Category Archives: Digital Health

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Joint Commission Introduces New Accreditation Standards for Telehealth Services

Editor’s note:  Following publication of our blog post, The Joint Commission contacted Health Care Law Today on September 14, 2017 and informed us it will not move forward at this time with its proposed ambulatory telemedicine standards. The Joint Commission said it continues to evaluate options, and additional comments may be sent to Mary Brockway, … Continue reading this entry

Participate in Foley’s Telemedicine & Digital Health Survey

As readers of Health Care Law Today, we would very much value your feedback to our Telemedicine & Digital Health Survey. The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete and individual survey responses will be kept confidential. To participate, click here or paste the following link into a web browser: https://research.zarca.com/r/dhif3e… Continue reading this entry

Medicare Payments for Telehealth Increased 28% in 2016: What You Should Know

Telehealth providers can celebrate another successful year of growth, as CMS reported a 28% increase over total 2016 payments for telehealth services under the Medicare program. Providers continue to successfully integrate telehealth services into their traditional health care delivery approaches, and are realizing payment opportunities both within the Medicare FFS program and in other sources … Continue reading this entry

Alaska’s Telemedicine Business Registry: What You Need to Know

telemedicine business registry
Alaska’s Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development has finalized new regulations to create a special Telemedicine Business Registry for health care providers delivering telemedicine services in the Frontier State. The regulations in Title 12, Chapter 02 of the Alaska Administrative Code were effective on April 28, 2017 and implement provisions of Alaska SB 74 … Continue reading this entry

OIG to Audit Medicare Telehealth Services: What You Need to Know

medicare telehealth
For what may be the first time, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recently announced a new project to review Medicare payments for telehealth services. Accordingly, providers who bill the Medicare program for telehealth services may expect to have those claims reviewed to confirm the patient … Continue reading this entry

Is Telemedicine Change Coming to Congress? The Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2017 Among Several New Federal Bills

Congress is reconsidering a nationwide telehealth coverage bill, named the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2017, designed to introduce an incremental, though significant, expansion of coverage for telehealth services under the Medicare program. The bipartisan Act is sponsored by Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA), with seven co-sponsors to date (four Republican, three Democrat). If enacted, the … Continue reading this entry

Prescribing Controlled Substances Without an In-Person Exam: The Practice of Telemedicine Under the Ryan Haight Act

Editor’s Note: This article is the second in a series addressing telemedicine prescribing and controlled substances, designed to give some much needed practical guidance and orientation to established healthcare providers, hospitals, and entrepreneurs alike. The first article addressed federal rules for prescribing controlled substances under the Ryan Haight Act.  Subsequent articles will discuss the prescribing … Continue reading this entry

Telemedicine Prescribing and Controlled Substances Laws

Editor’s Note: This article is the first of a series addressing telemedicine prescribing and controlled substances, designed to give some much needed practical guidance and orientation to established health care providers, hospitals, and entrepreneurs alike. As providers become more comfortable with delivering care via telemedicine, telehealth, and digital health technologies, some are exploring services beyond … Continue reading this entry

Key Takeaways From FHA’s Health Law Summit

Foley recently co-hosted the Florida Hospital Association’s (FHA) 2017 Health Law Summit, which brought together more than 40 in-house attorneys and compliance officers from FHA member hospitals to discuss the current state and future direction of the health care industry.… Continue reading this entry

The Joint Commission Bans Text Messaging for Patient Care Orders

Telemedicine
The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals and other health care organizations, recently announced it will not permit hospitals and other health care organizations to use secure text messaging platforms to transmit orders. The announcement is the most recent in a back-and-forth series of guidance statements regarding the use of secure messaging in hospitals and other … Continue reading this entry

Top 5 Takeaways from New Michigan Telehealth Law

Michigan is ringing in 2017 with a new telehealth law. Governor Rick Snyder signed into law SB 0753 on December 21, 2016, imposing new telehealth practice standards, including restrictions on prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine. The new Michigan telemedicine law will take effect March 21, 2017 (a 90-day delay from signature to effective date).  Previously, … Continue reading this entry

Wisconsin Issues New (and Improved!) Telemedicine Rules

Following a public hearing last month, the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board approved new rules for the practice of telemedicine.  The rules differ notably from its first set of rules proposed in 2015 and considered at a public hearing in January 2016.  After receiving criticism on its first set of rules, the Board withdrew them for … Continue reading this entry

Medical marijuana might be legal, but you won't get a prescription this way

Below is an article that originally appeared in the South Florida Business Journal, featuring Foley Partner, Nate Lacktman. The Florida Board of Medicine proposed on Dec. 8 a regulation that will, at least for the foreseeable future, divert the paths of two industries emerging into Florida’s business mainstream: medical marijuana and telemedicine. It’s been proposed … Continue reading this entry

Florida: No Telemedicine Exams for Medical Marijuana

The Florida Board of Medicine issued a proposed amendment, on December 8, 2016, to its telemedicine regulations to clarify that physicians may not order medical cannabis or low-THC cannabis via telemedicine. The Board’s current telemedicine rules were originally issued in the Spring of 2014. The amendment would add a new Section (5) to the Standards for Telemedicine … Continue reading this entry

10 Things You Need to Know About Health Care Bankruptcies in 2017

The coming year will likely continue to be a tumultuous year for health care providers, suppliers, and payers, as they adapt to meet new challenges and market forces, particularly in light of the open questions as to the viability and continued existence of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and recent comments made by members of … Continue reading this entry

Update: Arkansas (Again!) Medical Board Approves Telemedicine Rules

Author’s note: Yesterday’s post included a reference to an “originating site” definition under Regulation 38.  This post below corrects that reference, noting how the proposed regulation does not change the statutory definition of originating site. The Arkansas State Medical Board on Thursday voted unanimously to pass Regulation 38 establishing key definitions for telemedicine practice in the … Continue reading this entry

ONC Releases Enhanced Regulatory Requirements to Improve Transparency for Health Information Technology Products

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) has operationalized regulatory requirements to improve transparency in health information technology (“health IT”). The regulations, which were finalized in October 2015, clarified in December 2016, and effective as of January 14, 2016, apply to all health IT products and services certified to the 2014 Edition … Continue reading this entry

Ransomware Reporting Requirements & New HHS Guidance

New York Office of the Medicaid Inspector General Releases 2014-2015 Work Plan
Ransomware is malicious software that denies access to data, usually by encrypting the data with a private encryption key that is only provided once a ransom is paid. Sometimes the ransomware will actually destroy, steal, or export data from information systems. Ransomware has become a significant threat to all U.S. businesses and individuals, and a … Continue reading this entry

Hospital Text Messaging Rules Placed on Hold by Joint Commission

The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals and other health care organizations, hit pause on its prior May 2016 announcement to allow secure text messaging in hospitals and other health care organizations. The use of text messaging in Joint Commission accredited organizations is delayed until September 2016. In the interim, The Joint Commission will collaborate with … Continue reading this entry

Report Warns Providers of HIPAA Violations When Responding to Negative Online Reviews

ProPublica, a public interest investigative newsroom, recently identified more than 3,500 one-star medical reviews on Yelp in which patients complained about privacy issues. ProPublica determined that “in dozens of instances, responses to complaints about medical care turned into disputes over patient privacy.” For example, ProPublica noted consumers giving providers negative reviews on Yelp and providers … Continue reading this entry

Health Care IT Program Discusses Alternative Payment Model Opportunities

A distinguished panel of providers, consultants and IT firms convened on Tuesday, June 21st  in New York at the Foley and Lardner LLP offices to share a discussion focused on the convergence of IT spend and new value based purchasing models (“VBP”) coming out of CMS in increasing frequency—ACOs, BPCI, CJR and CCM.  Key Takeaways … Continue reading this entry

New York Legislation to Require Payment Parity for Telehealth Services

New York introduced a new bill designed to ensure commercial health plans pay for telehealth services at the same rate the plans pay for in-person services. The legislation, SB 7953, comes on the heels of New York’s long-awaited telehealth coverage law and seeks to add payment parity language to the State’s existing telehealth coverage statute. See … Continue reading this entry

Are You Effectively Training Employees in The Battle Against Ransomware?

No health care organization or provider is safe from ransomware threats, and a slew of recent noteworthy attacks have driven the point home. The results of an attack can be devastating to the organization, and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages have already been reported. Health care providers, particularly senior executives, officers, and directors, … Continue reading this entry

FDA Outlines Future Medical Device Coordinating Center

The federal Food and Drug Administration’s planning board (Planning Board) for a medical device evaluation system (NMDES) recently recommended the creation of a centralized Coordinating Center to develop a national system to evaluate medical devices. Convened in 2014 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Brookings Center for Health Policy, the Planning … Continue reading this entry