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United States lags in telemedicine

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has issued recommendations that guide the use of telemedicine use in primary care settings.

“The recommendations balance the potential benefits and expanded use of telemedicine with the importance of maintaining the patient-physician relationship and patient safety,” Hilary Daniel from ACP, told The Hospitalistl.

Telemedicine, the use of technology to deliver health care services at a distance got its start in rural communities and federal health programs, but is now used in medical specialties and subspecialties.


Doylestown Health Partners, Humana creates Accountable Care Model

Doylestown Health Partners of Doylestown, PA, and Humana are working together to offer Medicare Advantage members in Bucks and Montgomery counties a new model for health care called accountable care.

The new approach, also known as value-based health care, is part of a national trend designed to create a more primary care-focused health system that delivers highly coordinated and personalized care.

Lankenau Medical Center pursues Level II trauma center accreditation

Following approval from the Main Line Health Board of Governors, Lankenau Medical Center (LMC), part of Main Line Health (MLH) in Bryn Mawr, PA, has submitted a letter of intent to pursue Level II Trauma Center accreditation with the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation (PTSF).

Following an assessment of community needs and discussions with key stakeholders and community leaders, LMC has identified a critical need to bring the specialized services associated with a Level II Trauma into the community.

HIMSS Analytics:Study shows uptick in familiarity with telemedicine

The HIMSS Analytics 2014 U.S. Telemedicine Study shows:

  • an uptick in adoption and increase in familiarity with telemedicine products and services (YOY)
  • 70% of respondents reported two-way video/webcam usage, making it the most utilized telemedicine product/solution
  • Detailed insight into respondents’ telemedicine/telehealth services five year outlook

Prime Healthcare Buys Mercy Suburban Hospital

Mercy Health System (MHS) of East Norriton, PA, entered into an agreement to be acquired by Prime Healthcare Services, a health system based in Ontario, Calif.

CHIME Responds to ONC, CMS Proposed Meaningful Use Stage 2

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) welcomes today’s announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC),on a proposed rule that would give healthcare organizations and professionals a greater chance to continue participation in the Meaningful Use program in 2014.
While the proposed changes are complex, CHIME believes the adjustments will ensure broad program participation and will enable providers to continue their Meaningful Use journey.

“If the government acts quickly to finalize the proposed rule, it will provide the flexibility needed for our members and their organizations to adequately optimize newly deployed technology and ensure success of the program,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO..
According to the proposed rule, Eligible Professionals, Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals will be allowed to use 2011 Edition Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT), 2014 Edition CEHRT or a combination of the two Editions to meet Meaningful Use requirements in 2014. Because providers are at various Stages and are scheduled to meet different Stage requirements in 2014, CMS and ONC also have proposed giving providers the option of meeting Stage 1 requirements or Stage 2 requirements.

However, CHIME is concerned that the timing of these changes may not afford hospitals a chance to take advantage of the proposed flexibility. Given the late date of this announcement, it is imperative that CMS and ONC take tangible steps as quickly as possible to finalize this rule to ensure the maximum positive impact for EHs and CAHs, which are nearing their final reporting period, beginning July 1.

CHIME will continue to evaluate the proposed rule to ensure full understanding of all its provisions, and if necessary, seek additional clarifications.

New York Hospital Getting Telemedicine Program

Clifton-Fine Hospital in Star Lake, N.Y., is getting a new telemedicine program. The Watertown Daily Times reports that Clifton-Fine Hospital is putting out the word that its services will expand with telemedicine.

As part of funding through the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, Clifton-Fine will be able to provide some advanced medical services in-house.

“I’m very excited about it, “ hospital Administrator Robert L. Seamon said. “Transportation is an issue for a lot of our patients.”

Specialized video equipment will allow the hospital’s primary care clinic to have the patient at Clifton-Fine while a specialist examines him or her from a hospital in Syracuse or Watertown, for example. A nurse stays with the patient and assists with the examination. The equipment is sensitive enough that a doctor on the other end can hear what is happening through a stethoscope or view a digital image of a rash.