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Telemedicine is dying – a marginal revolution

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Bloomberg: Before the Covid era, telehealth accounted for less than 1% of outpatient care, according to Kaiser Family Foundation. Telehealth services have skyrocketed since then, peaking at 40% of outpatient visits for mental health and substance abuse.

Unfortunately, as I warned last year Telemedicine is being canceled and the regulations that have been lifted for the epidemiological emergency are also cancelled Put it in place.

Telemedicine has gone viral after COVID-19 hit, but restrictions are back on care provided across state lines.

…Over the past year, nearly 40 states and Washington, D.C., have ended emergency declarations that made it easier for doctors to use video visits to see patients in another state, according to the Connected Care Alliance, which advocates the use of telemedicine.

…to state medical boards, the patient’s location during a telemedicine visit is where the appointment is made. One McDonald’s, Massachusetts General Hospital, requires that physicians in a patient’s case be licensed to make virtual visits.

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I know people who have had to travel across the Virginia/Maryland border only to find a wifi spot to get a telemedicine appointment with their MD. silly.

as such I wrote earlier:

Telemedicine innovations pioneered during the pandemic should remain as options. No one doubts that some medical services are better performed in person nor that the request for in-person visits limits some types of fraud and abuse. However, the goal should be to ensure quality by regulating the medical provider and not regulating how they perform their services. Communication technology is improving at a record pace. We’ve moved from phones to Facetime and soon we’ll have more cutting-edge virtual presence technology that can be combined with the next generation of Apple Watches and Fitbits that collect medical information. We want to base medical care on advances in other industries and not be bound by 19th and 20th century technology.


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Economic

At the November Fed meeting, officials signaled market resilience amid volatile conditions by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Federal Reserve Building in Washington on March 18, 2008. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

Written by Michael S Derby

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When Federal Reserve officials met at the start of the month to assess another rate hike, some were pondering what the central bank might have to do if the Treasury market ran into trouble.

Those concerns were expressed in the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s November 1-2 rate-setting meeting, which were released on Wednesday. Then, officials pushed forward with big interest rate increases that are part of a drive to bring down the highest levels of inflation seen in 40 years.

The speed of the Fed’s rate hikes, which also joined the central bank’s continued actions to dump Treasury and mortgage bonds to shrink the size of its balance sheet, generated fears that the Fed might break something in the financial markets.

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So far, the treasury market, which serves as the backbone of the global credit system, has held its own, although there is significant concern about low liquidity making trading difficult. So far, Fed officials have described the market as resilient.

The minutes said: “The participants noted that despite the increasing fluctuations in interest rates and indications of tense liquidity conditions, the performance of the treasury stock market was orderly.” Officials briefing Federal Reserve employees agreed,

The minutes cited recent events in Britain as a source of concern. There, the central bank was forced to step in and buy bonds to restore market stability, in a policy at odds with the Bank of England’s overall efforts to tighten rather than ease monetary policy. Some worry that the Fed may have to buy back assets in the US in the event of some kind of trouble, and some in Congress have already warned the Fed against going that route.

According to the minutes, a few participants indicated the importance of being prepared to address disruptions in the performance of the US core market in ways that will not affect the stance of monetary policy, especially during periods of monetary tightening.

However, the minutes did not say what the Fed could do to calm markets in the face of trouble without taking action to buy bonds, as the central bank did in late 2019 and spring 2020, when markets became volatile.

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Some observers said the Fed’s tool called a perpetual repo facility, which allows eligible companies to quickly convert Treasury bonds into cash loans, could be an important tool in restoring liquidity. This facility was certified in the summer of 2021 and has not yet been tested.

The minutes also stated that “many participants pointed to the risks posed by non-bank financial institutions amid the rapid global tightening of monetary policy and the possibility of hidden influence in these institutions to amplify shocks.”

The discussion about financial stability reflected on the record took place before the recent shocks to market stability emerging from the non-banking sector – specifically the field of cryptocurrencies. It wasn’t until after the officials adjourned their meeting that cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed and filed for bankruptcy, that other failures seemed imminent.

Michael Barr, the Federal Reserve’s chief financial stability officer, vice president of oversight, told Congress last week that he was concerned about a “backlash” to the broader financial system from cryptocurrency-related failures.

“We’re concerned about risks that we don’t know about in the non-banking sector,” Barr told the Senate Banking Committee.

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Most Fed officials support slower rate hikes ‘soon’

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A “large majority” of Fed officials support a slower pace of rate hikes soon, even as some warn that monetary policy will need to tighten more than expected next year, according to the account of their latest meeting.

Minutes of the November meeting, at which the Federal Reserve Board Starch Its record rate of 0.75 percentage points fell for the fourth consecutive time, indicating that officials are committed to pressing ahead with their campaign to stamp out high inflation.

However, the account also indicated that officials are ready to start raising rates in smaller increments while they assess the economic impact of the most aggressive tightening campaign in decades.

According to the minutes, “a slower pace in these circumstances would better allow the committee to assess progress toward its goals of maximizing employment and price stability.”

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The calculation, released on Wednesday, showed that some Fed officials believe they will have to squeeze the economy more than they initially expected because inflation has shown “little signs so far of abating” — even if they get there with a smaller rate hike.

After the latest rate decision, the federal funds rate now hovers between 3.75 percent and 4 percent, a level that senior officials say will begin to directly dampen demand and weak consumer spending.

Because higher interest rates take time to feed into the economy, as do policymakers at the Federal Reserve Suggestion The “switch cut” rate rises to half a point once the next meeting in December, when their campaign to tighten monetary policy comes into play new stage.

At a news conference earlier this month, Chairman Jay Powell said the level at which the federal funds rate hits will exceed the 4.6 percent level that most Fed officials predicted just two months ago.

His warning of a higher “end rate” came amid mounting evidence that price pressures are becoming embedded in a broader range of goods and services even as consumer prices grow faster. Eases.

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Since then, many policymakers have said the federal funds rate would need to rise above at least 5 percent in order to return inflation to the Fed’s 2 percent target. They also pledged to keep interest rates at a level they consider “constraining enough” for a long period of time until they are sure that the economy begins to cool down as hoped.

However, investors remain skeptical about the Fed’s commitment to further tightening monetary policy, especially as economic data has become increasingly mixed. Despite protests from Federal Reserve officials, market participants widely expect the central bank to cut interest rates next year as the US economy enters a recession.

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Economy Minister: Germany should trade with China cautiously. By Reuters

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© Reuters. German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck speaks in Berlin on November 9, 2022. REUTERS/Michael Tantussi/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Wednesday that no one is suggesting that Germany stop trade with China, but that Beijing’s investments in vital sectors should be closely studied.

“Nothing opposes the continuation of economic relations with China,” Habeck said at a conference organized by the newspaper “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” in Berlin.

“It is absolutely impossible for the German economy to say goodbye now so quickly, but everything speaks against closing your eyes and hoping it doesn’t get tough.”

“This means that in vital sectors of our economy, we have to govern and prohibit the strategic impact of important investments,” Habeck said.

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Germany seeks to reduce its dependence on Beijing and develop a new strategy for China, but it may be a difficult task in light of the deep trade relations between the largest economies of Europe and Asia.

Habik said Europe is also working to resolve a trade dispute with the United States after Washington passed a law to reduce inflation, which he said could harm European companies and attract investments outside the continent, adding that the dispute should be resolved in the coming weeks.

From a European point of view, the minister said, the law is a violation of WTO rules and cannot be accepted in the long run.

“What does this mean for Europe? We have to act quickly and decisively. It’s not a question of money at all … but we are very slow to spend it.”

Earlier this year, Germany set aside 200 billion euros ($207 billion) to fund industrial change between now and 2026, including climate protection, hydrogen technology and the expansion of the electric car charging network.

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($1 = 0.9651 euros)

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