Telemedicine News Brief

ATA Telemedicine News Brief
The following news items come from the most recent edition of the ATA Telemedicine News Brief, a weekly email digest of the most important news in telemedicine, telehealth, mHealth and remote medical technology. Gathered from leading press sources and industry journals, the News Brief is your one sources for all the top news of the week.

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Oct 22, 2014
On Oct. 28-30, ATA will co-host the first telemedicine technology exhibition at the Binhai International Convention and Exhibition Center in Tianjin, China, outside of Beijing. Over 3,000 attendees, including Chinese Government officials, industry opinion leaders, and renowned physicians from around the world are expected to attend this inaugural event. Keynoting the meeting will be representatives from the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China and officials from other government agencies, as well as senior executives from China Telecom, leading physicians and other influential figures. Participants from the U.S. include ATA President and CEO Yulun Wang, ATA past presidents Edward M. Brown, Bernard A. Harris, Jay H. Sanders and ATA CEO Jonathan Linkous.
Oct 22, 2014
ATA has partnered with Club Quarters, a network of full-service hotels designed for business travelers, to offer members low, fixed rates whether the destination city is full or not. Rates for ATA members start at $85/night. ATA Members may browse for hotels here. The password for ATA members is: ata.
Oct 22, 2014
Today Gary Capistrant, Senior Director of Public Policy, and Latoya Thomas, Director of State Telehealth Policy, will host a monthly state policy webinar to address the latest movement on telemedicine bills, as well as the proposed regulatory changes affecting telemedicine practice released by the Iowa, Ohio, and North Carolina medical boards. This event is free and open to ATA members only.
Oct 22, 2014
The Health Resources and Services Association is contributing to the growth of telehealth in rural areas by issuing $22.1 million in grant money to seven telemedicine programs across the country. The grants will support emergency care access, primary care, and infant care in areas where patients often have to travel long distances in order to meet face-to-face with providers.
Oct 22, 2014
Several of the nation's largest pharmacies and healthcare companies are urging lawmakers to expand the types of telehealth services that can be covered by government insurance programs, arguing that an outdated federal law is limiting the number of Americans who can access telemedicine. Under current law, only telemedicine services offered through rural hospitals and clinics are covered by Medicare, according to a section of the Social Security Act that regulates how Medicare reimburses for telemedicine.
Oct 22, 2014
Rafael Grossman, M.D., FACS writes, "Like many healthcare professionals, I have been thinking about Ebola for several weeks. In my particular case, I'm extremely alarmed and do worry that this current epidemic will spread fast and take an enormous toll on its way to be eventually defeated."
Oct 22, 2014
Krista Drobac writes, "When I was a young undergraduate at the University of Michigan, Professor John Kingdon attempted to help his students understand why policymakers take up particular topics at particular times. The most obvious reasons are disasters or other high-profile focusing events that demand action. But most of the time, policy ideas 'hit' when there is no one singular focusing event but a culmination of work by advocates to connect policy solutions to problems that the political realm is looking to address."
Oct 22, 2014
Google's recent announcement that it will provide telemedicine services was the crescendo to a swelling volume of recent interest: e.g., articles in VentureBeat, U.S. News, and The Economist. Telemedicine has been around for a generation. Why is this happening now? Rising use of telemedicine takes different forms. Traditionally telemedicine has played the biggest role in rural areas where visits to doctors are difficult and in consultations with specialists like radiologists and oncologists where value is created by connecting a patient to the best expert. This is expanding because broadband network coverage is improving, patients and doctors are more comfortable with computers, pressure for cost savings is increasing, and an emerging policy consensus favors telemedicine.
Oct 22, 2014
The Mayo Clinic has launched a pilot program that installs video kiosks in workplaces – sort of an unmanned version of the now-common retail express clinic. The Post-Bulletin has a report on the kiosks, which offer a video hookup with a health care provider; employees can use the service to get treatment for "minor, common health conditions," according to a statement from the Rochester, Minn.-based clinic.
Oct 22, 2014
PlushCare, a San Francisco-based telemedicine company, is veering away from the trend set by rivals in a couple of ways. In a phone interview with co-founder and CEO Ryan McQuaid, he said PlushCare wants to encourage the kind of meaningful relationships that people have with their primary care physician. In another point of difference, its partnership with California School-based Health Alliance has created an initiative called #Care4Care. For each visit, PlushCare will help a child in need get access to vaccinations, a checkup or other required health services, according to a company statement.