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June 2017    
HTRC's monthly telehealth bulletin

Heartland Telehealth Resource Center is here to meet your telehealth needs. We are a federally funded 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.
New youth telemental health practice guidelines

According the American  Academy  of Child and Adolescent Psychology, up to 20 percent of all children will develop a mental or behavioral health disorder before age 18. Unfortunately, only 20 percent of those diagnosed receive treatment. So it's important that providers are making their services more readily available to rural and frontier populations, where economic circumstances and a scarcity of health professionals make communities and families more vulnerable. 

During the NFAR ATTC's June Telehealth Tuesday, Dr. Eve Lynn Nelson, PhD, Director of the University of Kansas for Telemedicine, introduced the new Child and Adolescent Telemental Health Practice Guidelines that she helped develop for the American Telehealth Association. While protocol for all telemental health patients should include careful attention to safety protocol, privacy and room set up, Nelson highlighted specific operating procedures and protocols for providing services to children. The following are a few of the special telemental health considerations for youth:
  • If the telehealth occurs in a school the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations apply, in addition to HIPAA. 
  • Physical location/telemedicine space needs to be sufficient to accommodate all participating individuals on-screen, including parents.
  • Distractions in the room should be reduced, particularly in the case of young children or youth with ADHD.
  • Lighting should be sufficient so that a children's emotional reaction can be easily seen.
  • Providers should determine the scope of the presenter's assistance, as well as the training needs of the presenter, including the ability to work with youth with behavioral health concerns.
  • Emergency awareness procedures should be developed to ensure that staff and/or parents are alerted to any safety risks, have on-hand knowledge of local emergency resources, location of nearest hospital, family contact information, and local referral information.
  • Be mindful of consult request data, as it's more common in child and adolescent mental health to have multiple informants/various providers who evaluate and treat children remotely.

Wichita , Kan.
July 10-11

Attend the 2017 Kansas Broadband Conference,"Growing & Expanding Opportunities Through Broadband," and discover why broadband access and adoption is critically important to Kansas' future. This two-day conference brings together knowledgeable panelists and industry leaders .  The Kansa s Broadband Conference is a resource to assist you in developing broadband based projects to help you meet the visions and goals of your group. Topics include:
  • Project development from the ground up: From idea to implementation, what is the development and planning process? 
  • Selling to your stakeholders: Who needs to be involved in a project and when do you need to get them involved?
  • Assessing your current internet based programs: What services do you want to offer in your community?
  • Establish the financial feasibility for a program you are developing
  • Expanding technological capabilities: Infusing technology into operations and activities.
  • What are some of the rules and regulations around what you can do with technology? 

ECHO Immersion Training
Columbia, Mo. 
August 1-2

Ready to implement your own ECHO program? In  August , the Missouri Telehealth Network will host a two day, in-person ECHO Immersion Training which  will offer a general overview of Project ECHO and dive deeper into the ECHO model. The training will focus on next steps for implementation  including participation in an ECHO clinic. Through immersion, participants will develop an ongoing relationship with the Show-Me ECHO replication team and other ECHO staff members, who will assist in setting up ECHO clinics.

Please contact Lindsey Beckmann in Missouri at  or by phone at (573) 884-3753. 

Kansas organizations can contact Carla Deckert at
 or (913) 588-2081. 
Columbia, Mo. 
September 26 & 27, 2017 

Missouri Telehealth Network provides formal and informal training to new and existing members of the network. This training offers a thorough overview of telehealth including:
  • How to use telehealth devices and trouble-shoot equipment problems 
  • Public and private policies impacting telehealth, billing requirements, JCAHO standards and HIPAA regulations
  • Clinical, administrative and educational applications of telehealth
  • Telehealth use in specialties and other programs such as Show-Me ECHO.

Family physicians are interested in telehealth, few are using

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (JABFM) indicated that while interest is high, only 15 percent of family practice physicians were using telehealth at the time of the survey.  Of those who had used telehealth in the past year, nearly half had used it 5 times or fewer. Only 14 percent had used it 20 times or more.
Rural physicians were three times more likely to have used telehealth. Those who had used electronic medical records were more likely to use telehealth, while those in private practice were less likely to use it. The most frequent use was to refer patients to specialists (68%), while referral to mental health professionals was second at 28 percent.
For non-users more than half cited training and reimbursement as barriers to use. Though telehealth advocates are still working to improve reimbursement by payers, it may be that doctors are unaware of which services are currently reimbursed. Additionally, regional telehealth resource centers can provide training for physicians and guidance on liability issues, which was listed by 43 percent of non-users as a barrier.

* Chart created with data from study published in JABFM

For more information on training, reimbursement or liability issues, please contact HTRC at 877-643-HTRC. 

State telehealth regulation quick reference guides

Looking for a quick, easy-to-digest summary of telehealth regulations by state? HTRC maintains state-by-state quick reference guides for Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. These guides are meant to serve as a starting point for reimbursement and regulations, but please contact HTRC for more detailed information at 877-643-HTRC. 

Project ECHO

Project ECHO is a program using telemedicine to revolutionize medical education  and improve access to specialty care. Project ECHO, which was developed by the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, works by connecting primary care clinicians with specialist teams via videoconference. 

Each specialty area has its own ECHO, such as autism or chronic pain. ECHO teams meet regularly to hear cases from providers and make recommendations.

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