A Decade of Telehealth Policy: A New Report From CCHP

Mei Kwong- Center for Connected Health Policy

August 2022

Ten years ago, in the early months of 2012, the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) faced a decision of potentially great significance. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORPH) Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT) had released a Funding Opportunity Announcement for their Telehealth Resource Center Grant Program and the incumbent contractor for the National Telehealth Resource Center for Policy (NTRC-P) contract would not be reapplying. After weighing the pros and cons of acting as the NTRC-P, CCHP decided to take the plunge and applied. On September 1, 2012, CCHP officially started its work as the federally designated National Telehealth Policy Resource Center and have been serving that role for the past decade.

To mark CCHP’s ten-year anniversary as the NTRC-P, we are releasing a look back on telehealth policy in the United States. For the past decade, CCHP has tracked and followed policy development for all 51 jurisdictions in the United States (District of Columbia included) as well as at the federal level providing us with the unique opportunity to observe and study the development of telehealth policy in the United States on both the state and federal levels. This past decade also happens to be the period that encompasses some of the most significant telehealth policy developments seen thus far in the United States.

The report is not intended to be an in-depth study on telehealth policy development and history as that could easily be an entire novel given the complexities and nuances that would need to be considered. The National Telehealth Resource Center for Policy Ten-Year Anniversary Report is intended to capture some of the highlights, significant changes, and environmental factors that have had an impact on telehealth policy development in the nation. Considering the increased interest in telehealth policy, CCHP believes this report also will be useful to provide context on how telehealth policy came to be where it is today, particularly for those who may be newer to the field.

Additionally, the report is meant to be a celebration of the time CCHP has spent as the NTRC-P including the contributions the organization has made to the telehealth field. This report is dedicated to the memory of Mario Gutierrez, CCHP Executive Director from 2011-2017. Mario was the original visionary who decided in 2012 that CCHP should apply for the project.

A special thank you must also be extended to CCHP staff, both past and present, who have truly been the engine that continues to drive the work of the organization forward. Special acknowledgment must be made of Laura Stanworth, Deputy Director, and Christine Calouro, Senior Policy Associate, both who have been with CCHP from the beginning of its role as the NTRC-P and who, along with myself, have seen this past decade of telehealth policy development, including producing all information and navigating CCHP through those first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We hope you will enjoy this report and find the information useful. CCHP looks forward to continuing on the ever evolving telehealth policy journey with all of you.

See full report: https://mailchi.mp/cchpca/a-decade-of-telehealth-policy-our-10-year-anniversary-report