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Twentyeight Health is a telemedicine company expanding access to women’s health and reproductive care

New York’s Twentyeight Health is taking the wildly telemedicine services for women’s health popularized by companies like Nurx and bringing them to a patient population that previously hadn’t had access. 

The mission to provide women who are Medicaid or underinsured should not be deprived of the same kinds of care that patients who have more income security or better healthcare coverage enjoy, according to the company’s founder, Amy Fan.

The mission, and the company’s technology, have managed to convince a slew of investors who have poured $5.1 million in seed funding into the new startup. Third Prime led the round, which included investments from Town Hall Ventures, SteelSky Ventures, Aglaé Ventures, GingerBread Capital, Rucker Park Capital, Predictive VC, and angel investors like Stu Libby, Zoe Barry, and Wan Li Zhu.

“Women who are on Medicaid, who are underinsured or without health insurance often struggle to find access to reproductive health services, and these struggles have only increased with COVID-19 pandemic limiting access to in-person appointments,” said Amy Fan, co-founder of Twentyeight Health, in a statement. “We are fighting for healthcare equity, ensuring that all women, particularly BIPOC women and women from low-income backgrounds, can access high quality, dignified and convenient care.”

To ensure that its catering to underserved communities, the company works with Bottomless Closet, a workforce entry program for women, and the 8 colleges in the City University of New York ecosystem including LaGuardia College, which has 45,000 students with 70% coming from families making less than $30,000 in annual income.

The company’s services are currently available across Florida, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and it’s the only telemedicine company focused on contraception services to accept Medicaid.

In another example of how awesome this company is, it’s also working to provide free birth control for women who aren’t able to pay out of pocket and are uninsured through a partnership with Bedsider’s Contraceptive Access Fund. The company also donates 2% of its revenue to Bedsider and the National Institute for Reproductive Health. (Y’all, this company is amaze.)

To sign up for the service, new customers fill out a medical questionnaire online. Once the questionnaire is reviewed by a US board-certified doctor within 24 hours customers can access over 100 FDA-approved brands of birth control pills, patches, rings, shots, and emergency contraception and receive a shipment within three days.

Twentyeight Health provides ongoing care through online audio consultations and doctor follow up messages to discuss issues around updating prescriptions or addressing side effects, the company said.

“Today, low-income women are three times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than the average woman in the U.S., and nearly one-third of physicians nationwide aren’t accepting new Medicaid patients,” said Bruno Van Tuykom, co-founder of Twentyeight Health, in a statement. “This underscores why offering high-quality reproductive care that is inclusive of people across race, income bracket, or health insurance status is more important than ever.”

Launched in 2018, Twentyeight Health said it would use the new

Advanced ICU Care and UAB Medicine Enter Strategic Telemedicine Partnership

ST. LOUIS, Mo., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Advanced ICU Care, the nation’s leading provider of high-acuity telemedicine services, announced a large strategic telemedicine partnership with UAB Medicine, a nationally recognized leader in patient care, research and training. The technology, operations, and care partnership encompasses the entire UAB Health System including University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, the third largest public hospital facility in the U.S. The relationship initiates with the development of a new tele-ICU operations center in Birmingham and envisions serving up to 750 ICU beds in Alabama and surrounding states.

The new partnership brings together leading healthcare innovators to advance the practice and operational models of tele-ICU care. UAB Medicine’s desire to provide state-of-the-art tele-ICU services for its ICU units led to extensive evaluation of tele-ICU options. Advanced ICU Care has developed unique assets and experience in its fifteen years of offering telemedicine care.

In particular, Advanced ICU Care’s proprietary HUB workflow management software platform uniquely addresses the challenges associated with the customized delivery of acute patient care at high volumes across multiple care venues. In addition, the company’s technical, operational, and clinical expertise draw upon its care of over a half million tele-ICU patients and care partnerships with more than 100 hospitals nationwide. UAB Medicine brings to the relationship additional clinical expertise as a national leader in pulmonary and critical care medicine.

 “Advanced ICU Care’s clinical and operational expertise and proprietary HUB workflow management software are assets that are well aligned with UAB’s vision for our tele-ICU programs,” said Reid Jones, CEO of UAB Medicine. “Telehealth and tele-ICU have become increasingly important vehicles for healthcare delivery, and we look forward to leveraging Advanced ICU Care’s assets to deliver high-acuity telemedicine to patients across Alabama and beyond.”

“The size and scope of this unique tele-ICU services partnership is indicative of the forward looking, innovation-oriented cultures of both organizations,” said Lou Silverman, CEO of Advanced ICU Care. “As a technology-enabled healthcare services organization, we have successfully implemented and managed more tele-ICU programs than any other provider in the nation. We see this partnership as an endorsement of the successes we have achieved to date and as a validation of our vision for the future of telemedicine. We look forward to collaborating closely with the UAB Medicine team in this inspired project.”

About UAB Medicine

UAB Medicine comprises the School of Medicine and the $4.3 billion UAB Health System that includes all of the University of Alabama at Birmingham‘s patient-care activities and 2,300 licensed beds in six hospitals, one of which is UAB Hospital — the third-largest public hospital in the United States, winner of the Women’s Choice award, and one of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals. UAB, a part of the University of Alabama System, is the state of Alabama’s largest single employer and an internationally renowned research university and academic health center; its professional schools and specialty patient-care programs are consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50. UAB is the

Advanced ICU Care and UAB Medicine Enter Strategic Telemedicine Partnership | Nachricht

ST. LOUIS, Mo., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Advanced ICU Care, the nation’s leading provider of high-acuity telemedicine services, announced a large strategic telemedicine partnership with UAB Medicine, a nationally recognized leader in patient care, research and training. The technology, operations, and care partnership encompasses the entire UAB Health System including University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, the third largest public hospital facility in the U.S. The relationship initiates with the development of a new tele-ICU operations center in Birmingham and envisions serving up to 750 ICU beds in Alabama and surrounding states.

(PRNewsfoto/Advanced ICU Care)

The new partnership brings together leading healthcare innovators to advance the practice and operational models of tele-ICU care. UAB Medicine’s desire to provide state-of-the-art tele-ICU services for its ICU units led to extensive evaluation of tele-ICU options. Advanced ICU Care has developed unique assets and experience in its fifteen years of offering telemedicine care.

In particular, Advanced ICU Care’s proprietary HUB workflow management software platform uniquely addresses the challenges associated with the customized delivery of acute patient care at high volumes across multiple care venues. In addition, the company’s technical, operational, and clinical expertise draw upon its care of over a half million tele-ICU patients and care partnerships with more than 100 hospitals nationwide. UAB Medicine brings to the relationship additional clinical expertise as a national leader in pulmonary and critical care medicine.

“Advanced ICU Care’s clinical and operational expertise and proprietary HUB workflow management software are assets that are well aligned with UAB’s vision for our tele-ICU programs,” said Reid Jones, CEO of UAB Medicine. “Telehealth and tele-ICU have become increasingly important vehicles for healthcare delivery, and we look forward to leveraging Advanced ICU Care’s assets to deliver high-acuity telemedicine to patients across Alabama and beyond.”

“The size and scope of this unique tele-ICU services partnership is indicative of the forward looking, innovation-oriented cultures of both organizations,” said Lou Silverman, CEO of Advanced ICU Care. “As a technology-enabled healthcare services organization, we have successfully implemented and managed more tele-ICU programs than any other provider in the nation. We see this partnership as an endorsement of the successes we have achieved to date and as a validation of our vision for the future of telemedicine. We look forward to collaborating closely with the UAB Medicine team in this inspired project.”

About UAB Medicine

UAB Medicine comprises the School of Medicine and the $4.3 billion UAB Health System that includes all of the University of Alabama at Birmingham‘s patient-care activities and 2,300 licensed beds in six hospitals, one of which is UAB Hospital — the third-largest public hospital in the United States, winner of the Women’s Choice award, and one of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals. UAB, a part of the University of Alabama System, is the state of Alabama’s largest single employer and an internationally renowned research university and academic health center; its professional schools and specialty patient-care programs are consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50. UAB is the

Telemedicine Takedown; Cue the Copays; Winners for Satisfaction

Welcome to Telehealth Roundup, highlighting news and features about emerging trends in telemedicine and telehealth.

Telemedicine Schemes Bring Federal Charges

The Department of Justice charged 345 people, including more than 100 doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals, in what the agency called its largest healthcare fraud case ever.

Defendants were charged with submitting more than $6 billion in false and fraudulent claims to federal health care programs and private insurers, the justice department said.

The largest amount — $4.5 billion in allegedly false and fraudulent claims submitted by more than 86 criminal defendants in 19 judicial districts — involved telemedicine schemes.

In some cases, business executives paid doctors and nurse practitioners to order unnecessary durable medical equipment, genetic and diagnostic testing, or medications, either without any patient interaction or with only a brief phone conversation with patients they had never met, prosecutors said. Fraudulent claims were submitted to Medicare and other government payers and proceeds laundered through international shell corporations and foreign banks, according to court documents.

CMS’s Center for Program Integrity separately announced that it revoked the Medicare billing privileges of 256 other medical professionals for their involvement in fraudulent telemedicine schemes.

“This nationwide enforcement operation is historic in both its size and scope, alleging billions of dollars in healthcare fraud across the country,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt said in a statement. It follows the 2019 Operation Brace Yourself takedown, a $1 billion orthotic brace scheme also involving telemedicine fraud.

Insurers Roll Back Coverage

UnitedHealth Group and Anthem customers may face out-of-pocket charges for certain telehealth visits starting Oct. 1, STAT reported.

Until Sept. 30, UnitedHealth had covered the full cost of telehealth visits with in-network providers at no cost to patients. Now, depending on their benefits plan, some UnitedHealth members will be responsible for copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for virtual medical care not related to COVID-19.

Anthem also will stop waiving the cost of copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for virtual visits not related to COVID-19 as of Oct. 1 for some members.

It’s not clear how much patients will pay for telehealth services or how these costs will compare with in-office visits.

“I think it’s irresponsible to decrease payment for the kind of care that so many patients are receiving,” Adam Licurse, MD, executive director of the virtual care department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Faulkner Hospital in Boston, told STAT.

“For many patients, it’s their lifeline right now — it’s the only way that they’re feeling comfortable or safe receiving care.

Potential effects on providers also are concerning, Licurse said: “To have a provider feel financial pressure to offer less telehealth and bring more patients into the office — because they have to pay the bills and keep the lights on and keep their practice running — is a pressure providers shouldn’t have to face.”

Some insurers, including CVS Health and BlueCross BlueShield Tennessee, already have extended their expiration date until the end of this year, and others may follow suit.