Here's a recap of the resources for clinicians, digital health news, telemedicine innovations and virtual care updates for April 2020.
News & Resources for Clinicians
Texas Nurse Practitioners Applaud Action to Waive Regulations, Expand Healthcare Access
Texas Nurse Practitioners (TNP) President Christy Blanco today issued the following statement, “As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across our state, we are pleased that Gov. Abbott has acted swiftly to waive regulations to better enable nurse practitioners to care for patients.
Petition Circulating on the COVID-19 Pandemic Physician Protection Act (CPPPA)
We need more tools and assurances in this fight against COVID-19. After hearing the feedback of the grassroots physician community through online communities with membership totaling over 100,000 physicians, we have proposed the COVID-19 Pandemic Physician Protection Act (CPPPA), which outlines the areas where we need help the most.
NP Licensure Renewal Changes Due to COVID-19
For Nurse Practitioners, see what changes are happening across the nation related to renewal deadlines and CE requirement extensions.
AMA Shares Physician Practice Financial Relief Guide
The Cleveland Clinic is on track to log more than 60,000 telemedicine visits in March, according to officials there. Before March, that health system ― which has hospitals in Ohio and Florida — averaged about 3,400 virtual visits a month.
Up-to-Date COVID-19 Emergency Licensing Database for Telehealth Clinicians
The Wheel team is working with leaders across our industry to track a compliant and comprehensive database of the state-by-state licensure waiver or emergency temporary licensure processes that will impact telemedicine delivery.Wheel has created this website resource to provide clinicians and industry leaders in telemedicine with regular updates on these rapidly changing emergency state laws. We’re able to track these changes in real-time, thanks to our partner resources at Tusk Strategies, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
Innovations in Healthcare & Digital Health
UnitedHealth Group and a team of expert partners developed a new ventilator in 30 days
As providers struggle in some regions to access critical ventilators to treat patients with COVID-19, UnitedHealth Group and several partners have launched a new, lighter device that can help ease that strain. And they did it in less than 30 days. The new “coventor” was initially designed by researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical Center and the Earl E. Bakken Medical Device Center. Experts at UnitedHealth, Boston Scientific and Medtronic jumped in to help navigate technical, clinical, regulatory and manufacturing hurdles.
How startup Tomorrow Health built an Amazon-like experience for getting home medical supplies
The Tomorrow Health platform is now available in 25 states with Medicare Part B, including most of the Northeast, Texas, Washington and Michigan. The company contracts with both Medicare and private insurers as an in-network provider. Patients recovering from surgery or illness at home or managing a chronic condition can use the company's website to find the products they need; the platform navigates prior authorizations and insurance billing and then ships the equipment directly to patients' homes in two business days, according to Kedar.
Hospitals are using AI to predict the decline of Covid-19 patients — before knowing it works
Dozens of hospitals across the country are using an artificial intelligence system created by Epic, the big electronic health record vendor, to predict which Covid-19 patients will become critically ill, even as many are struggling to validate the tool’s effectiveness on those with the new disease.
Quest Diagnostics launches first consumer-ordered COVID-19 antibody test
For about $120, anyone can get now get a COVID-19 antibody test from Quest Diagnostics. The lab company announced 4/28 that it launched the first consumer-ordered test—yes, that means there's no doctor referral needed—to allow patients to check whether they have the antibodies that indicate they've had the novel coronavirus and may have some immunity to it.
Apple, Google and Amazon are sprinting to battle COVID-19. Here are lessons that can be learned
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. tech giants have quickly brought their innovations to the front lines. Amazon, Apple and Google—companies that were already making headway in the $3.5 billion U.S. healthcare market—have pivoted to focus on technologies and services to battle the novel coronavirus.
COVID-19 is normalizing telehealth, and that’s a good thing
Stuck at home, people are consulting doctors over the internet rather than in person—an approach to healthcare with many lasting benefits. Doctors, too, will prefer telemedicine because it enables them to spend more time doing what they like—caring for patients.
AMGA, other physician groups urge CMS to count audio-only telehealth for risk adjustment
More than 100 medical groups and independent practice associations are urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to extend the eligibility for risk adjustment payment to audio-only telehealth services, such as talking to patients over landline phones. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) and other physician groups want audio-only visits to satisfy CMS' face-to-face requirement to gather diagnosis information for risk adjustment and care coordination purposes.
CTA, ATA Launch Directory of Telehealth Technologies Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® and American Telemedicine Association (ATA) launched a new website of telehealth technology solutions amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The website, TechHealthDirectory.com, is developed and hosted in conjunction with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and features a growing list of digital health resources – from remote monitoring to telemedicine – to assist the health care industry during the coronavirus outbreak.
Telemedicine companies see funding boom of $788M in Q1
Companies classified in the telehealth space, which includes telemedicine and remote patient monitoring technology, scored a total of $930 million from 35 deals in the first quarter, according to Mercom Capital. Following telemedicine, the top-funded digital health categories in the first quarter of 2020 were data analytics with $573 million, clinical decision support with $446 million, mHealth apps with $365 million, healthcare booking with $306 million and wearable sensors with $286 million.