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December 2017    
HTRC's monthly telehealth bulletin

January 18

Join the National Telehealth Resource Centers' monthly webinar to learn more about how Nemours Children's Hospital has increased access to their services. This webinar is hosted by Southeastern Telehealth Resource Center, which serves Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Florida.

Jefferson City, Mo.
February 1

The 2018 Missouri Telehealth Summit will focus on financial barriers and incentives for rural hospitals, successful Missouri telehealth projects, legislative updates and more. The keynote speaker will be Yulun Wang, Ph.D., founder and CIO of InTouch Health. 

For those who want a crash course in telehealth basics, a pre-summit Telehealth 101 Workshop will be held January 31, also at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City, Mo. 

Project ECHO schedule

Pain Management Ongoing Kansas
Airway  Ongoing Kansas
Child Behavioral Health Ongoing Kansas
Impact Asthma Next cohort starts January 2018 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
Addiction Medicine Ongoing Oklahoma
Obesity Medicine Ongoing Oklahoma
HIV/Viral Disorders Ongoing Oklahoma
Psychiatry Ongoing Oklahoma

Project ECHO
Project ECHO is a program using telehealth 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 collaborate with primary care providers.

New CMS billing codes for telehealth
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced its 2018 Physicians Fee Schedule. Reimbursement for remote patient monitoring of patients with chronic disease is among the most noteworthy changes. Other highlights include the following:
  • New areas of reimbursement include counseling visits to discuss lung cancer screenings and psychotherapy for people in crisis. 
  • In an attempt to decrease the administrative burden, CMS has incorporated four new add-on codes. 
  • Due to last year's new Place of Service codes (POS) most providers will no longer be required to use the GT telehealth modifier. 
  • New General Care Management codes have been established for use by FQHCs and RHCs. The new codes are related to behavioral health and psychiatric services.
While this year's additions show efforts to improve telehealth coverage, telemedicine advocacy groups like the American Telemedicine Association continue to champion telehealth expansion that would cover patients regardless of geographical location or setting. 
For more information on the changes, try these resources:
FCC ends net neutrality regulations
In a three to two vote yesterday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted to end net neutrality regulations put in place during the Obama Administration. The likely impact on telehealth is still somewhat unclear, but the following are several articles with pertinent analyses:
New HTRC bulletin date
Starting in January 2018, HTRC's monthly newsletter will move from the third Friday of the month to the fourth Friday. This will allow us to better serve our readers by keeping you abreast of upcoming events in the month ahead, including the National Telehealth Resource Center webinars. Be sure to check your inbox January 26 for the latest in national and regional news and events!  
Heartland Telehealth Resource Center | | 
 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway   Fairway, KS 66205