Noteworthy News 

T-Mobile launching 5G broadband

T-Mobile's launch of 5G broadband for rural America had been expected but the "un-carrier" surprised some by throwing in a free Samsung Galaxy A32 5G smartphone for new customers who trade in working phones.

 

Some analysts are questioning T-Mobile's ability to compete with fiber and cable in the home broadband market, and others are wondering how profitable the service will be. But winning customers for its new 5G broadband service isn't T-Mobile's only goal. The company promised the FCC it would cover 97% of the U.S. with 5G by 2023, and this service seems to be a big step in that direction. T-Mobile says 30 million U.S. homes are already eligible for its 5G broadband service.

 

If that 30 million number sounds familiar, it's because three and a half years ago Verizon announced a 5G broadband plan, estimating the market at 30 million households. So far it's won less than 1% of that market, according to one analyst estimate, but conventional wisdom pins that lackluster performance on Verizon's spectrum portfolio. The carrier initially tried to launch 5G broadband using millimeter wave spectrum, which does not propagate well over distance and has limited penetration. T-Mobile will leverage its midband spectrum, which has better propagation characteristics.  

Verizon has integrated BlueJeans Telehealth with Epic EMR

Verizon tells NBR it has integrated its BlueJeans Telehealth solution with Epic, the electronic health records provider that dominates the U.S. market. The company says it is working with another major vendor in the space to offer the same seamless integration soon, and that the next step will be opening BlueJeans Telehealth to "direct embeds." 

During the COVID-19 pandemic many physicians have used Zoom for telehealth, and Zoom has also integrated with Epic. 

The pandemic also opened the door for healthcare providers to receive reinbursement from insurance companies for telehealth visits, but according to a white paper produced by Verizon Business, those reimbursement rates are likely to be less than the rates for in-person visits. Patients also value virtual visits less than real ones. "While patients like the convenience of telehealth, they value it as ‘less than’ an in-person visit," said Rob Havasy, Senior Director for Health Information Systems at HIMSS. "They are willing to pay for telehealth, but they think they should pay less for those kinds of visits. So, at this point, if you are a provider who is considering using telehealth after the pandemic, you need to make sure the costs underlying that option are commensurate with potentially lower reimbursements for those kinds of visits."

Translation: choose a cost-effective telehealth provider, which is how Verizon hopes to position BlueJeans Telehealth. The service will be available as a standalone product, so healthcare providers will not need to use the Verizon network to use BlueJeans Telehealth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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