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Healthcare IT: 5 of the Biggest Trends and Developments

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Healthcare is undergoing a transformation. Advancements in healthcare IT are helping healthcare providers better meet the growing needs of their patient communities; confront significant challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and aggressive cybercriminals; and leverage solutions that improve the overall delivery of care.

Here is a summary of five of the biggest trends and developments in healthcare IT.

1. Embracing of telehealth

Prior to the COVID-19 health crisis, healthcare providers were gradually adopting Telehealth and offering more virtual services. Once the pandemic hit and brought with it stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, telehealth was essentially transformed from an optional service offering to a required one benefiting patients and healthcare providers. A Medscape article went so far as to declare in April that “A Decade of Telemedicine Policy Has Advanced in Just 2 Weeks.”

Organizations are going all-in on telehealth. An mHealthIntellgence article shared the results of physician surveys indicating that 90% were using at least some form of telehealth and around 60% percent were planning to continue following the pandemic. The article includes this quote from Mei Kwong, executive director for the Center for Connected Health Policy: “Telehealth has been the missing element to how we deliver healthcare. But now people are familiar with it. They now have the experience and will want to see it used more often.”

2. Cloud adoption on the rise

For healthcare providers on the fence about whether migrating to the cloud is in their organization’s best interest, the pandemic may have answered that question. Healthcare organizations with cloud-based technologies have found these solutions invaluable to everything from allowing remote staff to work more effectively and safely (both individually and collaboratively) to launching and growing telemedicine programs.

As a report from Cloud Computing News notes, the healthcare industry was already leading other major sectors concerning cloud use before the pandemic. “This early cloud adoption is a big benefit in the fight against the pandemic as it improves on the ability to analyze relevant data to improve response. Cloud computing is more than just about data storage. It also lowers IT costs for health facilities as they avoid the need to train personnel, purchase equipment, and provide physical space for the IT people and hardware. Additionally, it eases interoperability by enabling data and system integrations.” The publication also highlighted the value of the cloud in supporting telehealth.

The healthcare cloud computing market was projected to experience rapid growth in the coming years. The health crisis is likely to give cloud computing an even greater boost as healthcare providers more rapidly transition to cloud-based solutions.

3. Video collaboration services becomes commonplace

By now, it’s probably safe to say that most Americans have used some form of a video service (e.g., Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Skype) to communicate with friends, family, and coworkers during the pandemic. These platforms have also served as mechanisms for healthcare providers to deliver services to patients (e.g., telehealth, as previously discussed). While much of the attention in healthcare has been paid to the benefits associated with leveraging video services to deliver patient care, another value has been somewhat overlooked: supporting efforts by providers to collaborate and communicate with members of their staff and others.

As we’ve heard from multiple clients, the ability to coordinate planning, response, and recovery efforts using video collaboration platforms (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business) have essentially been nothing short of a lifesaver. These platforms not only include video meeting and consultation features, but also personal file storage; team file storage and sharing; real-time file collaboration; chat; and integration with numerous apps and services to further support productivity and teamwork.

Healthcare providers are using  these business collaboration services to hold board meetings, review and revise documentation, track tasks, educate and train team members, speak with vendors about the services and purchases needed to safely resume operations (e.g., cleaning and disinfection, personal protective equipment), interview prospective team members, and more. Nearly all meetings that would have previously occurred in person are transitioning to these video business platforms.

While business collaboration services will not permanently replace in-person meetings, virtual gatherings and collaboration are here to stay. They represent a viable alternative that can allow healthcare organizations to maintain social distancing more effectively, embrace some form a remote workforce (if desired), and stay better connected with individuals inside and outside of the organization, among other benefits that can deliver improved staff productivity and efficiency.

4. New opportunities arise for cybercriminals

Cybercriminals are always looking for their next opportunity to take advantage of vulnerabilities, and the pandemic has presented them with significant openings. Healthcare providers — always an attractive target — are even more appealing to cybercriminals during the crisis.

Organizations that raced to add telemedicine offerings may have overlooked security or not given it appropriate attention and consideration. Healthcare providers may have felt more comfortable with doing so because the HHS Office for Civil Rights issued guidance stating that, “HIPAA-covered healthcare providers may, in good faith, provide telehealth services to patients using remote communication technologies, such as commonly used apps … for telehealth services, even if the application does not fully comply with HIPAA rules.” But there were conditions to this guidance.

Unplanned growth in remote working and data-sharing can present cybercriminals with an easier means to access patient and healthcare provider information if healthcare staff working remotely lack the necessary cybersecurity safeguards. In addition, as CSO noted, “Healthcare organizations of all shapes and sizes are likely to be under more stress than usual, which may make staff more lax around what they click on.”

That’s concerning when you consider that Google data indicates there are more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages that use fear and financial information to encourage users to respond, reports Healthcare IT News. In April, the Federal Bureau of Investigations issued an alert warning of targeted email phishing attempts aimed at healthcare providers that use email subject lines and content related to COVID-19.

Then there’s the matter of organizations gathering particularly important healthcare data. As NBC News noted, “… the increased amount of information hospitals are collecting on patients because of the pandemic, as well as any research that could lead to the development of a vaccine, is highly sought after by hackers working on behalf of foreign governments.”

5. 3D printing helps address critical needs

Desperate times call for desperate measures. While 3D printing was a growing industry receiving greater attention for its applications — both established and potential — in healthcare before COVID-19, the pandemic motivated many healthcare organizations to swiftly turn to the technology for help when they were confronted with shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical equipment.

As Becker’s Hospital Review notes, 3D printing has been used for a variety of applications, from making face masks, face shields, and test kit nasal swabs to transforming airway pressure machines into ventilators. The federal government is tapping into 3D printing’s value. The U.S. Department of Defense is using 3D printers to create emergency ventilators, among many other purposes.

Using 3D printing to create healthcare supplies brings risks, as the National Institutes of Health notes. “While it is possible to use 3D printing to make certain PPE, there are technical challenges that have to be overcome to be effective enough. 3D-printed PPE can be used to provide a physical barrier to the environment. However, 3D-printed PPE are unlikely to provide the same fluid barrier and air filtration protection as FDA-cleared surgical masks and N95 respirators.”

Despite these potential shortcomings, we can expect 3D printing to continue to play a role — potentially a significant one — as the battle against the COVID-19 virus continues. It wouldn’t be surprising if healthcare providers who have not used 3D printing in the past take a closer look at whether the technology has a place in their organizations.

By: Mike Jann
Medicus IT
www.MedicusIT.com
678-495-5908
MJann@medicusit.com

Confused About Masks?? You’re Not Alone

Categories: Articles

There is so much confusion about whether people should wear masks and why and what kind. Much of the confusion around masks stems from a lack of understanding about the two different functions of masks.

Masks can be worn to protect the wearer from getting infected or masks can be worn to protect others from being infected by the wearer. Protecting the wearer is difficult: It requires medical-grade respirator masks, a proper fit, and careful putting on and taking off. But masks can also be worn to prevent transmission to others, and this is their most important use for the population. If lowering the possibility of one person infecting another, the impact is amazing, so even a small reduction in those odds results in a huge decrease in deaths. Luckily, blocking transmission outward at the source is much easier.

The main way COVID-19 is spread is via droplets that fly out of our mouths—that includes when we speak, not just when we cough or sneeze. This is especially relevant for doctors and nurses who work with sick people all day. That’s why their gear is called “personal protective equipment,” or PPE, and has stringent requirements for fit in order to stop ingress—the term for the transmission of these outside particles to the wearer. Until now, most discussion about masks has been directed at protecting medical workers from ingress.

But the opposite concern also exists: egress, or transmission of particles from the wearer to the outside world. Up until now, less research has been conducted on egress, but controlling it is crucial to stopping the person-to-person spread of a disease. Obviously, population compliance becomes very important during a pandemic. Unfortunately, information online doesn’t properly distinguish between ingress and egress, which adds to the confusion.

The good news is that preventing transmission to others through egress is relatively simple. Research shows that even a cotton mask reduces the number of virus particles emitted from our mouths—by as much as 99%.

COVID-19 has been hard to control partly because people can infect others before they themselves display any symptoms—and even if they never develop any illness. Recent studies show that nearly half of patients are infected by people who aren’t coughing or sneezing yet. Many people have no awareness of the risk they pose to others, because they don’t feel sick themselves, and many never become ill.

If we could just keep our germs from being sent out every time we spoke or coughed, many fewer people would be infected. Masks help us do that. And because we don’t know for sure who’s sick, the only solution is for everyone to wear masks. My mask protects you; your masks protect me.

Models show that if 80 percent of people wear masks that are 60 percent effective, easily achievable with most masks, that’s enough to halt the spread of the disease. Many countries already have more than 80 percent of their population wearing masks in public, where most stores deny entry to unmasked customers, and more than 30 countries that legally require masks in public spaces. Mask use in combination with physical distancing is even more powerful.

A vaccine may take years, and in the meantime, we will need to find ways to make our societies function as safely as possible. Our governments can and should ensure medical workers have everything they need. But ordinary people are not helpless; in fact, we have more power than we realize. Along with keeping our distance whenever possible and maintaining good hygiene, all of us wearing just a mask could help stop this pandemic in its tracks.

 

Article by: Sheila Fox-Lovell

Shandy Creative Solutions

shandycreative.com

770.951.0305

sheila@shandycreative.com

 

 

 

 

Healthcare Services Team Thanks and Support to All Essential Workers

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Helpful Links and Tips for Business Support during COVID-19

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Helpful Resources:

Helpful Hints and Services:

We hope you find these links useful. If you need help in a particular area of expertise, please click on the subject matter expert on the left side of this newsletter.

You can also email or call us with any questions and we’ll help you find a resource.

info@healthcareservicesteam.com or 678-209-2020

3 Healthcare Technologies to Watch

Categories: Articles

Every year, we witness the development and adoption of new technologies that have the potential to significantly improve the quality of care and access to treatment. Here are three technologies generating significant buzz.

 

  1. Speech-Recognition Software

Healthcare professionals are no stranger to speech-recognition software, and it has already fundamentally changed the way professionals work in their practices. The next advancement for this technology is natural language processing (NLP). NLP is a “… branch of artificial intelligence that helps computers understand, interpret and manipulate human language,” and it’s becoming widely available.

One of the most prominent examples is Amazon’s recently announced “Amazon Transcribe Medical.” It’s a real-time, automatic speech recognition for healthcare professionals. This breakthrough is at the forefront of speech-to-text software and will help streamline the documentation process that electronic health records require.

 

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics applications have existed for a while. They already help physicians enhance the accuracy of their diagnosis and recommendations. Google has jumped in the game with the surprise reveal of its “Project Nightingale” last year. Google worked under the radar with a nationwide healthcare system to develop machine learning algorithms that help physicians navigate a database of diagnostics, treatments, and healthcare professionals. This search engine uses artificial intelligence (AI) to gather information on symptoms, biometrics, and health history that are inputted by the physician in real-time. The AI then compares that data with data from over 6 million health records to make recommendations on diagnosis, treatment, and specialist referrals.

 

  1. Telehealth

 Telehealth was a little used tool in the United States, generating less than 1% of U.S. medical claims in 2018, according to a 2019 FAIR Health white paper. COVID-19 has significantly increased the adoption of telehealth. Requests for virtual visits are surging across the country and clinicians are being forced to adopt telehealth technology on the fly. The good news is that telehealth products are generally simple to use. Our clients tell us that the biggest challenge is working with patients to establish telehealth connections.

Will the pandemic be the tipping point for telehealth? It will be very interesting to see how the adoption of telehealth further develops post-COVID-19.  We will be monitoring it very closely.

 

By: Mike Jann
Medicus IT
www.MedicusIT.com
678-495-5908
MJann@medicusit.com

 

Electronic payments look more appealing as people fear cash could spread coronavirus

Categories: Articles

Published Mon, Mar 16 20201:50 PM EDT

Kate Rooney@Kr00ney

Key Points

  • Perception of cash as a vehicle for coronavirus could change how consumers choose to pay in person.
  • Analysts say the “psychological factor” of people thinking of cash as “unclean” could prompt more adoption of things like Apple Pay and Venmo.
  • “People default to what’s familiar, unless there’s something to jolt you out of it,” says Jodie Kelley, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association. “Contactless payments have come up as a new option for consumers who are much more conscious of what they touch.”

Getty Images

 

The coronavirus outbreak is prompting second thoughts about reaching for cash.

As the number of cases tick up in the U.S., some are going cashless to avoid potential hygiene issues around handling banknotes. Regardless of  whether there’s a proven risk, the “psychological factor” of people thinking of cash as “unclean” could change how they choose to pay, according to Bain & Co. partner, Thomas Olsen.

“Merchants are encouraging people not to use cash, citing Coronavirus,” Olsen told CNBC. “We would expect some trigger to accelerate behavior from cash to digital payments.”

The U.S. Federal Reserve is also changing how it handles greenbacks. As a “precautionary measure,” the Fed increased the minimum holding period for bills coming from Asia and Europe to the U.S. to a 10-day minimum. The previous minimum was five days.

“The Fed’s staying in contact with the CDC to make sure we’re aware of the latest thinking, and right now it’s mainly person to person contact,” a Fed spokesperson said in a phone interview. “We’re prepared to modify that depending on the circumstances.”

Banks in China, where the outbreak started, were ordered to disinfect cash before issuing it to the public in an attempt to slow the virus spread. More than 169,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus as of Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. Chinese government officials said during a February press conference that banks would only be allowed to release new bills that had been sterilized.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization denied reports that the agency warned against using cash.

“WHO did not say banknotes would transmit COVID-19, nor have we issued any warnings or statements about this,” a WHOspokesperson said in an email. “We do recommend that people wash their hands regularly.”

Moving to mobile

The new virus fears could be enough introduce mobile payments to those who to otherwise didn’t see the appeal.

“People default to what’s familiar, unless there’s something to jolt you out of it,” Jodie Kelley, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association, said in a phone interview. “Contactless payments have come up as a new option for consumers who are much more conscious of what they touch.”

Before the outbreak, mobile payments in the U.S. had not come close to the global adoption rates. It seems odd considering the ubiquity of smartphones. But experts cite a deeply embedded legacy system and rewards cards as reasons Americans don’t tap their phones to pay. In China, by contrast, more than 80% of consumers used mobile payments last year, according to management consultancy Bain. In the U.S., major mobile payments apps had adoption rates of less than 10%.

The major players in U.S. mobile payments are mostly tech companies. PayPal is the leader among several competitors, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Venmo, Square Cash and Zelle, according to Bain. There are also a handful of newcomers looking to disrupt them. While they might get a boost as consumers adopt their mobile payment options, it likely hurts other, more profitable parts of their business.

“Coronavirus impact on fintech is a double-edged sword,” said Max Friedrich, analyst at ARK Invest. “Most payment providers also have exposure to payments in physical store.”

Major payment companies have already warned of the virus hitting U.S. spending. Visa, Mastercard and PayPal have all cut guidance due to the coronavirus. Banks have also taken a hit as the virus spreads. Shares of major U.S. banks have plunged in recent weeks as oil prices collapsed and falling bond yields sparked fear that the outbreak could lead to a recession.

On the consumer banking side, online options from traditional banks could see more adoption. As people self-quarantine they may avoid bank branches, too.

“I think this is an opportunity for a move to digital,” said Peter Gordon, executive vice president and head of emerging payments at U.S. Bank. Gordon added that Zelle, PayPal, and online banking could see a boost. “I believe this crisis will accelerate and move people to utilize all forms of digital financial services.”

‘Shock’ to the system

While the coronavirus impact is still unclear, India may offer a glimpse of what an unexpected, macro-economic event can do to people’s payment behavior.

E-payments in India soared after a surprise cash crunch in 2016. Nicolas Crouzet, an associate professor of finance at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and Filippo Mezzanotti, Kellogg assistant professor of finance, said it shows how quickly and drastically consumers might change their behavior.

“Although the cash crunch was temporary, it had a very persistent effect on use of electronic payments,” Crouzet told CNBC in a phone interview. “There are network effects to these electronic payments. The shock forced people to start using that technology.”

Crouzet and Mezzanotti looked at a free, e-payment system in India similar to PayPal’s Venmo. They saw a “huge increase in usage” after the cash crunch. The number of transactions nationwide jumped 150%, then roughly doubled each week over the next three weeks. Meanwhile, the number of credit cards and credit-card transactions stayed “fairly steady.”

Still, the Kellogg professors said it’s too soon to tell if the virus will be enough of a jolt to change the payment system in the long-run. The effect could go beyond payments. They said Zoom and other software companies that people are newly relying upon for at-home-work could also see similar trend to what happened with payments in India.

“It’s most likely going to be a temporary shock, but forces people to use the software for a while,” Mezzanotti said. “You could imagine that for a bunch of industries, it could have permanent positive effects.”

Article submitted by Jennifer Autian, contact her to learn more about electronic payment options 678-523-8760 or Jennifer@tcabiz.com

 

Eliminating Barriers to Virtual Care: Implementing Portable Medical Licensure

Categories: Articles

Published on: October 17, 2019 and in the January 2020 issue of The American Journal of Managed Care

By: Pooja Chandrashekar, AB; and Sachin H. Jain, MD, MBA

In this commentary, the authors argue for moving away from state-based medical licensure and describe policy, technological, and administrative changes necessary for implementing portable medical licensure.

ABSTRACT

Telemedicine offers a promising solution to the growing physician shortage, but state-based medical licensing poses a significant barrier to the widespread adoption of telemedicine services. We thus recommend a mutual recognition scheme whereby states honor each other’s medical licenses. Successfully implementing mutual recognition requires policy, technological, and administrative changes, including a federal mandate for states to participate in mutual recognition, consistent standards for using and regulating telemedicine, a mechanism to enable interstate data sharing, financial support for states, and a “state of principal license” requirement for physicians. Reforming the United States’ outdated system of state-based medical licensure can help meet patient demand for virtual care services and improve access to care in rural and medically underserved areas.

Takeaway Points

The United States’ antiquated system of state-based medical licensure creates unnecessary hurdles that reduce the potential of telemedicine to address the growing physician shortage and improve access to care in rural and medically underserved areas.

Mutual recognition, a scheme whereby states honor each other’s medical licenses, is a comprehensive potential solution to enhance license portability and eliminate barriers to virtual care.

Implementing mutual recognition necessitates policy, technological, and administrative reforms to protect patient safety, prioritize the financial well-being of states, and streamline physician reimbursement.

By 2030, the United States could see a shortage of nearly 120,000 physicians.1 Telemedicine can alleviate the impacts of this shortage by helping physicians make use of unused time and see additional patients, allowing patients to access a larger pool of physicians and connecting specialists to hospitals in rural and medically underserved areas.2 Although telemedicine is growing in use and acceptance, state licensing laws create false geographic barriers and pose a significant challenge to widespread adoption.

In the United States, state medical boards regulate physician licensing, creating a patchwork of inconsistent state licensure laws. With few exceptions, physicians must acquire and maintain a license for each state in which they practice medicine. This antiquated system of state-based medical licensure, originally enacted in the 19th century to reduce medical malpractice and protect patient safety, has profound implications for the promise of telemedicine to increase access to care for vulnerable populations and mitigate the impacts of the national physician shortage.3 In this commentary, we argue for moving away from state-based medical licensure and describe policy, technological, and administrative changes necessary for moving toward portable medical licensure.

Physicians must be licensed in each state where current and future patients are located, so physicians practicing telemedicine across state borders may be responsible for obtaining and staying compliant with up to 51 different state practices of medicine at any given time. There are some exceptions—for example, 10 states issue special purpose licenses for physicians who wish to come to their state for a limited time, scope, and purpose, such as to demonstrate a new technique or to educate medical students.3 However, these exceptions are few and far between.

The multistate licensure process is long and expensive; some states require physicians to pay annual license renewal fees, complete additional coursework, submit required documentation, and participate in interviews. Even after physicians complete these requirements, state medical boards can take several months to process licensing applications.3 Along with imposing substantial direct costs on physicians, state-specific licensing reduces competition that could lower healthcare prices, limits opportunities for physicians to gain experience by seeing more patients, and exacerbates health disparities.4 The impact of restricting telemedicine falls hardest on poor patients, the uninsured, and those who rely on state Medicaid programs, many of whom lack access to reliable transportation and cannot travel across state lines to see specialists.5

Over the past decade, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), a national nonprofit organization that represents 70 state medical and osteopathic boards, has advanced several proposals to enhance license portability and reduce regulatory barriers to telemedicine. These include the Uniform Application and the Federation Credentials Verification Service, which are both web-based applications that eliminate the need for physicians to reenter identifying information and credentials when applying for multiple licenses. Most recently, the FSMB instituted the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, an agreement to expedite the medical licensure process among member states. Physicians in good standing can freely practice in member states as long as they possess a “full and unrestricted” license in their state of principal license (SPL). To date, only 24 states have joined the compact.4

These proposals are a step in the right direction but far from the solution. They simply streamline—not eliminate—the process of applying for multiple medical licenses. Additionally, they do not reduce the cost to doctors of maintaining multiple medical licenses, estimated at $300 million each year.6 As a more comprehensive solution, we recommend a mutual recognition scheme whereby states honor each other’s medical licenses. This model has been successfully adopted in Europe and Australia and by the Veterans Health Administration, US military, and US Public Health Service.3 Furthermore, because standards for medical education apply nationwide and physician training requirements are set by federal agencies such as HHS, mutual recognition is warranted.

Proponents of the status quo argue that mutual recognition compromises patient safety, reduces revenues from state licensing fees, and complicates physician reimbursement. To address these challenges, mutual recognition should be accompanied by (1) a federal mandate, (2) consistent standards for using and regulating telemedicine services, (3) increased data sharing among states, (4) financial support for states, and (5) a requirement for physicians to select an SPL.

Federal Mandate

To reduce barriers to interstate medical practice, some states have attempted unilateral action. For example, in 2016, the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill with a provision allowing physicians licensed in other states to offer telemedicine services in Florida. However, the Florida Senate eliminated the provision. To avoid similar situations, Congress can require states to participate in mutual recognition. In fact, legal research suggests that federal action to promote interstate telemedicine is justified based on the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, which states that Congress has the power “to regulate commerce…among the several states.”4 Another benefit of instituting a federal mandate is a consistent set of definitions needed to support mutual recognition (eg, SPL).

Standards for Using and Regulating Telemedicine Services

Each state currently defines the “practice of medicine” differently, making it difficult to discern what constitutes an acceptable telemedicine consultation in any given state. Standards of practice, conduct, and behavior during telemedicine consultations—including requirements related to physician credentialing, patient education, and physician supervision of other healthcare professionals—vary widely among states.3 Thus, the shift to mutual recognition must be accompanied by efforts to establish consistent standards for using and regulating telemedicine services. These standards should be defined at the federal level.

Interstate Data Sharing

State medical boards are tasked with the responsibility of monitoring and disciplining physicians licensed in their state. However, due to gaps in information sharing among states, nearly one-third of physicians disciplined in one state are able to practice elsewhere without limitations, repercussions, or public disclosure. This is especially dangerous in a mutual recognition scheme in which out-of-state physicians routinely see and treat patients with little oversight.

For mutual recognition to promote patient safety, information on malpractice, medical errors, and license cancellation or suspension must be shared among states, made publicly available to patients, and used to enforce disciplinary actions across state borders. States should use resources like the National Practitioner Data Bank, established in 1986 as a central data repository for malpractice payments and state disciplinary actions, to conduct rigorous background checks before physicians participate in telemedicine consultations and deliver care across state borders.

Financial Support for States

Given the administrative and technological costs of implementing mutual recognition and dismantling the existing state-based medical licensure system, HHS could provide states with incentive payments for adopting mutual recognition agreements and eliminating state-specific licensing and renewal fees. Additionally, HHS could offer grant funding to enhance interstate data sharing systems and other functions that promote mutual recognition. While financial support for states is an important first step, mutual recognition can reduce healthcare costs in the long run as telemedicine services increase access to care for rural and underserved populations.

SPL

One challenge of mutual recognition is attributing physicians to any given state. This can complicate physician reimbursement for telemedicine services and reduce the effectiveness of state healthcare programs dependent on physician participation. A possible solution is requiring physicians to select a single SPL for questions regarding reimbursement and attribution. This requirement already exists for physicians participating in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. Because physicians would fall under the jurisdiction of their SPL’s medical board, the SPL could hold primary responsibility for collating information from interstate data-sharing systems and enforcing disciplinary action against errant physicians.

Conclusions

The environment of medicine is changing. More than three-fourths of patients want access to virtual care services, and patients across all age groups express a desire to use telemedicine to gain easier, more immediate access to physicians.7 To meet growing patient demand and solve our country’s critical physician shortage, we can and must reform our outdated state-based licensing system.

Author Affiliations: Harvard Medical School (PC), Boston, MA; CareMore Health System (SHJ), Cerritos, CA; Stanford University School of Medicine (SHJ), Stanford, CA.

Source of Funding: None.

Author Disclosures: Dr Jain is an employee of CareMore and Aspire Health, which are both multistate provider entities. Ms Chandrashekar reports no relationship or financial interest with any entity that would pose a conflict of interest with the subject matter of this article.

Authorship Information: Concept and design (PC, SHJ); drafting of the manuscript (PC); critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content (PC, SHJ); administrative, technical, or logistic support (SHJ); and supervision (SHJ).

Address Correspondence to: Sachin H. Jain, MD, MBA, CareMore Health System, 12900 Park Plaza Dr, Cerritos, CA 90703. Email: Sachin.Jain@caremore.com.

REFERENCES

  1. Dall T, West T, Chakrabarti R, Reynolds R, Iacobucci W. 2018 update: the complexities of physician supply and demand: projections from 2016 to 2030. The Heartland Institute website. heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/publications/aamc_2018_workforce_projections_update_april_11_2018.pdf. Published March 2018. Accessed November 18, 2018.
  2. Bodenheimer TS, Smith MD. Primary care: proposed solutions to the physician shortage without training more physicians. Health Aff (Millwood). 2013;32(11):1881-1886. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.0234.
  3. Kocher R. Doctors without state borders: practicing across state lines. Health Affairs Blog website. healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20140218.036973/full. Published February 18, 2014. Accessed November 18, 2018.
  4. Svorny S. Liberating telemedicine: options to eliminate the state-licensing roadblock. Cato Institute website. cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/liberating-telemedicine-options-eliminate-state-licensing-roadblock. Published November 15, 2017. Accessed December 9, 2018.
  5. Schwamm LH. Telehealth: seven strategies to successfully implement disruptive technology and transform health care. Health Aff (Millwood). 2014;33(2):200-206. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.1021.
  6. Vestal C. Why physician licensing is a problem for telemedicine. Governing website. governing.com/news/headlines/why-telemedicine-is-a-problem-for–.html. Published March 7, 2014. Accessed December 9, 2018.
  7. Heuser EZ. What do consumers want from virtual visits? Advisory Board website. advisory.com/research/market-innovation-center/research-briefs/2017/virtual-visits-briefing. Published April 27, 2017. Accessed December 9, 2018.

Article provided by Stephen Bradley

 

Best Tradeshow Giveaways for 2020

Categories: Articles

Personalized Notebooks & Promotional Pens

Company logo branded journals and pens are the perfect corporate show gifts for networking at trade shows, conferences, and recruiting events. After all, your prospective clients and business partners will need a way to write down all the valuable information on your offerings! Adding your custom printed logo to a custom notebook and writing utensil, ensures that you will leave a noteworthy impression on your target audience!

Custom Logo Portable Chargers

If you’re looking for a promotional item that your event attendees will actually use then this is probably the product for you. Seriously, will all the travel, seminars, and breakout meetings it’s nearly impossible to keep your battery charged… unless you’ve got a portable phone charger with your custom printed logo. Your customers will thank you when they’re not fighting for outlets at the airport on the way home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candy and Snacks with Your Logo

They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach and that principle holds true when it comes to promotional giveaways too! There’s no sweeter way to spread your brand than by adding your custom printed company logo to the wrappers and labels for some of your favorite candy and snack brands. Plus, they’re the perfect size treat to tide you over during those long-winded speeches.

Reusable Custom Water Bottles & Drinkware

This is another tradeshow giveaway that attendees will surely use! Personalized water bottles, coffee mugs, and tumbler cups are the ultimate way to stay hydrated (or caffeinated) all day long at trade shows. Custom drinkware is also an eco-friendly way to generate brand awareness too since it cuts back on plastic bottle consumption! Check out some of the custom drinkware options available from brands other than the expensive brands you’ve heard about. There is no reason to pay more for a brand name when other products work just as well.

Custom PopSockets & Phone Wallets

Phone accessories are all the rage when it comes to promotional items. Seriously, if your goal is to make the most impressions possible on your prospective clients, customers, or colleagues, a PopSocket or phone wallet with your company logo is the way to go. Just think, how many times do you look at your phone a day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personalized Tote Bags

It’s no surprise to see the tote bag on this list, as custom totes have been the go-to option for promotional bags for years. That’s because totes can easily hold all your trade show swag and they’re perfect for an embroidered company logo or custom design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Custom Printed Bottle & Can Koozies

If you want to affordably maximize impressions then personalized koozies are the way to go. These wholesale bottle and can coolers by Koozie are a cheap and easy way to get your corporate logo into as many hands as possible! Plus, we can all agree that warm beer and soda stinks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Custom Audio Devices

Company branded audio devices like custom Bluetooth speakers and wireless headphones are always a hit when it comes to premium promotional products. Part of this is simply because people just love getting new tech and gadgets, especially when it’s free. The other reason is that a speaker or a pair of headphones comes in handy on these business trips whether you’re jamming out in your hotel room or just blocking out the noise on your flight home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Company Branded Lip Balm

Trade show season is also chapped lip season. There’s very little humidity in the air in the winter, causing lips to get chapped, and even if your convention is in Las Vegas, there’s little reprieve from the dry air. That’s what makes lip balm and chap stick tubes with your custom printed company logo so fitting as trade show giveaways. An added benefit is the fact that your clients will probably use these for months on end and see your logo every time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reusable Straws

This is a very recent development and is turning out to be a great promotional idea. They tie into the move away from single-use plastic items. They are a bit witty and unusual and have some serious staying power.

With the state and local governments bringing awareness to using less plastic, straws and plastic bags are being targeted.

More and more restaurants have opted to “no straw” or a “metal straw” unless a plastic straw is requested. Plastic straws take up to 200 years to degrade and even then don’t fully return to the soil. They end up affecting wildlife, the ocean, and the air we breathe. It’s no wonder many restaurants are banning disposable straws altogether!

But, if you have ever gone out for a drink with friends and received one of those paper straws that taste funny and stick to your lip, you will get why people are carrying their own straws.

Straws are the promo product to use if you are trying to bring awareness to an eco-friendly brand or campaign. Silicone or stainless steel straws are the trendiest promo product. They have small little cleaning brushes and carrying cases.

A new addition to this listing…Hand sanitizer.

Corona virus has made a mark on the psyche of most people. The “wash your hands” message we see on nightly news has made us acutely aware

From the CDC website:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

 

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

 

The CDC has dedicated an entire page with instructions on how best to wash your hands and how hand sanitizer when and how to use it.

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

We also hear that hand sanitizer is unavailable or in low supply. That’s not the case with branded versions. There is huge variety of styles and sizes with various price points. This promo product is a win all around. 6 months ago hand sanitizer was just another inexpensive promo product. Obviously it’s grown in popularity for obvious reasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***Since this article was written, branded hand sanitizer’s availability is now maxed out! Most suppliers are no longer accepting orders for them, and if they are, the minimum quantities are in the thousands.***

Submitted by Sheila Fox-Lovell

Shandy Creative Solutions

770.951.0305

sales@shandycreative.com

Tech heavyweights, others call on HHS to release info blocking rules

Categories: Articles

Many Healthcare executives say the biggest change and pressure point for interoperability in 2020 and beyond will be around the rules allowing application programming interface (APIs) to access patient records. This could open the door for third party software to help patients access their own health information. This just might be the one of the main defining changes within the health IT space for the next five to 10 years.

However, many people are voicing concerns about patient privacy implications and the potential of enabling more open data sharing with third-party apps. Additionally, many EHRs are against the idea.

See more about this article by Nathan Eddy      ARTICLE

 

Article supplied by

Bill Steuer

GSG Compliance, LLC

Kari’s Law Compliance

Categories: Articles

On February 16, 2018 Kari’s Law was signed into federal law. Named for Kari Hunt Dunn, the law was championed by her family after she was killed and her 9 year old daughter was unable to reach emergency services because she didn’t know she had to dial “9” to reach an outside line before calling 911 at the hotel where they were staying.

Kari’s Law requires direct dialing of  “911” be enabled in enterprise environments and directs the FCC to develop necessary 911 calling regulations for the multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) that are commonly used for communications services in buildings, like hotels, hospitals, and most office campuses.

Bringing your business into compliance with new laws and regulations can sound daunting, but having the right partner to help guide your efforts can make the February 16, 2020 Kari’s Law compliance date far less intimidating.

No More “9” For Outside Line

Tragically, the adoption of Kari’s Law was a response to an emergency event in which a child was unable to reach emergency assistance because she did not know she had to dial “9” to reach an outside line to make a 911 call at a hotel. Kari’s law will require that any MLTS will allow callers to reach emergency services (911) without the need to dial a prefix for an outside number first. Thus, among other things, all enterprises utilizing MLTS will need to update their phone configurations accordingly.

Locations & Notifications

In addition to disallowing prefixes when calling 911, the new rules also aim to ensure help is sent precisely where it’s needed while also notifying designated personnel of the emergency.

Location Information

When you call 911 from your home, your registered street address is typically passed along to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), who in turn gives that information to emergency responders. But what about at your office? If there’s a medical emergency in a 4th floor conference room and you call 911 from that office (without having to dial a prefix!), how will they know where to go if they only have the street address?

In addition to the direct dialing and notification requirements of Kari’s Law, pursuant to another federal law called Ray Baum’s Act, the FCC is also creating rules to improve the dispatchable location information that is associated with emergency calls from MLTS. Specifically, the objectives of the new rules are for campuses that use MLTS to be able to pass along location information that would be more specific than a front desk or the administrative office and add such information as building, floor, suite, and even specific conference rooms potentially.

Notifications

In addition to removing the need to dial a prefix for an outside line when calling 911, Kari’s Law requires businesses using MLTS to also implement notifications to designated personnel when a 911 call has been made. These notifications can take the form of a phone call, email, SMS/text message, or conspicuous on-screen message.

Notifications will allow for designated personnel to know that there’s an emergency and even provide first aid if necessary. Most importantly, it allows them to quickly escort emergency personnel to where they’re needed, helping them through the front doors, elevators, and into keycarded areas depending on the particulars of any enterprise environment.

Don’t Go It Alone

We know this all sounds like a lot (and in some ways it is), so how can your business manage its legal obligations most effectively?

Well for one, you don’t have to do it alone — reach out to our 911 experts to find out how we can support your business’s 911 calling needs. For example, Clear Choice Telephones 911 solutions are well positioned to provide your business with the location and notification functionality you need.

Get Started Soon + Understand Vulnerabilities

Kari’s Law requires compliance by February 16, 2020. Getting started sooner will ensure that you’re not racing to find effective solutions at the last minute.

Create a checklist to understand what your business needs to do. Making sure that your entire team is on the same page will help make sure everyone is working towards the same goal (and that you’re not forgetting a crucial piece).

 

Article submitted by Paul Mancini, contact him to learn more.

678-387-3200 or paul@clearchoiceinc.com

 

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