Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are staying warm on these cold days - perhaps a perfect time to try telehealth at home!
In this newsletter, we'll take a look back at key activities and developments in telehealth for 2017. A few highlights for the NETRC team include hosting a successful Regional Telehealth Conference in May, participating in a number of regional events including the New England Rural Health Conference and the North Country (NY) Telemedicine Conference, and providing individual technical assistance to more than 200 clients. For a sampling of telehealth activity in the region, check out the Regional Telehealth Practice Headlines below.
It was not at all surprising that 2017 was also an active year for regional telehealth policy and regulatory changes. Here are just a few of the updates:
As we welcome 2018, we look forward to continued opportunities to collaborate and support your telehealth efforts! We hope you will contribute to the regional telehealth conversation and consider attending our
next conference - see below and stay tuned for more information.
Northeast Regional Telehealth Conference
June 5-6, 2018
Holiday Inn By the Bay
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or requests for assistance!
Andrew Solomon on behalf of the NETRC Team
CMS CY2018 Physician Fee Schedule Changes
Have you reviewed the updated Medicare telehealth reimbursement policy published in the CY2018 Physician Fee Schedule? Changes include:
- The addition of three codes to the list of eligible telehealth services
- G0296: Counseling visit to discuss need for lung cancer screening using low dose CT scan
- 90839 and 90840: Psychotherapy for crisis; first 60 minutes and each additional 30 minutes
- The addition of four add-on codes:
- 90785: Interactive complexity (add-on code)
- 96160 and 96161: Administration of patient (or caregiver) focused health risk assessment instrument with scoring and documentation (add-on code)
- G0506: Comprehensive assessment of and care planning for patient requiring chronic care management services (add-on code)
- Eliminating the requirement to use the GT modifier (via interactive audio and video telecommunications systems). The telehealth Place of Service (POS) Code 02 should still be used.
Although not considered a "telehealth service," CMS also finalized separate payment for CPT code 99091 (collection and interpretation of physiologic data digitally stored and/or transmitted by the patient and/or caregiver to the physician or other qualified health care professional requiring a minimum of 30 minutes) for remote patient monitoring. For more information about this and the other CY2018 telehealth changes, please review:
Join the Virtual Conversation!
This year, the Northeast Telehealth Resource Center formed the Northeast Telehealth Leadership Forum to foster collaborative problem solving and networking across the region. Monthly meetings have explored telehealth reimbursement, regional and national policy, direct-to-patient best practices, and more. If you haven't already,
register today to join us for these virtual meetings at
2:00pm ET on the FIRST Wednesday of every month (please note no January meeting).
Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 7
Featured Discussion: Provider Training and Engagement Strategies
We are using a recurring meeting link that you receive after signing up for the Leadership Forum. If you misplace your link, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Telehealth News for December
Is Project ECHO the Telemedicine Model That Healthcare is Missing?
mHealth Intelligence, December, 2017
A fast-growing international program, Project ECHO uses telemedicine to help rural and remote providers learn from specialists...
NH Hospitals unveil virtual connection to improve emergency care
WMUR 9, December 7, 2017
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has partnered with Valley Regional Hospital to provide tele-emergency services...
MedCityNews, December 11, 2017
Walgreens has embarked on a deal with NewYork-Presbyterian health system to provide non-emergency telemedicine services at drugstore retailer Duane Reade stores...
Telemedicine Helps NYC Jails Cut Costs and Complexity in Prisoner Care
mHealth Intelligence, December 14, 2017
NYC Health + Hospitals is coordinating virtual visits for New York's City's municipal jails, including some 30 telemedicine stations...
Harvard Pilgrim grants aim to advance telehealth in CT
Hartford Business, December 20, 2017
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has awarded $32,000 in grants to the Community eConsult Network to expand the use of eConsults in Connecticut...
A Maine hospital thinks the best medicine for telehealth is staying local
Internet Health Management, December 20, 2017
York Hospital is offering consumer telehealth in an effort to keep care local and provide more community healthcare service...
Top 2017 Telehealth Policy Headlines
As Selected by our Editors
FierceHealthcare, November 7, 2017
FCC Eyes Expanded Broadband Funding for Telehealth, Telemedicine
mHealth Intelligence, November 27, 2017
Should Telehealth, Telemedicine Doctors Have Their Own Specialty?
mHealth Intelligence, November 28, 2017
CMS Releases Finalized CY2018 Physician Fee Schedule with Telehealth Policy Changes
CCHP Newsletter, November 28, 2017
FCC votes to repeal net neutrality, raising implications for telehealth and remote monitoring
FierceHealthcare, December 15, 2017
Top 2017 Regional Telehealth Practice Headlines
As Selected by our Editors
mHealth Intelligence, January 25, 2017
Model: System-wide telehealth integration including direct-to-consumer
NC Advertiser, January 30, 2017
Model: Health Department facilitated chronic care management
North Country Now, February 5, 2017
Hartford Business, February 15, 2017
Model: Direct-to-patient urgent care
WTNH, March 20, 2017
Model: Project ECHO
mHealth Intelligence, May 18, 2017
Model: School-based telehealth including behavioral health
mHealth Intelligence, May 18, 2017
Model: Grant funded collaborative telehealth network facilitating telepsychiatry and more
mHealth Intelligence, May 26, 2017
Model: eConsults (asynchronous provider-to-provider specialty consultations) for FQHCs
WHEC, May 29, 2017
Model: Grant funded Parkinson's Disease care at home
mHealth Intelligence, June 14, 2017
Model: Emergency room telepsychiatry
The Leader-Herald, June 20, 2017
Model: Community-based telehealth stations to improve health care access
Bennington Banner, June 21, 2017
Model: Tele-emergency care
The Daily Star, June 23, 2017
Model: Telespecialty care including infectious disease
Healthcare IT News, August 17, 2017
Model: Telehealth-enabled emergency room express care
mHealth Intelligence, August 22, 2017
Model: Improving health care access in unique locations
The Westerly Sun, October 22, 2017
Model: Tele-ICU or eICU
mHealth Intelligence, November 20, 2017
Model: Teledermatology for Community Health Centers
Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program
Application Deadline: February 23, 2018
The Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program provides grants to promote the planning and development of healthcare networks in order to achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential healthcare services; and strengthen the rural healthcare system as a whole.
Upcoming National Webinar
Nemour Children's Hospital: Nemours Anytime, Anywhere!
Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 2:00pm EDT
Hosted by the Southeastern Telehealth Resource Center
Presented by Natalina Zisa, Telemedicine Operations Program Manager, Nemours Children's Hospital
Join us to learn about Nemour's enterprise strategic solution aligning all consumer-facing digital properties to expand a more accessible continuum of care.