Patient portals — those consumer-facing websites that enable patients to access their medical information securely and communicate with their doctor — have been around for at least 15 years. But with a few exceptions, they end up becoming dead zones. Why?
That’s because, on July 12, federal regulators overseeing the Medicare program included in a large package of proposed rules a provision that would allow for stand-alone reimbursement for so-called “virtual check-ins.” Continue reading
Remote patient monitoring – using technology to keep track of a patient’s health between doctor visits – is gaining traction as our population ages and a health care workforce shortage persists.
Hospital, physician groups and insurers are generally enthusiastic about remote patient monitoring for patients with chronic conditions or who need extra support after a hospital stay (because it can reduce unnecessary hospital admissions). But payment for these services has generally been lacking. Continue reading
President Trump last week signed a budget bill that is likely to affect the health of older adults in a variety of ways. Here’s an overview to help guide coverage in your community.
Thanks to the tenacious work of many of my colleagues, you can probably skip over much of the 600-plus pages of legislationese and go straight to the highlight reel. In a comprehensive New York Times piece, Margot Sanger-Katz, Brad Plumer, Erica L. Green and Jim Tankersley explain key provisions. Continue reading
Tech giants Amazon and Apple both made waves in recent weeks for announcements that some interpreted as a first stab at disrupting the health care sector.
Plenty of observers have offered opinions on whether tech companies can truly shift the (often frightfully unmovable) machinations of the health care system.
Let’s take a look at the reality and how journalists might find fresh angles in the months ahead. Continue reading
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week voted 3-2 along party lines to scale back Lifeline, a program that helps about 12.5 million low-income people pay for Internet or phone access.
Lifeline was created in 1985 to help low-income and many rural households to access communication services such as telephone and eventually mobile service. Under the Obama Administration, the FCC in 2016 expanded Lifeline to include broadband access. Eligible households receive a $9.25 monthly subsidy to defray the cost of phone or Internet service. Continue reading