Healthcare Industry

July News Roundup: A New Approach to Managing the Opioid Crisis and FQHC Hospice Reimbursement Reviewed

Stay ahead of healthcare industry news for FQHC and Health Center leaders with our monthly roundups. CareMessage curates the most important developments around healthcare technology, underserved patient care, value-based care, social determinants of health, and more to keep you informed in your role as a healthcare leader.

“Care Zone” Van Takes on Opioid Addiction

Massachusetts is seeing a new approach to combating the opioid crisis thanks to a project in partnership with Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. The Care Zone van, which provides medical evaluations and prescriptions for people dealing with drug addiction, houses a veteran outreach worker, a physician, and a case manager to make drug treatment just as available as the drugs. The van, donated by Ford Motors, costs $160,000 to outfit and organizers hope to expand the program later this year. 

Rural Telehealth Program Vote Set for July

The FCC has set a date to vote on the proposed Connected Care Pilot Program. The $100 million program features new telehealth and mHealth programs for underserved populations, including veterans and rural residents. 

The vote is scheduled to happen on July 10th, and the program is being praised for its potential benefits in terms of lower costs and improving health outcomes for lower-income patients.

FQHCs and RHCs Fight for Hospice Coverage

In many rural communities, RHCs and FQHCs currently cannot be paid for hospice services. A bi-partisan bill seeks to change that. 

The Rural Access to Hospice Act was recently introduced and would allow RHCs and FQHCs to be reimbursed for providing hospice services. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) has endorsed the bill.

Underserved Populations See Boost from Dental Therapy

The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) is recommending the potential of dental therapy as a best practice in boosting oral health care access among underserved populations. 

The report features practice examples from five states where midlevel providers performed preventive and routine restorative services.

How to Improve HEDIS Reporting Efficiency

HEDIS is the system most commonly used by health plans to measure and compare performance. Medical record review though can be costly in terms of time and money. 

Health Payer Intelligence offers tips on lessening that burden including automating data, tracking non-compliance, and automating EHR data extraction and sharing.

Understanding Social Determinants of Health and Their Relationship to Health

Social determinants of health have been addressed for over a decade, but there’s still work to be done in understanding how they connect to physical and mental health. According to a new study sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Health System, balanced meals, transportation, safe housing, and social support are directly connected to American health and well-being, but many Americans across certain demographic segments still face challenges in getting those needs met.

Want to learn more about the steps CareMessage is taking to address social determinants of health? Start here.

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