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September 2017    
HTRC's monthly telehealth bulletin
ECHO reducing impact of childhood asthma in Missouri

Deb Cook, RN, AE-C, and her team are serious about impacting asthma. To accomplish this goal, Cook who is the  director of health services for the public school system in Kennett, Mo., regularly participates in Show-Me ECHO's Impact Asthma ECHO. ECHOs (Extenstion for Community Healthcare Outcomes) are virtual learning networks where teams of specialists mentor primary care providers via videoconferencing technology.  

Deb Cook RN, AE-C
"I don't have to travel," said Cook, "but I can connect with several experts is the area of asthma, including a pediatric pulmonologist, a pediatric allergist and other asthma experts to learn how to address barriers [children] may have."

Cook said the case presentations and collaborative atmosphere have helped improve asthma treatment in her school district, where asthma prevalence is 18 percent, higher than the state average of 14 percent. Helping to improve treatment, both at school and at home, can have a lasting difference in children's lives, said Cook.

"One of of my goals is to try to reduce absenteeism. And one of the ways I can do that is to help parents understand asthma, and better control their child's asthma. If the child's asthma is well-controlled then they're going to be be in school, they're going to be happier, they're going to feel more normal and be able to participate like any other child can participate." 

To learn how to participate in an asthma ECHO, go to 

Impact Asthma ECHO savings likely top $4 million

Though improving the health of Missouri children is the chief aim of Impact Asthma ECHO, reducing health care costs also plays a major role. Using Medicaid claims records, 
Missouri Telehealth Network's Show-Me ECHO Evaluator Mirna Becevic, PhD, estimated that Impact Asthma ECHO saved more than $4 million in 2016. Counties with primary care providers who participated in Impact Asthma ECHO saw a 15 percent reduction in ED visits and a 42 percent drop for in-patient hospital days. With an average ED visit cost of $629 and daily in-patient hospital cost of $2439, the savings add up quickly. Becevic stressed that though promising, these numbers are preliminary and additional data is still being analyzed


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

ECHO schedule

Pain Management Ongoing Kansas
Asthma Starts fall 2017 Kansas
Child Behavioral Health Starts fall 2017 Kansas
Back-to-School Started September 21 Kansas
Impact Asthma New cohort starts October 3 Missouri
Year round Missouri
Healthcare Ethics Ongoing Missouri
Chronic Pain Management Ongoing Missouri
Dermatology Year round Missouri
Hep C Year round Missouri
Child Psych Ongoing Missouri
Community Health Worker
Opioid Use Disorder Ongoing Missouri


Family physicians receive dose of telehealth from TRCs

Telehealth Resource Centers (TRC) teamed up in San Antonio last week to promote telehealth at the American Academy of Family Physicians annual conference. 

"This is a new audience, hungry for new information about telehealth," said HTRC Project Director Janine Gracy. 

TRC representatives provided on-the-spot technical assistance to providers about how to incorporate telehealth into their practices. The National Telehealth Technology Assessment Resource Center (TTAC) also demonstrated telehealth technologies for the audience.

In addition to HTRC and TTAC, the Center for Connected Health Policy, TexLa, South Central, Mid-Atlantic, Pacific Basin and Northeast Telehealth Resource Centers were represented at the conference. 

For more information about the national Telehealth Resource Center consortium, contact HTRC at 877-643-HTRC. 

Telehealth steps up in a crisis

Telehealth providers played a crucial role in providing hurricane victims with free care after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wreaked havoc in Texas and Florida. At least six national telehealth providers and two Florida hospitals stepped in to offer free telehealth consults for those affected by the storms. Fleeing their homes left many without vital medications for chronic illnesses, others were wounded, both physically and mentally.  Providers cared for minor injuries, psychological issues, prescribed medicine and authorized refills. 

We at HTRC wish to express our gratitude to the many health care providers, both virtual and in-person, who have donated their time to assist people affected by these crises.  

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