The Bear MARKETS and Cyber ECONOMY

By Staff Reporters

  • Markets: Stocks dropped sharply in the post-Thanksgiving trading session on Friday due to concerns over the new Covid variant, Omicron. The Dow fell 2.5% for its worst day of the year, and the S&P also tumbled 2.3%. Oil prices and travel stocks also got rocked given fresh worries over travel demand, while “stay-at-home” names like Peloton and Zoom got a boost.
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  • Economy: It’s still way too early to know the impact of Omicron on economic growth. As we laid out last week, the Fed is under pressure to accelerate the winding down of its stimulus measures in order to battle inflation, but the new variant could change the calculus. Investors dialed back their expectations of a sooner-than-expected rate increase on Friday.

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Tele-Health Financial Expansion

BY HEALTH CAPITAL CONSULTANTS, LLC

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Additional $20 Million Directed to Rural Telehealth Expansion

It has been well documented that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unprecedented increases in telemedicine utilization across the U.S. However, rural providers and patients, as evidenced by their lower rates of telemedicine usage during this time, have not been able to take advantage of the opportunities provided by telemedicine to the same extent as urban providers.

On August 18, 2021, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the latest attempt to ameliorate this issue – the distribution of nearly $20 million to 36 recipients for the purpose of strengthening telehealth services in rural and underserved communities and expanding innovation and quality. (Read more…)

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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Study Finds COVID-19 Accelerated Physician Practice Acquisitions

Study Finds COVID-19 Accelerated Physician Practice Acquisitions

By Health Capital Consultants, LLC


A recent study from Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI), prepared by Avalere Health, associated the growing number of both physician practice acquisitions and employed physicians between 2019 and 2021 with the COVID-19 pandemic.

To study COVID-19’s impact on physician employment trends, the June 2021 study evaluated the IQVIA OneKey database that contains physician practice and health system ownership information.

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To assess these trends at a national and regional level, Avalere researchers studied the two-year period from January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2021. (Read more…)

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TELE-MEDICINE Fraud, Abuse and New Barriers!

Telemedicine: Fraud and Abuse During the COVID Pandemic

By Susan Walberg

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it huge challenges for people all over the world; not only the obvious health-related concerns but also shutdowns, unemployment, financial difficulties, and a variety of lifestyle changes as a result.

When the COVID pandemic struck, CMS quickly recognized that access to care would be an issue, with healthcare resources strained and many providers or suppliers shutting down their offices or drastically limiting availability. Patients who needed routine care or follow-up visits were at risk for not receiving services during a time when healthcare providers were scrambling to enhance infection control measures and implement other new safety standards to protect patients and healthcare workers.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has responded by easing restrictions and regulatory burdens in order to allow patients to receive the healthcare services they need without undue access challenges. One key area that has changed is the restrictions related to telehealth services, which were previously only paid by Medicare under certain circumstances, such as patients living in remote areas.

Among the changes and waivers CMS has offered, telemedicine reimbursement is among the more significant. Telemedicine services, which includes office visits and ‘check ins’ are now allowed and reimbursed by Medicare. In addition to reimbursement changes, CMS has also relaxed the HIPAA privacy and information security enforcement standards, paving the way for providers to adopt a new model of providing services electronically.

TELE-HEALTH BARRIERS: https://www.statnews.com/2021/07/13/telehealth-provisions-emergency-patients/

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MORE:  https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2021/05/18/fraud-schemes-of-few-medical-providers/

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Cumulative Covid-19 Vaccination Doses Administered to-Date!

2021 Vaccine Equity

January 16, 2021

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How Did We Screw Up the Pandemic So Badly?

By Bertalan Mesk MD PhD

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https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-did-we-screw-pandemic-up-so-bad-bertalan-mesk%C3%B3-md-phd/?trk=eml-email_series_follow_newsletter_01-hero-257-title_link&midToken=AQGGg4QStFgVOA&fromEmail=fromEmail&ut=0zs6pcrWG-_9o1

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