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October 2015 
HTRC's monthly telehealth bulletin

Heartland Telehealth Resource Center is here to meet your telehealth needs. We are a government-sponsored organization serving Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, with a wide range of services, and many of them are free. Email us at or call us at 877-643-HTRC.

Lights, camera, action!
Five telepresenter best practices

A good virtual visit is more than just the technology. In this HTRC telepresenter training video, our Oklahoma experts share two polar-opposite scenarios demonstrate how to make the most of a virtual visit and improve the quality of the interaction for patients and providers. Simple things from body language to office lighting, can influence the patient's perception towards the virtual visit and subsequent future use. Watch the video to learn five telepresenter best practices. 


October 27

Missouri Telehealth Network is sponsoring several free webinars for primary care providers who want to learn more about Project ECHOŽ, a model for training and skill-building in specialized care via telehealth. Other ECHO webinars will take place on November 5 and December 7. 

October 31 - November 4
Chicago, Ill.

Health administrators and providers from around the world will visit Chicago this fall for the 2015 APHA Annual Meeting.
As a roundtable presenter, the Heartland Telehealth team will present insights from CEOs on the frontlines of rural health care in MO, KS and OK, from their barriers and challenges to their preferences and facilitators for telehealth adoption. Join the HTRC discussion at Table 7 on November 3rd from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.!

January 28
Jefferson City, Mo.

Save the date for the 2nd annual Missouri Telehealth Summit hosted by Missouri Telehealth Network! The summit is free, but registration is required. This event will foster understanding and awareness of telehealth, create collaborative relationships and provide pathways to partnership. 

Show-Me ECHO session

What happens in an ECHO?
An inside look at Missouri's IMPACT Asthma ECHO

Show-Me ECHOŽ, the revolutionary learning module that teaches specialty skills to primary care providers via telehealth, could help change the health care landscape in Missouri. Recently, the Heartland Telehealth team sat in on an IMPACT Asthma ECHO to learn more.
Every Tuesday, a team of asthma specialists meets with primary care providers via videoconference to discuss current asthma cases. Dr. Kris Tucker from Joplin, Missouri, presented his case of a toddler with severe asthma and recurrent pneumonia. While keeping the patient's identity confidential, he detailed the home environment, visit patterns, prescribed medications and ongoing symptoms.
Dr. Bernard Eskridge, a pediatrician, and Tammy Rood, MSN, CPNP-PC, AE-C, a nurse practitioner, both with University of Missouri Health Care, considered the case and discussed a number of recommendations for the patient and family.
Following the case study, Rood presented on asthma essentials to help participants identify best practices in asthma management. Asthma can be a difficult condition to manage, particularly among children, because sometimes patients are not prescribed the most appropriate medications. Other times there is poor adherence to medications or lifestyle conditions, making it hard to comply with the medical treatment plan.
"ECHO is an invaluable resource," said Missouri Telehealth Network (MTN) Director Rachel Mutrux. "It folds into existing MTN services by providing specialist training and continuing medical education for practitioners. With willing primary care providers and our terrific team of specialists, we can continue to build our capacity and reach patients throughout the state."
Missouri Telehealth Network also offers ECHO events for autism, hepatitis C, chronic pain management, endocrinology and dermatology. Visit the Show-Me ECHO website to learn more. To attend any of the events, fill out the registration form

Kansas - Telehealth ROCKS
Telehealth Rocks Grant recipients focus on child poverty in rural communities

More children and communities across Kansas will now have access to telehealth services thanks to the Telehealth Rocks grant, awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Rural Child Poverty Telehealth Network Grant Program.  The University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institution is one of four partners on the $3.9 million three-year project.
Spearheaded by the University of Kansas Center for Telehealth & Telemedicine's Dr. Eve-Lynn Nelson, the pilot program "will fund telehealth technology to link rural children and their families to health and humans services that may not be available locally," as stated on the Rural Assistance Center's website
According to HHS, there are 1.5 million impoverished, rural children living in America. Since the 1990s, life expectancies for impoverished people in rural areas are shorter than their urban counterparts. Children in the selected communities face unique health care challenges and local telehealth networks will be working to come up with innovative ideas to improve health outcomes for these youth. Interventions may include early childhood development programs, food and nutrition education and support, or economic support programs.
If the program successfully meets health goals, it could be expanded in the future.
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Regulatory round-up

The National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) recently called on Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expanded telehealth coverage in order to increase access to healthcare. NPAF caseworkers say telehealth would help address this need for care since patients continue to report a lack of transportation as their biggest barrier to care.
A new report by the Center for Connected Health Policy makes recommendations that both Community Health Centers (CHC) and policy makers can implement to overcome reimbursement barriers. The report says that new payment and delivery models could help make telehealth programs sustainable for CHCs, which typically serve vulnerable, high-risk populations.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is entering the second phase of a pilot to test telehealth's ability to decrease hospitalization for residents of skilled nursing facilities. CMS is piloting the program in seven sites, including the University of Missouri. Reports from the initial phase are promising, with five out of six centers showing reduced hospitalization rates. 

Check your inbox in November for our monthly telehealth bulletin! Telehealth Beat is published the third Friday of the month. Got a story idea? Let us know! 
Heartland Telehealth Resource Center | | 
 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway   Fairway, KS 66205