AcuteCare Telemedicine Blog

AcuteCare Telemedicine to Join the Leading Forum on Telemedicine Technology

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) will be hosting its 18th Annual International Meeting & Trade Show on May 5th thru May 7th in Austin Texas.  Expected to be the largest meeting ever, the event will be the premier forum for healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs in the telemedicine, telehealth and mHealth environments.

The show will feature more than 450 educational sessions focused on training, information and updates on issues important to the telemedicine industry.  Keynote Speakers include Lynn Britton, President and CEO Mercy, a 31 hospital healthcare system, Jeffrey O. Henley, Chairman Oracle Corporation and Reed V. Tuckson, MD, Managing Director Tuckson Health Connections, LLC.  The educational program will track topics such as; Best practices and Service Models, Finance Innovations, public policy issues and more.

In addition to the education programs the anticipated 6000 attendees will be offered an opportunity to participate in the Trade Show and Exhibit where hundreds of vendors will be on hand to showcase the latest equipment, wireless technology, specialty services, hardware, software and all things to do with telemedicine.

Acute Care Telemedicine (ACT), the Southeast region’s largest practice based telemedicine provider will be on hand to demonstrate their significant resources and experience in improving hospital stroke care. ACT offers cost-effective solutions that deliver complete on-call coverage, improve patient outcomes that adhere to HIPAA / HITECH requirements and establish a sustainable financial model for patient care.  The ACT Team of Neurological specialist are in the business of creating relationships that will serve as the foundation for improving healthcare for millions of patients.

“Acute Care Telemedicine is excited about being part of the ATA Meeting and Trade Show in Austin, Texas” comments Keith Sanders MD, COO of ACT.  “We look forward to participating in this premier event, and welcome the opportunity to demonstrate our level of expertise and commitment to advancing the benefits of telemedicine.”

Not Yet Out of the Woods

As most Americans celebrated the New Year, our elected representatives met in Washington to approve legislation narrowly avoiding the ‘fiscal cliff.’ As part of its extensive provisions, the new legislation saved Medicare providers from an impending 2% payment reduction that would have gone into effect on January 1 and postponed spending cuts to Medicare, but only for two months. Within the terms of the agreement, negotiations on ways to cut spending are expected to resume after this period, meaning hospitals are still facing the risk of cuts triggered by uncertainty and further harm if the reduction does eventually takes effect.

While overall Medicare spending may not be affected now, hospitals are still face a long-term decrease in payments. The compromise legislation includes the “doc fix,” which negates a 26.5% decrease in Medicare payments to physicians, with hospitals bearing the brunt of financing it. The tally will come to about $15 billion over 10 years, or roughly half the total cost of the one-year fix. On top of those made by the passage of major healthcare reform in 2010, the new cuts include decreases in payout from both projected Medicare payment increases for inpatient or overnight stays and Medicaid disproportionate share payments, as well as reducing risk-adjusted payments to Medicare Advantage plans.

The kind of last-minute action taken by Congress is a reminder of the severe need to address the provider payment formula for Medicare reimbursement with a long-term solution. Short-term fixes ultimately result in a reduction of important healthcare services detrimental to both patient and provider. Until a solution is reached, hospitals simply cannot afford to cover the difference.