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Cleveland Clinic creates telehealth offering with CVS MinuteClinic

BY DSN STAFF
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Higi partnership with IMPOWER physicians raises the bar for interactive health management

BY Michael Johnsen
CHICAGO – IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central Florida are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi, the companies announced Wednesday.  
 
By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health measurements, such as blood pressure, weight, pulse and body mass index, and, when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians through a quick and convenient visit to a local retail location at no cost. By leveraging this data, IMPOWER clinicians are gaining greater insights into their patients' health statuses, which is particularly helpful when e-prescribing medication during virtual consultations.  
 
"Higi provides a unique opportunity for healthcare providers to engage their patients between visits and receive real-time biometric and activity data, which is especially important when dealing with chronic conditions," stated Khan Siddiqui, chief medical and technology officer of higi. "Our partnership with IMPOWER is only the beginning; we look forward to building relationships with telehealth providers across the country to advance their care management efforts and continue our mission of empowering consumers to own their health by understanding their key health stats."
 
"We are excited to set a new clinical standard in telehealth through our partnership with higi," said IMPOWER president and CEO Anna Baznik. "With higi, we have a unique opportunity to empower our patients to take an active role in their health leading up to and between appointments, which will help advance our work to remove barriers that keep people from seeking the care they need."
 
Teen and adult patients will register for higi at any of the 981 retail locations state-wide, opt in to share their vital statistics with their IMPOWER physician, and check in for free anytime at a higi station. IMPOWER physicians will require their patients to check in and share their vital statistics before an appointment and patients have the option to check in, without cost, as frequently as they'd like between appointments. Regular data collection provides insights into individual health trends which can help clinicians track the success of certain treatments and improve patient wellness overall. The improved ability to track health measurements made possible by higi helps IMPOWER clinicians encourage their patients to stay active in managing their own health while also providing their clinicians the invaluable health data needed to make crucial care decisions.
 
Higi is the leading omni-channel community engagement platform with web, mobile and health stations in nearly 10,000 retail locations across the U.S. At an FDA-cleared higi station, consumers can conveniently and securely track their biometric data such as blood pressure, pulse, weight and body mass index free of charge. The higi platform also allows the integration of more than 70 wearable devices that track personal activity data in real time. This enables a highly accurate analysis of individual key health indicators over time and empowers individuals to take charge of improving their own health outcomes while sharing more accurate and relevant data with their health care providers and those they trust.
 
 
 
 
 

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Congress passes Ensuring Patient Access Act

BY Michael Johnsen
ARLINGTON, Va. – The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 (S. 483) in the same version passed by the Senate, making President Obama’s consideration and signature the final step before enactment.
 
The legislation, advocated by both retail pharmacy and the pharma industry, would advance collaboration among health and enforcement authorities to achieve drug abuse solutions that maintain patients’ legitimate access to medications.
 
The Senate passed S. 483 on March 17, 2016. The House previously passed a slightly different version one year ago – in April 2015.
 
“This legislation is consistent with NACDS’ position that the complexity of these issues demands a 100% commitment to patient care and a zero tolerance for abuse,” stated Steven Anderson, president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. 
 
“More than three years ago, HDMA’s pharmaceutical distributor members created the initial concept that later became the bill that was passed today," added John Gray, president and CEO for the Healthcare Distribution Management Association. "It has been gratifying to watch as the primary framework, initially advocated by our industry, and supported by patient, pharmacy and provider groups, gained champions in the House and Senate and evolved into full-fledged legislation that ultimately garnered bipartisan support.”   
 
NACDS has noted that the steady progress of the legislation in the Congress can be considered to be highly consistent with public attitudes. In an opinion study commissioned by NACDS last summer, likely voters who are engaged and aware when it comes to current events indicated through their responses an appreciation for the need to address drug abuse and drug access in a complementary manner.
 
Nearly 8-in-10 respondents agreed with the statement: “Pharmacies have a dual role when it comes to battling prescription drug abuse: They have to be part of the solution by working with law enforcement officials to stop prescription drug abuse, but they also have to maintain their responsibilities to patients by making sure they receive the medications they legitimately need.”
 
NACDS prepared a timeline of significant events related to this legislation’s journey through Congress. 
 

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