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3 states earn failing grade when it comes to telemedicine

BY Michael Johnsen

Dallas – In the past two years, 25 states have revised their professional standards and licensure requirements in response to providers offering health services via telemedicine, according to a health briefing filed by Jennifer Vermeulen for the National Center for Policy Analysis on Thursday. And in 2014 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services changed its fee schedule to encourage more telehealth practices. 
 
The American Telemedicine Association awarded 22 states an “A” for regulations governing telemedicine providers-patient encounters, Vermeulen reported. However, three states — Texas, Alabama and Arkansas — got an F. 
 
According to the report, Arkansas and Texas are the only states that require patients to have an established relationship with a physician prior to a telemedicine encounter. And Texas, Alabama and Georgia are alone among states in requiring an in-office follow-up visit after a telemedicine encounter.
 
Facing a rapidly-growing population, the Texas Medical Board, instead of embracing an innovative technology that increases patient access to medical care, has taken a “strong stand against telemedicine,” stated NCPA senior fellow Devon Herrick, who managed the report research. “The Texas Medical Board took deliberate steps to protect local providers from competition.”
 
Texas, in particular, may benefit from increasing access to care by way of telemedicine. The state’s growing population of 25 million is served by 18,000 primary care physicians, and 95 of the state’s 254 counties have fewer than 10 doctors; 54 of those counties have fewer than 5 licensed physicians. 
 
Strong population growth has left nearly 13% of the state’s population medically underserved, meaning that an individual’s circumstances make it difficult to either access or afford health care services. 
 
“Worldwide, the use of telemedicine to treat patients is expected to grow to 7 million by 2018 – up 20 fold from 2013 levels,” Herrick said. “With the population of Texas projected to double by 2050, limiting telemedicine patients and providers is a blow to the future of health care in Texas.”
 
 
 
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L’Oreal appoints new president of professional products division

BY David Salazar

CLICHY, France — L’Oreal announced Thursday that it had appointed a new president of its professional products division. Nathalie Roos, who joined the company in 2012 as the L’Oreal Germany country manager, will succeed An Verhulst-Santos, and join the company’s executive committee in the second quarter of 2016. Verhulst-Santos will take on new responsibilities in the company, effective in April. 
 
During her time at L’Oreal, Roos has helped grow the company’s consumer products division in Germany. She began her career at Kraft Foods Group in 1987 and moved to Mars Group in 1989. 
 
Verhulst-Santos has been president of the professional products division for the past five years, during which time she has overseen the integration of the acquired brands Decléor and Carita. She joined L’Oreal’s executive committee in 2011. 
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Perrigo enables Digimarc Barcode technology in private label offerings

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
BEAVERTON, Ore. – Digimarc on Thursday announced a collaboration with Perrigo to provide Digimarc Barcode services to its retail customers. 
 
The Digimarc Barcode is a disruptive technology that can support an omnichannel shopping experience on one end and improve checkout efficiency on the other end by encoding an entire package with an invisible barcode. 
 
“We want to provide our customers with the latest technology advancements that can assist in growing their own label business,” stated Jeff Needham, Perrigo's EVP, U.S. consumer healthcare. “Consumers want more information about health-related products, and our retailers are continually looking for ways to deliver that information while improving their own operational efficiency. The Digimarc Barcode is an ideal way to provide additional retailer and consumer benefits without cluttering product design.”
 
“With the adoption of Digimarc Barcode, Perrigo is demonstrating product leadership, delivering greater opportunities for consumer engagement and building brand loyalty for customers,” commented Bruce Davis, CEO at Digimarc. “Easy and effective communication of information about products is also becoming increasingly important in their field. We look forward to closely partnering with them in this very important and challenging area of consumer product marketing.” 
 
By including Digimarc Barcode in artwork and product packaging concurrently, Perrigo will enable its retail customers to engage consumers in a more meaningful way, providing significantly more information about the benefits of the products they are looking to purchase. By simply pointing a smartphone camera at a Digimarc Barcode-enabled package, consumers can access a wide range of relevant product information that is easily updated at any time by Perrigo or its retailers, including directing customers to their e-commerce sites. 
 
Digimarc Barcode also allows faster and easier checkout at point of sale, providing significant operational efficiencies for retailers. Finally, embedded barcodes also provide easier inventory management and time- and labor-savings. 
 
 
 
 
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