Medicare

By Jonah Comstock 05:00 am August 22, 2013
This month, Medicare revealed the list of more than 2,000 hospitals losing up to 2 percent of their funding for failing to sufficiently reduce readmissions. Next year, those penalties can rise even higher. As troubling as this can be for hospitals, it should be good news for mobile health entrepreneurs, as the wake up call may drive hospitals to explore technology like telehealth, remote patient...
By Jonah Comstock 12:46 pm August 19, 2013
Futura mHealth, a Philadelphia-based joint venture from Futura Mobility and HGE Healthcare Solutions, a Temple University spin off company, has developed an app the company says can reduce hospital admissions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by 38 to 40 percent. A chronic lung condition, COPD manifests itself as occasional attacks of extreme shortness of breath, called...
By Neil Versel 03:24 am July 25, 2013
Health insurer Humana is turning to telehealth systems provider AMC Health in an effort to keep patients with congestive heart failure out of hospitals, saving money for the payer and improving the quality of life for a high-risk population. In a pilot launched last month, 450 Humana Medicare Advantage members in Ohio with CHF are receiving A&D Medical Products weight scales and blood-...
By Brian Dolan 11:14 am 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 11:20 am 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 12:22 pm 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 12:35 pm 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 01:32 pm 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 04:30 am 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 04:10 am 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...