Tampa General Hospital is using $1 million from the Federal Communications Commission to expand telehealth for urgent care triage, include more specialists in the hospital's virtual specialty consult program, and increase access to virtual primary care in low-income and underserved communities. Mercy health system is using $2.2 million in FCC funding to expand access to telehealth at rural facilities in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma through the purchase of more telemedicine carts and monitors and will expand virtual care in COVID-19 and critical care units.
Karen MacDonell, an associate professor of family medicine and public health sciences at Wayne State University School of Medicine, is using a five-year $2.5 million NIH grant to study four technology-based asthma management programs, individually and in combination, geared toward young Black adults. "At the completion of the study, we will have an empirically supported, optimized mobile asthma management intervention to improve asthma control for African American emerging adults," MacDonell said in a news release.
HHS has extended the COVID-19 public health emergency for the eighth time, continuing flexibility and resources granted to health care professionals to care for COVID-19 patients, among other benefits, for another 90 days. Meanwhile, sources said the White House today plans to unveil details of its plan to distribute hundreds of millions of N95 masks for free through community sites and pharmacies, as part of efforts to mitigate the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Luisa Whitelaw, head of clinical coding intelligence with Discovery Health, spent a year as a nurse before taking a job in clinical coding at Discovery in 1999, where she says she discovered "that clinical coding is a critical component of a well-functioning and well-understood health care industry." Whitelaw subsequently earned a master's degree in health informatics, joined AHIMA's international ICD-11 work group, and is moving to Chicago, where she will establish Discovery's International Clinical Coding Center of Excellence.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Sequoia Project have published the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement establishing nonbinding principles and defining technical terms for the secure exchange of clinical data. "The Common Agreement includes support for treatment, payment, health care operations, individual access services, public health, and government benefits determination," write National Coordinator Micky Tripathi and Sequoia Project CEO Mariann Yeager.
The American Medical Association, American Hospital Association and CMS are offering resources for complying with the No Surprises Act, including a summary of the law and associated regulations, an advocacy update, a compliance toolkit for physicians and consumer guidance.
Black and Hispanic people newly diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma were more likely than their white counterparts to express low confidence in their ability to complete medical forms, mistrust of the medical establishment and concern about the time commitment recommended for treatment, researchers reported in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. "Overall, our data highlight the need to develop and test interventions aimed at addressing implicit bias, improving provider-patient communication and reducing patient barriers to HCC medical care," the researchers wrote.
People with COVID-19 who were Black or lived in a more disadvantaged area were more likely than white people or people from a less disadvantaged neighborhood to choose audio-only symptom reporting and monitoring instead of an app, researchers reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Retention rates were similar by race in the two groups, but the overall retention rate in the audio-only group was 70%, compared with 54% in the app group, suggesting that offering telephone-based patient monitoring expands access to care.
The American Medical Association added code 0073A to the Current Procedural Terminology code set to document a third dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in 5- to 11-year-olds. The FDA recently authorized a third dose for children who are immunocompromised.
Lisa Stump, senior vice president and CIO at Yale New Haven Health, says she saw the potential of technology to address existing capacity, personnel and revenue pressures exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and she decided to work with an outside party to build out predictive or prescriptive analytics tools. Stump says health systems confronting similar challenges should analyze the particular issue that needs to be resolved, find a qualified partner with shared values, ensure that operational leaders are closely engaged in the project, and celebrate wins.