Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has reached an agreement with Boulder Care to expand its telehealth addiction treatment network in Ohio. Under the deal, Anthem members with individual plans, employer-based coverage and Medicare Advantage plans will gain access to Boulder's digital substance abuse treatment services, as well as access to a care team composed of a clinician, a care advocate, a peer recovery coach, and a case manager.
Close to 80% of physicians used telehealth last year, compared with 25% in 2018, according to a survey by the American Medical Association. More than 70% conducted video appointments during the pandemic, up from 14.3% in 2018, the survey found.
Artificial intelligence can lead to better care for patients with sepsis and give physician insight into patients at risk for illnesses, but the technology has drawbacks, according to a panel of health care professionals from Wolters Kluwer. "[T]he need to manage data from various systems without workflow consideration can add to physician burnout and cloud clinical decision-making," said Dr. Itay Klaz, medical director for clinical surveillance and compliance at Wolters Kluwer.
Intel's $50 million Pandemic Response Technology Initiative has jump started more than 200 projects and led to a partnership with ConsenSys Health to use secure blockchain technology to find medical research participants and a contract-tracing app with Leidos. "The datasets are growing bigger and bigger, and the need to analyze them is growing," says Chris Gough, general manager of health and life sciences at Intel.
Jon Smith, CIO of North Country HealthCare in northern Arizona, says shifting from a VPN to zero-trust network access has given the federally qualified health center granular control of third-party access to its network. The least-privilege technology protects data and "supports all the connectivity requirements our third parties have: RDP, SSH, Telnet, VNC, as well as any TCP or UDP protocols and any native tools that the third-party vendor may have," Smith said.
Hospitals and health care providers can leverage digital revenue cycle and cost-estimator tools to improve price transparency and offer more accurate price estimates in compliance with the No Surprises Act, writes Ogi Kwon with R1 Revenue Cycle Management. Hospitals should establish a process for identifying all members of the patient's health care team to verify insurance network affiliation, and they should ensure their billing systems do not automatically assign patient balances in violation of the new law, Kwon writes.
A total of 60 health IT and health care provider groups signed a letter urging the Biden administration to make Medicare telehealth flexibility permanent, instead of through 2023 as the CMS has proposed. "Given the addition of a record number of eligible beneficiaries, telehealth may be the only way beneficiaries can gain access, especially those in rural or underserved communities," the groups wrote.
The US Federal Trade Commission has clarified its Health Breach Notification Rule, which requires companies to tell customers when personal data has been accessed, to specifically include apps. "Digital apps are routinely caught playing fast and loose with user data, leaving users' sensitive health information susceptible to hacks and breaches," says FTC Chair Lina Khan.
Too many enterprises make cybersecurity training "a very painful, unpleasant process" unlikely to get the message across, says Adam Anderson, co-founder of Hook Security. Anderson advocates a gentler approach to avoid "a fight-or-flight type of environment."
Health Choice Network in Florida is rolling out an integrated EHR system across its 44 federally qualified health centers, accountable care organizations and physician practices. Under the $400 million project, software and applications will be chosen to meet goals set by the health center CEOs to improve quality, productivity and reimbursements.