New Mexico gov. announces $600,00 proposal for telehealth; 23andme puts DNA reports on hold;

News From Around the Web

> New Mexico governor Susana Martinez, has announced a $600,000 proposal to expand telehealth access. "For many in our rural areas, particular those suffering from chronic, complicated or rare illnesses, treatment can require long trips to urban centers to see specialists or other physicians. This often poses a tremendous financial burden on these patients, and can make it much more difficult for New Mexicans to get the treatment they need and deserve," Martinez said in an announcement. "Telemedicine can help us overcome these challenges, connecting patients or their rural practitioners electronically with specialists and practitioners in other parts of the state." Announcement

>  23andme is putting health reports on hold, the company announced late Thursday. Nearly two weeks ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the company to stop marketing its consumer genetics test because it "provides health-related information" that the regulatory agency says must first be validated and approved for sale, MIT Technology Review reports. Article

Health Finance News

> A conference on price transparency in healthcare had one of the nation's leading hospital executives calling for streamlining billing requirements, while other well-known names in economics and journalism instead criticized practices that they said did little to discourage current hospital practices. Article

> Hospital and healthcare system executives lobbied Capitol Hill this week and asked for the end to what they described as "arbitrary" funding cuts to the Medicare and Medicaid programs, AHA News Now reported. In addition to preserving payment rates for elderly and indigent patients, the hospital leaders also urged preserving additional payments for so-called critical access hospitals--small facilities that serve rural and isolated areas. Article

Health Payer News

> U.S. prosecutors have charged 49 current and former Russian diplomats and their family members with participating in a $1.5 million Medicaid fraud, Reuters reported. The charges, filed in November and unsealed on Thursday, claim the diplomats, based in New York, submitted falsified applications and fraudulent claims for Medicaid between 2004 and 2013. Article

And Finally...  A different kind of Happy Meal. Article

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