policy Archives - National Consortium of Telehealth Research Centers

In March, Telehealth Developments Roar In Like a Lion….

By | National Telehealth Policy Resource Center Blog

Newly Released RAND Reports


Two new reports were recently released by RAND.  The first report, Experiences of Medicaid Programs and Health Centers in Implementing Telehealth was commissioned by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) to explore the experiences of state Medicaid programs and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in utilizing telehealth.  RAND researchers conducted telephone discussions with representatives of seven state Medicaid programs and 19 urban and rural FQHCs in the same states.  The findings from the report included that Medicaid policies varied across numerous areas and that FQHCs encountered barriers in reimbursement, workflow and provider willingness.  The second report was also commissioned by ASPE and is the Report to Congress: Current State of Technology-Enable Collaborative Learning and Capacity Building Models.  The report was required under the 2016 “Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO)” law.  The findings included that evidence of the impact of ECHO on patient and provider outcomes remains modest and an absence of standardization in the collection of information.
Visit the RAND website for more information.

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Visiting Nurse Associations Use Telehealth Programs to Improve Home Health Care

By | National Telehealth Policy Resource Center Blog

Last year, Nebraska and Colorado based Visiting Nurse Associations (VNA) partnered with telehealth software company Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) to launch pilot health intervention programs to improve care management and coordination among patients receiving home health services, especially those living with heart disease. The programs are designed to improve care management and coordination by complementing traditional home health care.
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NCTRC Webinar – Federal and State Policy Updates for CY 2019, including CMS Changes & State Level Trends

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Hosted by: Center for Connected Health Policy

Presenter: Mei Kwong, J.D., CCHP – Executive Director; Jonathan Neufeld, PhD, gpTRAC – Executive Director


Join the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) on February 21st, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (PST) for an examination of recent telehealth policy changes.  CCHP Executive Director, Mei Kwong will be joined by Jonathan Neufeld, PhD of gpTRAC to discuss:

CY 2019 Medicare Telehealth Policy Changes
Medicare Advantage Plans & Telehealth
Latest on Telehealth & Substance Use Disorder
Developments on the State Level

Download the Powerpoint

North Dakota Advances Bill that Allows for Valid Relationship Over Store-and-Forward Telemedicine

By | National Telehealth Policy Resource Center Blog

In North Dakota’s SB 2094, which was introduced in early January and amended in the Senate Human Services Committee later that month, has been gaining some attention in telehealth circles due to some of its more unique characteristics; largely because it allows a valid relationship between a licensee and a patient to be established over telemedicine.  Alone this is not unique, as it is relatively common for states to allow a licensee-patient relationship to be established via live video telemedicine (CCHP has identified at least 28 states with this explicit allowance).  However, the legislation specifies that the examination can take place either via video conferencing or “store-and-forward technology for appropriate diagnostic testing and use of peripherals.”  It goes on to specify that in certain types of telemedicine utilizing asynchronous store-and-forward technology or electronic monitoring, such as teleradiology or intensive care unit monitoring, it is not necessary to conduct an independent exam of the patient.  This allowance for store-and-forward to be used in establishing a valid relationship is rare.
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California DHCS Releases Comment Responses to Proposed Telehealth Policy

By | National Telehealth Policy Resource Center Blog

In late 2018, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), which administers California’s Medicaid program (Medi-Cal), released proposed updates to their telehealth policy manuals, including those for fee-for-service, managed care, Indian Health Services, Family Plan, Access, Care and Treatment (Family PACT), dentistry and federally qualified health centers/rural health clinics (FQHC/RHCs).  Proposed policy changes included allowing the distant site/treating provider to decide when it is appropriate for telehealth to be used and whether it should be via live video or store-and-forward.  E-consult (provider to provider consultation), falling under the auspice of store-and-forward, would also be reimbursed under the new policy.  As part of their drafting process, DHCS solicited feedback from telehealth stakeholders on their proposed policy.
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CCHP Publishes Analysis of Occupational and Physical Therapy Policy

By | National Telehealth Policy Resource Center Blog

Last year, CCHP conducted a 50-state scan of occupational therapy and physical therapy policies that was published in the fall 2018 edition of the International Journal of Telerehabilitation. The survey results show the current level of adoption of both laws and regulations that allow physical and occupational therapists to use telehealth to engage in patient care services as of August 2018. CCHP found that twenty-seven states had enacted at least one policy that allows patient-to-provider or provider-to-provider services in occupational therapy, while twenty-eight states had done the same for physical therapy. The specific requirements laid out through these policies varied by state, but none appeared to add additional burdens to providers.

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