There’s been a small flurry of stories and news updates on telehealth this summer.
On July 26, some 430 health systems, associations and companies sent a joint letter to Congress urging policymakers to extend telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries beyond the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Prior to the start of the pandemic, Medicare only covered telehealth visits for its beneficiaries living in defined rural areas who initiated the call from a provider’s office, according to Kyle Zebley, vice president of public policy for the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), which is co-leading the effort. Thanks to provisions covered by legislation such as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, telehealth became a covered service for all Medicare beneficiaries regardless of area of residence or where calls were initiated. But it was designed as a temporary measure. Unless it’s made permanent, cautioned the ATA and other letter writers, Medicare beneficiaries and providers who have become accustomed to the service could fall off what advocates call a “telehealth cliff.” Continue reading
Much advice has appeared in the media over the past two months about how to manage anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.
Plenty of speculation, particularly on social media, has accompanied it: Will suicide rates increase? Will adolescent suicide rates decline with increased supervision? Will prescriptions for antidepressants rise? Will this trend revolutionize telemedicine in mental health? Continue reading
Telehealth technologies are on the rise, connecting patients and providers, and expanding access to crucial health services that can be scarce and sometimes difficult to reach. Thanks to digital innovations, high-risk infants and stroke patients are receiving specialty care remotely. People coping with anxiety and depression are benefiting from therapist-supported internet cognitive behavioral therapy.
In the field of oral health, teledentistry is proving increasingly useful too, according to the December issue of Health Affairs that explored the transformative potential of telehealth technologies. Continue reading
Photo: Len Bruzzese/AHCJHannah Koch, Psy.D., research and technical assistance associate, Mental Health Program, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
AHCJ’s 10th annual Rural Health Journalism Workshop brought journalists to North Carolina’s Research Triangle to hear from experts who offered resources and story ideas about the health challenges facing the United States’ 47 million rural residents.
Nearly 70 attended the all-day workshop, gaining a better understanding of what’s happening – or will be happening – in rural regions. Continue reading
Attendees of Health Journalism 2018 will likely have a difficult choice to make between this year’s two optional daylong field trips to Barrow Neurological Institute, Mayo Clinic, Banner University Phoenix, University of Arizona College of Medicine, and the Circle the City medical respite center for the homeless.
One field trip will first stop at the Barrow Neurological Institute, where they will visit the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, featuring a chance to try out the center’s unique balance machine. Continue reading