One Million Telehealth Visits in 2018! The VA continues to expand its utilization of telehealth. 2018’s numbers are 19% higher than last years.
This number is bound to greatly increase. The new Authority of Health Care Providers to Practice Telehealth rule, published in the Federal Register on October 2nd, 2017, allows for the VA to provide telehealth services directly to veterans’ homes across the country. In addition, the VA launched its new mobile VA Video Connect application, making video sessions easier for veterans. I suspect these recent developments have only begun to show a footprint. Only 105,300 of the million + video visits were conducted using the new mobile application.
I have briefly addressed the topic of Digital Therapeutics in a previous blog entry that focused on ADHD and Esteem Therapeutics.
New to this term? "Digital Therapeutics" is an emerging form of technology in healthcare that combines software programs, devices, and various interventions to generate an umbrella of caregiving that covers all the parties involved in treatment. Technological aspects are used in conjunction with other forms of "traditional" treatment such as therapy or medication. Patients and caregivers collaborate and are kept in sync with updated information that is readily available to all in order to optimize patient outcomes.
Digital therapeutics addresses a wide range of conditions and provides a myriad of high-quality options for personalized patient care. Digital therapeutics forms an independent category of a broader healthcare program and is distinct from diagnostic and telehealth products. Implementing a program will involve a network of therapy options in which each component of care reinforces and supports the other.
In Opinion 19-02, the Office of Inspector General declares its support o allowing drug manufacturers to temporary loan smartphones to low-income patients who are prescribed antipsychotic digital medications. A sensor is embedded in the medication, and once taken, transmits a signal to a patch worn by the patient. The patch records ingestion of medication, rest and activity levels, and uploads the data to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The patient has the ability to add more detailed information (moods, sleep quality) to the app, and then the app syncs with secure, cloud-based data banks.
Alison Bowles, LMHC shares from her experience as an online counselor treating couples and those struggling with anxiety and depression.
In this interview, Dr. Becky Clark shares how she uses video conferencing to overcome barriers to access for those with hearing loss.
The Office of Inspector General is recommending that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) more closely review telehealth claims for adherence to requirements and offer education to providers to increase awareness of those requirements.
Learn from our interview of Elizabeth (Liz) Grady, LPC, LPCS, DCC from eSupport, PLLC https://www.esupportcounseling.com/ Liz and her colleagues noticed a need for online counseling and clinical supervision in North Carolina and have worked to fill that need. Liz shares how she prepared for, implemented, and succeeded at providing these important services.
Learn about the origins of e-prescribing and its parallels with implementing telehealth into health systems by listening to our interview with Lori Metz, LCSW, CCM.