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January 2016     
HTRC's monthly telehealth bulletin

Happy 2016 from everyone at Heartland Telehealth Resource Center!  We look forward to working with you this year to help you get started or expand your telehealth services. 
Patients are ready for telehealth
Telehealth is not just for patients who live far from a hospital or medical specialists. In fact, geography has less to do with patients' interest in using telehealth and more with the convenience telehealth offers.
HTRC recently spoke with Amy Ireland, chief revenue officer at Carroll County Memorial Hospital (MO). In this short video, Ireland recounts how she turned to telehealth when she needed to see a dermatologist but needed a solution that fit with her lifestyle and schedule. 
"I do have a car, I do have the time, and I do have the resources that allow me to travel but it is just the convenience of using those services that I would otherwise have to use that PTO day, waste that gas, or put miles on my car," Ireland said.
Learn more about why Ireland choose telehealth:

January 28
Jefferson City, Mo.

It's not too late to register for the Missouri Telehealth Summit, "Connected Health: Transforming our health care delivery systems," on January 28th. The summit will feature Mario Gutierrez, executive director, Center for Connected Health Policy; Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton; Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia; Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington; and Kristin Sohl, MD, MU School of Medicine, among others. Don't miss this chance to learn about the latest advances in e-health and telehealth, what payer models are trending and on the horizon, as well as current legislative initiatives regarding telehealth. 

Telehealth Straight Talk: Implementation tips from rural hospital COO LeRoy Dickenson
Implementing telehealth services can seem like a daunting task. With all the factors to consider, hospital administrators and providers often are unsure of where or how to start.
In this episode of Telehealth Straight Talk, Chief Operations Officer LeRoy Dickenson from Cloud County Health Center in Concordia, Kan., shares his top tips and experience in successful telehealth implementation. 


Rule changes would increase access to speech and language audiology services

The Oklahoma Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology has new proposed rules involving telehealth that are currently open for comment. The new rules would change the definition of "telepractice," currently defined as "the application of telecommunications technology to deliver professional services at a distance by linking clinician to patient/client or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention and/or consultation." 

The new definition would specify "the use of audio, video, or data communication to provide speech-language pathology and audiology services to clients who are not present at the same site as the licensee when the service is provided." Under the new altered definition, a health care professional would be able to provide health care services related to speech, language and hearing communicative disorders solely via telehealth. Using telehealth only, with no in-person visits is prohibited under the current rules and the change would increase patients' access to needed services. The new rules are open for comment through February 15. Email Amy Hall at

New Telehealth Alliance of Oklahoma benefit

The Telehealth Alliance of Oklahoma (TAO) is now offering a new benefit to members: a free American Telemedicine Association institutional membership for one person from your organization! Members also benefit from free educational webinars, monthly updates and letters of support for telehealth-related grants. 

TAO works to educate and provide technical assistance to healthcare providers as a means of reducing service barriers to rural and underserved Oklahomans. Learn more at 

2016 Telehealth CPT codes
As of 2016, providers now have new telehealth current procedural terminology (CPT) codes to report procedures and services for reimbursement. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) added four new telehealth CPT codes for end stage renal disease (ESRD) that permit in-home services. Reimbursement for a month of services for home dialysis is $240 for patients over 20 years old and increases up to $550 for a month for patients younger than two years.

Additionally, CMS has rolled out two new codes for prolonged inpatient or observation settings. For the first hour of additional service, CMS will now reimburse $92, then another $91 for each additional half hour. 

For more details visit the American Telemedicine Organization.

New USDA telemedicine grants announced

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the 2016  Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants, with awards from $50,000 to $500,000 for rural providers. While funding cannot be used for salaries, funds can be used to purchase equipment or other capitol assets. Applications are due March 14.
In December 2015, three Missouri systems were awarded grants including Cox Health, Bates County Memorial Hospital and Compass Health. 

Interested in applying for a USDA telemedicine grant? HTRC can provide guidance so give us a call at 877-643-HTRC! 
Check your inbox for the February edition of Telehealth Beat!
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Heartland Telehealth Resource Center | | 
 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway   Fairway, KS 66205