CMS Expands Telehealth Coverage for Audiologists- Speech-Language Pathologists

CMS has added a number of CPT codes to the list of audiology and speech-language pathology services provided by telehealth that will be covered by Medicare during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Boston Medical Center Launches mHealth App for MAT Providers

Boston Medical Center has developed an mHealth app that gives healthcare providers access to resources used in providing medication-assisted treatment (MAT) therapy to patients dealing with substance abuse.

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Virginia Expands Coverage for School Telehealth, Remote Patient Monitoring

Two bills headed to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk will expand Medicaid coverage for remote patient monitoring programs and telehealth services for school students regardless of whether they’re in school or at home.

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USDA invests $42M in telehealth infrastructure

The goal of the investment, which also provides for distance learning technology, is to improve health outcomes and education for some five million rural residents, the agency says. Continue reading

Washington State Lawmakers Mull Audio-Only Telehealth Guidelines

A bill now before the state’s Senate would set strict rules for the use and coverage of audio-only telehealth services, such as the telephone.

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Questions Arise Over Medicare Coverage for Mental Health Services by Telehealth

A sentence tucked into last year’s pandemic relief bill sets requirements for in-person care before Medicare will cover mental healthcare services via telehealth.

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One Solution to Improving Telehealth Laws: Simple Subtraction

A Florida lawmaker is looking to improve his state’s telehealth laws by eliminating some of the complexity and opening the door to audio-only phone calls and virtual prescribing.

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Lockdowns, Coronavirus, and Banks: Following the Money

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It usually makes sense to follow the money when seeking understanding of almost any major change. The strategy of following the money in our current convergence of crises in late summer of 2020 leads us directly to the lockdowns. The lockdowns were first imposed on people in the Wuhan area of China. Then other populations throughout the world were told to “shelter in place,” all in the name of combating the COVID-19 virus. Continue reading

Israeli Device Lets Disabled Control Smartphones, Wheelchairs with Their Tongues

For people with limited or no hand mobility, this Israeli innovation puts the power of the tongue to good use. Continue reading

How Google Is Stealing Your Personal Health Data

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Google, Amazon and Microsoft collect data entered into health and diagnostic sites, which is then shared with hundreds of third parties — and this data is not anonymized, meaning it’s tied specifically to you, without your knowledge or consent
  • Google, Amazon, Apple and the startup Xealth, are also data mining people’s personal electronic medical records to expand their businesses
  • In the wrong hands, your medical information can have real-world consequences, resulting in, for example, higher insurance premiums or denial of employment
  • Google is amassing health data from millions of Americans in 21 states through its Project Nightingale, and patients have not been informed of this data mining
  • The partnership that gives Google access to this medical data is covered by a “business associate agreement.” HIPAA allows hospitals and medical providers to share your information with third parties that support clinical activities, and according to Google’s interpretation of the privacy laws, it’s not in breach of these laws because it’s a “business associate”

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It’s now child abuse in America to try to save your child from being chemically castrated by a “woke” parent

They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and this apparently includes court decisions that completely obliterate parental rights and force innocent children to undergo LGBTQ sex changes. Continue reading

Amazon launches Amazon Care, a telemedicine-driven care offering for Seattle employees

Amazon is launching Amazon Care, a virtual primary care offering for its Seattle-based employees. CNBC broke the news after Amazon sent information about the program to its employees and launched a website, amazon.carelaying out the details of the offering. Continue reading

Do You Have Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)?

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Peripheral vertigo is a form of dizziness involving your inner ear. The most common cause of peripheral vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  • BPPV occurs when crystal deposits in your inner ear become dislodged and end up in your ear canal. The crystals disrupt the flow of the fluids, thereby confusing your balance organs, resulting in vertigo — the feeling of movement or spinning even though you’re stationary
  • If a doctor diagnoses you with BPPV, he or she may recommend physical therapy to shift the crystal deposits in your inner ear into a location that won’t affect your balance
  • There are several different particle repositioning procedures that can accomplish this, including the Epley and Foster maneuvers. If you suspect you have BPPV, you can also try these at home to achieve relief. Instructions are included
  • BPPV that is unresponsive to repositioning maneuvers may be treated with the drug betahistine. An all-natural alternative is to take ginkgo biloba, which has been shown to be just as effective as betahistine

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The Opioid Crisis — A Case of Mass Homicide?

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The inappropriate treatment approach to back pain and post-surgical pain from tonsillectomies and wisdom teeth removal are driving forces behind the opioid epidemic
  • Insurance claims data reveal 60% of children between the ages of 1 and 18 with private insurance fill one or more opioid prescriptions after surgical tonsil removal. Dentists wrote 18.1 million prescriptions for opioids in 2017
  • Research shows opioids (including morphine, Vicodin, oxycodone and fentanyl) fail to control moderate to severe pain any better than over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen
  • The American College of Physicians’ guideline for low back pain call for the use of heat, massage, acupuncture or chiropractic adjustments as first-line treatments. When drugs are desired, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants should be used
  • While clinical practice guidelines call for nonpharmacological intervention for back pain, most insurance plans avoid paying for such treatments, favoring opioid treatment instead

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What broke American health care and how to fix it

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • “The Price We Pay Dr. Marty Makary’s book, : What Broke American Health Care — and How to Fix It,” reveals the money games in the U.S. health care system, and what every American should know
  • New science is revealing that indications to treat should be narrower then previously recognized. Overall 21% of medical treatments have been deemed unnecessary, contributing to our cost crisis
  • Over the past 150 years, the focus of most hospitals has shifted from serving the community to generating profits, and these two aims are frequently at odds
  • Predatory pricing practices are crushing everyday Americans. Some hospitals will charge five to 10 times the going rate for services and then sue patients who cannot afford the padded bills
  • Investigations reveal there’s no correlation between high prices and quality of care. Nor is there a correlation between high prices and charity care
  • Another egregious example of predatory pricing is that of ambulance transport. Unless you’re seriously injured, consider taking an Uber to the hospital as the bill for an ambulance transport can run into the thousands. For helicopter transport, it could be as high as half a million dollars 

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