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Here's The Latest in Health Care:


Endocrinologists and gastroenterologists were the specialty clinicians that used telemedicine the most last year during the onset of the pandemic. The new study comes as the health care groups are pressing Congress to make some of the flexibilities given by the federal government for telehealth during the pandemic permanent.  Read More

The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed the health care business model, causing providers to rely more on scale and efficiency to maintain financial stability in 2021 and beyond. Remote work and the explosion of virtual care are leading executives to rethink the number of in-person care sites they need to deliver high-quality, patient-friendly, affordable care.  Read More

Telemedicine utilization by condition and medical specialty during the early phase of the coronavirus pandemic sheds an interesting light on deferred care according to new research. Despite the uptick in telemedicine use, overall medical visits dropped substantially, which raises concern about deferred care.  Read More

Interoperability continues to improve in health care, with 67 percent of providers in 2020 reporting they often or nearly always have access to needed records, up from 28 percent in 2017, according to a recent KLAS Research and College of Healthcare Information Management Executives report. The EHR interoperability trends report analyzed data from a survey of healthcare executives to determine the top 10 themes in health data sharing among 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:


As part of a broader strategy to ramp up vaccinations, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will allow doctors and nurses that recently retired or are inactive to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. In addition, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act will be amended to permit anyone licensed to vaccinate to administer a shot across state lines.  Read More

Just as revenue cycle executives are coming up for air from the CMS price transparency mandate, they have another date to add to their compliance calendar. On January 1, 2022, the No Surprises Act goes into effect, which will protect patients from surprise medical bills and establishes an independent dispute resolution process for payers and providers.  Read More

During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital and health system CEOs have faced unprecedented challenges related to the deadly and unpredictable coronavirus, many of which have led to some positive unintended outcomes such as enabling a rapid acceleration of organizational learning and adaptability.  Read More

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made corrections to the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule, opening the door to improved reimbursement for remote patient monitoring. CMS amended a requirement for RPM coverage that had drawn criticism from telehealth advocates, clarifying how healthcare providers will be paid for using RPM platforms to gather physiologic data from patients at home.  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:


While millions wait for a lifesaving shot, the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus continues to soar upward with horrifying speed. This week the official death count reached 400,000 — a once-unthinkable number. In fact, more than 100,000 Americans have died due to the pandemic in just the past five weeks alone.  Read More

The more packed a hospital intensive care unit (ICU) is with COVID-19 patients, the greater likelihood those patients will die, according to a chilling new study. COVID-19 initially overwhelmed hospitals when it all but shut down the United States in early spring, which is also when mortality rates peaked for COVID-19 patients in the ICU. But as the infection curve was bent later in the spring and summer and hospital capacity freed up, mortality rates declined significantly.  Read More

Vaccination is widely viewed as essential to controlling the coronavirus through herd immunity, which occurs when a large proportion of a population develops resistance to infection, yet, many people are reluctant to be vaccinated for reasons including misinformation and cultural barriers. Clinicians will need to take a multipronged approach to communicate with their patients about coronavirus vaccination.  Read More

Managing staff shortages, as well as mental health concerns, will be top priorities for physicians' groups as they head into 2021, according to a new report by MGMA. They also identified telehealth in particular as an area that will remain a major focus in the coming year, with 97% of practices reporting they've expanded telehealth services in the past year.  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 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has extended the public health emergency surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic until April, extending key waivers for regulations on a variety of topics such as telehealth reimbursement. This is now the fourth time HHS has expanded the emergency period.  Read More

In an effort to give Medicare beneficiaries quicker access to the latest medical technology, Medicare will now cover all medical devices designated by the FDA as a "breakthrough" technology. The final rule will cover the use of these devices for four years after it receives FDA market authorization, while CMS evaluates whether to cover them permanently.  Read More

According to the health care management advisory firm KaufmanHall, the COVID crisis has shushed but not silenced hospitals’ talks on mergers and acquisitions in 2020. In fact, there are signs the pandemic may be spurring rather than slowing such deals.  Read More

CMS now requires U.S. hospitals to post a list of their standard charges, including rates negotiated with private payers, on a publicly available website in both machine-readable and consumer-friendly formats. While it sounds simple, price transparency compliance is proving to be a challenge for many hospitals. Implementing a few key strategies can help hospitals stay ahead of the curve and avoid penalties under new CMS requirements.  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:


Two key variables in understanding the stress to the health system due to new COVID-19 hospitalizations are the availability of staff and intensive care unit (ICU) beds. A new study found a 90% increase in hospitals reaching ICU capacity from July through December, with rural hospitals facing the biggest capacity issues.  Read More

CMS plans to adopt the AMA's code revisions and accompanying guideline changes for the E/M office or outpatient visit codes. Among the changes, health care practitioners will need to familiarize themselves with a new medical decision-making table as well as a new definition of "time" for office or outpatient visit services.  Read More

Add heart attack patients to those who may find significant value in using telehealth as a post-discharge treatment tool for recovery. A recent study showed no significant differences in safety events or medication adjustment when using telehealth with low-risk patients.  Read More

In an effort to accelerate inoculation efforts, which have fallen behind initial targets, HHS will dole out more than $22 billion to states and local jurisdictions by mid-January to support COVID-19 containment and lagging vaccination rollouts. According to the CDC, as of Wednesday morning, only 5.3 million Americans had received their first shot out of 17 million doses distributed.  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: HealthExec

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


With the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines now being administered across the United States, questions abound about who can safely get them. Expect answers to these questions to evolve as the vaccines go into broader use, but here’s what is known so far, and what experts at or advising the CDC recommend regarding their use at this point.  Read More

Experts say that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital health and virtual care forward by at least three years. The industry has fast-forwarded in areas like telehealth, remote monitoring, and artificial intelligence, which is predicted to cause disruptive changes that will significantly impact the technology market. Many of these experts, for example, expect that communication and collaboration tools will explode in 2021.  Read More

Three of the most influential associations in U.S. health care joined forces this week to ask all health care workers to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, and American Nurses Association present their plea in a short open letter, addressing the audience as fellow workers whose duties transcend their job descriptions.  Read More

HHS began distributing the third phase of COVID-19 relief funding for providers this week, with $24.5 billion to go to more than 70,000 providers through the end of January. This phase opened applications up to providers who had previously received or been rejected for, provider relief funds as well as behavioral health providers and those who began practicing between January and March of this year.  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:


Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine passed a critical milestone this week when a panel of experts formally recommended that the Food and Drug Administration authorize the vaccine. The agency is likely to do so within days, giving health care workers and nursing home residents first priority to begin receiving the first shots early next week.  Read More

The U.S. passed yet another gruesome pandemic milestone, with states reporting more than 3,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for the first time. The extraordinary death count represents an all-time high for the pandemic, which is also expected to pass the tragic point of 300,000 deaths in the coming week.  Read More

No search for an open COVID-19 testing center. No waiting in line. No need to even venture outside the house, in fact. That's the promise of LabCorp's Pixel test, which has secured an FDA green light for home delivery without a prescription, the first test to reach that milestone.  Read More

HHS has proposed changes to HIPAA rules that aim to improve care coordination and give patients more access to their health information. The goal is to enable greater family and caregiver involvement in the care of individuals experiencing emergencies or health crises and boost flexibilities for disclosures in emergency or threatening circumstances.  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 pair of alarming coronavirus records this week, surpassing 200,000 new infections and topping 100,000 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, the first time the country has reached either metric in a single day. The CDC warns the worst might still be ahead, predicting the death toll could reach 450,000 by February.  Read More

CMS further cemented the use of telehealth in Medicare by permanently allowing Medicare providers to use telehealth to carry out home visits for evaluation and management services and some visits for people with cognitive impairments. It also temporarily continues telehealth services for emergency department visits and other services with an eye toward making them permanent.  Read More

Federal officials say they predict vaccinating as many as 100 million people by March. This announcement is based on the anticipated vaccine supplies from Pfizer and Moderna, the two vaccine frontrunners. While neither vaccine has yet to receive emergency approval from U.S. regulators, officials expect 20 million Americans to be vaccinated by the end of the year.  Read More

CMS is giving hospitals facing a surge of COVID-19 patients expanded flexibility to care for Medicare patients in their homes. The new Acute Hospital Care At Home program will allow Medicare patients to be admitted into the program from emergency departments and inpatient hospital beds. The program will require in-person screening protocols to assess both medical and non-medical factors before care can begin at home.  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 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.