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November 2016     
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.

Telesupervision in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma

Many rural communities of the Heartland suffer from a shortage of health professionals able to provide quality, affordable, timely care for community members. While telehealth can be used to connect rural patients to urban providers, increasingly, state licensing boards are considering the role that telehealth can play in bringing more providers to town - in real life. Telesupervision can help pre-licensed providers in rural areas fulfill their licensing requirements and overcome the burden of finding another licensed professional in the same field in areas where those providers are sparse.  
Behavioral health
In October's news bulletin, we reported on a recent recommendation by the Kansas telehealth advisory group KanTel, to the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board for "removal of the in-person supervision requirement for most qualified mental health professionals in order to obtain their license." The recommendation supported telesupervision for mental health professionals seeking independent licensure without limits to in-person supervision time. 

Though Kansas currently permits two-thirds of the supervision to be done electronically, even this can be a barrier for those who want to practice in a rural community, said Shawna Wright, a licensed psychologist who has worked for more than a decade in community mental health. 
"What we see with many communities is that if they don't already have a certain type of provider, like let's say a psychologist, or social worker, a licensed clinical social worker on staff, then it's very hard for them to hire someone who might be coming out of school."
Wright is currently supervising a pre-licensed professional counselor who would have had to travel 90 miles to the nearest available licensed professional counselor. She explained that the Board prefers that professionals are supervised by someone in the same field but the "supervisee" would have had to take off a day or half day from work every week for the travel which "becomes prohibitive." 

Read more about telesupervision in behavioral health

Allied health professions
In addition to behavioral health, telesupervision is poised to play a role in helping pre-licensed allied health professionals meet their supervisory requirements. The  American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has cited the shortage of speech and language pathologists and lack of practicum opportunities within travel distance of perspective supervisors, as a reason for increasing telesupervision. 

Telecollaboration for APRNs and PAs
Using telehealth to meet professional requirements does not have to stop with licensing - collaborative professional agreements can also be facilitated through videoconferencing in some cases. States like Missouri and Oklahoma that still require a collaborating physician for advance practice nurses who operate independently have added telecollaboration as an option for fulfilling the collaborative requirements. In Missouri, advance practice registered nurses (APRN), can now utilize telecollaboration between themselves and a supervising physician. The law now enables APRNs to "provide such services outside the geographic proximity requirements if the collaborating physician and advanced practice registered nurse utilize telehealth in the care of the patient and if the services are provided in a rural area of need." Otherwise, advance practice nurses in Missouri have to practice within a 50-mile proximity to the collaborating physician. Finding a collaborating physician within 50 miles can be challenging in rural areas.

Kansas City, Mo.
November 30 - December 1

Sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration, this workshop will provide an introduction to telehealth and cover challenges and barriers; telehealth program sustainability and business models; and best practices for using telehealth in Indian Health, Tribal, and Urban Indian Health programs.

Jefferson City, Mo.
January 26, 2017

The Missouri Telehealth Summit brings together leaders, policymakers, providers and payers for in-depth conversations about where we stand now and where we are going in this critical component of the health care industry. The agenda will include sessions on the latest Medicaid telehealth regulations, lessons from a successful school-based telehealth program, a legislative panel, Show-Me ECHO and direct-to-consumer telemedicine. 

Columbia, Mo.
February 28-March 1, 2017

Ready to implement your own ECHO program? In February, 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 participati on 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. It is also a great opportunity to engage with other organizations interested in ECHO. If your organization is ready to replicate ECHO, please contact Lindsey Beckmann at or by phone at (573) 884-3753. 

HTRC Director to serve on The National Quality Forum

Heartland Telehealth Resource Center Director Eve-Lynn Nelson, Ph.D, was recently asked to serve on the National Quality Forum (NQF). The NQF is reviewing research to "identify existing and potential telehealth metrics to identify gaps and develop a measure framework,  prioritized list of measure concepts, and guiding principles for future telehealth measurement." The  committee will focus on the effectiveness of telehealth intervention in rural areas, and the challenges faced by rural health care communities.

Professional development training to advance integration of telehealth in Missouri 

Missouri Telehealth Network hosted a Telehealth Training Conference November 9-10 in Columbia, Mo. Participants from the health community around the state learned about technical, clinical, operational, legal and regulatory aspects of telehealth. The conference served those who were interested in either starting their own telehealth program, gaining a greater understanding of state and federal policy, advancing their outreach, strengthening their business models, or those who sought hands-on training with the most recent telehealth equipment and programs.  

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