Medicare

By Brian Dolan July 24, 2013
Last week Dr. Peter Budetti, Deputy Administrator for Program Integrity of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced the official launch of two new smartphone apps from CMS -- the agency's very first app offerings -- that aim to help physicians and others track payments and other information they receive from the industry as part of the transparency program called the...
By Aditi Pai July 16, 2013
Last week, Toronto, Ontario-based MyVoice announced a discounted iPad or iPod Touch program for people who purchase the company's TalkRocket Go communication app, subsidized by the Ontario Ministry of Health's Assistive Devices Program, according to the company. TalkRocket Go, normally $99 in the iTunes App Store, uses voice synthesis technology to provide verbal communication for people with...
By Jonah Comstock July 9, 2013
San Francisco-based Hospice by the Bay, the second oldest hospice care facility in the nation, has introduced an app to help physicians refer patients to end of life care. "If you look at the overall population, the eligible population of Medicare patients, only about 50 percent of those eligible ever get hospice care for a lot of reasons," David Zwicky, director of business strategy at Hospice...
By Jonah Comstock January 4, 2013
On December 30th, at the very end of the 112th Congress, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Cali.) introduced a comprehensive bill to improve Medicare and Medicaid coverage of telehealth. This isn't new territory for Thompson; he introduced some major telehealth legislation as a California State Senator in the 1990s. The latest bill's definition of "telehealth" covers various health services delivered...
By Neil Versel November 7, 2012
Toumaz Sensium Digital Plaster Toumaz Ltd., a British maker of wearable medical sensors, has begun the first U.S. pilot of its SensiumVitals disposable "digital plaster" at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., in conjunction with Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong's California Capital Equity. Working through Toumaz US, a joint venture backed by UCLA surgeon and billionaire investor Soon-Shiong...
By Brian Dolan October 2, 2012
In an editorial published in The Wall Street Journal last week, former Senator Evan Bayh, a Democrat from Indiana, argued that at least one provision in the Affordable Care Act "threatens thousands of American jobs and our global competitiveness". Bayh was pointing to the 2.3 percent tax that the law requires medical device companies to tack on to each sale starting in January. For the first half...
By Neil Versel July 5, 2012
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act certainly was stunning. Who really expected Chief Justice John Roberts to side with the liberal wing of the court? How many people thought that the reasoning would be that the individual mandate was a legal exercise of Congress' power to levy taxes? Similarly, the decision was polarizing. Plenty of...
By Neil Versel March 27, 2012
A recent decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to start covering preventive screening for depression and alcohol abuse is paving the way for wider use of a mobile app that helps primary care physicians find signs of mental illness that might otherwise be missed. As part of healthcare reform efforts, CMS said in October that it would pay for annual screenings for both...
By Brian Dolan September 8, 2010
Imaging apps reviewed for iPad: Dr. Sam Friedman reviewed almost a half dozen imaging apps for iPhone on his son's iPad for an article in Advance. The apps included Merge Healthcare (eFilm Mobile), OsiriX and iCRco Inc. (iClarity), Mobile MIM (MIMvista) and ResolutionMD from Calgary Scientific. "Today's radiology viewing apps are bare-bones programs, with half their code devoted to moving image...
By Brian Dolan July 7, 2010
More bad news on the reimbursement front for CardioNet and other mobile cardiac outpatient telemetry service providers: United Healthcare told the company that it is maintaining its position that “outpatient cardiovascular telemetry is unproven for managing cardiac arrhythmias" and as a result it will not cover the service for its members. CardioNet, of course, disagrees and promised to continue...