Here's The Latest in Health Care:
• As the COVID-19 pandemic isolates patients, virtual care has proven to be a lifeline for patients who need behavioral health services. In fact, at the Department of Veterans Affairs, providers have conducted 1.1 million virtual mental health visits with more than 350,000 veterans this year. The continued use of virtual services could help open up access to behavioral health treatment for millions of patients, leading to a potential breakthrough in overall outcomes and medical spending. Read More
• CMS will begin recouping accelerated Medicare loans it sent as COVID-19 relief as early as Monday, which could exacerbate the financial stress on hospitals and doctor's offices as the pandemic worsens. Despite pleading for loan forgiveness or relaxed repayment terms, providers that received loans won't receive Medicare reimbursement from their claims until the amount of the loan they received is reduced to zero. Read More
• The coronavirus pandemic has significantly increased demand for home-based medical care. Particularly for patients who are older and frail, this model of care has provided a viable alternative to urgent care centers and emergency rooms to reduce the risk of infection. Like telemedicine, the shift to more home-based medical care has been accelerated due to COVID-19 and is anticipated to continue to grow long after the pandemic. Read More
• COVID-19 has placed unprecedented stress upon the health care system, but we may not see the most significant impacts for a couple of years. Analyses predict a gap in Medicare revenues during the next three years of close to $150 billion. Also, expected reductions in state tax revenue will make sustaining current Medicaid program funding increasingly tricky. The pandemic has created a perfect storm to alter our system for financing health care long-term. Read More
Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.