Author: kimberly b

The Surprising Power of Telephysiotherapy

The Surprising Power of Telephysiotherapy

The number of telehealth users will hit seven million sometime this year. With advancements in telecommunication technology and rising interest among millennials (who place a high value on convenience), that number is expected to grow in the coming years. Still, many people associate telehealth’s uses with mild illnesses like a cold or sore throat. Expect that perception to change soon. Telehealth practices can be implemented across almost every field of medicine.

In recent years, studies have shown that augmenting physiotherapy with telephysiotherapy produces significantly better outcomes than just the traditional in-person approach. Face-to-face video conferencing offers the intimacy of in-person visits while reducing costs and increasing geographic accessibility. Consumer devices patients already own (like smartphones) are powerful enough to facilitate physical activity monitoring and real-time feedback on exercise performance. Telephysiotherapy can also be as simple as exchanging messages. In some cases, patients have found success in physiotherapy rehabilitation programs delivered purely through email support and a mobile application.

The increasing demand for telephysiotherapy coincides with an industry trend toward encouraging consistent exercise therapy. For people looking to increase long-term health outcomes through physical activity and physical fitness, the ability to work with physical therapists at a distance offers an advantage over “hands-on” therapy, as many programs rely heavily on goal setting, exercise prescription, and self-management training. With the growing emphasis on out-of-clinic training, a trusting relationship between patient and therapist becomes more important. Telephysiotherapy widens the pool of potential “good-fit” therapists from those within commuting distance to those with an internet connection and permits those people with travel obligations to secure access to a trusted professional year-around.

As is the case for all health practices, it’s important that clinicians find the right telephysiotherapy method for their patients’ needs. At Clocktree, we are proud that any information exchanged over our platform — whether that be a quick note of encouragement or confidential insurance form — meets HIPAA standards for encryption and security. In fact, with our private cloud, you can upload and share files from your library whenever you need it, wherever you need it. We know how much you care about your patients, and we’re here to make sure you devote more time building meaningful relationships with people in need and less time dealing with logistics.

More funding for rural telehealth programs is on its way

More funding for rural telehealth programs is on its way

The FCC passed a funding increase to the Universal Service Fund’s Rural Healthcare Program, earmarking funds to improve broadband availability in rural areas.  This will allow healthcare providers to offer telehealth programs that rely on strong internet to connect to remote patients and enable practitioners to collaborate and consult with specialists outside of their area.

“Dependable broadband is a must so medical information like imaging, X-rays and more can be shared by providers,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), one of a large group in Congress to appeal to the FCC to boost funding, said in news reports following the FCC vote.

“The path to prosperity and quality healthcare in rural Oregon demands reliable rural broadband,” Wyden said. “You can’t just have a healthcare system that picks and chooses affluent folks in urban areas and forgets about rural communities.”

The previous annual spending cap of $400 million for the Rural Healthcare Program was established and 1997 and had never been adjusted for inflation, largely because the cap was never met until recently. Two years ago healthcare organization and lawmakers began to lobby for an increase to this cap, due to increasing demands particularly to take advantage of newly emerging telehealth technology.  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai supported the increase in funding and asked his committee to boost 2018 funding by 43%, and adjusting the budget for inflation going forward.

“This money will help health care providers get the connectivity they need to better serve patients throughout rural America,” Pai said. “Demand for funding has been outpacing the program’s funding cap, so I also believe that the increased cap should apply to the current funding year so that rural health care providers can be fully reimbursed.”

Read more in-depth coverage of this change at mHealthIntelligence.

Major telehealth milestone for VA patients

The Business of Federal Technology reports on the June 11 launch date for a telehealth policy change referred to as “anywhere-to-anywhere,” which allows qualified practitioners to log in to Department of Veterans Affairs telehealth system and treat patients regardless of state licensing rules. Previously, a provider had to be licensed in the state where the patient resides. This lifts that requirement, vastly expanding the reach that a healthcare provider has to serve VA patients.

The proliferation of telehealth allows the VA to reduce the stress on its nationwide system, which has more than 30,000 clinical vacancies. Patients in rural settings often bear the brunt of vacancies, and telehealth helps veterans in underserved communities and rural areas receive care they might not receive otherwise.

Read the entire article at FCW.com

How Doctors are Using Telemedicine to Help Allergy Sufferers

How Doctors are Using Telemedicine to Help Allergy Sufferers

CBS This Morning aired a segment today spotlighting the emerging use of video appointments in place of in-office visits to identify and treat allergies.

While telemedicine won’t replace all in-office visits, this is yet another example of a service that healthcare providers can administer through video just as effectively as they can in person — and with the added convenience benefits.

From the article: A recent study led by allergist Tonia Elliot identified potential benefits of telemedicine including faster diagnosis and medication prescribing, lower out-of-pocket costs, and access for people in remote areas. They also found face-to-face screen time might improve the doctor-patient relationship.

“It’s all about building rapport and active listening and facial expressions that then establish that connection with a patient,” Elliot said.

The telehealth industry is expected to grow to $36 billion by 2020. Right now, 34 states and Washington D.C. require insurance companies to cover virtual visits the same as they do for office visits.

Watch the complete story on cbsnews.com.