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Here's The Latest in Health Care:


The United States has surpassed yet another devastating milestone in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; 250,000 Americans have now died from the virus. Case numbers are exploding at the beginning of what is expected to be a difficult winter of illness in America. Hotspots are popping up all across the country and new highs for the number of cases and hospitalizations continue to rise significantly.  Read More

Patients’ overall health continues to suffer due to the pandemic, with more than a third of primary care physicians reporting that their patients with chronic conditions are in noticeably worse health resulting from the pandemic. A primary driver for the increase in negative health burdens is due to delayed or inaccessible care during the pandemic.   Read More

As COVID-19 hotspots spring up across the country, hospitals must once again grapple with how to take care of patients while keeping other services open safely. Many health systems have completely stopped or significantly reduced scheduling elective procedures in order to free up beds for COVID-19 patients.  Read More

• The FDA has approved the emergency use of the first rapid coronavirus test that can be performed entirely at home and delivers results in 30 minutes. This represents an important step in efforts to expand testing options for COVID-19 beyond health care facilities and testing sites. However, the test will require a prescription, likely limiting its initial use.  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.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


The U.S. surpassed 10 million total COVID-19 cases this week, just 10 days after cases topped 9 million. Due to the steady increase in cases, experts predict the winter surge will be the largest, and perhaps deadliest, yet. In fact, the country could be on track to record one million daily coronavirus cases by the end of 2020 if average cases continue to grow 34 percent from week to week, as they are currently.  Read More

In the past couple of weeks, CMS has released or proposed five new rules concerning issues related to new payment reforms, price transparency regulations, and coverage of a COVID-19 vaccine. Included in these new rule updates are expanded add-on payments for new and innovative equipment and supplies to certain home dialysis machines.  Read More

A day after the FDA allowed emergency use of an antibody that helps the immune system fight COVID-19, CMS announced Medicare will cover all costs for the antibody infusions during the public health emergency. While Medicare won't pay for antibody products that providers get for free, they will pay providers to administer them.  Read More

Seriously ill COVID-19 patients are starting to fill up hospital beds in record numbers, and health care workers are bracing for even more patients to come in the wake of skyrocketing coronavirus infections. But the burden on hospitals is not evenly spread. Some communities, particularly in the West and Midwest are particularly hard-hit, with hospitals in these areas already brushing up against their capacity to deliver care.  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.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


• The U.S. set a new single-day high for COVID-19 cases this week, surpassing 103,000 in one day. Experts have warned that we are entering the "deadliest wave” of the pandemic as cold weather sets in and people begin hunkering down indoors. So far close to 9.5 million Americans have been infected and over 233,650 have died.  Read More

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a new proposed rule to review regulations and eliminate those that are outdated or no longer needed. This proposal, the boldest and most significant regulatory reform effort ever undertaken by HHS, would require the department to review regulations every ten years and sunset burdensome regulations unless their necessity is adequately demonstrated.  Read More

While telehealth usage has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to expanded insurance coverage and relaxed restrictions, the future of virtual care in the U.S. health care system will rely on permanent reimbursement practices and continued tech innovations. CIOs from hospitals and health systems across the country share their predictions for what telehealth will look like at this time next year.  Read More

While efforts have been on-going for years to provide further access to health information and create a smoother process in delivering care, COVID-19 helped expose the lack of interoperability in the U.S. health care system, underscoring the need for payers, providers, and federal agencies to work together. In 2021, CMS is set to introduce a new Interoperability and Patient Access final rule, aimed to empower patients and improve interoperability, while reducing the burden on payers and providers.  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.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


With potential vaccines on the horizon, CMS says that Medicare and most private insurers will cover FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines at no cost to beneficiaries. The interim final rule also implements parts of the CARES Act to ensure swift coverage of a COVID-19 vaccine by most private health insurance plans without cost-sharing during the course of the public health emergency.  Read More

Federal agencies warn that cybercriminals are escalating their extortion attempts against the health care sector even as hospitals are facing a nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases. Several U.S. hospitals have already been targeted in ransomware attacks this week as malicious groups are expected to continue attacks that could lead to data theft and disruption of health care services.  Read More

The future potential of telehealth may hinge on how it's reimbursed. While virtual care may be popular among both practices and patients, if providers can't get paid for their services, it will make it extremely difficult to continue to provide them. Most experts believe telehealth is here to stay, but in what capacity will depend largely on establishing clear standards and reimbursement guidelines.  Read More

Large retail companies like Walmart, Walgreens and CVS are increasingly offering health care services at their locations across the U.S. as well as online. Retail clinics have a big opportunity to capitalize on the consumer demand for services such as disease prevention, chronic disease management, wellness and behavioral health, while also streamlining care delivery.  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.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, health system executives had to shift their priorities to fast-track innovations such as virtual care services and artificial intelligence tools. But the quick implementation of telehealth solutions in response to the pandemic highlighted areas needing improvement—in particular, integration gaps, especially with platforms not built for healthcare workflows.  Read More

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to running a successful physician practice, but a new report has found that top-performing organizations have a couple of characteristics in common. Practices performing the best related to operations, profitability, productivity, and value invested more in staff, facilities, and operations compared to the median of all multispecialty practices.  Read More

Surgery has undergone a great deal of fluctuation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As the country grappled with a relatively unknown virus and raced to learn more about it, hospitals suspended elective and non-urgent surgeries. But as states reopened, surgery service lines did as well, and now many organizations are working to adjust surgery services to the new normal.  Read More

According to a recent survey, health system execs expect it will be at least 2022 before their operations return to anything resembling a pre-pandemic "normal." Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they were moderately or extremely concerned about the financial viability of their organizations in the absence of an effective COVID-19 vaccine or treatment.  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.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


Once again CMS is expanding the telehealth services covered by Medicare during the COVID-19 public health emergency, as coronavirus cases surge in large swaths of the country. This time adding 11 new virtual care services, including cardiac and pulmonary rehab. Since the start of the pandemic, the agency has now added more than 135 new virtual care services to what's covered under fee-for-service Medicare.  Read More

Mental health issues are spiking during the COVID-19 pandemic as Americans face enormous social and economic stress. At the same time, access to behavioral healthcare—which had already been limited due to resource shortages and stigma—is even more limited. The AMA is spearheading an effort to help make behavioral health more accessible by providing support to physicians working to combine mental and physical health services in their medical practices.  Read More

Scientists have confirmed a 25-year-old Nevada man was infected twice with the coronavirus. This is the first confirmed case of reinfection with the virus in the U.S. and the fifth confirmed reinfection case worldwide. The cases underscore the importance of social distancing and wearing masks even if previously infected with the virus.  Read More

This week CMS detailed relaxed repayment terms for providers and suppliers that received COVID-19 loans. Among the changes include lowering the interest rate from 10 to four percent and delaying recoupment to one year from the issuance date of the accelerated or advance payment.  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.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


The AMA announced new CPT codes for multi-virus tests used to detect COVID-19 and flu with a single test. The update was published to the new code set, which was approved for immediate use, and also includes editorial revisions for reporting medical services that have become part of the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read More

Telehealth adoption snowballed in the early months of the pandemic as patients turned to digital channels for needed healthcare. Prior to the pandemic, the majority of virtual visits were for on-demand urgent care. But this year, the volume of virtual specialty and scheduled visits outpaced urgent care, suggesting telehealth is becoming normalized across more fields and use cases.  Read More

The coronavirus has fundamentally changed the landscape of medicine, prompting some physicians to retire before they had planned. Some have had to close their practices because so many of their patients stopped going to the doctor once the pandemic began, while others can’t continue to provide care due to the increased risk to their own health or the health of their families.  Read More

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is threatening to withhold U.S. funding from hospitals that fail to comply with federal requirements on reporting data about Covid-19 and influenza patients. Among the data requested from hospitals are the number of Covid-19 patients in each hospital and the availability of medical equipment such as ventilators and protective gowns for employees.  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.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


Telehealth has been around for a long time, but only recently has it gained the critical mass that most have long expected. Over the past six months, as hospitals and health systems have pursued telemedicine and remote patient monitoring programs, they've had to address some learning curves and growing pains, such as how to cultivate clinician buy-in, adjust to new workflows, iron out IT challenges, educate patients, manage new data streams, safeguard security and more.  Read More

The coronavirus tightened its grip on the American heartland, with infections surging in the Midwest. The U.S. is averaging more than 40,000 new cases a day. While that's dramatically lower than the peak of nearly 70,000 over the summer, the numbers remain worrisome. The nation's death toll also eclipsed 200,000 last week, by far the highest in the world.  Read More

Federal agencies have charged 345 people across the country, including more than 100 providers and four telehealth executives, with submitting more than $6 billion in fraudulent claims to payers. Of that, a whopping $4.5 billion was connected to telemedicine schemes. More than 250 medical professionals had their federal healthcare billing privileges revoked for being involved in the scams.  Read More

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven rapid adoption of digital health technologies, and doctors see the potential for innovations like augmented intelligence to play a bigger role in care delivery in the next five years. But to ensure the digital health boom lasts beyond the pandemic, physicians say these technologies need to address their biggest needs around interoperability and improved workflow.  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.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 200,000 this week, by far the highest confirmed death toll from the virus in the world. Deaths continue to climb rapidly and a widely cited model from the University of Washington predicts the U.S. toll will double to 400,000 by the end of the year as schools and colleges reopen and cold weather sets in.  Read More

The economic fallout of COVID-19 may accelerate acquisitions of independent practices unless practice leaders consider new ways of doing business. Evidence shows those organizations leveraging value-based contracts to implement an advanced primary care model were well-positioned to pivot during the pandemic. Because providers do not rely on volumes to keep the doors open, they did not experience the same revenue losses as traditional practices.  Read More

• Telemedicine is here to stay, and clinics that perfect the virtual patient experience will undoubtedly experience better patient outcomes. For telehealth to be effective there needs to be a good balance between addressing patient learning curves, implementation issues, and insurance limitations, with considerations for physician burnout and workflow concerns.  Read More

• Walmart is piloting a drone delivery service of home sample collection kits for COVID-19 in partnership with Quest Diagnostics. Once the kit is delivered, the patients can perform a nasal swab in their homes and send the sample to Quest Diagnostics using an included prepaid shipping label for a touch-free experience.  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.

Source: Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


There’s nothing more frustrating than rendering services and not being paid. Sometimes the problem can come down to a single code. Brushing up on common coding mistakes helps avoid costly recoupments and denials, so coding experts have weighed in on how physicians can maintain compliance and collect all the revenue to which they’re entitled. Read More

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, Americans are avoiding preventive care, including vaccinations and colonoscopies. While care that could not be avoided, such as childbirth in hospitals continued, demand for care that could be delayed has declined significantly. While some health experts had predicted the declines would be followed by a spike in demand for preventive care, that has not happened yet.  Read More

Up and down the West Coast, hospitals and health facilities are reporting an influx of patients with problems most likely related to smoke inhalation. As fires rage, smoke and ash are making even ordinary breathing difficult. With flu season also on the horizon, it creates a major problem as facilities already strapped for testing supplies and personal protective equipment must first rule out COVID-19 in these patients. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms are the same as those caused by the virus.  Read More

Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) floated some new policy ideas for keeping telehealth coverage and reimbursement expansions after the pandemic. One such idea is to allow clinicians who participate in Advanced Alternative Payment Models (A-APMs) to continue providing telehealth services to patients outside of rural areas and to patients in their homes.  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.