TeleHealth News


April 20, 2017




    We have been talking about the use of telehealth and telemedicine in the practice of medicine for many years. Organizations such as the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), Veterans Administration, Department of Defense (DOD), UNM Project Echo, NM Telehealth Alliance and many others, have been vanguard advocates of this technology. We see the changing world, the challenges it creates, and its ever increasing need for global healthcare as major reasons for our support of this technology. That along with the ever shortage of healthcare providers, especially in the real needy areas, makes this choice clear. Still there are many skeptics of the real value of Telehealth, Telemedicine, and Tele-education. So here is one proof;
    In last week's monthly Alliance meeting, Dr. Howard Yonus, along with Dr Collin Semper from UNM dept of Neurosurgery reported on the federal award they received to use telemedicine in caring for stroke patients. The enormous difference it made to get care to patients in rural areas quickly and the great savings to all involved by keeping the patients in their hometown and local care facilities. Historically stroke patients were routinely transferred to major medical centers such as UNM. The enormous cost and wasted time in transport - whether by ambulance or aircraft - has been non-productive and often at the patients peril.
    The use of telemedicine to treat stroke patients has been a God send. The UNM experience reveals that it has saved 20 million dollars in airfare transfers alone and added 12 million dollars to the bottom line of rural hospitals. Converting 80% of transfers to 80% that was kept at the local facilities.
    They reported that telemedicine provides 24/7 consult and second consult within 24 hours. It avoids late transfers as well by helping hospitalists and local providers decide and care for patients locally.
    It is important to realize that neurosurgical telemedicine consultations have lowered transfers to 15%. Of those retained at local hospitals, none transferred later, causing substantial savings to CMS and other payers. The small percentage that were transferred, often needed surgery.
    The UNM neurosurgery department is working with Medicaid leadership and CMS to develop reimbursement code so that even small consult fees are reimbursed to hospitals, further helping and encouraging the local establishments to use telehealth.
    This is a good example of how the technology of Telehealth, Telemedicine, and Tele-education helps bring state of the art care to patients in the underserved and rural areas, increase revenue to the local healthcare establishments, increase savings to the overall system and reduce the burden of stroke to the patients and their families. The ATA annual meeting in Orlando next week will reveal the many other benefits and show how Telehealth, Telemedicine, and Tele-education can truly make a difference in our healthcare delivery system worldwide. [R. G.]


In the News:

 How Telehealth Platforms Will Reshape U.S. Healthcare Delivery  
The Huffington Post

Epidemic Of Dying Rural Hospitals Shattering Communities’ Health Security  

Seven Facts About Global Health  

Unprecedented progress against neglected tropical diseases

A historic yellow fever outbreak spreads in Brazil  

More news next week after ATA's annual meeting in Orlando, Florida

For more relevant news checkout our website.


Of Interest:

     Hippocrates, first recognized stroke over 2,400 years ago. At that time stroke was called apoplexy, which means "struck down by violence".
     In mid-1600s, Johann Jakob Wepfer - a Swiss pathologist found that patients who died with apoplexy had bleeding in the brain. An award was established under his name in 2005 to recognize the work of scientists in the field.
     In 1928, apoplexy was divided into categories that led to the terms stroke or "cerebral vascular accident (CVA)." Stroke is now referred to as a "brain attack" to denote the fact that it is caused by a lack of blood supply to the brain requiring an immediate action and emergency treatment.


How can TeleHealth help your Practice:


Consider expanding your
neurological practice to the
rural areas of our state
through TeleHealth.

Ask us how.

Many state laws, including NM,
require insurance companies to
pay for TeleHealth consultation. 


Our Sponsors


Useful links:

American Telemedicine Association
Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
Con Alma Health Foundation
Directory of State Medical Boards
Federation of State Medical Boards
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
National Rural Health Association
New Mexico Broadband Program
New Mexico Department of Health
New Mexico First
NM Health Resources
NM legislature
Upcoming NM Legislative meetings
NM Medical Board
NM Rural Hospital Network
UNM Center for Telehealth
UNM Project ECHO
World Health Organization (WHO)


The New Mexico TeleHealth Alliance is a 501(c)3 non profit organization.  
The Alliance meets on the second Thursday of every month.  
NOTICE - NM TeleHealth Alliance Website is being redesigned and improved. 
New Mexico TeleHealth Alliance is a member of American Telemedicine Association (ATA)
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