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September 2016     
HTRC's monthly telehealth bulletin

Heartland Telehealth Resource Center is here to meet your telehealth needs. We are a government-sponsored 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.
Dr. Scott Bernard (right) talking with Congressman Mullin about telehealth
Oklahoma Congressman tours telehealth sites

U.S. Congressman Markwayne Mullin visited Salisaw, Okla. recently to learn more about telehealth and the services provided within his district in eastern Oklahoma. HTRC Oklahoma Director Cynthia Scheideman-Miller helped coordinate the visit.

The visit began at the Health and Wellness Center in Sallisaw, which is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). This part of the tour included a visit to the mobile dental unit and a telepsychology demonstration.

Sallisaw Health and Wellness Center receives telepsychology services through one of the most integrated systems available. This allows for the therapists and psychiatrists to seamlessly schedule appointments, send secure messages, share documents and report findings to electronic medical records (EMR). It also utilizes advanced artificial intelligence tools to ensure patients get treated quickly, usually within a couple hours to a day. 

Congressman Mullin had several questions about the technology, but came away from the visit with a better understanding of the benefits telepsychology can provide.

"I think it's great being that we have very limited access [to mental health professionals], especially throughout the rural parts of the state," said Mullin.

Brooke Lattimore, the chief operating officer at the Health and Wellness Center thought the visit was a great opportunity to raise congressional awareness about the benefits of telemedicine.

"We were honored to have the Congressman visit our facility and hear how telemedicine is increasing access to behavioral health care, especially in our rural clinics," said Lattimore.

Wichita, Kansas
September 20-21

The Kansas Public Health Association (KPHA) hosts their 73rd annual conference.  Conference sessions will focus on our theme of "Advocating for the Health of all Kansans."

New Orleans, Louisiana
September 28-30

The ATA Fall Forum is in New Orleans this year. Come hear Walmart and other industry players lead focused discussions on technologies, trends, and industry challenges for 2016 and beyond. The forum is a great opportunity to enjoy New Orleans while networking and hearing the latest, industry advancements in a thought-provoking and intimate environment.

Wichita, Kansas
September 29-30

This conference is designed to provide advanced practice nurses in both the primary and acute setting, the opportunity to further enhance their ability to assess, diagnose and manage health conditions. 

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
October 19-21

The AONP Conference is a fantastic opportunity to learn the latest techniques, sharpen your skills, earn CEs and network with other nurse practitioners. All conveniently located in Oklahoma.

Boston, Massachusetts
October 20-21

Over 1,000 visionaries, leaders, practitioners and thinkers will gather for the 13th year at this event hosted by Partners HealthCare Connected Health.  A diverse agenda, a mix of keynotes and panel discussions promise to provide attendees with a thought-provoking, participatory and highly engaging experience.


Show-Me-ECHO teams kick off fall season
The Missouri Project ECHO program kicked off the fall season this month with the start of their asthma and endocrinology ECHO programs.
The Impact Asthma and Endocrinology ECHO programs meet 
each Tuesday. The asthma ECHO is from 12 noon - 1:30 p.m. and the endocrinology ECHO runs from 12 noon - 1 p.m. See the full schedule for more information.

Missouri primary care providers can join for free to learn from case presentations with a team of specialists.

Learn more about Show-Me ECHO.

Learn about Project ECHO and the treatment of chronic pain in this interview with Family Practitioner Dr. Michael Kennedy.  Kennedy serves on the expert panel for the upcoming Pain Management ECHO in Kansas.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) report recommends changes to Medicare coverage

A new DHHS report recommends changes to Medicare's telehealth coverage. The report outlines the DHHS's current legislative proposal to be included in the President's budget request for the 2017 Fiscal Year. The proposal aims to address many of the existing challenges associated with telemedicine by revamping Medicare's telehealth coverage.

Currently Medicare's fee-for-service program only covers telehealth if it fits a predefined list of qualified treatments and geographic requirements. The new proposal would widen the delivery of telehealth by "expanding the ability of Medicare Advantage organizations to deliver certain medical services, at the Secretary's discretion, via telehealth by eliminating otherwise applicable Part B requirements that certain covered services be provided exclusively through face-to-face encounters."

By eliminating the part B requirements for telemedicine, this new proposal would provide Medicare recipients with access to more specialties through telemedicine and would make telemedicine services available in more locations.

Congress initially requested a report on the status of E-Health and telemedicine back in December, 2015. In addition to the proposed legislative changes, the report also details the capabilities of telemedicine to increase access to care and improve health outcomes; the existing policy challenges associated with the technology; and the current usage of telehealth by the DHSS and the VA. 

You can access the full report from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. 

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 | | 
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