Around the country, state law and policymakers have been responding to ATA’s recently released gaps reports that graded each state on their telemedicine policies. In addition to their state’s respective grades, many lawmakers have expressed interest in specific issues concerning coverage and reimbursement, privacy and security, and licensure portability. State lawmakers at the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislatures Executive Meeting were presented with the gaps reports last week.
In the past few weeks, other states have introduced and enacted legislation which would improve access to care via telemedicine. California Gov. Jerry Brown enacted AB 1174 which expands coverage of telemedicine-provided services under Medicaid by not requiring face-to-face interaction for teledentistry via store-and-forward. Michigan Sens. Rebekah Warren and Steven Bieda introduced SB 1096 which would amend the state’s telemedicine parity law and include coverage for “asynchronous store-and-forward”. Currently, Michigan is one of three states that cover interactive audio-video only as a condition of their parity law. New Jersey lawmakers have introduced Assembly companion parity bills, A 3675 and A 3674, which would require coverage for telemedicine-provided services in a healthcare facility comparable to that of in-person services. The bills define telemedicine as the use of live interactive audio and video, and precludes the use of audio-only telephone, e-mail and fax. Health plans affected by this legislation include private managed care and state employee health plans, as well as Medicaid fee-for-service and managed care plans.
Panasonic Corporation announced it will launch a tablet-based telehealth service in November called On4Today, a non-clinical telehealth service provided to long-term care and assisted living facilities. Designed as an ‘always on’ service, On4Today bridges potential communication gaps between assisted living facility residents and their families, friends and care providers. It delivers connectivity and easy-to-use communications intended to improve staff efficiencies, reduce anxiety for residents, promote peace of mind among family and friends and encourage stronger levels of resident engagement.
The new Health and Wellness Solutions business group is part of Panasonic’s ongoing business transformation and will deliver technology solutions to the healthcare market.
With the launch of On4TodayTM, Panasonic is demonstrating the types of solutions and new generation of networked health information technologies that are enabling providers to deliver cost-effective services. Health and Wellness Solutions will leverage Panasonic’s engineering roots and technology portfolio to address the challenges associated with individual and population health management.
How It Works
On4TodayTM is delivered on a tablet and the tablet connects through WiFi. The lightweight device is portable and gives residents options to manage daily activities with calendar appointments and reminders, view photos and videos, and participate in video chats and messaging. Large font size, audio and visual prompts and touch screen scrolling features simplify site navigation and message access. The service is intuitive and can be customized, depending on long care or assisted living facility needs or individual preferences.
“Quality and reliability are essential attributes for any long-term care or assisted living facility,”said Bob Dobbins, Vice President, New Business Development, who leads Panasonic’s new Health and Wellness Solutions group. “Panasonic’s health and wellness solutions reinforce the importance of those characteristics by bringing advanced technology into the care continuum to create more meaningful interactions, generate higher levels of resident well-being and reduce facility costs.”
The Cleveland Clinic is the first hospital system to try out HealthSpot Inc.’s vision for placing its telemedicine booths in retail pharmacies for easy access to the public, and the Mayo Clinic is testing another target market of employer health.
SOURCE October 8, 2014 Doctor Gratis lets Android and Blackberry users consult with doctors online through the app, as well as access information about health issues. This edition of the app features content about Ebola.