The CMS has said it will allow health insurance providers to offer temporary premium reductions for individuals with coverage in the individual and small group markets to ensure continued coverage amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy will be in effect until the end of this year.
The number of cyberattacks have increased and account for most of healthcare cybersecurity incidents, according to a report from Interpol. The number of healthcare email attacks increased to 47% from 42% this year when compared to the same period last year, and 5.6 million patient records have been exposed this year.
Awake Security and CynergisTek are teaming up to offer cybersecurity services to more than 1,000 health care institutions, which are particularly vulnerable to cyberattack. The companies will offer a threat assessment program and help hospitals track all their assets to quickly identify threats.
Companies are using biometrics in areas such as security and risk reduction, physical monitoring of employees, and wellness programs. Some health and wellness programs are through an employer's insurance provider, such as Humana's partnership with Fitbit, while others include devices and apps that track everything from diet and sleep to mental health.
Rally, Scan Health's new digital platform for senior citizens, provides health information and gives seniors access to online social groups. The technology can't replace in-person interaction lost during the pandemic, but "we hope it will support our members by providing some of the connection they may be missing during this time," said Eve Gelb, senior vice president of member and community health at Scan Health.
Oscar plans to roll out a $0 virtual primary care product in 10 major markets across New York, Florida, California, Texas and Colorado next year, pending regulatory approval, for its members with individual and family plans. The product includes unlimited virtual visits with the insurer's primary care providers as well as Tier 1 prescriptions, durable medical equipment, initial specialist referrals, labs and diagnostic imaging orders also at no cost when prescribed by an Oscar primary care provider.
Four Western states have formed a regional pact aimed at improving telehealth services by studying the best ways to provide care as well as tackle bureaucratic issues involved in the process. The governors of Colorado, Nevada, Washington and Oregon are the first to form a telemedicine sharing agreement, with licensure seen as one of the most pressing topics on the agenda.
The US Army Medical Command has expanded virtual health care both within the Defense Health Agency and with its own funding, says Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle. Telehealth technology has proven especially useful in mental and behavioral health care, removing some of the stigma around mental health care and improving soldiers' access to care, Dingle says.
Utah legislators cut around $2.5 million from the budget for state-run health and dental clinics in Salt Lake City, Ogden and Provo, and the clinics are closing. The clinics serve people with Medicaid and without health or dental insurance, and lawmakers who supported the cuts said the same services are available elsewhere, but advocates for low-income people say the coronavirus pandemic will only increase the need for subsidized care.
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Pennsylvania will be running its own health insurance exchange for the 2021 plan year, and the state insurance department expects premiums to be an average of 5% lower than if the state had continued using HealthCare.gov and had not set up a reinsurance program. State officials are expanding enrollment outreach and extending the open enrollment period, and will be able to open special enrollment periods if needed.
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