February 2017

The Northeast Telehealth Resource Center is pleased to announce that early bird registration is now open for our Regional Conference! Please see below or visit www.netrc.org/conference to learn more.

In addition to coordinating the region's chief conversation on practical solutions to implementing telehealth services, we're excited about a variety of other events happening this spring, including HIMSS and ATA. If you are attending HIMSS next week, we would love to connect with you! Visit us at the Interoperability Showcase (booth 9000) or email to find a time to meet. Be sure to also check out our events calendar for additional conferences, webinars, and more.


The NETRC Team
Northeast Regional Telehealth Conference


NETRC is thrilled to invite you to our third annual Regional Telehealth Conference on May 23+24 in Amherst, MA (UMass Hotel and Campus Center). This spring, stakeholders from across the Northeast and beyond will gather to learn about telehealth best practice and innovation, network with colleagues, and identify opportunities to advance their telehealth programs. 

The agenda on May 23rd offers a series of in-depth, hands-on workshops covering a variety of essential topics, followed by an evening networking reception. On May 24th, a full-day conference will highlight nationally recognized plenary speakers who will explore opportunities for Taking Telehealth Mainstream, along with a variety of breakout sessions featuring regional programs, an exhibit hall, and many opportunities for networking. 

Register before March 31 to secure discounted rates.

Early (through March 31)
May 23
Pre-Conference Workshops
$35 each $50 each
May 23
Networking Reception
Included Included
May 24
Full-Day Conference
$100 $150

Visit www.netrc.org/conference to review the agenda and register today! 

Special thank you to our Conference Sponsors, including Avizia, AMD Global Telemedicine, Yorktel, Iron Bow Healthcare Solutions, Blue Cirrus Consulting, SnapMD, MouthWatch, OneVision Solutions, 3Derm, and VGo by Vecna. 

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Opportunities are still available !

Questions about the Conference? Email netrc@mcdph.org

National Telehealth Webinar Series
The 411 on Telehealth Funding
Don't miss this webinar recording on tips for acquiring telehealth funding. Hosted by Heartland Telehealth Resource Center, presenters share their years of experience funding telehealth projects and what they have learned - sometimes the hard way!

The Telemedicine, Wellness, Intervention, Triage and Referral Project
The Telemedicine Wellness Intervention Triage and Referral (TWITR) Project leverages telemedicine services in schools to intervene with junior high through high school students who are at risk for injury or harm to others or themselves in rural west Texas.

Telehealth Insurance Considerations

Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 2:00pm EDT
Join us for a topical discussion on contemporary risk and insurance issues facing telehealth and telemedicine organizations, including Medical Professional Liability and Cyber Liability. Telehealth providers face several unique exposures, including potential international risk, which separates them from most traditional healthcare providers and which can lead to losses from inadequate or missing coverage.

Telehealth Policy in the Northeast

State telehealth policy and regulation continues to be a hot topic throughout the Northeast this year! Below is an outline of some of what we are watching:

Connecticut:  Governor Malloy signed SB467a telehealth coverage parity act for commercial payers, in June 2015 that went into effect January 1, 2016. Following this law, the Governor signed SB298an act requiring the Department of Social Services to develop a program for telehealth services for Medicaid recipients, in June 2016. NETRC is not aware of many updates to CT's Medicaid program for telehealth yet, but there have been some exciting changes supporting eConsults (a featured topic at our Conference!). There are several proposed bills this year , including HB5811, which would require an in-person visit before receiving telehealth  services.

Maine: An early adopter in the Northeast, Maine enacted a telehealth coverage law in 2009. More recent updates include Maine's Medicaid program (MaineCare) adopting new rules for telehealth reimbursement effective April, 2016. We understand several bills have been filed this year related to reimbursement and to join the FSMB Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. We should also note that Maine's Board of Licensure in Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Licensure adopted joint Telemedicine Standards of Practice in December, 2016.

Massachusetts: As one of two states in the NETRC region that has not passed a telehealth coverage/payment parity law, Massachusetts looks to catch up this year with a variety of pending bills. Most notable is SD1182/HD1056, which is supported by the Massachusetts Telemedicine Coalition led by the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association. 

New Hampshire: Similar to Maine , New Hampshire enacted a telehealth coverage law in 2009 for commercial insurers. In 2015, Governor Hassan signed SB 112 to require Medicaid to cover telehealth services. The Department of Health and Human services did pilot a telehealth program in response to this legislation last year and we understand the results of this pilot will be presented to the Legislative Fiscal Committee in March. SB 112 did reference the Medicare regulations (limiting patient locations to rural areas). In response, SB 237 has been introduced to expand Medicaid coverage to metropolitan areas. 

New Jersey: As the second state without any telehealth reimbursement mandates in the Northeast, New Jersey also continues to explore a variety of legislation. This includes SB291, a telehealth payment parity bill, and AB4629, which would provide Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare coverage for school-based telemedicine.

New York: Governor Cuomo signed AB2552 , New York's initial telehealth coverage parity bill that included language for Medicaid and commercial payers,  in March, 2015. Many bills have been introduced this year to continue to add to or clarify laws related to telehealth, including AB1421  for payment parity. We are also eagerly  awaiting new Medicaid reimbursement  rules to be published in the State Register for public comment.

Rhode Island: The newest reimbursement mandate in the Northeast, Rhode Island enacted HB7160 Sub B  in June, 2016. Although this law does not take effect until Janurary 1, 2018, this is certainly an exciting step for the state! 

Vermont: As another early adopter in the Northeast, Vermont enacted reimbursement language in 2012 though Act 102. In 2015, Act 54 required the Department of Vermont Health Access to cover primary care services delivered via telemedicine outside of a healthcare facility, among other things. As a result, Green Mountain Care developed an application for such services. Legislation this year includes SB50/HB118, which would update the language initially passed in Act 102 and repeal the language added through Act 54.

Do you have other updates from your state? We would love to hear from you!
Broadband for ME: Bridge to the Future

Broadband availability is a major factor in the development of telehealth services, especially in our rural communities. Telehealth has also become a major driver to support investments in high speed broadband across the region. Check out this great video from the Maine Broadband Coalition, which includes an insightful segment on the positive impact of remote patient monitoring:

There are a variety of resources for broadband development. Of note, USAC's  Healthcare Connect Fund  is a great opportunity for health care organizations to get a discount on broadband costs. Please let us know if you would like to learn more, including how to connect with a regional broadband consortium, such as the New England Telehealth Consortium.

Select Telehealth News
Telehealth Policy News

mHealth Intelligence, February 11, 2017
Opponents focus on the idea that telemedicine and telehealth are relatively new concepts, and often unproven - hence the call for more pilots and .. .

FierceHealthcare, February 9, 2017
A handful of states have made progress when it comes to integrating new policies for ...

mobihealthnews, January 25, 2017
Price fielded some questions that yielded insight into his thoughts on some issues that are top of mind for those working in the digital health or health IT fields ...
News on the Practice of Telemedicine

Hartford Business Journal, February 15, 2017
Western Connecticut Medical Group has launched a telehealth services thanks to a $250,000 ...

The Keene Sentinel, February 11, 2017
Emergency room patients who need consultation with a neurology specialist now have access to a new telemedicine service that ...

The Leader-Herald, February 9, 2017
Fulton County [NY] supervisors last week authorized acceptance of nearly $17,000 in state funds ...

mHealth Intelligence, February 1, 2017
A $290,000 grant to New Jersey's Virtua Health will help the health system expand its telehealth network ...

Times Herald-Record, January 31, 2017
Telemedicine will be available for all 10 hospitals in the Westchester Medical Center Health Network ...

mHealth Intelligence, January 30, 2017
The idea of doctors using telehealth to connect with physical therapists isn't just to help patients reduce their waistlines ...

NC Advertiser, January 30, 2017
Not many programs of any kind find 100% of surveyed participants saying they would recommend it to a friend ...

mHealth Intelligence, January 26, 2017
The New York health network is expanding its telemedicine platform to include direct-to-consumer ...

MV Times, January 20, 2017
UMass Medical School-based psychiatrists will treat Islanders via videoconference ...

Rutgers Today, January 18, 2017
About three in 10 would be more likely to choose telehealth methods over in person visits ...

mHealth Intelligence, January 10, 2017
A telemedicine expert says eICU programs are beginning to succeed ...

Recent Telehealth Resources

Al Rajeh AM, Hurst JR.  Monitoring of physiological parameters to predict exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): A systematic review.  J. Clin. Med. 5(12) : E108, 2016  htm

Batsis JA, Pletcher SN, Stahl JE.  Telemedicine and primary care obesity management in rural areas - innovative approach for older adults?  BMC Geriatr. 17(1):6, 2017 htm

Brokmann JC, Conrad C, Rossaint R, et al.  Treatment of acute coronary syndrome by telemedically supported paramedics compared with physician-based treatment: a prospective, interventional, multicenter trial.  J. Med. Internet Res. 18(12):e314, 2016 htm

Bruyneel M.  Technical developments and clinical use of telemedicine in sleep medicine.  J. Clin. Med. 5(12): E116, 2016 htm

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. New Place of Service (POS) code for telehealth and distant site payment policy.  MLN Matters MM9726, Aug. 12, 2016 PDF

Cox A, Lucas G, Marcu A, et al.  Cancer survivors' experience with telehealth: a systematic review and thematic synthesis.  J. Med. Internet Res. 19(1):e11, 2017 htm

Deldar K, Bahaadinbeigy K, Tara SM.  Teleconsultation and clinical decision making: a systematic review.  Acta Inform. Med. 24(4):286-292, 2016 Link

Eadie L, Regan L, Mort A, et al. Telestroke assessment on the move: prehospital streamlining of patient pathways.  Stroke 46(2):e38-40, 2015 htm

El-Sabawi B, Magee W 3rd.  The evolution of surgical telementoring: current applications and future directions.  Ann. Transl. Med. 4(20):391, 2016 htm

Estai M, Kruger E, Tennant M, Bunt S, Kanagasingam Y.  Challenges in the uptake of telemedicine in dentistry.  Rural Remote Health 16(4):3915, 2016 htm

Hussey PS, Ringel JS, Ahluwalia S, et a.  Resources and capabilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide timely and accessible care to veterans.  Rand Health Q. 5(4):14, 2016  htm

New York State Office of Mental Health   Telepsychiatry Guidance for Local Providers. NYS OMH, November, 2016 htm

Robinson C, Gund A, Sjöqvist BA, Bry K.  Using telemedicine in the care of newborn infants after discharge from a neonatal intensive care unit reduced the need of hospital visits.  Acta Paediatr. 105(8):902-909, 2016 htm

Sauser-Zachrison K, Shen E, Sangha N, et al.  Safe and effective implementation of telestroke in a U.S. community hospital setting.  Perm. J. 20(4):15-217, 2016 htm

Schwamm LH, Chumbler N, Brown E, et al.  Recommendations for the implementation of telehealth in cardiovascular and stroke care: a policy statement from the American Heart Association.  Circulation 135:E1, 2017 htm

Tso JV, Farinpour R, Chui HC, Liu CY.  A multidisciplinary model of dementia care in an underserved retirement community, made possible by telemedicine.  Front. Neurol. 7:225, 2016 htm