News Roundup August 28th, 2020

The market for telehealth services is sizzling as tech behemoth Google, more specifically, their cloud computing arm Google Cloud recently announced they are investing $100MM in Amwell   “a company that builds technology for virtual doctors’ visits.” As the landscape rapidly gears towards merging technology and healthcare, a willingness to transform the industry is seen as a remarkable shift against changing winds. 

CNBC reports: 

“As part of the partnership, Amwell will move parts of its business from Amazon Web Services, which it currently uses, to Google Cloud. Specifically, Amwell is selecting Google cloud as its “preferred global cloud partner” and moving some video performance capabilities to that platform, the companies said in a press release. The two companies will also cooperate on technology and build out a dedicated sales effort to expand Amwell’s footprint in the sector.”

As we saw one milestone with Amwell, another Boston company saw a massive swell in interest as a young startup that provides virtual health care on a global basis was acquired by health advisor ConsumerMedical.

From the Boston Globe:

“ConsumerMedical, a provider of health care guidance and advice based on the South Shore, announced on Wednesday that it has scooped up InfiniteMD, a relatively young startup in Boston that provides virtual health care on a global basis.”

In home health industry news, changes by CMS set forth in 2019 regarding Requests for Agency Payments (RAPs) is starting to put smaller agencies with tight margins in a pinch.

In their Confessions series where Home Health Care News documents the experience of home health providers:

“[…]the decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to eliminate home health pre-payments — or Requests for Anticipated Payment (RAPs) — has been most difficult to manage.

CMS finalized its plan to phase out RAPs in its 2020 home health payment rule, outlined in October 2020. Under the plan, CMS started reducing pre-payment levels for existing agencies this year, with the goal of eliminating them by 2021.

New home health agencies were blocked from RAPs entirely in 2020.”