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Pennsylvania House Adopts Resolution Authorizing Study of State’s Behavioral Health Needs

June 04, 2019

This week, the state House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution to help lawmakers better understand the behavioral health needs of Pennsylvania’s patients, beginning with the impact of behavioral health holds in emergency departments. 

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Study on Emergency Departments and Behavioral Health Clears First Hurdle; PA Hospital Community Encouraged to Show Support

May 17, 2019

This week, the House Health Committee considered HAP-supported House Resolution 268 to study the impact of the Commonwealth’s mental and behavioral health treatment capacity. Members of Pennsylvania’s hospital community are encouraged to sign a petition urging lawmakers to support the resolution.

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Study Finds Telemedicine Visits Generate Cost Savings

May 13, 2019

According to a study by Thomas Jefferson University, published in this month’s The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, patients using the health system’s telemedicine platform generated cost savings by diverting patients from more expensive care settings.

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National Hospital Week Celebrates Pennsylvania Hospitals

May 08, 2019

Lawmakers in Harrisburg have unanimously adopted companion resolutions recognizing National Hospital Week, which will take place May 12–18, 2019.

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AHRQ: Telehealth Consultations Can Improve Access, Outcomes, and Patient Satisfaction While Reducing Utilization

May 03, 2019

Is there evidence that telehealth consultations help providers improve acute and chronic care? An extensive review and synthesis of 233 articles—culled from more than 9,000 abstracts and a review of more than 1,000 full-text research studies examining the clinical and cost effectiveness of telehealth—indicate that they do.

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Barriers in Delivering Health Care, Expanding Telemedicine Highlighted at Annual Rural Pennsylvania Legislative Briefing

May 02, 2019

At an event yesterday hosted by Pennsylvania state Representative Kathy Rapp (R-65), state Senator Michele Brooks (R-50), and Lisa Davis, director, Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, Dr. Frederick Bloom, president, Guthrie Medical Group, presented testimony before a number of legislators and staff. Dr. Bloom highlighted the significant barriers to access to care brought about by the lack of connectivity to broadband Internet.

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Medicare Advantage Enrollees May Have More Access to Telehealth Services

April 17, 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a final rule updating the Medicare Advantage program to allow for innovative plan design and more choices for patients. The popularity of Medicare Advantage plans has been on the rise and new flexibilities, including additional telehealth and nontraditional benefits will likely continue this trend. 

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Pennsylvania Highlighted for Rural Health Care Innovation

April 10, 2019

The transformative changes hospitals and health systems face are front and center at this year’s American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Meeting. During an executive session centered on rural issues, Pennsylvania’s hospitals were highlighted for their innovative work through the Rural Health Model.

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Report Shows Use of Telehealth Growing Faster Than Use of Other Alternative Care Sites

April 04, 2019

Independent non-profit FAIR Health’s second annual report shows the nation’s use of telehealth (also called telemedicine) grew 53 percent from 2016 to 2017, outpacing increases in utilization at the other alternative care sites studied.

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Research Reveals that the Number of Youth Visiting EDs for Psychiatric Problems is Rising

March 19, 2019

Research published in the journal, Pediatrics, reports that the number of young people ages 6 to 24 who visited emergency departments for psychiatric problems rose by 28 percent between 2011 and 2015.

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News Release: Innovative Pilot Aims to Boost Rural Community Health

March 05, 2019

Members of the hospital community joined Wolf Administration leaders today to announce a new pilot program designed to improve rural community health and provide financial stability for rural hospitals.

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AHA Releases Report, Resources on Telehealth

March 01, 2019

The American Hospital Association (AHA) Center for Health Innovation released the second in a series of new market intelligence tools for hospital and health system leaders. Telehealth: A Path to Virtual Integrated Care is based on information and insights from interviews with hospital and health system leaders and other health care experts, surveys of hospital and health systems, and a number of health care reports and research articles.

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Newly Introduced Federal Legislation Would Offer Flexibility for Rural Hospitals to Meet the Needs of Rural Communities

February 13, 2019

Two new legislative proposals introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would provide flexibility for rural providers to appropriately manage the length of stay of patients served by critical access hospitals and better leverage the clinical workforce to provide care to patients in underserved communities.

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PA Hospitals Encouraged to Submit Innovative Programs to 2019 HAP Achievement Awards

January 23, 2019

It’s no secret that Pennsylvania’s health care landscape is changing at an increasingly rapid pace and its hospitals and health systems are rising to that challenge through innovative programs to improve the quality of care, patient experience, and technology to meet the needs of the communities they serve. HAP members are encouraged to review the 2019 Achievement Awards Call for Entries and submit their innovative patient-centered initiatives that improve health care quality and efficiency and the health of their communities by March 1.

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New CDC Study Finds Guidelines Help to Decrease Opioid Prescriptions, but Geographic Disparities Remain

January 17, 2019

This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new study about opioid prescribing trends. The study found that physicians have reduced the overall frequency with which they are prescribing opioids following the CDC’s release of its Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. The rates of reductions, however, vary between urban and rural areas

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