Telehealth Reimbursement Update: Top Takeaways from CMS’ Proposed Rule

Telehealth Reimbursement Update: Top Takeaways from CMS’ Proposed Rule

Some very good news for the telehealth and healthcare community has transpired in the past few months that we’re excited to share. Here on the TeleQuality blog, we’ve covered telehealth reimbursement in the past (see our beginner’s guide to telehealth reimbursement) and an update is in order after CMS published their 2019 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program which included several proposed amendments for increased telehealth reimbursement in its 1,400+ pages of regulation. Also, the deadline to submit comments to the docket was Sept. 10th and several key industry stakeholders and organizations made their voices and opinions known about the proposed rules.  

Let’s break down what new codes were proposed, what they could mean for telehealth reimbursement, and summarize the industry’s reaction.

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Web Roundup: 10 Fascinating Infographics About Telemedicine and Health IT

Web Roundup: 10 Fascinating Infographics About Telemedicine and Health IT

It's no secret telemedicine is disrupting the healthcare industry with it's ability to allow providers to care for patients no matter their distance, but sometimes it helps to see that transformation in a visual form! That's why we're currently obsessing over infographics and the power they have to share compelling data on the latest health IT trends. Check out these 10 fascinating infographics about telemedicine and health IT that we just had to share! 

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38 Health Center Customers Awarded HHS Quality Improvement Grants

 38 Health Center Customers Awarded HHS Quality Improvement Grants

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $125 million in Quality Improvement Award (QIA) grants to 1,352 health centers across the U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia. Health centers will use these funds to continue to improve quality, efficiency, and the effectiveness of healthcare delivery in the communities they serve. 

Find out which TQ customers received QIA grants this year in our newest blog post!

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6 Signs Your Healthcare Organization Should Invest in Broadband

6 Signs Your Healthcare Organization Should Invest in Broadband

Are you considering making upgrades to your healthcare organization’s broadband infrastructure and connectivity, but not sure if it’s the right investment?

You’ve come to the right place.

Although every healthcare facility’s telecom and connectivity needs are different, there are a few telltale signs that could indicate broadband investment is needed for your organization. 

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Beginner’s Guide to Telehealth Reimbursement in 2018

Beginner’s Guide to Telehealth Reimbursement in 2018

The medical coding and reimbursement process from payers is notoriously confusing and complex, with many healthcare organizations dedicating entire teams to navigating the ever-changing landscape of rules and regulations. Telehealth reimbursement is even more confusing with laws constantly changing by state and reimbursement varying on your organization’s state, practice, services, and third-party payer.

 How does a healthcare organization bill for telemedicine to Medicare, Medicaid, and private payers? What differences in reimbursement are at the state-level? What types of telemedicine are covered? Let’s navigate these questions and more in our newest blog post.

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Precision Medicine: Personalized Health Care of the Future

Precision Medicine: Personalized Health Care of the Future

Custom furniture based on our individual style preference. Custom houses constructed with each detail personalized. Tailored suits that fit our body to the inch. Streaming services that predict our next movie or TV show preference.

In a world where tailoring everything to the specific needs of the consumer is mainstream, what would it look like if we could personalize our medicine to this degree? That’s the premise behind the latest trending model from the healthcare industry called precision medicine or personalized medicine.

How does precision medicine work? What challenges does it face now and in the future? Can precision medicine be applied to underserved or rural areas? Let’s break down these questions and more in our newest blog post of 2018.

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TelePsychiatry: Revolutionizing Behavioral & Mental Health Care

TelePsychiatry: Revolutionizing Behavioral & Mental Health Care

In honor of May being National Mental Health Awareness Month, we at TeleQuality think it’s the perfect time to highlight how technology is transforming one of the most misunderstood and most important areas of medicine. We’re proud to serve various behavioral health, mental health, community service boards, and MHMR providers making a difference in their communities across the country. This month is the perfect time to honor the hardworking mental health organizations in our nation by featuring how telemedicine is transforming the delivery and quality of care for mental and behavioral health patients.

 

So how are broadband, health IT, and 21st century technology solutions impacting mental health care? Let’s dive into the world of telepsychiatry and telemental health to learn how they’re expanding access to mental health care like we’ve never seen before.

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Telemedicine Deep Dive: The Power of Remote Patient Monitoring

Telemedicine Deep Dive: The Power of Remote Patient Monitoring

What if we told you one type of telemedicine has the potential to help manage chronic diseases, allow older and disabled individuals to live at home longer, avoid prematurely moving those individuals into skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), reduce hospitalizations numbers, reduce readmissions, reduce length of stays in hospitals and so much more? Welcome to the power of remote patient monitoring, or RPM.

Remote patient monitoring is one type of telemedicine that has broad-reaching applications and impacts for many different types of healthcare specialties and facilities. Advocates for RPM monitoring programs cite its potential to help achieve the healthcare “triple aim”, through improving patient outcomes, improving access to care, and making healthcare systems more cost effective.  

What is RPM and how does it work? Curious how your healthcare organization can incorporate it to solve challenges and accomplish strategic objectives? Read this month’s deep dive into the powerful telemedicine application of RPM today. 

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Price Transparency in Health Care: Is It Possible?

Price Transparency in Health Care: Is It Possible?

Congratulations, you’ve decided to purchase a new car or a new computer and want to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Within seconds, a quick Google search will display dozens of websites detailing fair market prices for your intended purchase, reviews on the product, best businesses to buy from, and more. After taking a few hours to parse through the detailed information, you feel good knowing you’ve made a smart and informed decision on your new purchase.

Now let’s attempt this with a healthcare service, say an M.R.I. Seems impossible, right? Hospitals and physician offices typically don’t post prices and if you have insurance, you’re usually held captive to providers in-network and nobody wants to deal with insurance providers over the phone.

How come we know where to get the best deals on cars and computers, but can’t get the same information on our healthcare services? While price transparency is apparent in nearly all industries, the healthcare industry has a notoriously complicated pricing and payment model that makes transparency more difficult than most realize. Insurers, billing codes, negotiated contracts, and more, create the perfect storm for necessary individual-case-basis (ICB) pricing.

Why is healthcare pricing so complicated? Should we be pushing for price transparency or will the efforts create more harm than good? Let’s break down the pros, cons, and possible solutions for price transparency in health care in our March blog post of 2018.

 

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School-Based TeleHealth Care: The Intersection of Health, Tech, and Education

School-Based TeleHealth Care: The Intersection of Health, Tech, and Education

February is School-Based Health Care Awareness Month and here at TeleQuality, we thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to showcase how telehealth is revolutionizing school-based health care programs across our nation. Combining the power of school clinics, quality health care, and powerful 21st century technologies, telehealth in schools is changing the way health care is delivered to our newest generation of Americans.

Let’s break down how school-based health programs work, incorporating telehealth into the process, the benefits these programs provide to their students, and so much more in our 2nd blog post of 2018.

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An Uber for Health Care? How On-Demand Health Services Are Bringing Back Old-School Medicine

An Uber for Health Care? How On-Demand Health Services Are Bringing Back Old-School Medicine

Uber. Lyft. AirBNB. HomeAway. Grubhub. Postmates. Wag!

All of these ground-breaking apps disrupted their respective industries providing services straight to consumers with a new twist, with better customer service, and at a lower cost.

Some healthcare start-ups believe the future of health care lies in bringing back good old-fashioned doctor house calls, essentially bringing about the “Uberization” of the healthcare industry. But can on-demand health care that increases access and lowers costs truly work in our 21st century healthcare space? Let’s break down each side of the argument in our first blog post of 2018.

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9+ Telecom, Broadband and Telehealth Funding Opportunities You Need on Your Radar in 2018

 9+ Telecom, Broadband and Telehealth Funding Opportunities You Need on Your Radar in 2018

2018 is less than one month away, are you prepared for network funding opportunities in the New Year?

With 2018 quickly approaching, it’s important for all rural healthcare IT teams across the country to not only analyze their current broadband networks and needs but make sure they’re aware and prepared for upcoming deadlines for various funding programs to help fund any telecom service changes.

As a service provider that exclusively serves rural healthcare, we at TeleQuality know just how critical funding programs and opportunities can be for those looking to maintain or upgrade their broadband and Internet services for EHR access, telehealth, and more.

Let’s breakdown requirements and deadlines for some of the top funding programs in our monthly blog post so you and your IT team can make the best funding decisions for your organization in 2018.  

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Muni Networks 101: What You Need to Know About Municipal Broadband Networks

Muni Networks 101: What You Need to Know About Municipal Broadband Networks

As many of our regular blog readers know, broadband access is a hot topic we cover here at TeleQuality. In the past few months we’ve highlighted the significant challenges rural and remote areas of the United States face when trying to recruit telecom companies to expand high-speed broadband services to their communities; however, many times the business models of these ISPs simply can’t justify expanding into communities with a significant low profit margin risk.

One solution that has been controversially discussed in the telecom industry is the idea of municipal broadband, a.k.a. partial or fully-subsidized government broadband networks.

Advocates say it helps close the digital divide by bringing competition to the marketplace, while opponents say it puts tax payer money at severe risk and raises questions regarding the role of federal vs. state government in broadband. What’s the truth? Let’s break down both sides in our latest blog post so you can decide what side of the debate you fall under and if municipal broadband could potentially work for your community.  

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Best Practices for Telehealth Networks

 Best Practices for Telehealth Networks

As more and more healthcare providers and systems across the country expand into telemedicine, CIOs and IT departments of healthcare organizations are quickly uncovering the complications that come with setting up a productive and successful telehealth network. How much bandwidth do you need? What equipment will you need? How will our workflow be affected? What are the best practices for IT departments when tackling a telemedicine network setup?

Let’s explore all these questions below in our latest blog post dedicated to best practices for setting up telehealth networks.

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TeleQuality Customers Awarded HRSA Grants to Tackle Mental Health and Opioid Overdose Crisis

TeleQuality Customers Awarded HRSA Grants to Tackle Mental Health and Opioid Overdose Crisis

The current opioid crisis affecting Americans across the country is reaching a staggering level and has grown into a true public health crisis over the past few years. According to The New York Times, public health officials are calling the current opioid epidemic the worst drug crisis in American history, killing more than 33,000 people in 2015. Overdose deaths were nearly equal to the number of deaths from car crashes, and in 2015, for the first time, deaths from heroin alone surpassed gun homicides.

Health centers across the nation have been calling for the federal government to take action and in a direct response to this devastating crisis, HRSA announced last week is it awarding $200 million to health centers across the nation to tackle mental health and fight the opioid overdose crisis. These funds, titled the Access Increases for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (AIMS) Awards, are awarded to support and foster services focused on the treatment, prevention, and awareness of opioid abuse in the primary care setting by increasing personnel, leveraging health information technology, and providing training.

 

See which of TeleQuality's healthcare customers were recipients of these important grant funds in our latest blog post. 

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Digital Health at Your Fingertips: The Power of mHealth

Digital Health at Your Fingertips: The Power of mHealth

Mobile health, or mHealth, is the newest craze in healthcare, bringing 21st century healthcare to your fingertips on your smartphone, tablet or computer. From using Apple watches and Fitbits to track your personal fitness journey, to using Amazon Alexa and Google Echo to deliver telehealth care to senior communities, the mHealth market is booming and there’s no end in sight. Why has mHealth rapidly grown and how does it play in the future of digital healthcare delivery? Let’s explore this trending topic in our monthly blog post below.

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TQ Health Center Customers Awarded 2017 HHS Funding

TQ Health Center Customers Awarded 2017 HHS Funding

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced nearly $105 million has been awarded to 1,333 health centers in all U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia. These funds will help further improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the health care delivered to the communities they serve. Health centers are receiving these funds to continue improving their services based upon high levels of performance in one or more of the following categories: Improving Quality of Care, Increasing Access to Care, Enhancing Delivery of High Value Health Care, Addressing Health Disparities, and Achieving Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition.

TeleQuality is thrilled to announce and recognize many of our health center customers who are recipients of these funds!! Click our blog post to find out who the recipients are. 

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Improving Outcomes for Your Patients: Population Health Management

Improving Outcomes for Your Patients: Population Health Management

Every time you turn it seems the healthcare industry has created a new “buzzword”, making it more and more difficult to keep up on the latest definitions and industry trends. One of those buzzwords is population health. You’ve probably been hearing this term more and more over the past few years, but what exactly is population health and why should your healthcare organization take note?

Let’s dive deep into this healthcare trend and discover if population health management is right for your organization.

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Health Information Exchanges: One Solution to the Interoperability Dilemma

Health Information Exchanges: One Solution to the Interoperability Dilemma

Everybody knows the struggle. Perhaps you’ve moved to a new city or changed insurance plans, but once again you’re having to change a majority, if not all, of your healthcare providers. Switching providers can be nerve-wracking enough especially after developing relationships with your previous providers, but now your new providers are requesting your medical records and history. A seemingly innocent and simple task is actually much more complicated than most realize. If your previous providers didn’t have patient portals, you’re stuck with either digging up all your printed medical documents at home (that you hopefully stored and filed), make copies and carry files appointment to appointment, or you must pay your previous physician’s office to print copies of your medical records, many times paying per printed page. Then, the next physician’s office must take your papers and somehow manage putting that information into their electronic health records (EHR) system. In general, the process is extremely cumbersome on the patient, which leads to patient frustration and lack of participation, and ultimately less information for a physician to make sound medical decisions.

Why can’t providers easily share data between each other? Why is it so difficult to share information in an age of EHRs and engaging patient portals? Shouldn’t the healthcare industry have figured this out by now? With other industries including banking and retail sharing information seamlessly, it’s hard to understand why healthcare is so far behind. Let’s break down the history behind EHRs, digital health and health information technology (HIT) below and discover some solutions in our blog post.  

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