Telehealth is here to stay!

AI in Healthcare Newsletter from April 8, 2019

Promising Growth of Telehealth Usage

Telehealth usage, as measured by the percentage of all medical claim lines represented by telehealth services, increased 53% nationally from 2016 to 2017. Telehealth was the fastest growing category measured, outpacing urgent care centers (+14%), retail clinics (+7%), and ambulatory surgery centers (+6%) by a significant margin. Telehealth adoption has seen higher percentage rises in usage in urban areas.

CMS plans telehealth benefits to Medicare Advantage

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will create additional provisions to give Medicare Advantage beneficiaries additional telehealth options beginning in 2020. Under the new rules and policies, telehealth services may be extricated from the supplementary benefits categorization, and may become available to urban and rural beneficiaries alike.

Amazon Alexa Version is HIPAA-Eligible

A HIPAA-eligible version of Amazon Alexa has been made available to a limited number of developers. The technology would ostensibly make Amazon's voice assistant compliant with HIPAA data privacy and security requirements for patient privacy and safety. The tool is still not available publicly, and it's difficult to say for sure how Amazon will moderate and regulate its potential applications. Nonetheless, the ability for voice assistants to handle protected healthcare information may signify a new era for patient monitoring and engagement.