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MedPage Today: New Audio-Only Telemedicine Bill; Chronic Illness, Mental Health Fuel Boom

A new telemedicine bill introduced in Congress this month would expand Medicare coverage for audio-only telehealth visits, mHealth Intelligence reported. Virtual visits that use telephone only, not video, have been a challenge for clinicians, as telehealth services exploded after the COVID-19 public health emergency. Regarding emerging trends in telemedicine and telehealth, remote monitoring also significantly dropped hospital readmission rates after total hip or knee replacement, a randomized trial in JAMA Network Open found. Text messages included content about hip or knee exercises, physical activity, and medication management. While the surgery team delivered the same instructions, “the text messaging may have provided reinforcement in real-time to improve adherence and accountability,” Shivan Mehta, MD, MBA, MSHP, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues suggested. Activity monitoring also might have encouraged people to take more steps and may have improved recovery function, they said.   Read more at MedPage Today.