From the category archives:

Health Care Politics

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ADA comments on HIPAA Privacy Rule

May 13, 2021

From ADA News: The ADA is asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights to consider the burdens changes to the HIPAA privacy rule will impose on covered providers, including dentists. Source: ADA comments on HIPAA Privacy Rule Some of the changes OCR is proposing include: These proposed changes include […]

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Explaining the HIPAA Safe Harbor Act

May 6, 2021

Thank you to Danielle McKinley of PCI HIPAA The HIPAA Safe Harbor Act amends Subtitle D of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act act to require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider whether organizations have “recognized cybersecurity practices” in place when investigating a data breach, and […]

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Democrats, Republicans push for teledentistry to be legal in Texas

April 20, 2021

Teledentistry, the practice of consulting with dentists virtually, is not currently legal in Texas, but some state lawmakers hope to change that this legislative session. Source: Democrats, Republicans push for teledentistry to be legal in Texas The Texas dental practice act has been interpreted to require in person exchanges making tele dentistry illegal. Legislators have […]

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Tax Day

April 15, 2021

  Delayed but still coming. Inevitable just like death,

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Codes concerning COVID-19 vaccine administration approved

April 5, 2021

This is nice…but. In reaction to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the Code Maintenance Committee accepted and approved the inclusion of eight pandemic-related CDT procedure codes in CDT 2021 during its virtual annual session in March. Source: Codes concerning COVID-19 vaccine administration approved The new codes are for vaccinations and diagnostics. I would like […]

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Telehealth used in 30.1% of visits during COVID-19 pandemic

March 2, 2021

Telehealth visits accounted for approximately 30% of total outpatient visits early in the COVID-19 pandemic, with uptake varying among specialties and by patient characteristics… …Among specialties, telehealth was used at least once by 67.7% of endocrinologists, 57% of gastroenterologists and 56.3% of neurologists. However, the use of telehealth was considerably lower among some specialties, with […]

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Congress Gets Another Shot at Easing Telehealth Licensure Restrictions

March 1, 2021

From mHealth Intelligence: The TREAT Act, which has the support of dozens of health systems and connected health organizations, would allow providers to bypass licensing rules and use telehealth to treat patients in any state during the coronavirus pandemic. Source: Congress Gets Another Shot at Easing Telehealth Licensure Restrictions I have often made the point […]

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Association moves to develop unified system to verify coverage, obtain cost estimates in real-time

February 9, 2021

From the ADA: As a result, the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs is acting upon a directive from the 2020 House of Delegates to assess the development of a simplified system to verify coverage and obtain patient cost estimates in real-time before treatment begins. Source: Association moves to develop unified system to verify coverage, […]

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U.S. lawmakers reintroduce House bill safeguarding access to telehealth

February 1, 2021

I am a huge fan of the concept of telemedicine and teledentistry. I believe it has the potential to reduce costs and improve care to a remarkable degree. This is critical to solving the “Healthcare Crisis”. From  Healthcare IT News: WHY IT MATTERS The bill, which was first introduced in July 2020, would help safeguard […]

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Deep Medicine; What I am reading right now

January 11, 2021
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GOVERNOR CUOMO SIGNS DENTAL TELEHEALTH BILL

December 22, 2020

It should have been titled the ANTI Dental Telehealth Bill. From NY State Dental Association: The amendment protects dental patients by requiring that dental telehealth providers identify themselves to patients and provide their New York State license number. It also stipulates that patients undergo proper examinations, necessary X-rays, and reviews of medical and health history […]

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ADA updates teledentistry policy

November 30, 2020

This is very disappointing. Dentists who deliver, direct or supervise teledentistry services should be licensed in the state where the patient receives services unless otherwise authorized by a state’s dental board, according to the policy. Patients have the right to know the identity and qualifications of oral health practitioners involved in the teledental encounter, costs […]

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Physicians Should Be Allowed To Practice Across State Lines—and Not Just During a Pandemic

April 21, 2020

From Reason.com: The COVID-19 pandemic is straining all the country’s health care resources right now—including the supply of physicians. In response, nearly all 50 states are temporarily suspending regulations to allow physicians to practice across state lines and to encourage the use of telemedicine, which lets patients interact with doctors remotely via audio or video… …Medical […]

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Red Tape Pandemic

March 25, 2020



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More than a third of U.S. healthcare costs go to bureaucracy

January 30, 2020

From  Reuters: Over one third of all healthcare costs in the U.S. were due to insurance company overhead and provider time spent on billing,…“The average American is paying more than $2,000 a year for useless bureaucracy,” said lead author Dr. David Himmelstein, Source: More than a third of U.S. healthcare costs go to bureaucracy – […]

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Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM renew pledge to support health data interoperability

September 26, 2019

From FierceHealthcare: The six companies and competitors—Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce—announced a renewed commitment to interoperability at the CMS Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference. The companies also are throwing their sizable weight behind recent interoperability proposed rules from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services […]

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The U.S. can slash health-care costs 75% with 2 fundamental changes — and without ‘Medicare for All’

September 2, 2019

From MarketWatch: As the Democratic presidential candidates argue about “Medicare for All” versus a “public option,” two simple policy changes could slash U.S. health-care costs by 75% while increasing access and improving the quality of care. These policies have been proven to work by ingenious companies like Whole Foods and innovative governments like the state of […]

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Patient handoffs to post-acute care providers still largely a manual process, hindering effective care coordination

August 27, 2019

From FierceHealthcare: Medicine is stuck with a 1980’s “Sneakernet” There is a big push both from the private market and federal policymakers to improve interoperability and open up access to health data through smartphone apps and other digital tools. But on the front lines of healthcare, the way patient information is shared remains largely a manual process done through […]

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New Medicare initiative aims to fill holes in patient health records

August 12, 2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday unveiled a new initiative that aims to connect the dots between a patient’s health records held by different providers. The Data at the Point of Care, or DPC, demonstration seeks to bridge the data gap by connecting Medicare’s Blue Button — a tool that allows Medicare […]

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House votes to lift ban on federal funding for unique patient identifier

July 15, 2019

From FierceHealthcare: Although HIPAA initially required the creation of a health identifier in 1998, Congress overruled the legislation, barring federal agencies from investigating or creating patient identifiers out of privacy concerns.The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) voiced its support for efforts in Congress to repeal an “archaic ban that has stifled innovation and industry progress for […]

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