Top news headlines in telemedicine
Texas Medical Board further restricts telemedicine
New York Times - Abby Goodnough
While many states are working to increase access to telemedicine, the Texas Medical Board voted recently to restrict telemedicine in the state. The move came as a response to the Dallas-based, direct-to-consumer (DTC) company Teladoc. The state of Texas and Teledoc have been engaged in 4-year battle over the definition of telemedicine. Texas already has some of the strictest rules on two way-video conferencing, requiring an in-person visit with providers before a patient can be seen via telemedicine. The new rule says that doctors cannot establish a relationship via email forms, a tactic commonly used by DTC companies.
RITE-AID and HealthSpot create new telehealth kiosks in Ohio stores
Dark Daily - Patricia Kirk
RiteAid recently introduced a new telemed tool in Ohio stores: kiosks providing telemedicine consultations with physicians from the Cleveland Clinic and other well-established Ohio facilities. RiteAid and HealthSpot, a telemedicine provider, report the kiosks give patients 15-minute doctor visits for about $60-$80.
VA telehealth program gets positive results from recent audit
mHealth News - Eric Wicklund
The VA telehealth program is improving clinical outcomes and reducing costs for veterans. In a recent audit, the cost of the telehealth program was shown to be hundreds of thousands of dollars less than nursing home alternatives. The program saw an increase in enrollment in patient categories for chronic care and health promotion patients but a slight decrease in enrollment of patients in their most vulnerable category: non-institutional care. This was an concerning trend as many of these patients could benefit from the services the telemedicine program provides.
Surge in connected devices and applications to monitor diabetes
MedCity News - Connie Chitwood-Vu
Connected devices and apps to monitor diabetes are on the rise; however, the validity and quality of these devices can vary. Though FDA approval is not required, some experts are encouraging companies to apply for approval, saying that the FDA stamp-of-approval could help doctors and patients decipher which are actionable and evidence-based and which are "just for fun."
Getting ahold of a doctor can be difficult - even for other doctors
mHealth News - Eric Wicklund
In the age of care coordination, communicating with other members of a patient's care team is more important than ever. But a recent survey of over 1,000 health professionals found that 70 percent say reaching these members can be a drain on time and resources. Eighty-eight percent recognized mHealth and telehealth as a potential solution, but only one-third are currently using these tools for care-coordination. Respondents say that compatibility of systems is an obstacle to coordination.