Alliance News2021-05-05T14:08:38-04:00

Alliance for Connected Care Applauds the House for Advancing Telehealth Coverage for Seniors

WASHINGTON D.C. July 27, 2022 – The Alliance for Connected Care (the Alliance) applauds U.S. House lawmakers for their commitment to protecting telehealth access through the passage of the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2022 (H.R. 4040). This legislation would ensure that Medicare beneficiaries continue to have access to telehealth until at least December 31, 2024.

“We are pleased to see the House of Representatives taking action to reduce ambiguity around the future of telehealth in Medicare,” said Krista Drobac, Executive Director of the Alliance for Connected Care. “This legislation will protect crucially needed patient access to care while allowing policymakers to comprehensively analyze telehealth expansion data to permanently expand telehealth for seniors.”

The Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2022 will ensure that telehealth flexibilities available during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency continue until at least December 31, 2024. It will continue Medicare flexibility around geographic requirements and originating sites, will allow additional practitioners to provide telehealth services, extend payment for Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics, allow audio-only telehealth services to continue, and allow recertification of eligibility for hospice care. Importantly, this legislation also delays the implementation of in-person visit requirements prior to the delivery of mental health services through telehealth, which the Alliance has strongly opposed. Requirements for an in-person visit prior to a telehealth visit only serve to create additional barriers to health care access for Medicare beneficiaries in rural and underserved areas.

The Alliance also urges Congress to build on this significant Medicare achievement by acting to extend telehealth first-dollar coverage flexibility for the 32 million Americans that have a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA). Without additional action by Congress, this access will expire on December 31, 2022.

The Alliance for Connected Care looks forward to continuing to work with policymakers in the Senate to ensure comprehensive telehealth legislation is enacted.

The Alliance for Connected Care is dedicated to improving access to care through the reduction of policy, legal and regulatory barriers to the adoption of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. Our members are leading health care and technology organizations from across the spectrum, representing health systems, health payers, and technology innovators. The Alliance works in partnership with an Advisory Board of more than 40 patient and provider groups, including many types of clinician specialty and patient advocacy groups who wish to better utilize the opportunities created by telehealth.

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July 27th, 2022|

Telehealth Strategies for the Delivery of Maternal Health Care

Annals of Internal Medicine: Telehealth Strategies for the Delivery of Maternal Health Care

Telehealth strategies to supplement or replace in-person maternity care may affect maternal health outcomes. The purpose of this rapid review was to evaluate the effectiveness and harms of telehealth strategies for maternal health care given the recent expansion of telehealth during the pandemic, and to produce an evidence map. The review found that replacing or supplementing in-person maternal care with telehealth generally results in similar, and sometimes better, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction compared with in-person care. The effect on access, health equity, and harm is unclear.

July 26th, 2022|

Effect of a Comprehensive Telehealth Intervention vs Telemonitoring and Care Coordination in Patients with Persistently Poor Type 2 Diabetes Control

JAMA Internal Medicine: Effect of a Comprehensive Telehealth Intervention vs Telemonitoring and Care Coordination in Patients with Persistently Poor Type 2 Diabetes Control

According to this study, a comprehensive approach to telemonitoring type 2 diabetes bolstered glucose control in tough-to-manage patients. The study found that, compared with telemonitoring/care coordination, comprehensive telehealth improved multiple outcomes in patients with persistently poorly controlled type 2 diabetes (PPDM) at a reasonable additional cost. This study supports consideration of comprehensive telehealth implementation for PPDM in systems with appropriate infrastructure and may enhance the value of telehealth experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. For additional coverage, see MedPage Today.

July 25th, 2022|

The Roadmap to Telehealth Efficacy: Care, Health, and Digital Equities

Brookings Institute: The Roadmap to Telehealth Efficacy: Care, Health, and Digital Equities

In this Brookings report, researchers propose flexibilities within the current health care system that accommodate the changes imposed by new technologies, as well as continued government incentives to drive more competitive options and alternatives for health care delivery. They also argue that government must continue to promote the use of remote health care and leverage national investments in broadband infrastructure to drive the complementary use of telehealth with traditional health care. Telehealth must be positioned and implemented in coordination with value-based payments to ensure patient access to meaningful care that can be bolstered and not substituted by existing and emerging health care technologies.

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July 25th, 2022|

Contraceptive care service provision via telehealth early in the COVID-19 pandemic at rural and urban FQHCs

The Journal of Rural Health: Contraceptive care service provision via telehealth early in the COVID-19 pandemic at rural and urban FQHCs

The purpose of this study was to investigate telehealth use for contraceptive service provision among rural and urban federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in Alabama and South Carolina during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found that, while telehealth for contraceptive care increased during this time period, fewer rural clinicals than urban clinics provided telehealth for contraceptive counseling, emergency contraception, and sexually transmitted infection care. Key facilitators of telehealth were reimbursement policy, electronic infrastructure and technology, and funding for technology. These differences highlight the need for supportive strategies to increase access to care for low-income rural populations.

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July 22nd, 2022|

Exercise delivered via telehealth is effective for chronic disease

MD Linx: Exercise delivered via telehealth is effective for chronic disease

Telemonitoring with real time feedback from clinicians has been shown in other contexts to improve clinical markers, but this has not yet been evaluated for exercise in the chronic disease population. This study found that videoconferencing exercise interventions were effective at improving exercise capacity and quality of life. Furthermore, videoconferencing may be at least as effective as in-person interventions and superior to no intervention.

July 19th, 2022|

Pandemic-Triggered Adoption of Telehealth in Underserved Communities: Descriptive Study of Pre- and Post-shutdown Trends

JMIR Publications: Pandemic-Triggered Adoption of Telehealth in Underserved Communities: Descriptive Study of Pre- and Post-shutdown Trends

This study explored whether the temporary shift to telehealth services has changed the attitudes toward the usage of technology-enabled health services in rural communities. The study found that the trend in telemedicine claims had an opposite pattern to that in non-telemedicine claims across the three time periods studied: pre-pandemic, pandemic before the rollout of mass vaccination, and pandemic after the rollout of mass vaccination. The current trends indicate that adoption of telehealth services is likely to increase post-pandemic and that consumers (patients), service providers, health care establishments, insurance companies, and state and local policies have changed their attitudes toward telehealth. An increase in the use of telehealth could help local and federal governments address the shortage of health care facilities and service providers in underserved communities, and patients can get the much-needed care in a timely and effective manner.

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July 18th, 2022|

Experiences with use of technology and telehealth among women with perinatal depression

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth: Experiences with use of technology and telehealth among women with perinatal depression

This study aimed to understand women’s perspectives on telehealth services for perinatal depression. The study consisted of seven postpartum and ten pregnant women who shared their experiences using telehealth. Findings suggest that telehealth may be a reasonable and acceptable platform to increase access and retention for mental health services in childbearing women. Researchers also note videoconferencing delivery is an effective and affordable mental health service for low-resource communities.

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July 18th, 2022|

Telemedicine Is Mainstream Care Delivery

NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery: Telemedicine Is Mainstream Care Delivery

In this recent survey, a majority of respondents credited telemedicine with improving patient health, providing good quality care and increasing access for vulnerable populations. However, the results also point to challenges that must be addressed as this field becomes more established. Of U.S. respondents, 71 percent reported that telemedicine has improved patient health, while a similar proportion said it provides at least moderate quality specialty or mental health care. For primary care, that share was 81 percent. When responses across all countries are included, the results differ only slightly from those of U.S. respondents. The responses demonstrate a clear need for telemedicine beyond the pandemic. For additional coverage, see Weill Cornell Medicine.

July 15th, 2022|

Innovations in Telehealth in Behavioral Health During COVID-19

National Council for Mental Wellbeing: Innovations in Telehealth in Behavioral Health During COVID-19

The National Council for Mental Wellbeing released the “Innovations in Telehealth in Behavioral Health During COVID-19” report, which examined how the efficacy of telehealth services for mental health and substance use has differed among various populations. The report explored future considerations, including health equity, technology challenges, needs of special populations and rising provider burnout. For additional coverage, see the California Health Care Foundation.

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July 15th, 2022|
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