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April 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.

Montana tackles diabetes head-on with the implementation of a state-wide Diabetes Prevention Program 

Recognizing the need to address the growing rate of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the state, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (MDPHHS) piloted its Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) in 2008.The program was an overwhelming success, with over 45 percent of participants meeting their weight loss goals according to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). But in Montana's rural regions, diabetes rates were more than double the state average (17 percent vs 8 percent), and planners knew the DPP was not reaching these individuals.
"Some people were traveling 75 miles each way to attend the class," said Liane Vadheim, the clinical dietician at Holy Rosary Healthcare. "Others would just have to say they couldn't take the class if they didn't have transportation...We needed an alternative option for these individuals."
Enter the telehealth solution. The idea came to Vadheim when teaching one of the in-person classes. 

Next month read about a Kansas health care system providing dietetic services to a remote clinic via telehealth.

Want to learn more about Show-me ECHO from the comfort of your own office? Tune into the free Show-me ECHO 101 Webinar to learn everything you need to know about the ECHO program and participate in a Q&A with the Missouri Telehealth Network. The next webinar will be on May 9 from 12 noon - 1 p.m. 

University of Kansas Pediatric ECHOs

The University of Kansas has formed two pediatric ECHOs, one for epilepsy and another for psychopharmacology. To join an ECHO, please email Carla Deckert.


KUMC's TeleECHO program partners with rural Kansas communities to treat autism

The rural southeastern Kansas communities of Pittsburg, Coffeyville, and Baxter Springs are
partnering with the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) as part of a three-year,
grant-funded initiative to improve autism and other developmental disorder outcomes in the area.

The initiative will use KUMC's TeleECHO clinics to link autism specialists at the University with primary care providers in rural parts of southeastern Kansas. KUMC's TeleECHO is an evidence-based program modeled off of the New Mexico Project ECHO campaign. ECHO, which stands for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes, uses telehealth to connect specialists to primary care providers. The specialists at KUMC will be able to remotely educate primary care providers in Southeastern Kansas on how to screen for, diagnose, and effectively treat autism. 

Two Oklahoma telehealth bills signed into law

HTRC recently reported on HB2547, a bill to repeal the telemedicine informed consent requirement in Oklahoma. Since then the bill has been signed into law and will be effective November 1, 2016.

Last month, HTRC reported on SB1163, an Oklahoma State Senate bill to expand the definition of optometry to include telehealth. On April 7, 2016, this bill was also signed into a law by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. The law includes language to improve patient care by creating standards for telehealth practices. 
According to the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Board of Examiners in Optometry, Dr. Russell Laverty, the law ultimately increases the accountability of practitioners in and out of the state of Oklahoma.
"The opinion of the Board is that it is a good law and has allowed the Optometry Board to be able to help manage the safety of patients of Oklahoma from reckless prescribing habits of drugs that could be harmful. It gives the Optometry Board the ability to stop harm that could be done by someone who is not in the state of Oklahoma." 

CoxHealth is making strides in reproductive care by incorporating telemedicine 

Missouri-based CoxHealth has been finding ways to utilize telemedicine for reproductive healthcare. They have recently developed mHealth and telemedicine services for expecting mothers, and women experiencing fertility issues.
CoxHealth's Baby Beginning app is a resource for expecting mothers. The free app provides information about pregnancy, labor, and newborn care, as well as videos and tools for soon-to-be parents. 
In addition to the Baby Beginning app, CoxHealth Hospital in Springfield has partnered with Washington University's Department of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility to facilitate virtual fertility consultations. Initial consultations with specialists are now available remotely via telemedicine and patients will have the option of doing pre-treatment lab work and ultrasounds locally. Previously, women in Springfield were referred to a specialist in Kansas City, St. Louis, or Columbia, and had to make three to six long trips to these cities for appointments. CoxHealth and Washington University are confident that utilizing telehealth for these services will save the hospital and patients time and money.  

USDA Community Connect Grant

The USDA has announced new funding for "communities without broadband service to provide residential service and connect facilities such as police and fire stations, healthcare, libraries and schools." The deadline to apply is June 17, 2016. The priority areas for this grant are rural regions with the greatest need. The grant is open to state and local governments, federally-recognized tribes, non-profits and for-profit corporations.  

Check your inbox for the May edition of Telehealth Beat!
Got a story idea? Let us know! 
Heartland Telehealth Resource Center | | 
 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway   Fairway, KS 66205

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