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October 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.
KanTel meeting

Right: Kirsten Angell discusses telenutrition reimbursement at October KanTel meeting.

During the October meeting of KanTel, the board agreed to recommend to the Kansas Behavioral Science and Regulatory Board that they consider expanding the use of telesupervision in licensing mental health professionals. One of the licensing requirements of mental health professionals is supervision by another licensed professional in the same field. Since rural areas suffer from a shortage of mental health professionals, there may be no other professional in the area to supervise. The travel required for supervision can be a major barrier to licensing - one that could be mitigated by using telesupervision rather than or in addition to in-person supervision. Other states, including Georgia, have added telesupervision rules in an effort to help alleviate the shortage of mental health professionals. 

In addition to the discussion on telesupervision, Kirsten Angell of the Western Kansas Dietetic Association presented on tele nutrition and  the difficulties of reimbursement from private payers in Kansas. According to Angell, the uncertainty over reimbursement has slowed the uptake of telenutrition, which can help to reach remote patients who may not otherwise receive the support they need to prevent costly chronic illnesses, including type 2 diabetes. 

KanTel is an advisory board of telehealth experts and legislators working to improve telehealth adoption in Kansas. Among their goals is telehealth parity, a state policy that would insure that reimbursement for telehealth is equal to in-person reimbursement. For information about how to join KanTel, please contact Janine Gracy at jg .

Denver, Co.
October 29 - November 2

The National Telehealth Resource Centers will again exhibit at this year's American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and a pre-conference workshop entitled "Leveraging telehealth technologies to extend the reach and effectiveness of public health practice," will be led by Kathy Wibberly, director of the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center. 

Oklahoma City, Okla.
November 1

Sponsored by the Telehealth Alliance of Oklahoma and HIMSS, Oklahoma's only telehealth conference is November 1 in Oklahoma City. Learn from industry experts as they share information about telehealth and ethics, mobile device security, engaging the participant and more.

Hear speakers share their experiences with direct-to-consumer and virtual health as they weigh both the costs and the benefits of consumer-driven healthcare. Take home skills on how to effectively communicate with patients about telehealth and how it can best serve them. Stay in the know about current privacy and security legal framework for mobile devices, as well as the best practices and strategies for safeguarding information.

Prepare yourself, your practice, and your patients for the latest innovative healthcare technology set to improve access and options of care, Register today!

The cost is only $47 and includes lunch and access to all of the general conference sessions. 

Columbia, Mo.
November 9 - 10

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.

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. 

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 says "goodbye" to Oklahoma director

Though HTRC Oklahoma Director Cynthia Scheideman-Miller has moved on to new endeavors, her telehealth legacy in Oklahoma won't soon be forgotten. Cynthia has been a dedicated telehealth advocate in the state of Oklahoma for over 20 years. In addition to her years of service to HTRC, Cynthia served as Executive Director of the Telehealth Alliance of Oklahoma and she will be sorely missed. 

Cynthia will continue to spread the good word about telehealth with a new position in California. We wish her the best and look forward to hearing about her new adventures in telehealth! 
A new Kansas partnership hopes to improve access to care in rural Kansas

Last month, the University of Kansas Hospital announced a partnership with Hays Medical Center (HaysMed). Although the two hospitals have worked together several times previously, this is the first time they have signed a letter of intent to form an official partnership. 

This new partnership will benefit both organizations in several ways. Hays Medical Center will be able to provide a greater range of healthcare services and resources to its patients, and the University of Kansas Hospital will be able to better reach rural patients in Western regions of the state.  

One aspect the two hospitals are currently partnering on is telemedicine. KU Hospital uses telemedicine to assist with the heart and stroke programs at Hays Medical Center. A spokesman for KU hospital said the two organizations plan on exploring additional uses for telemedicine once the official partnership is in place.
According to KU Hospital CEO, Bob Page, the partnership is being implemented with patients in mind.

"It's about our folks and their folks coming together with one goal in mind. We're two organizations coming together to improve the health of Kansans," Page explained during a news conference following the announcement.  

Skilled nursing facilities soon eligible for Universal Service Fund

In June President Obama signed legislation that added skilled nursing facilities (SNF) to the Rural Health Care Program (RHC) as an eligible healthcare provider. This means that SNFs can begin applying for funding from the Universal Service Fund on January 1, 2017. Among other things, the program helps subsidizes Internet access to make telehealth services more affordable and comparable to the cost of urban counterparts. 

For more information, please contact HTRC 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