Anesthesiologist Charged with Telemedicine Fraud
July 11, 2019 | Eric D. Fader | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid | Pharmaceuticals | Telehealth
A New York anesthesiologist was indicted on July 9 for conspiring with pharmacies and medical equipment suppliers to defraud the Medicare program and other insurers. Anna Steiner, also known as Hanna Wasielewska, allegedly wrote prescriptions for drugs and durable medical equipment for patients supposedly seen via telemedicine without ever having actually examined or evaluated the …
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WHO Issues Guidance on Digital Health Tools
April 25, 2019 | Cassandra Rivais DiNova | Electronic Health Records | Legislation and Public Policy | Medical Devices and Wearables | Telehealth
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued its first-ever recommendations on how digital health interventions may be used to improve health systems and patient care. Digital communication technologies covered by the report include apps, SMS text messages, and interactive voice response, and may involve the use of mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers. The guidance …
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Amazon’s Alexa Now HIPAA-Compliant
April 18, 2019 | Eric D. Fader | Cybersecurity | Electronic Health Records | HIPAA | Home Health | Hospitals | Medical Devices and Wearables | Private Insurers | Telehealth
Amazon announced in a blog post on April 4 that its Alexa voice assistant’s operating environment now complies with HIPAA. Companies that build functions, or skills, for Alexa will now be able to create skills that involve the transmission of users’ protected health information. The initial group of six participants in an invitation-only program includes …
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Imaging Equipment Vulnerable to Cyberattacks
April 4, 2019 | Eric D. Fader | Cybersecurity | Electronic Health Records | Hospitals | Telehealth
Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University Cyber Security Research Center in Israel have created malware that could exploit vulnerabilities in MRI and CT scanning equipment to alter patients’ images. The Washington Post discussed the research project in an April 3 article. In theory, by adding fabricated cancerous nodules to a MRI or CT scan, an attacker …
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Medtronic Warns of Defibrillator Hacking Vulnerability
March 27, 2019 | Eric D. Fader | Cybersecurity | Electronic Health Records | FDA | Legislation and Public Policy | Medical Devices and Wearables | Telehealth
Medtronic PLC self-disclosed last week to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that an unspecified problem in the wireless technology of 19 models of the company’s defibrillators makes them vulnerable to being hacked. The company said it is not aware of any cyberattacks, privacy breaches, or patient harm related to the 750,000 vulnerable devices. …
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CMS Finalizes Reimbursement for New Virtual Services
November 21, 2018 | Eric D. Fader | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Telehealth
The final 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule released on November 1, 2018 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) includes a section entitled “Modernizing Medicare Physician Payment by Recognizing Communication Technology-Based Services.” Effective January 1, 2019, physicians may be reimbursed for certain virtual interactions with patients using several new billing codes. One new …
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CMS to Pay Home Health Providers for Remote Monitoring
November 12, 2018 | Eric D. Fader | Home Health | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Telehealth
On Oct. 31, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule to update the payment system for home health agencies and improve access to remote patient monitoring technology. The rule will allow home health providers to build the costs of remote monitoring technology into their Medicare reimbursement beginning Jan. 1, 2020. …
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Garmin, Fitabase to Collaborate on Analysis of Wearables Data
October 25, 2018 | Eric D. Fader | Electronic Health Records | Medical Devices and Wearables | Telehealth
Garmin International, best known in the U.S. for its GPS navigation units, has announced a collaboration with Fitabase to analyze digital health data from Garmin’s wearable devices, including activity trackers and smartwatches. The alliance puts Garmin in direct competition with Apple and Fitbit, both of which use data from their devices in healthcare research. Fitabase, …
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The SUPPORT Act – Supporting Opioid Treatment via Telemedicine
October 23, 2018 | Ada Kozicz | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Pharmaceuticals | Telehealth
On October 3, 2018, Congress passed the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act. The SUPPORT Act is intended to combat the opioid and heroin crisis by reducing use and supply, encouraging recovery, supporting caregivers and families, and driving innovation and long-term solutions. It also includes the expansion …
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