Medi-Cal is an extensive program offered by Medicaid. Currently, their services are available to over 13.5 million residents in California. They have been working on some new policies to enable them to increase reimbursement for telemedicine. They could not have done this at a better time. This is because there has been a shortage of doctors in the country. The practicing nurses and home care workers are also not as much.

With telemedicine, Medi-Cal can serve Californian citizens better. The program sees it as an efficient way to provide health care services using innovative communication and information technologies. This fosters the diagnosis of specific conditions and their treatment. Moreover, patients can access health education, consultation, and care management. They can even manage their health when their doctor is miles away.

Several policies were set regarding the provision of the reimbursed telemedicine services by Medi-Cal. They were put into effect on July 1, 2019, with the final plan being released by the Department of Health Care Services in August. Below are some of them:

Licensed Medi-Cal Providers Only

For one to offer the reimbursed telemedicine services to residents of California, they must be registered as Medi-Cal providers. On top of that, they must have a valid license to practice in California. This rule also applies to any non-physician medical providers in the state.

No Restrictions

Unlike the previous Californian Medicare policy, this new one comes without any restrictions on where the consultation should be done. If you are a patient benefiting from a reimbursed telemedicine service, you do not need to head to a health center to access it. Instead, you can comfortably do it from your home. All you need to do is have Medi-Cal coverage and meet all the guidelines that are required for telehealth.

Patient Consent

Under these new rules, health care providers cannot force their services on patients. They must be willing to get the services without coercion or blackmail. At the same time, the providers do not necessarily have to record any problem that they experience in an in-person visit. They also don’t have to state how a particular telehealth service is profitable.

It is important to note that Medi-Cal does not support all types of telemedicine. With the putting into effect of new policies, the program does not take care of any bills should a patient decide to buy a piece of telehealth equipment that the need. Also, providers who call them or send them emails do not get any compensation for it.

In addition to that, the guidelines do not allow them to pay for remote monitoring of patients to get health information through mobile phones or any other devices.

Top 5 Benefits of Telemedicine for Patients 65 Years and Older

Telemedicine is treating a patient without the doctor seeing the patient in person. Through the use of live videos, audio, and also messaging the patients about their diagnosis. Telemedicine apps that are now in use also help the patients access medical care from their mobile phones and even tablets. Below are ways in which telemedicine, been of help to 65 years and older.

Improves rural health care for older patients

For the older people living in rural areas and have limited access to modern health facilities telemedicine offers them quick and reliable opportunities to access healthcare. The more popular telemedicine is prevalent in rural areas, the more rural-urban divide is reducing when it comes to offering health care In areas where there is rural broadband.

Saves time and money

Health services such as psychiatry and stroke assessment, which initially were only available in health facilities in the cities, are now accessible to people in rural areas. It has been made possible through telehealth, thus saving the older people time and money traveling to the cities for the said care.

Helps the older people over-come barriers of distance and health care

The use of telemedicine by the older people saves them traveling to a health facility Telehealthcare is accessible; at the comfort of their homes.

Traveling outcomes.

If the diagnosis happens in good time, the treatment appears to be less costly than in later stages of the ailment. Telehealthcare provides the necessary equipment to handle cases of illness, even where there is no doctor in person.

Offers relaxation and satisfaction to the older patients

There is a lot of ease around telehealth to patients, caregivers, and also physicians. Unlike when a patient has to visit a physical health facility, and maybe they do not feel so comfortable in the doctor’s room, telehealth happens at their home.

For the older people who cannot get to see a doctor easily that the Connected Nation is working to broaden the accessibility and use of achieving this means people will get better healthcare and also improve the quality of healthcare to families in general.

For the success of telemedicine and telehealth, we must be conscious about continuing education so that everyone comes to a digital world. With the rapid technology, individuals and are coming together to help the older people on the use of technology. One of the groups doing this is the Boys Scouts through their troops.

The concept of telemedicine is relatively new and in the age of the internet, it is developing super-fast. Since its inception, the telemedicine field has undergone drastic change. It was just about 50 years ago that several hospitals began experimenting with telemedicine to access patients in remote areas. However, with rapid advancements in technology over the past few decades, this medical field has changed into a complex, integrated service. It is utilized in homes, and different types of healthcare facilities.

Rapid Changes in the Telemedicine Field

Today, the field of telemedicine is changing more rapidly than in previous years. As technology advances exponentially, so does the widespread affordability and reachability of basic telemedicine equipment.

For instance, not only is live video telemedicine technology available, but also much of the USA population knows how to use online videochat applications and have access to a computer/smartphone to use them.

The concept of telemedicine was originally coined as a way of treating patients who were living in remote areas, far away from local medical centers or in places with a shortage of medical professionals.

Although telemedicine is still utilized today to tackle those issues, it’s increasingly becoming a convenient healthcare tool. Patients of today do not want to waste a lot of time in the waiting room at the physician’s office for minor, but urgent medical conditions.

The need for more convenient care along with the unavailability of enough medical professionals has led to the increase of telemedicine firms. Many provide patients with around the clock access to healthcare with an on-call physician contracted by that firm. Others provide hospitals and bigger medical centers with access to additional clinical staff and specialists.

Additionally, others offer a telemedicine platform for doctors to use to provide virtual visits to their patients. Telemedicine is increasingly becoming a way to provide medical centers with an edge in a competitive industry where it’s hard to remain independent or uphold a healthy bottom line.

The Growth of the Mobile Health Field Is Also Impacting the Rise of Telemedicine

The wide range of mobile health apps and user-friendly medical tools is enabling patients to start using technology to monitor their health. Through the easy-to-use medical devices patients can collect required medical information for a physician’s diagnosis without needing to go to the doctor’s office. As more patients become proactive about the use of technology to monitor their health, they may also be more open to alternative methods of receiving care..

Conclusion Telemedicine is beneficial as it expands reach to quality patient care, particularly to areas that require it most. Additionally, it offers a way to reduce healthcare expenses and engage connected patients. It also has the potential to transform the healthcare delivery system for the better.

Recently, the US Department of Health and Human Services launched two self-diagnostic over-the-counter influenza test kits. This recent development came about after people complained about recurrent bouts of flu despite taking medication to suppress it.

BARDA, under the management of ASPR, developed this battery-powered and disposable kit to allow people to test for flu from the comfort of their homes. Once the test comes out positive, then it will be easy for any clinician or pharmacist to prescribe the most appropriate medications.

The research company has made an allocation of 14 million dollars to Cue Health and 10 dollar Diassess to oversee the establishment of Influenza type A and B viruses’ diagnostic tests to be purchased without a prescription.

About the kit

The device contains a nucleic acid amplification that almost performs the same function as in clinical or public health labs. The user will be required to take a nose swab, stirring it into a tube, then connect the tube to the testing device. With this pocket-friendly kit, the user will be able to read the test samples in cartridges that can be disposed and get the results in 25 minutes.

According to the developer, this device features a personalized mobile dashboard that records the test results and sends a telemedicine and prescription services.

Once it turns out positive, the user can qualify for telemedicine consultation and prescription through their phones. The clinician will have the authority to send a prescription plus other preventive measures to ensure the persons stay in good health after that various health departments receive the alerts to warn them of outbreaks or pandemics and provide suggestions to solve the problem before it becomes worse. Recent findings from Cue Health have also indicated it could have the potential to enable testing for other different viruses which include HIV and Zika in the future.

About the providers

Thanks to HHS, Americans have access to sustainable health and human services and medicine, public health, and social services. ASPR seeks to lengthen lives and defend Americans against diseases that threaten their well-being. Together, they have successfully promoted advanced research and development to over-the-counter manufacturing vaccines, medicines, self-diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical items to counter-attack health security threats.

With this self-diagnostic flu testing kit, people suffering from the viruses will know how to determine the magnitude of their cases.

Research done by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2017 showed that mothers are responsible for making 79% of all the decisions that affect their kids’ health. It further revealed that they take time off their busy schedules to take them to 77% of their doctor’s appointments. This shows that moms spend a lot of time in medical facilities. Sometimes, it’s because of their children, but other times, it’s to get health care for themselves.

With the rise of telemedicine, working moms have found a better way to access medical care. The following are some of the reasons why most of them are opting for telehealth.

It is Efficient

Telemedicine allows mothers to get medical care or any health-related information via their smartphones. The service is as effective and well-organized as it can get. The apps are designed to connect patients to doctors through a variety of ways that include video-chat services. They may also send photos of the symptoms; that might consist of rashes and sores.

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The patients can explain their problems or that of their kids to the physician. The latter make their diagnosis, recommends medicine, and provides any medical advice that may help them.

It is Fast

Everyone wants to save time. Telemedicine allows moms to access health care services in minutes or a few hours. This means that they do not even have to take sick leaves to go to clinics for medical care. All they require is a smartphone and some time to describe their ailments.

Most of the times, telemedicine works, and it is speedy. Only in some particular cases when the companies refer patients to doctors if they are unable to make conclusive diagnoses or recommend any useful home tests.

It is Safe

Telemedicine for working moms eliminates the danger that comes with exposure to other patients. This is because they don’t have to go or take their kids to hospitals where they may get other infections to worsen their conditions. All they need is a room, alone or with their children. This might be at home, or the office if it is the mother who is unwell.

One may also get infections on their way to the medical facilities. Some of those that are very easy to catch include flu, colds, or any airborne diseases.

The convenience of telemedicine has seen it become unbelievably popular among working mothers. Its efficiency allows it to work even better than having to visit a health center. With its speed, moms can access quality health care within a short time. Because one doesn’t get exposed to other patients or environments, it may be the safest way to get medical help.

Today, the world of telemedicine is changing rapidly than before. The improvement of technology in recent years has led to improved patient’s quality of life and decreased time in the hospital, especially late-stage cancer patients. Telemedicine providers offer 24/7 virtual visit to doctors and access to medical care.

With the increased popularity of smartphones, a number of mobile applications have been developed to monitor patient’s health. Simple portables gadgets have been designed to monitor patient’s signs and any symptoms of looming problems, such as pain or shortness of breath.

Telemedicine enables the patient to digitally communicate with the doctors from the comfort of their homes, it starts with a phone call or video chat with a doctor who is out of reach. The patient explains their symptoms to a physician who in turn create a care plan.

You travel less

Telemedicine decreases traveling time for both health care provider and patient. Also, it reduces the number of hospital stays. Along with reduced travel time, it decreases stress related to traveling. For individuals residing in remote and inaccessible regions, telemedicine is a blessing. They can receive care from health care providers who are far off without having to travel. Moreover, minimizing face to face consultations will not only save the consultation costs but also save travel cost and time involved.

Clear advantages

As remote healthcare delivery continues to grow, patients are now being discharged from health centers early. The significance of being in familiar surroundings and away from risks, like hospital-acquired infections, implies that home care has numerous added therapeutic benefits.

One of the significances of telecare is continuous monitoring of patients. In case of a signal suggesting something is wrong, health care providers are able to recognize that signal, gather more information in a proactive manner other than in a reactive way.

Telemedicine providers play a significant role in the management of chronic diseases by allowing patients to access medical care from the comfort of their homes. They enable a patient to take control of their healthcare needs. The associated risks are next to none as it involves a one on one digital interaction between the doctor and the patient.

Conclusion

The use of telemedicine is versatile. Its advantages include;

  • Great accessibility to healthcare-especially those living in remote and inaccessible areas
  • Reduced visits to physician offices and emergency room due to home monitoring
  • Improved health care for patients due to early treatments and diagnosis
  • Support for families and patients
  • Reduced hospital stay and travel

Overall, telemedicine improves access to medical care and reduced stay in hospital.

Modern technology has produced some wonderful results in the medical field, and this isn’t limited strictly to the medicines and procedures themselves. Advances in communications technology allow physicians to treat patients in far-away locations, such as an entirely different state.

This ability of physicians to remotely deliver care to patients is known as telemedicine, which falls under the wider umbrella of telehealth, which also includes such services as remote patient monitoring and even administrative functions.

Licensing

Telemedicine can be of great benefit to physicians and patients alike, but it’s important to understand the potential legal risks involved.

These risks mainly have to do with licensing. A physician can indeed use telemedicine to provide care to a patient in another state, but it is the patient’s state that determines the relevant license requirements. Physicians who want to use telemedicine to care for out-of-state patients will therefore need to make sure they have the appropriate licenses to do so.

It Pays to Be Prepared

It may be that a physician doesn’t actively seek to practice telemedicine, but the particulars of their patient pool may give rise to the need to do so.

For example, if a physician has patients who spend part of the year in another state, they may require care or advice that can only be delivered via telemedicine, and that state’s licensing rules and regulations then come into the picture.

Physicians should therefore look closely at their patient roster, to find out if it’s likely they will find end up in a situation requiring out-of-state medical licensing to practice telemedicine. They should always be aware of the exact location of any patients with whom they telecommunicate.

Legal Risks

So what are the potential legal risks involved in telemedicine? First, it is important to stress that these risks arise only in cases where physicians do not have the appropriate licenses or fail to comply with the rules and regulations of the state in question. If none of this is the case, physicians shouldn’t be worried about legal risks.

However, without the correct licensing, and without following the appropriate rules, physicians open themselves up to potentially losing their malpractice insurance coverage, and receiving fines or other punishment as outlined in state and federal law.

It is no secret that rural communities are struggling with a shortage of medical providers. With fewer specialists, hospitals, and general practitioners to provide healthcare to remote areas, patients may not be able to secure the level of care they need for both acute and chronic conditions.

One of the solutions to this healthcare crisis is rural area telemedicine, which allows doctors to monitor patients as well as consult with colleagues who may be some distance away. Unfortunately, telemedicine may not be the answer for every rural community, thanks to limited internet access and other factors that can prevent patients from receiving the medical care they desperately need.

Why It Matters

Think about why patients may not be able to receive adequate healthcare within their rural areas. Physician retention may be a problem, and what physicians are close by may be pushed to the limits, serving more patients than they may have time to treat.

That leaves some doctors on the verge of burnout and some patients with the choice of going great distances to seek out medical treatment, which in turn costs more for them and takes dollars out of their communities. Patients may have to take off work, or worse, forego preventive care or monitoring until their conditions worsen or become urgent.
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Lack of Infrastructure

While it would be wonderful if every area had the same level of broadband internet service, the reality is that many rural communities are underserved. Part of the issue is inadequate utilities as well as slow internet access.

If broadband providers determine that an area is not profitable, they may not invest in the infrastructure in that community, which in turn limits patients who rely on telemedicine for gaps in their healthcare.

The Issue of Bandwidth

Bandwidth, or the rate at which data can be transferred, can be another factor that impacts rural area telemedicine. Medical software programs and technology may require quite a bit of bandwidth, leading to a slowdown of internet access throughout the community.

Some technology companies recognize this limitation of telemedicine effectiveness and are working to develop new software that does not strain bandwidth or slow internet connections. Until these programs are widely available, however, the issue of speed and other barriers to connectivity may persist.

Seeing the Light

Fortunately, researchers and regulating agencies continue to study barriers to rural area telemedicine and find answers to overcome them. As more healthcare and insurance providers recognize the benefits and cost benefits of telemedicine, they may work together to address slow internet access and infrastructure inadequacies to make access to healthcare easier for rural communities. View our Urgent Care Telemedicine Services

While many companies look to charity as a means of philanthropic tax-cuts, we here at Secure Medical have a very personal investment in the enrichment of the lives of special needs people.

Many of our own employees here are no stranger to special needs children, and as such we make a personal point to select specific causes we believe in.

The Suzy Foundation was founded by Jaime and Jeremy on the principle that children of all ages and capacities can full fill their wishes and dreams, despite the daily struggles they may encounter. They specialize in providing assistive equipment that is not typically covered under medical insurance. We here at Secure Medical believe in that principle and we strive to support the Suzy Foundation wherever we can.

Our staff here regularly volunteers their time to help enrich the lives of others. Secure Medical is whole-heartedly dedicated to the success of this foundation.

1 in 6 children ages 3-17 has one or more developmental disabilities related to learning, physical ability, language, and behavioral health. Some of these conditions can be lifelong, and some children do grow out them as well. Overall, most children display signs of difficulty or impairment at an early age.

Some symptoms may be manifested through early childhood and during periods of accelerated learning. Many of these children require additional tools and equipment to help them live and prosper in a society that simply doesn’t understand them.

Things like stereotypes, politicization, and the educational processes in the U.S. often lead to most children and parents feeling sidelined or exploited. This is where the Suzy Foundation comes in. By providing a platform by which parents can seek guidance and financial assistance in acquiring the specialized equipment parents need, the Suzy Foundation is helping more and more children bring their aspirations to fruition.

We here at Secure Medical strive to do everything we can to donate to and exemplify such an incredible organization, and we are proud to do so.

Some of us have very personal involvement with this cause. At the time of writing this, just about every single one of our employees is either currently involved in the care of, or working to help teach a child with a developmental condition, or has a family member or friend in that situation. We value the lives of these children as we do our own. We want to watch them succeed in life.

We want to watch them grow and flourish into the amazing people we know they are. We want to push them to be the very best version of themselves that they can be. We believe so strongly in this foundation because we understand the beauty of it.

As a parent that is struggling financially to take care of a special needs individual, having a place that can provide a helping hand, no matter how small, is something to be cherished and celebrated. Secure Medical has donated thousands of hours and money to the Suzy Foundation in an effort to show support and to help these children live a life of love and happiness.

The truth is, these children aren’t just people we know. They’re our brothers, they are sisters and daughters, our sons and cousins. We love them unconditionally and we support them knowing that things don’t come easy to them. We celebrate the little successes and we aim to provide a safe, comfortable environment for them to grow and learn and prosper.

The Suzy Foundation serves as a catalyst to the success of these individuals by helping parents and care-takers obtain basic needs equipment at an affordable cost. If you would like to donate to them, please visit http://www.SuzyFoundation.com

Owing to the wide array of variables involved, it can be hard to provide an accurate estimate of exactly how much telemedicine software can cost. To gain an idea about the cost, it is essential to ask questions such as – what is the scope of your practice? What is the number of users you have? How is advanced and complex the technology you’re considering? What are the features and elements of this technology?

There is a multitude of technological systems with varied features on the market; to begin narrowing down your options, it is essential to chalk out a budget for yourself and take additional costs into account (such as training for staff, extra equipment, and setup). Your budget will determine which software you select, and the features you choose for the system.

The more complex and features-laden a software is, the more expensive it will be. A system can range from anything as simple as a webcam and microphone setup to an entire setup dedicated to telemedicine, mobile devices, etc. Telemedicine software that requires minimal setup and training will obviously cost less to implement.

Medical devices specific to specialties: Devices of this sort vary as per the specialty they are required for. It is advisable to opt for a system that can be scaled later on, as in the initial launch phases you might be unclear on what exactly you might need (or what might be required later on, after the system has been established and is up and running). So, you can start with a basic setup, and then grow it later on by adding more specialties as you get a better idea about what you need to do to add greater value and dimension to your practice.

Platform for communication and video conferencing: The successful establishment of real-time remote virtual connections between doctors and patients relies on a solid, dependable, and safe platform for communicating. This is how physicians can give patients the familiar and comfortable impression of an in-person visit with a doctor.

Hardware packaging for telemedicine: Cases, carts, and wall mounts are some types of telemedicine hardware and software. The key issue for buyers is making sure the packaging is as per their requirements, although some also take aesthetics into consideration. It would be wise to opt for packaging that is modular, so a variety of specialties can be configured smoothly.

Training: The right kind of training will help your team use the system and its features correctly and to their fullest potential. Generally, two types of training are required – user training (for providers, nurses, and other staff members using the system as part of their job), and technical training (for the IT staff).