Three states plan to develop contact tracing apps using a system designed by Apple and Google. The two tech rivals rolled out their exposure notification API yesterday, which would give users an alert if they recently came into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19.
The system uses a smartphone’s Bluetooth antenna to track when two people are less than six feet away from each other and saves that proximity data as an anonymous key. If someone tests positive for Covid-19, they would upload their positive test result into a health app, which would then alert everyone they had recently encountered. Read More: MedCity News
A new poll found that roughly half of seniors are comfortable using telehealth to get healthcare, and those that do largely say they had a favorable experience.
The poll, conducted by Morning Consult and sponsored by the Better Medicare Alliance, comes as providers and insurers have started to embrace telehealth amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More: FierceHealthcare
Offering a government-sponsored health plan with publicly determined payment rates to people who buy their own insurance could lower the cost of premiums, but on its own it is unlikely to substantially increase the overall number of people with coverage, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
Modeling four scenarios for adding a public option for individual coverage available nationwide, researchers found that premiums for public plans could be 10% to 27% lower than private insurance plans because of lower provider payment rates in the public option. Read More: RAND
The CARES Act allows telehealth services to be included under HDHPs until December 31, 2021, and some are hopeful that will be extended.
Normally, if an HDHP waives the deductible for any services other than preventive care, it loses its status as a qualified HDHP and participants are not eligible to contribute or receive employer contributions to a health savings account (HSA). Section 3701 of the CARES Act created a temporary safe harbor allowing HDHPs to cover telehealth services and other remote care without cost to participants before their deductibles are met. Read More: PlanSponsor
Navigating today’s health care system can be chaotic. More than ever, providing the right information at the right time can make all the difference in improving patient outcomes and bridging the health IT gap. Podcast hosts Laura Evans and Matt Eyles spoke with Carina Edwards, CEO of Quil Health, about what it means to be in the business of helping people organize and navigate their health care. Hear More: AHIP
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In order to curb the opioid epidemic among employees, companies need to begin by identifying who is at risk, according to a session presented on Wednesday during the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) 2020 Annual Meeting.
“In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, opioid addiction is especially deadly,” said Jamie Jenkins, PhD, senior program manager with Cotiviti, during the session.
Although managing multiple epidemics can present major challenges, the opioid crisis should not be forgotten, Jenkins said. She gave a case study in order to illustrate the steps a company should take. Read More: Phamacy Times
Cigna is adding online therapy firm Talkspace to its growing menu of telehealth offerings as insurers expand further into offering mental health to their virtual provider networks.
Cigna said 14 million people enrolled in its employer-sponsored health plans have access to Talkspace’s network of licensed therapists. Talkspace links health plan enrollees with licensed therapists by video online and text, allowing patients to conduct private sessions on-demand in the comfort of their own homes, the companies said.
The use of online mental health therapy and psychiatric services has exploded amid the pandemic as Americans across the country face rising unemployment and the daily struggle of complying with “shelter in place” orders amid the surge of cases of the Coronavirus strain Covid-19. On Thursday, Talkspace said the deal with Cigna’s commercial health plan clients will bring “the total number of insured U.S. lives covered for Talkspace to a milestone of 40 million.” Read More: Forbes
Medica employees are helping to reduce the impact of COVID-19 by working with the Minnesota Department of Health as COVID-19 contact tracers.
Contact tracers work with individuals who have tested positive for the virus to identify their contacts who may now be at risk. It is part of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s strategy to limit the exponential growth of the disease while safely reopening parts of the economy.
Medica employees participating in the effort attend an online training program and work as contract tracers three days a week during their regular working hours. An average call takes about 45 minutes. Medica will support the program for three weeks starting May 26. Read More: Medica