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Health Affairs examines successes and missing links in connected health
Date:2/5/2014

this type of approach can help health care organizations achieve the triple aim of better health, better care, and lower costs. The authors advocate for changes to the policy environment to enable mHealth's fuller potential through measures such as increased interoperability with electronic health records, clearer regulatory guidance, and stronger accountability for population health.

"The doctor will see you now" has a whole new meaning in nursing homes and could bring cost savings. David C. Grabowski of Harvard Medical School and A. James O'Malley of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth conducted a randomized study of eleven facilities in a for-profit nursing home chain in Massachusetts to determine if switching from on-call physician care during off hours to two-way videoconferencing reduces hospitalizations and/or costs. They found that facilities that were more engaged in telemedicine could reduce hospitalizations and save Medicare a net $120,000 each per year. They suggest that the findings are useful for emerging models such as ACOs, managed care, and integrated care; and policy makers should consider ways to maximize the potential benefits of telemedicine by aligning incentives.

Want to increase telehealth adoption among U.S. hospitals? Look to state legislatures. Julia Adler-Milstein of the University of Michigan School of Information and coauthors determined that state policies are influential. According to their findings, states that wish to promote the use of telehealth should explore private payer reimbursement and relaxing licensure requirements to achieve that goal. Overall, they found that 42 percent of US hospitals had adopted telehealth by late 2012 with significant variation across the country: Alaska was the highest with 75 percent, and Rhode
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Contact: Sue Ducat
sducat@projecthope.org
301-841-9962
Health Affairs
Source:Eurekalert

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