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February 2016     
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.

Movement to end informed consent for telehealth signals change in acceptance

Oklahoma House Bill 2547, sponsored by Representative Glen Mulready, would repeal the section 6804 of the Oklahoma Telemedicine Act that mandates informed consent specifically for telehealth. While this legislation may not attract much attention, it signals a larger shift in healthcare. 
Informed consent is a process normally reserved for explaining the risks and benefits of a treatment to patients.  When telehealth was new to health care practice, informed consent was commonly used. Today, few telehealth providers need to go through the process of informed consent just to provide services. However, Oklahoma is one of only 16 states that still require written informed consent from patients prior to treatment.
According to INTEGRIS Health Legal Counsel Mary R. Daniel, there are good reasons to repeal informed consent. 

February 25

Join Missouri Telehealth Network (MTN) for this free webinar, "Anticipatory Guidance for the Patient with Metabolic Syndrome." Presented by Carolyn Edison, RN, Advanced Diabetes Management, MSN, Ed.D; and Stan Hudson, MA, University of Missouri, Center for Health Policy, this webinar will help providers empower high-risk patients to prevent some of the devastating health consequences of metabolic syndrome.

May 14 - 17
Minneapolis, Minn.

Join 6,000 fellow telehealth enthusiasts for the 2016 ATA Annual Conference and Trade Show in beautiful Minneapolis. For over 20 years ATA's conference has been THE place for updates on the newest telehealth trends and networking with telehealth experts from across the country. If you're new to telehealth, there's no place like ATA to jumpstart you on the road to a successful, sustainable telehealth business model. 


Missouri Telehealth Summit legislative panel: State Representatives Diane Franklin, Keith Fredrick and Kip Kendrick

Missouri legislators all in for telehealth

Missouri legislators are seeing the value of telehealth. With representatives from both houses of the state legislature in attendance at the Missouri Telehealth Summit in January, it was clear that telehealth is no longer a quiet player in the delivery of health care services in the Show-Me state.
During the legislative panel, Missouri Speaker of the House Todd Richardson pledged to pass telehealth legislation through the House this session that would expand telehealth in the state. Richardson also pledged to work with the Senate to move the bills through both houses of the state legislature.
"We will absolutely get this done in the House this year, and I think with [Senator Romine's] help, we're going to be able to find agreement and get this across the finish line."
Janine Gracy, HTRC; Kelsey Blackburn and Julie Goetz, Salina Regional Health Center

Kansas Hospital Association hosts telemed workshop

The Kansas Hospital Association recently hosted a telemedicine workshop, "Making a Case for Telemedicine", with over 65 healthcare administrators and practitioners attending from across the state.
KHA members are embracing telehealth according to KHA Vice President of Public Relations Cindy Samuelson.
"Telehealth is increasingly vital to KHA members in rural areas," said Samuelson. "Not only does it benefit their patients, but it helps provide an opportunity to connect with other practitioners."
HTRC Project Director Janine Gracy, who delivered the opening address, said she was inspired by the excitement in the room.
"Hearing from others who are innovating with telehealth and understanding more about reimbursement and successful business models can really give novices the confidence they need to take that first step."
For more information about best practices please contact HTRC at 877-643-HTRC. 

CMS's new rule could mean transformation for Medicaid Home Health

Medicaid patients may soon have expanded access to home health care via telehealth. With little fanfare, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule in January that face-to-face visits will be required before home health services are provided to Medicaid patients.
In order to align the rule with Medicare's durable medical equipment (DME) face-to-face requirement, CMS recognizes the use of telehealth as an alternative service method, in lieu of in-person appointments. But before patients and providers pull out their smart phones to connect, there are some important provisions to bear in mind.

NextGen ACO locations, courtesy of CMS

NextGen ACOs to remove geographical telehealth restrictions

The Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model is a new initiative from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Open to existing ACOs, CMS states that the new, NextGen model was created to test "whether strong financial incentives can improve health outcomes and reduce expenditures for Medicare fee-for-service patients."
Compared to current ACOs, NextGen ACOs provide for telehealth reimbursement in urban and suburban areas.  Currently, existing ACOs have to follow strict guidelines which only allow for reimbursement of telehealth services used in Rural Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA).
Not surprisingly, only 26 percent of existing ACOs currently use telemedicine. 

Check your inbox for the March edition of Telehealth Beat!
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Heartland Telehealth Resource Center | | 
 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway   Fairway, KS 66205

Heartland Telehealth Resource Center | 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway | Fairway | KS | 66205