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telehealth Archives - National Consortium of Telehealth Research Centers

January Newsletter

By | Center for Connected Health Policy
Orignal source: Center for Connected Health Policy
NICHM Funds CCHP Policy Research on FQHCs Utilizing Telehealth for Opioid Use Disorder Services
The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) has received funding from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation (NIHCM) to conduct research on policy changes that need to be made in order for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to utilize telehealth to address the opioid crisis. With opioid overdose being classified by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a nationwide epidemic, and FQHCs often serving as the first line of defense in rural and underserved communities, many clinics are looking to telehealth to help address opioid use disorders (OUD) and deliver Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), a best practice treatment for opioid addiction which combines medication and behavioral therapy.  However, many FQHCs find themselves restricted from establishing a telehealth program to treat OUD given an array of unique and complex policy barriers, both on the federal and state policy levels.  Through this project, CCHP will chronicle the policy obstacles FQHCs face in implementing a telehealth MAT program in 5 to 7 states where the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded grants to address the OUD crisis and which have high incidents of OUD.  The findings will be disseminated through an issue brief which will also provide insight for both FQHCs and policy makers into how to overcome policy barriers in order to implement a sustainable and innovative OUD program utilizing telehealth.

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2019 in Review: State and Federal Telehealth Policy – Legislative Roundup

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

 

It was an active year for state telehealth legislation in 2019.  Among 35 states, 113 legislative bills passed in the 2019 legislative session, up significantly from 65 bills in 2018.  Additionally, 54 telehealth related regulations were finalized in 35 states related to telehealth.  The large leap in the numbers of bills passed, was partially due to the increased passage of cross-state licensing legislation enacting interstate licensing compacts.  While the cross-state licensing topic area had 10 bills enacted in 2018, it more than doubled to 23 bills in 2019.  There was also large increases in the passage of bills establishing telehealth demonstrations, pilots and grant programs, as well as bills addressing regulatory professional board practice standards and prescribing. Bills related to both Medicaid and private payer reimbursement also both had an increase since 2018, although the number of bills passed has remained low comparatively.  CCHP’s 2019 roundup of state approved legislation, which includes a detailed listing of all bills by topic area and state, is now available.

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From Broadband to Medicare Reimbursement, Federal Policies Look at Expanding Access Through Telehealth

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

 

CY 2020 Final Physician Fee Schedule Released
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published their final CY 2020 Physicians Fee Schedule (PFS) in the first week of November. CMS has finalized the addition of three new codes for a bundled episode of care for treatment of opioid use disorder to the list of services that are eligible for telehealth reimbursement.   CMS is allowing these services to be delivered at any telehealth originating site, including the patient’s home without regard for the geographic requirement, in accordance with the SUPPORT Act. Additionally, CMS has adopted a bundled payment structure for opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment by opioid treatment programs (OTPs), which would allow for the counseling and therapy components to be delivered via live interactive video.  CMS has also taken steps to further refine its transitional care management (TCM) and chronic care management (CCM) codes, and create new codes for principal care management (PCM) services for patients that have only one serious chronic condition.  They also issued a clarification for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health clinics (RHCs) that remote physiologic monitoring codes are not reimbursable in FQHC or RHC settings because it is considered included in their RHC All-Inclusive Rate (AIR) or FQHC Prospective Payment System (PPS) sum.  Finally, based on feedback CMS received that obtaining consent for each and every communication technology-based service is burdensome, they have revised this policy for CY 2020 to only require consent once a year for technology-based services.

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Review of Geriatric Telehealth Literature Shows Need for More Studies

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society systematically reviewed randomized controlled trial research published from 2012 to 2018 on the use of live-video telehealth services delivered to adults over the age of 65. The study provides an overview of the current state of telehealth research as it pertains to older populations and makes recommendations for further improving the research base.

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NCTRC Webinar – Capacity Building Through Telemedicine: Georgia Department of Public Health

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Hosted by: Southeast Telehealth Resource Center

Presented by:

Suleima Salgado, MBA Director of Telehealth, Telemedicine and Rural Health Initiatives , Georgia Department of Public Health

Description:

This webinar aims to address recent developments of telehealth and telemedicine in the state of Georgia, Department of Public Health (DPH). Audiences will learn how DPH built its infrastructure, discuss implementation strategies, hear lessons learned, and gain strategies on how to partner with various programs to increase access to care across rural and urban settings.

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With a Stroke of a Pen, Gov. Newsom Continues California’s Telehealth Policy Leadership Role

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

 

On October 14, 2019, California governor, Gavin Newsom, signed into law AB 744, a telehealth private payer parity bill.  Authored by Assemblymember Ceclia Aguiar-Curry(D-Winters), AB 744 was sponsored by the California Medical Association (CMA) and supported by over sixty organizations.  AB 744 was supported by the members of the California Telehealth Policy Coalition.

AB 744 will require contracts issued, amended or renewed after January 1, 2021 between a health care service plan and a health care provider to specify that the provider who delivers services appropriately through telehealth be reimbursed on the same basis and to the same extent that the plan would have had the same service been provided in-person.  The health plan cannot require the use of telehealth if the health care provider has determined that it is not appropriate nor does it limit the ability of the health plan and provider to negotiate the rate of reimbursement for a service.
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Telehealth Policy This Month

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

In May 2019, the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging conducted a national poll on the experiences and opinions of telehealth from adults age 50-80 years. The poll asked participants to share their opinions on telehealth compared to in-person office visits, such as the perceived levels of convenience and expressed concerns.

Only 14% of respondents reported that their providers offered telehealth visits through smartphones or computers and only 4% reported having a telehealth visit within the last year. However, interest in telehealth was relatively high. Among respondents, 47% believed that the overall convenience of a telehealth visit would be better than an in-person office visit while 36% believed the in-person visit would be more convenient and 18% believed there would be no difference. Additionally, among respondents whose providers do not offer telehealth visits, 48% expressed interest in having a telehealth visit with their primary care provider, 40% with a specialist, and 35% with a mental health professional.

Older adults showed some concerns with telehealth with 56% believing that they would feel better cared for from an in-person office visit. 71% indicated being concerned that health care providers would not be able to do a physical exam, 68% that care would not be as good, and 49% that there were concerns with privacy.

For more information, the full report is available from the University of Michigan Library.

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