While anxiety and depression were already among the most common medical conditions in the country before COVID-19, demand for mental health services has soared since the start of the pandemic. Prevalence of depression symptoms has tripled since March of last year, and the CDC reported that the 12-month period leading up to May 2020 saw the highest number of drug overdose deaths ever recorded.

It’s also meant that mental health providers have had to make abrupt adjustments not only to current clients’ treatment, but also around initial conversations with prospective ones.

Russ Philpott, therapist and founder of the outpatient practice…

With heightened demand for improved interoperability, well-developed APIs won’t just be a nice-to-have in healthcare. EHR vendors are increasingly seen as a launchpad for new and important digital health applications, meaning forward-thinking API standards for electronic health record platforms are more important than ever. But whether you’re hiring a developer for your practice, or you’re a developer new to the healthcare space, it’s important to know some of the fundamental building blocks an API should consist of in the industry.

Formatting & Healthcare Industry Standards: JSON, FHIR and Restful APIs

JSON

JSON has been adopted across many industries as the ideal format for sending and receiving information via APIs, but…

Dr. Tyler Green, a Huntsville, Alabama-based physician, runs a primary care practice that serves thousands of local residents. And while COVID-19 vaccine shipments are only beginning to make it to the area’s smaller private practices, that doesn’t mean he isn’t already fielding questions and concerns from patients.

“Almost all patients have one of three questions about the vaccine. The first is ‘What do you think about it?’, the second is ‘Are you going to take it?’ and the third is ‘Can you put me on the list to get it?’” he says.

“But there’s a lot of ‘What do you…

Simplifying the US healthcare system is far from a new challenge, but recent announcements by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have solidified the importance of tech standardization and interoperability as some of the biggest combatants of bureaucratic red tape. Prior authorizations, or PAs, have long symbolized the epitome of these patient care bottlenecks, and as new demands come to the forefront, these long-standing procedures are facing higher scrutiny.

The Basics

Prior authorization, or PA, is the process that providers-such as doctors, nurses and pharmacists-undergo in…

COVID-19 has upended holiday plans for most, but for those living in nursing or assisted living facilities, the pandemic’s effects on the season are brought into an even sharper focus. As some of the most at-risk patients for the virus, senior citizens’ additional restrictions on visiting family members may in fact take a higher mental health toll than the majority of the population.

But most residents, families and staff are not letting stay-at-home mandates keep them from celebrating the holidays, albeit unconventionally. With stricter orders starting up again in many parts of the country, in-person visits have diminished or ceased…

The term “interoperability” has become so commonplace in healthcare and technology circles that everyone seems to recognize its importance, but defining what it is and where the problems lie can be confusing. If you’ve ever heard the term in seemingly unrelated scenarios and scratched your head, you’re not alone.

What is healthcare interoperability and why is it important?

All healthcare facilities have a system of storing information, especially as electronic records have become the baseline standard for housing patient data. Interoperability in healthcare refers to how these different informational systems and applications integrate with one another and exchange data for…

Whether you’re covered by a private employer-based plan or the ACA Marketplace, open enrollment periods typically fall between November and December each year, and they give you an opportunity to change health plans for any reason. While most of the ACA Marketplace enrollment rules and deadlines remain the same as previous years, COVID-19 has stirred up much confusion for anything health coverage-related. And because many Americans have experienced either economic or medical hardship due to COVID-19, it’s important to understand updates to coverage requirements and Special Enrollment periods in light of the pandemic.

Open Enrollment Period Dates & Information

In order to change your health plan…

The future of AI in healthcare often conjures up images of robot doctors and virtual clinics. Certainly, recent breakthroughs in the field give reason to be optimistic, and market reports show a jump in healthcare AI investment from $2.6 billion to $4 billion between 2018 to 2019. But day-to-day usage of AI that dominates the field consists not of computerized medical staff but rather tools that cut down bureaucratic and administrative burden and aid in clinical decisions. According to a recent Center for Connected Medicine report, most survey respondents used AI tools for clinical decision support and dictation assistance or…

Despite the devastating public health and economic impacts of COVID-19, many are hopeful that the Great Pause — as some have coined the quarantine — may foster an ease in rancorous political divisions seen in the U.S. While there is some albeit scant evidence that is happening, economic and public health uncertainties spurred by the pandemic are more often unmasking deep-seated divisions.

One such political movement in Illinois has only further manifested itself amidst state and city issued stay-at-home orders. Residents in central and southern counties of Illinois have started expressing the desire to secede in light of these orders…

President Donald Trump’s decision in October not to freeze hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid to Central America elicited a general sigh of relief, particularly among U.S. Congress and administration officials. But the apparent relief from that decision belies humanitarian and political corruption issues that many social activist groups say are enabled by that same funding.

U.S. foreign assistance funding for security assurance — used to arm and train military and police forces — has constituted an increasingly larger percentage of foreign aid in the past decade. According to data from the Security Assistance Monitor, in 2010, about…

Alyse DiNapoli

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