Legislation in the Senate would make permanent changes that expanded access to virtual substance use treatment during the pandemic. The bill reportedly would expand Medicare coverage to include audio calls and allow health care providers to prescribe controlled substances in certain programs without an in-person exam, among other measures.
An ONC survey of 2017 data found that 37% of hospital-affiliated substance use disorder treatment facilities and 28% of SUDs not affiliated with a hospital stored and shared patient data using only EHRs. Ten percent and 14%, respectively, used only paper records, and the remainder used a combination of electronic and paper records.
An algorithm that analyzes patients' medical records and flags those likely to die within one year can nudge health care providers to discuss palliative and hospice care options with those patients. Developers have taken care to reduce the risk of alert overload and respect patient and physician autonomy.
Data from the FAIR Health's Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker showed telehealth claim lines volume jumped by over 8,335% from April 2019 to April 2020. The largest increase was seen in the Northeast, and the top diagnosis of claims was for mental health issues, which account for roughly 34% of all claim lines.
Encouraging people to consider the accuracy of information before sharing it on social media can curb the spread of misinformation, researchers reported in Psychological Science. People who rely on their own intuition, have low scientific literacy or do not think about whether a statement is accurate are more likely to share falsehoods, researchers found, and including a nudge on social platforms to think before posting could help.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn declined to forecast the potential availability of a coronavirus vaccine after President Donald Trump recently predicted that a treatment or vaccine would be available for use "long before the end of the year." "Our solemn promise to the American people is that we will make a decision based upon the data and science on a vaccine with respect to the safety and effectiveness of that vaccine," Hahn said.
Nearly 240 scientists from 32 countries sent an open letter urging the World Health Organization to develop new COVID-19 recommendations after presenting evidence that the virus is airborne. The WHO has previously said the novel coronavirus is transmitted primarily by large respiratory droplets that are expelled when an infected person coughs or sneezes, but the scientists outlined evidence indicating that smaller particles of the virus can be transmitted through air and can infect people when inhaled.
Several states are proceeding with legislation and administrative measures to make permanent recent expansions in Medicaid and other insurance coverage for telehealth services. Colorado lawmakers sent a telemedicine bill to Gov. Jared Polis, while Pennsylvania legislators are considering a similar measure and a Massachusetts medical board approved a permanent policy on telehealth.
The Pharmacy Health Information Technology Collaborative is seeking stakeholder input on a revised version of its pharmacy value sets meant to ensure the availability of codes for problems, outcomes, interventions and additional clinical information, according to a news release.