare service details in directories and other services, including Medicare, and significantly reduce the administrative burden on healthcare organisations," Cattermole said.The Commonwealth Fund released an issue brief this week reviewing state actions to expand individual and group health insurance coverage of telemedicine between March 2020 and March 2021. It found that 22 states changed laws or policies during that time period to require more robust insurance coverage of telemedicine."If telemedicine proves to be a less costly way to deliver care, payers and consumers may benefit from expanding coverage of telemedicine after the lasix," wrote report authors. WHY IT MATTERS In March 2020, federal regulators temporarily relaxed restrictions for telemedicine visits for Medicare patients, raising payments to the same level as in-person visits and reducing cost-sharing, among other changes. Officials encouraged states and insurers to provide similar flexibility under private insurance – and many took that encouragement to heart. Of the 22 states that expanded access to telemedicine during the lasix, the report found that most pursued changes via administrative action.

"Use of executive authority allowed states to move relatively quickly during the crisis, though it has meant that the new telemedicine coverage requirements are temporary," wrote the researchers. They noted, for example, that seven governors included specific telemedicine coverage requirements in executive orders, which will expire after the public health emergency. Some states used bulletins, notices, or executive orders from the department of insurance or a similar agency to enhance coverage. New legislation, which takes more time, but is necessary for permanent changes, passed in eight states.Utah, Illinois, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Massachusetts – which had not previously required coverage – changed their policies during the lasix. At this point, 40 states require coverage.These policies do not all carry equal impact.

Eighteen states required coverage of audio-only services for the first time during the lasix, bringing the total number up to 21. Four states eliminated cost-sharing for telemedicine services, and three added a requirement that cost sharing not exceed in-person identical services. And 10 states newly required insurers to pay providers the same for telemedicine and in-person visits. Report authors noted that insurers were cooperative with these changes, but longer-term adoption of policies like reimbursement parity "would likely be contentious." They pointed out the states will need data to inform debates on how best to regulate telemedicine. In 2021, at least 30 states have weighed legislation that would revise telemedicine coverage standards, found the Commonwealth Fund.Despite the known benefits of telemedicine, researchers also cautioned that it has not been equally beneficial to all patients.

"Research shows telemedicine use is lower in communities with higher rates of poverty and among patients with limited English proficiency, potentially undermining goals of expanding access to underserved communities and exacerbating health inequities," read the report. THE LARGER TREND As the report notes, multiple states have implemented pro-telehealth policies to enable access during and beyond the hypertension medications public health emergency. But a major question remains regarding federal legislation, which could fill in many state-by-state gaps and prevent a so-called "telehealth cliff." "If Congress does not act before the public health emergency ends, regulatory flexibilities that now ensure all Medicare beneficiaries maintain access to telehealth will go away," said Kyle Zebley, director of public policy at the American Telemedicine Association, during a conference panel earlier this month. ON THE RECORD "Whether telemedicine reduces overall healthcare costs depends on how services are reimbursed and if virtual visits reduce other services or simply add to utilization," said Commonwealth researchers. "Having access to data can help stakeholders understand how longer-term expansion of telemedicine affects access, cost, and quality of care." Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.Twitter.

@kjercichEmail. Kjercich@himss.orgHealthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication..