Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2019 has bipartisan Senate and House support and would expand telehealth services through Medicare. The bill “aims to improve health outcomes, make it easier for patients to connect with their doctors, and help cut costs for patients and providers” according to a statement released yesterday by the bill’s sponsor Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i)
“Telehealth is the future of health care. The technology is advancing, more providers and patients are relying on it, and we have broad bipartisan support,” said Senator Schatz. “This bill will help ensure that every American gets the care they need no matter where they live.”
The CONNECT for Health Act of 2019 builds on the progress made in recent years to increase the use of telehealth through Medicare. Specifically, the legislation would:
- Provide the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to waive telehealth restrictions when necessary;
- Remove geographic and originating site restrictions for services like mental health and emergency medical care;
- Allow rural health clinics and other community-based health care centers to provide telehealth services; and
- Require a study to explore more ways to expand telehealth services so that more people can access health care services in their own homes.
The California Assembly passed a telehealth bill requiring healthcare plans to equally reimburse providers for services having the same effect remotely as in person.
The bill, awaiting signature by California Governor Gavin Newsom, would expand telehealth access to all CA residents by requiring health insurance plans to reimburse providers for appointments that would have the same impact whether in person or via video.
Assembly Bill 744 strengthens and clarifies the existing telehealth statutes. The reimbursement of telehealth services is already covered under Medi-Cal, but this law enforces the same for private health plans as well.
Read more about California’s AB744 here: https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/california-looks-to-expand-coverage-for-telehealth-services
This week the AMA published an article with some interesting stats related to telehealth use across the US.
Here are some highlights:
- 21% of all telehealth claims were made by clients age 31-40 during the time period 2014-2018.
- In that same time period, 65% of all claims were made by female clients.
- Psychiatrists in rural areas were more likely to provide telehealth services, with 24.2% of psychiatrists in North Dakota offering telehealth, as opposed to only .01% in Massachusetts.
One of the benefits of Clocktree telehealth is that it’s portable! Providers and Clients can connect for a video appointment from just about anywhere using a mobile device. You can use Clocktree on both Android and iOS devices, but this blog post is specifically for iPhone and iPad users.
Use Safari Browser
There is no special software or app to download. Simply log into your Clocktree account via Safari browser, just like you would on a computer.
Add the Clocktree icon to your home screen
For quick access to your Clocktree account, you can add a Clocktree icon to your home screen. Here are steps to do this:
- Visit Clocktree.com using Safari
- Click the “Share” icon at the bottom of your browser (see below left)
- Click the “Add to Home Screen” icon (see below right)
- Click “Add”
No 3-party video calls
One limitation when using an iPhone or iPad for Clocktree telehealth sessions is that it doesn’t accomodate video calls with more than 2 people. For family or group sessions, it’s best to use a computer if you need to see all parties. But for standard sessions between two people, it’s a great alternative.
Use WiFi when possible
It’s important to get the strongest internet signal possible for a high quality Clocktree video call. Typically this means connecting your iPhone/iPad via WiFi instead of the 4G or LTE data signal.