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  • RESOURCES | NMTHA

    Resources NEW MEXICO BASED ORGANIZATIONS NEW MEXICO BROADBAND INTERSTATE & TELEMEDICINE LICENSURE TELEHEALTH ASSOCIATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS TELEHEALTH TRAINING COVID & TELEMEDICINE NEW MEXICO BASED ORGANIZATIONS HealthInsight New Mexico New Mexico Association for Home & Hospice Care New Mexico Health Resources New Mexico Primary Care Association SYNCRONYS (New Mexico Health Information Exchange) University of New Mexico Center for Telehealth UNM Project ECHO ​ NEW MEXICO BROADBAND NM Broadband Program Overview of Broadband Program - Videos Mapping Training Resources Strategic Planning ​ INTERSTATE AND TELEMEDICINE LICENSURE Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (NM is not yet a participant) Federation of State Medical Boards New Mexico Physician Licensure Requirements (including telemedicine) New Mexico Physician License Application instructions (see last page for telemedicine) ​ TELEMEDICINE ASSOCIATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS American Telemedicine Association (ATA) Center for Connected Health Policy Center for Telehealth & e-Health Law Southwest Telehealth Resource Center National Library of Medicine National Telemedicine Initiative Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (Health Resources and Services Administration, DHHS) ​ TELEHEALTH TRAINING Telemental Health Training Providing healthcare organizations and clinicians with the ethical, legal, technological, and clinical framework for conducting telehealth sessions effectively. Telehealth Trainings The Arizona Telemedicine Training Program and the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center offers 1-day training courses on telemedicine and telehealth. National Consortium of Telehealth Resources Building a telehealth program? Browse through our sampling of resources from our Telehealth Resource Centers. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, use our contact form or give us a call, we have an abundance of resources available to share. Weitzman Institute ​ Weitzman ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) provides specialty support for primary care providers seeking to gain expertise in the management of certain complex illnesses and conditions; including COVID-19, MAT, Chronic Pain, and more. Experts in Telehealth: An Interview Series A series of brief interviews from local and regional experts who share their experience, insights, and guidance on all things Telehealth. ACCESS INTERVIEWS NM Department of Information Technology has answers. Contact DOiT Got Broadband Questions? Contact the Office of Sen. Ben Ray Lujan Telehealth Policy & Advocacy? Contact Sen. Ben Ray Lujan COVID-19 RESOURCES NEWMEXICO.gov (Guidance for Providing Patient Care by Electronic Means During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.) NM Medicaid, COVID-19, and Telehealth Resources NM-HSD April 6, 2020: Special COVID-19 Supplement #3 – Guidance for New Mexico Medicaid Providers NRTRC COVID-19 and Telehealth Resources ATA COVID-19 Response Webinar Series eHealth Initiative COVID-19 News, Resources, and Events Weitzman Institute COVID-19 Resource Page An Analysis of Private Payer Telehealth Coverage During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Center for Connected Health Policy UNM COVID-related Information: COVID-19 briefings COVID-19 practice guidelines COVID-19 therapeutic evidence

  • HOME | NMTHA

    New Mexico Telehealth Alliance TELEHEALTH RESOURCES | COMMUNITY | PROGRAM SUPPORT About the New Mexico Telehealth Alliance Connecting New Mexican's to better health. The New Mexico Telehealth Alliance (NMTHA) is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting telehealth solutions that deliver quality healthcare throughout the state. The NMTHA is a network of members representing a broad spectrum of public and private healthcare organizations. The NMTHA provides program support enabling members to effectively share resources. Board members and officers are all volunteers. Learn More Past Events In 2021, the NMTHA hosted 18 webinars targeted to what NM providers and healthcare professionals wanted to know about. If you missed any of them, you can view the recordings here. View Now Events & Webinars Join the New Mexico Telehealth Alliance for free webinars on the top Telehealth issues facing healthcare providers today. Learn More Featured Video NMTHA Town Hall Event: The Future of Telehealth Featuring nationally recognized speaker and Telehealth pioneer Dr. Weinstein, plus Russel Toal from New Mexico's OSI. Featured Interview Experts in Telehealth: An Interview Series Dr. Elizabeth Krupinski discusses the impact of COVID on Telehealth. Then and Now! Explore NMTHA Learn about the benefits of membership, register for events, explore resources, and find out what's happening in Telehealth news. Membership Be part of the solution. Join NMTHA today! ​ Learn More Events Upcoming webinars, trainings, and events! ​ Learn More Resources Links to local, regional, and national telehealth resources. ​ Learn More News Stay up-to-date on the latest in Telehealth news! ​ Learn More Got Subsidies? Learn ways to access up to 65% in broadband subsidies HEALTHCARE CONNECT FUND CLICK Membership Matters Telehealth and telemedicine are no longer an innovative approach to healthcare - they are a necessary part of it. More than ever, access to quality healthcare, especially in New Mexico, is fundamental to the wellbeing of many communities, especially in rural and territorial areas. Supporting the New Mexico Telehealth Alliance through membership helps ensure access to meaningful information and supports the viability of telehealth services in New Mexico. Membership Benefits Be part of the solution! Join the New Mexico Telehealth Alliance JOIN NOW Be in Touch We want to hear from you! Submit Thanks for submitting! Subscribe Now! Stay connected with the NMTHA community, receive updates, and notifications of events! Thanks for submitting! Submit

  • EVENTS | NMTHA

    Events Monthly Community Forum The NM Telehealth Workgroup monthly meetings are an opportunity to bring your most vexing telehealth questions or issues to a community of peers. No formal presentation - these are interactive and targeted to you and our local community. LEARN MORE FEATURED WEBINAR NMTHA Town Hall Event: The Future of Telehealth As our world changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so did the world of Telehealth. But what happens next? Featuring nationally recognized speaker and Telehealth pioneer Dr. Weinstein, plus Russel Toal from New Mexico's OSI. VIEW NOW Fall 2021 Webinar Series Topics include the future of telehealth, billing, using telehealth for clinical specialties, and more. Click below to access videos in this series. ACCESS VIDEO ARCHIVE 2021 10-week Educational Series Still available from our 2021 10-week educational series are webinars focused on data, broadband in New Mexico, client engagement, and more! These webinars were hosted by the New Mexico Telehealth Alliance and made possible through funding by Health Resources and Services Administration Office for the Advancement of Telehealth and the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center. ​ ACCESS VIDEO ARCHIVE

  • Telehealth Legislation Re-Introduced

    Telehealth Legislation Re-Introduced National Council for Behavioral Health March 12, 2021 This week, Sens. Portman (R-OH) and Whitehouse (D-RI) and Reps. McKinley (R-WV), Budd (R-NC), Cicilline (D-RI), and Trone (D-MD) re-introduced the Telehealth Response for E-prescribing Addiction Therapy Services (TREATS) Act. The legislation, first introduced last Congress, seeks to support the expansion of telehealth services for substance use care. The TREATS Act would allow for the prescription of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) without a prior in-person visit, and for Medicare to be billed for audio-only telehealth services. The National Council supports these efforts to expand access to needed substance use services. This week, Sens. Portman (R-OH) and Whitehouse (D-RI) and Reps. McKinley (R-WV), Budd (R-NC), Cicilline (D-RI), and Trone (D-MD) re-introduced the Telehealth Response for E-prescribing Addiction Therapy Services (TREATS) Act. The legislation, first introduced last Congress, seeks to support the expansion of telehealth services for substance use care. The TREATS Act would allow for the prescription of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) without a prior in-person visit, and for Medicare to be billed for audio-only telehealth services. The National Council supports these efforts to expand access to needed substance use services. < Previous News Next News >

  • Broadband Funding Frameworks and Updates

    Broadband Funding Frameworks and Updates Center for Connected Health Policy July 2021 The report released last month suggests the need for $106 - $179 billion to future-proof networks and get higher broadband speeds to those that currently need them. Addressing Gaps in Broadband Infrastructure Availability and Service Adoption: A Cost Estimation & Prioritization Framework is an analysis conducted by ACA Connects, an association representing small and rural broadband providers which projects that broadband funding levels should be higher than recent federal funding proposals offer. The report released last month suggests the need for $106 - $179 billion to future-proof networks and get higher broadband speeds to those that currently need them. Although President Biden’s initial proposal put $100 billion toward broadband, the latest bipartisan agreement, or Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, currently only designates $65 billion to broadband. The details of the new agreement are still unclear and issues of contention remain. It is also, uncertain how the funding is proposed to be allocated. Some articles and insiders suggest the majority of the funding will be given to states and the rest split between smaller federal programs, leaving out the FCC, which is the main agency currently administering broadband programs. In addition, the White House recently released fact sheets for each individual state, to show the needs and impacts the framework proposes to provide across the country. As additional details come together, the ACA Connects study framework could be helpful for policymakers in determining both appropriate funding levels and allocations to truly improve and expand broadband access. In particular, the report recommends policymakers look at their funding priorities through an availability lens and an adoption lens, both of which require setting eligibility thresholds. For instance, how will “unserved” be defined and which households should be eligible for support. In addition, they suggest funding allocations be determined by what subsidy amount would actually be needed by each household and how many are likely to participate. Using such calculations, the analysis provides sample funding approaches and cost assessments in addition to its overall estimate. The report suggests that with $35-67 billion the U.S. could increase broadband availability to 19 million locations. Whether policymakers will consider the analysis remains as unknown as whether they will complete the current federal infrastructure deal as proposed. One thing does remain clear - even if a deal is finalized and passed, how the funding is targeted will remain vital to its success at improving broadband access. For more information review the ACA Connects full analysis - https://acaconnects.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Addressing-Gaps-in-Broadband-Infrastructure-Availability-and-Service-Adoption-ACA-Connects-and-Cartesian-June2021.pdf. < Previous News Next News >

  • 2021 National Telemedicine Summit

    2021 National Telemedicine Summit World Conference Forum, LLC Sept. 13, 2021 Key Strategies to Revolutionize & Transform Healthcare Delivery, Optimize Quality Patient Care & Outcomes, Increase Accessibility, Enhance Data Analytics, and Reduce Costs! September 13 – 14, 2021 • The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach • Miami, FL Today, telemedicine is one of the fastest growing sectors in healthcare. Specifically, COVID-19 has enhanced and accelerated the role that telemedicine plays within our healthcare system. It is reshaping the landscape of healthcare delivery in the United States, and is being recognized as the future of global healthcare. Telehealth addresses and achieves the basic tenants of Healthcare Reform: providing the population with access to improved and convenient, high quality patient centric care, enhancing outcomes, while reducing per capita expenditures. Today, more than 70 percent of hospitals throughout the United States are engaged in telehealth programs. Studies have shown that the benefits of telehealth include significantly improved outcomes, efficient care delivery as well as reduction in mortality rates, hospitalizations, length of stay, readmissions and healthcare costs. Telehealth has greatly enhanced access to quality care in rural areas and patient satisfaction has increased due to its convenience and patient centric approach. We have created an exciting, high level forum featuring knowledgeable leaders and executives from the nation's leading Hospitals and Health Systems who will share their perspectives, valuable insights and expertise on how to be best equipped for the rapidly evolving and exciting landscape of telehealth. This exclusive event targets senior level executives in order to maximize educational and networking opportunities. By attending the 2021 National Telemedicine Summit, you will learn what highly regarded Hospitals and Health Systems are doing to be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead in 2021 and beyond! We look forward to greeting you in Miami! Link: https://www.wcforum.com/conferences/telemedicine < Previous News Next News >

  • How Americans Feel About Telehealth: One Year Later

    How Americans Feel About Telehealth: One Year Later Sykes.com April 21, 2021 In March 2020 and 2021 we polled 2,000 adults to discover their perspectives on and experience with telehealth — how have opinions changed one year into the COVID-19 pandemic? Pre-pandemic, telehealth was much more of a novelty than a necessity in the healthcare industry. The idea of contacting your doctor remotely for care was promising, but there were major hurdles — obstacles that would require time, effort, and ingenuity to overcome. Then, COVID-19 created a need for safe, distant medical care and advice. And necessity, like always, is the mother of invention (or in this case, adoption). Suddenly, millions of patients who were once walk-ins became logins, and soon, all that was necessary to get a quality checkup was a stable Wi-Fi connection. SYKES’ March 2020 telehealth survey revealed new insights on what Americans thought about the rise of virtual visits to the doctor and the concept of telehealth in general. At that point, telehealth was still a radical idea, and phrases like “new normal” had yet to overstay their welcome. Research outlined in the SYKES Fall 2020 telehealth apps report made it clear that all kinds of new users had already begun scheduling consultations in cyberspace due to COVID-19. But now, with vaccines being administered all over the world, will this mean a decline in socially distanced telehealth services too? Or will patients still want access to virtual doctor visits even after distance is no longer a factor? To find out, we asked 2,000 Americans in March 2021 how their opinions on telehealth have changed over the past year, what they’ve experienced, and what they think should stick around even after vaccines are widely available. For full story: https://www.sykes.com/resources/reports/how-americans-feel-about-telehealth-now/ < Previous News Next News >

  • Telehealth and Maternal Mental Health Needs Two recent studies show telehealth can help new and expectant mothers.

    Telehealth and Maternal Mental Health Needs Two recent studies show telehealth can help new and expectant mothers. Psychology Today April 30, 2021 Telehealth measures decreased prenatal distress, pregnancy-related anxiety, and postpartum depression. Telemedicine has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic. According to The New York Times, just short of May 2020, the Johns Hopkins neurology department was seeing 95 percent of patients virtually. The rise in telemedicine to address maternal mental health has also seen unprecedented growth during the pandemic. Meanwhile, Mental Health America states that the mental health needs of Americans have skyrocketed. Anxiety and depression screenings increased nearly four-fold in 2020, from nearly 2,000 screenings per day to roughly 8,000 per day. Women, and in particular pregnant women, are vulnerable to hormonal fluctuations that make them twice as likely to experience depression during their lifetime compared to men. Research in the past year and a half has shown that telehealth can be substantially as effective as in-person care. (Telehealth, more encompassing than telemedicine but inclusive of it, may include only educational components.) With respect to maternal mental health, there are two studies highlighted herein that demonstrate telehealth's promise when it comes to improving maternal mental health in terms of prenatal distress, pregnancy-related anxiety, and the postpartum period. Of note, one of the studies was conducted prior March 11, 2020, or the official start of the pandemic, which makes it non-COVID-19 related. Maternal mental health, or perinatal mental health, is defined by the Maternal Health Task Force as a woman’s mental health during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. The significance of this period is multifold. It includes increased risk of the following: preterm delivery, low birth weight, impaired postnatal infant growth, insecure infant-mother attachments, and suboptimal breastfeeding practices. The first study published in Midwifery in 2021 supports the use of tele-education in improving prenatal distress and pregnancy-related anxiety. Specifically, the Midwifery study showed that “tele-education offered to the pregnant women on pregnancy and birth planning during COVID-19 decreased their prenatal distress and anxiety levels.” What the pregnant women received were phone calls, text messages, and a digital education pdf file, all of which educated women on a variety of topics, including “general methods of protection from coronavirus, coronavirus prevention methods during pregnancy, coronavirus and delivery process, measures to be taken during the coronavirus pandemic and postpartum process, measures to be taken during the coronavirus pandemic and breastfeeding, and how to manage stress, anxiety, and depression in these processes.” The tele-education included a digital pdf file called the “Booklet for Pregnancy and Birth Planning Education during Coronavirus (COVID-19).” All the of the educational content was developed with suggestions from medical and public health experts. A major takeaway from the above Midwifery study is that tele-education is effective in reducing the fears pregnant women have about giving birth as well as about their babies’ health in the context of a pandemic; in summary, prenatal distress and pregnancy-related anxiety were significantly decreased (p-value <0.05). Significantly lower scores on pregnancy-related anxiety questionnaires developed by van den Bergh (1990) and revised by Huizink et al. (2016) demonstrated the effective role played by tele-education. The second study published in Midwifery in 2021 supports the use of telemedicine interventions in treating postpartum depression symptoms. While the study’s timeframe was not during COVID, the results are helpful in understanding the beneficial role telemedicine has played in the past couple of years. Previous research has shown it can be a challenge for postpartum women to seek care for the “baby blues” or depressive symptoms, either of which could be significant. This may be due to perceived stigma, time, financial constraints, transportation, or childcare concerns. In this study, the telemedicine modalities included: telephone support, mobile applications, social media, and websites. This meta-analysis reviewed at least seven randomized controlled trials that largely used cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or psychoeducation to help pregnant women participants. The second Midwifery study concluded that telemedicine interventions “significantly decreased postpartum depression symptoms” and “demonstrated feasibility and acceptability among mothers in the postnatal period.” A major takeaway from the second Midwifery study is that telemedicine appears to be “promising in preventing and improving postpartum depression.” Of note, the study looked at women without a history of mental health conditions. Meanwhile, Hanach et al. highlight the need for larger-scale, future research to figure out the structure, content, and type of providers recommended within future telemedicine interventions. In conclusion, the benefits of telehealth—especially during COVID-19—appear to help women in the prenatal and postpartum phases of pregnancy. While the research is still growing, and quite limited, such positive signs are helpful in understanding the role that technology can play in addressing maternal mental health needs. Future studies that reflect on the benefits of telehealth are vital and will be particularly useful in supporting new and expectant mothers, especially in times of adversity. Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/healthy-mothers-healthy-families-and-healthier-world/202104/telehealth-and-maternal-mental < Previous News Next News >

  • NH Lawmakers Seek to End Telehealth Parity, Audio-Only Phone Coverage

    NH Lawmakers Seek to End Telehealth Parity, Audio-Only Phone Coverage By Eric Wicklund January 28, 2021 New Hampshire lawmakers are debating a new bill that would eliminate payment parity for telehealth and coverage of audio-only phone calls, both of which were included in legislation signed into law last year. New Hampshire lawmakers are debating a bill that would revise the state’s telehealth rules to eliminate payment parity and coverage for audio-only services. HB 602, recently introduced by State Reps. Jess Edwards, Jason Osborne and John Hunt, seeks to roll back certain provisions of a telehealth bill signed into law by Governor Chris Sununu in July 2020, when the country was in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. New Hampshire was one of the first states to make permanent emergency measures that had been enacted months earlier to improve coverage for and access to telehealth services. The new bill takes aim at two provisions that have been producing a lot of debate: reimbursing care providers for telehealth services at the same rate that they’re paid for in-person care, and coverage for telehealth services delivered via and audio-only phone or platform. The bill strikes language from state law that compels private payers and Medicaid to reimburse providers “on the same basis as the insurer provides coverage and reimbursement for health care services provided in person.” It also excludes audio-only phones calls and faxes from the list of acceptable telehealth and telemedicine modalities. Spurred by the rapid adoption and success of connected health services during the COVID-19 public health emergency, some states have moved to make payment parity permanent, in particular for mental health and substance abuse services. Many others are keeping these emergency measures in place until the PHE ends and waiting for the federal government to establish a long-term policy. Payment parity for telehealth is a contentious issue. Those opposed to the concept feel the payer industry should be able to negotiate coverage with care providers. They also argue that telehealth services should be valued differently than in-person care. Those in favor of parity say reimbursement should be kept on a par with in-person care – at least for the time being – to give reluctant providers a reason to try telehealth and to spur widespread adoption. As for audio-only phone calls, telehealth advocates say they should be included in coverage because not everyone has access to reliable broadband connectivity or the resources to use or buy audio-visual telemedicine services. Opponents, meanwhile, say the phone isn’t an adequate platform to establish a doctor-patient relationship and provide proper healthcare services. Among those opposed to HB 602 is Scot Wilson, LCMHC, a licensed clinical mental health provider at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth with a private practice in Concord. “If HB 602 is passed it will do nothing more than reduce the already sparse amount of services in New Hampshire,” he recently wrote in a post in Seacoast Online. “We will see an increase in wait times for hospital beds as we have more people unable to find a therapist. We will see individuals without access to the internet or the technology to allow telehealth via video to have access to necessary care. We will have more therapists decide that we cannot see people through telehealth because it is not financially viable.” < Previous News Next News >

  • NM Telehealth Workgroup Hosted by the New Mexico Telehealth Alliance

    NM Telehealth Workgroup Hosted by the New Mexico Telehealth Alliance ​ 7/29/2021 New Community Forum for NM Healthcare Peers on Telehealth Topics This is a monthly community forum to discuss telehealth issues with your healthcare peers. The intent is to help New Mexican systems advance remote care. Topics will change monthly and be directed by what the group members ask for. Hosted by the New Mexico Telehealth Alliance, our first session on July 29 is a collaboration with Presbyterian Healthcare Services and the University of New Mexico. We will explore audio only post-pandemic billing using HCPCS code G2252. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nm-telehealth-community-forum-registration-163947169397 < Previous News Next News >

  • Athena Health Telehealth Adoption Report

    Athena Health Telehealth Adoption Report Center for Connected Health Policy May 2021 How providers are taking advantage of virtual care and their perceived benefits Athena Health began conducting research in 2020 on de-identified data from across their healthcare network (which spans the nation) to understand how providers are feeling about the increased adoption of telehealth. With the onset of COVID-19, the use of telehealth has skyrocketed, and beyond understanding the increased utilization numbers, it’s also important to understand provider adoption rates, their attitudes toward telehealth, which specialties and what services telehealth is being used in the most. An interactive infographic tool on their website can be utilized to identify the amount of care across their system that has gone virtual by specialty (primary care, mental health, cardiology, pediatrics, OB/GYN or all specialties). Users can also view by specialty how providers are taking advantage of virtual care and their perceived benefits (for example, virtual appointments are more convenient), and the reasons why providers are turning to telehealth to keep their practices running. For a complete breakdown of their findings, visit Athena Health’s interactive webpage: https://www.athenahealth.com/knowledge-hub/clinical-trends/the-athenahealth-telehealth-insights-dashboard. < Previous News Next News >

  • Could Telehealth Worsen Inequity? 'Not Under My Watch,' Says HHS Sec. Becerra

    Could Telehealth Worsen Inequity? 'Not Under My Watch,' Says HHS Sec. Becerra Kat Jercich June 2021 Top health officials from HHS and VA have signaled their ongoing support for telemedicine in the long term, but also want to ensure that "technology is being used properly." In recent public appearances, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough both indicated their support for telemedicine in the long term. Even as states have moved to enact their own laws aimed at telehealth expansion, questions have persisted about a federal response. Becerra emphasizes equity in technology "We are absolutely supportive of efforts to give us the authority to be able to utilize telehealth in greater ways," said Becerra during a Washington Post live event earlier this week. "We want to make sure that we don't leave anyone behind … so that telehealth should be available to all Americans universally," Becerra continued. At the Post event, Becerra reiterated that the Biden administration is supportive of recent moves in Congress that would safeguard access to telemedicine after the COVID-19 pandemic. Becerra also emphasized the importance of making technology available to everyone, not just those with means. "That includes, of course, making sure broadband, and quality broadband, is out there for all communities," he said. When asked about the danger of telehealth exacerbating inequities – which many advocates have warned against – Beceerra said, "not under my watch." "We're going to do everything we can to include everyone. It should make no difference what Zip code you live in, in America," he said. "You should have access to whatever technologies we as a government through our taxpayer dollars make available, and so that's why we want to make sure we do this the right way and that there's accountability on both ends of the system," he continued. He also referred to concerns around spending and overutilization, which have dogged discussions of virtual care. "We want to make sure that these providers are providing a service that might not have been available had we not had telehealth, but that it also results in better quality services and treatment, because we don't want to be billed for things that don't result in better health for Americans," he said. When it came to interstate licensure, another sticky proposition, Becerra called it an "accountability issue." Though he avoided directly weighing in on whether doctors should be allowed to work outside their states, he seemed to lean against the issue. "The farther away you go from the direct connection between patient and provider, the more difficult it will be to try to provide for the accountability, quickly and fairly, for the patient," he said. "So if your doctor is 30 miles away, and you live in rural America, we can track down that doctor 30 miles away from you. But if your doctor was 3,000 miles away from you, that's a tougher sell for a consumer who is now trying to get accountability for a service that wasn't properly provided," he continued. When it came to broader technologies – beyond telehealth – Becerra pointed to the role digital health tools can play in strengthening U.S. public health infrastructure. "COVID-19 showed us where the holes are in our public health system. That's what happens when you have the most technologically advanced healthcare in the world, but it's not evenly distributed, and as a result, we had pockets in America where COVID was devastating," he said. "And technology helps us close those gaps faster, but once again, we want to make sure that technology is our friend and technology is being used properly, so accountability will be so important," he continued. Telehealth options are a hit with vets Meanwhile, VA Secretary McDonough appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee this week to offer an update on veterans' use of telemedicine. "There were almost 230,000 visits at the end of February this year," said McDonough, as reported by the Military Times. "Nearly 2 million vets have had one or more episodes of video care. That tells us that there’s massive demand." McDonough noted that the department is working on addressing the reluctance of some staffers to pivot to virtual care. "There’s going to continue to need to be things that are done in person, but I think as a system we recognize the huge efficiency gains and and huge satisfaction gains which come from vets spending less time traveling to our facilities while still getting good care," he said. "We want to maintain it, because it’s ease of access for vets who don’t need to be seen in person," he said. The VA has faced scrutiny in other digital health arenas recently, with an Office of Inspector General audit finding that the Veterans Health Administration needs improvement when it comes to integrating non-VA medical data to veteran's electronic health records. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said he'll encourage VA leaders to preserve the new telehealth options and explore avenues for Congress to enable them. "There’s going to be a tendency to want to snap back to pre-pandemic times, and I just think there’s going to be a patient revolt,” said Schatz, who praised telehealth in a recent interview for HIMSS TV. "Ten years ago, if you told someone to interact with their clinician via iPhone, it would be an insult. Now, if you can’t do that, that’s an insult," Schatz said. Source: https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/could-telehealth-worsen-inequity-not-under-my-watch-says-hhs-sec-becerra < Previous News Next News >

  • Senator Warner Encourages DEA Action on Telehealth & Prescribing

    Senator Warner Encourages DEA Action on Telehealth & Prescribing Center for Connected Health Policy May 2021 A lack of a more permanent fix to the prescribing issue could create hurdles for patients to access treatment to SUD services. Earlier this month Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding the long-delayed regulations from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for a telehealth registry to prescribe controlled substances. In the letter, Senator Warner expressed great concern for the delay and that “the DEA’s failure to address this issue means that a vast majority of health care providers that use telehealth to prescribe controlled substances to and otherwise treat their patients have been deterred in getting them the quality care they need.” The Ryan Haight Act of 2008 allowed for certain exemptions to the use of telehealth to provide controlled substances without the telehealth provider having seen the patient in-person first, however these exemptions are narrowly tailored. Two such exemptions are: when a public health emergency (PHE) is declared, and if a provider is registered on a telehealth registry that the DEA will create. Due to the current COVID-19 PHE, providers now are able to prescribe a controlled substance without an in-person visit, but the exemption will disappear once the PHE is declared over. In 2018 under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, Congress directed the DEA to promulgate final regulations for the registry by the end of 2019. Although a December 2019 regulatory posting indicated the DEA’s intent to publish the rule, the deadline came and went without even draft regulations being released for public comments. In March 2020, a PHE for COVID-19 was declared allowing one of the exceptions for prescribing to be activated. However, the PHE is not slated to last indefinitely and many, including Senator Warner, are looking for a more lasting change. Senator Warner also sent inquiries to the previous administration regarding the status of the registry regulations that went unanswered. During COVID-19, concern for the ability of patients with substance use disorders (SUD) to access services rose as demands on health services focused on responding to the pandemic and people sheltered in place. While much of the country is beginning to open up again, a lack of a more permanent fix to the prescribing issue could create hurdles for patients to access treatment to SUD services. < Previous News Next News >

  • Packard Foundation COVID-19 Policy Flexibilities Report – Impacts and Recommendations Related to Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

    Packard Foundation COVID-19 Policy Flexibilities Report – Impacts and Recommendations Related to Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Center for Connected Health Policy July 2021 Telehealth ensured better access to distant and specialized services, especially for those in rural areas and needing services in nearby states, as well as the potential to reduce disparities and address workforce shortages, such as those related to pediatric specialists. Last month the Lucile Packard Foundation released a report on COVID-19 policy flexibilities that focused on impacts and recommendations related to children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). In addition to analyzing emergency policies, they looked to clinicians, family advocates, and other stakeholders to identify both challenges and opportunities based on their experiences. The number one policy change highlighted by all interviewees was how greater use of telehealth expanded access to care and had significant advantages, particularly for CYSHCN and their families. Telehealth ensured better access to distant and specialized services, especially for those in rural areas and needing services in nearby states, as well as the potential to reduce disparities and address workforce shortages, such as those related to pediatric specialists. Stakeholders also spoke to how telehealth addresses transportation and logistical barriers, mitigating challenges such as traveling long distances, missing work, and bringing other family members along as well as cumbersome medical equipment. The report also noted that the greatest challenges were identified as systemic infrastructure issues affecting broadband access, digital literacy, and lack of interpretation services. Based on their analysis and interviews, the report recommended CMS and state Medicaid programs extend emergency flexibilities on payment parity, audio-only and synchronous reimbursement, as well as remove geographic or rural/urban site restrictions and ease cross-state licensing laws. They also suggested the use of targeted federal funding to reduce disparities and providing grants for telehealth infrastructure and training, as well as increasing flexibility of privacy rules. For state Medicaid programs in particular, they recommended piloting additional modalities for future use such as texting, expanding school-based reimbursement and guidance, and considering reimbursement in childcare settings. The authors heard universally from stakeholders that reimbursement and payment parity requirements were essential to the availability of telehealth. According to their review, 38 states plus DC provided Medicaid payment parity by the end of April 2020, and by September, 17 states enacted laws requiring payment parity from private insurers. In addition, some clinicians reported that telehealth reduced emergency room and inpatient utilization, but because the costs saved were not shared with hospitals, the hospital shut down the program and they are now seeing increased emergency room use and negative health outcomes. For more information, please access the full report at https://www.lpfch.org/sites/default/files/field/publications/covid-19-hma-report_1.pdf. < Previous News Next News >

  • News

    Industry News Permanent Pay, Originating Site Policies Boost Access to Virtual Addiction Services By making temporary reimbursement and site-originating policies permanent, legislators could help increase access to virtual opioid use disorder treatment, according to a new report. Dec. 29, 2021 Read More Telemental Health Collaborative Care Medication Management: Implementation and Outcomes Introduction: Access to quality mental health medication management (MM) in the United States is limited, even among those with employment-based health insurance. This implementation, feasibility, and outcome study sought to design and evaluate an evidence-based telemental health MM service using a collaborative care model (CoCM). Dec. 22, 2021 Read More Advances in telemedicine are on the way in 2022 A physician expert in virtual care talks technological advances, reimbursement legislation and the continued evolution of remote patient monitoring. Dec. 20, 2021 Read More Telehealth integrated into EHR is the way to go for CarDon & Associates The skilled nursing organization has a 90% treat-in-place rate for all telehealth encounters, and data from its platform has helped identify areas for improvement. October 19, 2021 Read More HHS to put $35M toward telehealth for family planning The agency plans to use the funds to award about 60 one-time grants to Title X family planning providers, who must apply by February of next year. November 29, 2021 Read More

  • Join Pivotal NM & The Grant Plant for an Overview of FCC's COVID-19 Telehealth Program Application

    Join Pivotal NM & The Grant Plant for an Overview of FCC's COVID-19 Telehealth Program Application Joohee Rand April 23, 2021 Pivotal NM is hosting an urgent info session this Friday April 23rd, 10am to provide an overview so that more providers will be ready for application from New Mexico. Anchorum St. Vincent has partnered with PIVOTAL NM to provide technical assistance in applying for the FCC’s Covid-19 Telehealth Program in 2021. $250M in total funding is available through this program this year, and FCC just announced that the application will be open from April 29 – May 6th, for just one week. Pivotal NM is hosting an urgent info session this Friday April 23rd, 10am to provide an overview so that more providers will be ready for application from New Mexico. Pivotal New Mexico will be also hosting additional office hours in the following week and can be available for further support in applications. Registration: https://mailchi.mp/pivotalnm.org/join-us-to-learn-about-fccs-telehealth-grant-app?e=95bb6af734 < Previous News Next News >

  • Supreme Court Limits Medication Abortion via Telehealth

    Supreme Court Limits Medication Abortion via Telehealth Center for Connected Health Policy April 2021 Last month the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule that requires in-person visits for patients seeking medication abortion, eliminating patient access to the abortion pill mifepristone via telehealth. Last month the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule that requires in-person visits for patients seeking medication abortion, eliminating patient access to the abortion pill mifepristone via telehealth. Last summer, a federal district court decision suspended the FDA rule during the pandemic, allowing providers to mail the pill to patients after a telehealth visit. While a recent study showed no difference in safety and efficacy, the ruling reignited political controversy around the subject of abortion and medication abortion in particular, leading the Trump Administration to request the reversal. The lower court ruled that the in-person requirement “imposed a ‘substantial obstacle’ to abortion care that is likely unconstitutional” however, in his concurrence, Chief Justice John Roberts stated that the issue was not related to constitutionality, but whether the lower court had the authority to remove the restriction due to their own determinations related to the risks of COVID-19, when they should defer to entities with the appropriate “background, competence, and expertise to assess public health.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan dissented the decision, stating that it places patients at risk, particularly minority and low-income populations, and puts “an unnecessary and undue burden on their right to abortion.” Advocacy groups, providers, and policymakers are now requesting that the Biden Administration remove the previous Administration’s policy and FDA restriction. Meanwhile, even if the federal in-person requirement is removed, 19 states have their own in-person requirements, which will continue to prohibit the ability to provide medication abortion via telehealth. < Previous News Next News >

  • Telehealth Industry Expected to Grow from $26.4 Billion in 2020 to $70.19 Billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 17.7%

    Telehealth Industry Expected to Grow from $26.4 Billion in 2020 to $70.19 Billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 17.7% DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE) August 5, 2020 The present situation of COVID-19 has a great impact on the Telehealth market, where home care services are increasing through the modes of telehealth services. Information is passed through telecommunication where a patient can access the treatment from the clinician and can take advice without approaching to the doctor and without going out for the hospital. This situation gives immense opportunity for the telehealth market players. Market Highlights The Telehealth Market is estimated to reach USD 70.19 billion by 2026, from USD 26.4 billion in 2020 and registering a CAGR of ~17.7% during the forecast period. The growing technologies in the telecommunications sector to reach the patients in time play a major role in the telehealth services, which raise the growth in the Telehealth market. Based on the application of Telehealth - Telehealth services market is segmented into three segments, including Teleradiology, Tele-consultation, Tele-ICU, Tele-stroke, Tele-psychiatry, and Tele-dermatology. Teleradiology had achieved a major share in the telehealth market in the last year due to increasing mental health issues among people. The insufficient health services providers give the scope of opportunities in the telehealth industry to fulfill the demand of the end-users. The market components cover the segments of Software & Services and Hardware. The segment of software & services accounted for the larger share of the global telehealth market in 2019. Telehealth market based on the end-user segment classified into Providers, Payers, and Patients. The end-users, such as providers segment accounted for the largest share in 2019. Telehealth segmentation is based on geography includes North America, Europe, APAC, and RoW. North America accounts for the largest share in the telehealth market in the entire world. The Telehealth market is growing enormously in the region of North American countries, which is very advanced in the technological perspective and in the advanced medical facilities. The increase of chronic diseases like cancer, asthma, and other diseases driving the adoption of the home healthcare services to avoid the expensive costs charged by hospitals, these are some aspects which increased the growth in the telehealth market in this region. In the last recent years, Europe is also another region in the telehealth market region where market players experienced tremendous growth due to knowing the awareness of remote monitoring and healthcare from home. The telehealth market is expanding globally during the forecasting period. The factors which give opportunities for this market are lack of physicians, increasing chronic diseases that need immediate attention from the physicians. However, the reimbursement or coverage of the fee, illiteracy of some people who cannot adopt the current advanced telecommunication are the challenges faced by the telehealth market. Key Players in the Telehealth Market The key players in the market are Teladoc, Doctor on Demand, GE Healthcare, SnapMD, Encounter Telehealth, GlobalMed, HelloMD, MDLIVE Inc, InTouch Technologies, Dictum Health, Inc., LLC, and American Well. Globally, advancements in the technologies and growing awareness of remote services increased the demand for telehealth services. In the coming future, emerging countries/regions play an important role in the telehealth services market. This study will help the market players to understand the key market trends, market dynamics, and end-users pain-points. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of the study will enhance the user experience of the study. The competitive analysis of the major players enables users to understand the dynamic strategies such as technology innovation, partnerships, merger & acquisitions and joint ventures of the key players This report also provides the portfolio analysis and capability analysis of the leading players. Quantitative analysis of the market enables users to understand the actual facts of the market across four major regions. Companies Mentioned AMC Health American Well Asahi Kasei Corporation Cerner Corporation Chiron Health Cisco Systems E Healthcare Imediplus Iron Bow Technologies Koninklijke Philips Medtronic Medvivo Group Medweb Siemens Healthineers AG Teladoc Health Telespecialists Vsee Zipnosis For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/kyppo0 Contacts ResearchAndMarkets.com Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager press@researchandmarkets.com For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900 < Previous News Next News >

  • Telehealth Waivers Wind Down, Restricting Some Providers From Delivering Care Across State Lines

    Telehealth Waivers Wind Down, Restricting Some Providers From Delivering Care Across State Lines Hailey Mensik August 2021 States allowed medical professionals licensed elsewhere to hold virtual visits with their residents during the pandemic. Some are making the rollbacks permanent, but others are reversing again. State lawmakers temporarily scrapped hundreds of regulations early in the COVID-19 pandemic to help businesses and consumers deal with widespread shutdowns, giving patients greater access to telehealth and helping spur an explosion in use of virtual care. A number of states allowed medical professionals licensed elsewhere to hold telehealth visits with residents of their state during the pandemic, and some already have or are looking to make the rollbacks permanent. Exact numbers are difficult to track because some policies overlap and are organized differently in different states, but as of July 28, 17 states and the District of Columbia still had some type of telehealth waivers in place, according to the Federation of State Medical Boards. Other states like New York, Minnesota, Florida and Alaska are among those that have pulled back emergency waivers. Alaska is going back to its old ways after its governor's emergency order ended. Patients there can only visit telehealth providers licensed in the state now after about a year without that rule. The same goes for Florida after its emergency declaration expired on June 26. Meanwhile, Arizona lawmakers passed sweeping legislation in May making the state's pandemic-related telehealth waivers permanent, including requiring insurers to cover audio-only visits and allowing out-of-state medical professionals to conduct telehealth visits with patients in the state. Advocates for allowing providers to permanently deliver virtual care across state lines say it would help ease staffing shortages, help patients and doctors maintain existing relationships and benefit patients in isolated communities by making faraway specialists more accessible. But as long as medical licensing is regulated at the state level, the broad access to services and providers that existed during the pandemic won’t continue for everyone. Patients in rural areas are often far away from a doctor's office, and in states like Alaska where flexibilities expired, can be even further from providers practicing certain specialties, such as a pediatric intensivist or certain oncologists, said Mei Kwong, executive director for the Center for Connected Health Policy. "Maybe there aren't enough of those cases in those particular states to make it worth a provider's while to go and move there, but there's still a need because they may still have people who need those services," Kwong said. The patchwork of red tape could also pose a challenge for providers who have pivoted to delivering more virtual care over the past year. Mia Finkelston, a family medicine physician in Maryland, made the switch to telehealth nearly a decade ago and has been practicing with Amwell ever since. She's currently licensed in 29 states, and said the process to get her licenses varied widely. "It's not standard as far as fees, it's not standard as far as what documents you need to give them. It really is based on those state medical boards and what they decide is important to them," Finkelston said. As more states' waivers expire and others' rules change, one option for providers who want to continue delivering care across state lines is through the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which currently includes 30 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. Similar to the nurse licensure compact, it allows eligible physicians to practice in other compact states. It’s worth noting, however, that the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact does not issue a compact license or a nationally recognized medical license for physicians, but rather streamlines the process for them to receive multiple licenses from individual state medical boards. Physicians pay an initial $700 compact fee, then an additional cost for each license in any compact state they want to practice in. States must pass legislation to join the compacts. "No two states are totally alike in their legal and regulatory framework for the practice of medicine, which of course, affects telehealth, which is just one aspect of the overall US healthcare system," Kyle Zebley, director of public policy at the American Telehealth Association, a coalition with a board that includes representatives from hospitals like HCA and payers like CVS, said. "Therefore a way to be consistent with our federal system, consistent with the way that the practice of medicine has been done in this country for so long, we've come up with this great model of compact, which is a way to be consistent with all that while still allowing for care across state lines," Zebley said. As lawmakers try to facilitate continued access to telemedicine for those who need it most, licensure reforms will be key, the authors of a February article in the New England Journal of Medicine argue. "The growth of large national and regional health systems and the increased use of telemedicine have expanded the scope of health care markets beyond state borders," the authors said. They agree that a federal medical licensing system is the loftiest reform option and strengthening existing compacts is the way to go, suggesting Congress pass legislation to encourage holdout states to join the Interstate Medical Compact. Other options include encouraging states to practice reciprocity, where they automatically recognize an out-of-state license, as the Department of Veterans Affairs does with physicians in its system. Source: https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/telehealth-waivers-wind-down-restricting-some-providers-from-delivering-ca/603169/#:~:text=Healthcare%20Dive-,Telehealth%20waivers%20wind%20down%2C%20restricting%20some%20providers%20from%20delivering%20care,but%20others%20are%20reversing%20again. < Previous News Next News >

  • San Juan Regional Medical Center gets CARES Act funding to expand telehealth services

    San Juan Regional Medical Center gets CARES Act funding to expand telehealth services By Hannah Grover, Farmington Daily Times February 15, 2021 AZTEC — Before COVID-19, San Juan Regional Medical Center used telehealth in a limited fashion to support providers and to do provider consultations, according to Chief Information Officer Matt Miliffe. AZTEC — Before COVID-19, San Juan Regional Medical Center used telehealth in a limited fashion to support providers and to do provider consultations, according to Chief Information Officer Matt Miliffe. The pandemic changed things. San Juan Regional Medical Center and San Juan Health Partners worked quickly to expand telehealth offerings. Now the hospital is receiving CARES Act funding to help improve its technology and better provide that service. "Demand (for telehealth) was immediate and has continued to grow," Miliffe said. San Juan Regional Medical Center will receive $1.25 million in CARES Act funding to supply emergency generators as well as to make upgrades in the IT network, according to a press release from the office of Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-NM. IT upgrades, new generators on the way These technology upgrades will support telehealth and field hospital operation projects that have been implemented in an effort to bolster the hospital's response to COVID-19. The grant funding will be matched with $617,000 in local funds. All locations except for San Juan Health Partners Urgent Care began offering a mixture of telephone and video visits in an effort to comply with public health orders, sustain the services offered and prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to Barbara Charles, administrative director for San Juan Health Partners. The medical center's network infrastructure wasn't designed to service the high demands of video consultations and Miliffe said the IT team has had to push the current capabilities. "However, significant upgrades to the wired and wireless infrastructure is needed to sustain and improve the existing experience, and allow for the continued growth in telehealth demands driven by the pandemic," he said. "This funding will make a fundamental difference in our ability to serve our community’s needs." Your stories live here. Fuel your hometown passion and plug into the stories that define it. Create Account COVID: State health department closes Home Depot over COVID-19 cases One of the barriers that the center has seen is the remote nature of the community. Many patients can only connect through phone due to limited internet connectivity or cell service that can't support video. "The inability to consistently connect by audio and video is an ongoing barrier," Charles said. This funding is part of more than $2.24 million of CARES Act money that will be coming to northwest New Mexico to address healthcare and economic needs. In addition to San Juan Regional Medical Center, the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments, which is based in Gallup, has been awarded $990,000 to address economic development needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments serves Cibola, McKinley and San Juan counties. According to the press release, the council of governments hopes to create 100 jobs and retain 100 jobs through a revolving loan fund that this funding will assist in creating. Legislative session:New Mexico lawmakers work to address economic impact of COVID-19 U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich Heinrich said in a press release that he has been "moved by the resiliency and grit" of rural New Mexico communities as they have faced a variety of public health and economic challenges related to the pandemic. "That is why I fought so hard to include funding in the CARES Act to help New Mexico’s rural health care systems, small businesses, and entrepreneurs to weather this storm," he said. "This funding is long-overdue and I will continue working for federal resources that New Mexico’s rural communities need to take on the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild our economy in a way that supports everyone." Heinrich as well as Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-NM, and Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, D-NM, announced $2.24 million of CARES Act funding for northwest New Mexico on Feb. 12. San Juan Regional Medical Center President and CEO Jeff Bourgeois Hospital: Telehealth is here to stay San Juan Regional Medical Center President and CEO Jeff Bourgeois thanked the lawmakers for the funding in the press release and emphasized that the hospital provides essential healthcare services for the Four Corners area. "This funding will ensure that we can meet the diverse needs of our patients and community and improve care for those we are privileged to serve," he said. While the pandemic jump started the demand for telehealth in the community, Miliffe said the San Juan Regional Medical Center does not anticipate it fading away. "Looking ahead to post-pandemic times, we see a long term and stable need for these services in our community as patients look to receive their healthcare in more of a consumer fashion, with services and offerings tailored around them as the individual," Charles, of San Juan Health Partners, said. "It is expected that the need or demand for telemedicine will continue long term. Many patients with health needs that may not require an in-person or face-to-face visit may find this option more flexible and convenient. Additionally, given the unknowns of the pandemic – this remains a safe alternative to in-person visits for patient to seek as needed or routine healthcare needs." Charles said telehealth also plays a key role in the COVID to Home program, which allows COVID-19 patients to receive close monitoring while in self-isolation at their own houses. "Because of this program’s close monitoring through telehealth visits, many patients have been able to stay out of the hospital and manage their care at home through the telephone or video calls. In other cases, caregivers have been able to intervene to coordinate a higher level of care for patients who needed it," she said. "To date, the COVID to Home program has helped more than 1,200 patients manage their care at home, something that would not have been possible without telehealth." Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com . This story has been modified to correct the attribution on some quotes. < Previous News Next News >