A Message from the Director
Dear Colleagues;

What a busy Fall it's been! And in keeping with the change of seasons, the NETRC team is transitioning a bit as well. As many of you know, our colleague Andrew Solomon moved on from his role as NETRC Project Manager at the end of October, and has taken on a new position as Manager for Population Health Analytics at Providence Community Health Centers. While we will certainly miss Andrew's expertise and infinitely positive approach, we're proud to see him spread his wings, and are already discussing opportunities to stay connected and collaborate with him and his new organization.

On a related note - if you or a colleague are interested in joining a dynamic team that works with regional and national partners to improve access to care through advancement of telehealth, click on Join the NETRC Team! to learn more!

In addition to finishing up a six-part webinar series on Telehealth Reimbursement and Sustainment in Maine, provided in partnership with the Maine Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, the NETRC team participated in a number of conferences and training events throughout the Fall, providing presentations and workshops, and networking with many regional stakeholders. Here are just a few of the events, with links to associated resources, including slide decks and more:

We've also just recently confirmed the date and location of the
2019 NETRC Conference - see our save the date info below!

As always, there is plenty of ongoing activity around telehealth policy throughout the region, with Massachusetts still awaiting passage of telehealth parity law after their recent legislative session closed - see the synopsis by Jeremy Sherer at Hooper, Lundy and Bookman in Boston: Telemedicine in Massachusetts: An Update. And New York released much awaited updates to their existing telehealth reimbursement policy - see the presentation provided by Megan Prokorym of New York Department of Health at the North Country conference earlier this month. And finally, we thought you may interested in reviewing a report recently released by CMS on Medicare Telehealth Utilization, Barriers and Opportunities. Our colleagues at the Center for Connected Health Policy provide a helpful synopsis of the report here as well.

We wish you health and peace during this holiday season, and as always, please don't hesitate to reach out with questions, to share your successes, or just to catch up!

Best Wishes on Behalf of the NETRC Team,
Danielle Louder - Program Director
Save the Date - NETRC Annual Conference!
Webinars - Upcoming and Archived
CCHP Presents: Federal and State Policy Updates for CY 2019, including CMS Changes & State Level Trends

Click on the image above to view the recording!
Join us for the following upcoming webinars:

December 6: 2pm Eastern
The National Telehealth Technology Assessment Center (TTAC) team presents the latest in Video Platforms


December 10: 2pm Eastern
The New York Telehealth Learning Collaborative presents: Medicare Telehealth Changes for 2019

Upcoming Conferences/Events
Regional Telehealth Resource Center Conferences
Many of the Regional Telehealth Resource Centers host events throughout the year. Check out the National Consortium of TRCs website to find dates and locations!

Upcoming National Conferences

December 12-13, 2018
New Orleans, LA

Orlando, FL

New Orleans, LA
New Telehealth Job Opening
Stony Brook University Medical Center is hiring a
Clinical Assistant/Associate Professor of Psychiatry

The Clinical Assistant/Associate Professor will utilize televideo technology to diagnose and treat patients with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders within outpatient settings. The Telepsychiatrist will provide a full range of psychiatric services via televideo technology to assigned patients, including: assessment, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of patients and determining the degree of disabilities in patients.

Recent Telehealth News
What telemedicine, telehealth resource centers offer to providers
mHealth Intelligence, Special Feature, November 2018 Link
This article profiles the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers and the roles being played by its 12 regional centers (like NETRC) and the two national centers, one for policy and the other for technology.

CHQI Unveils Its First Class of Accredited Telehealth Providers
mHealth Intelligence, November 16, 2018 Link
Five organizations, including two health systems, have been certified by the ClearHealth Quality Institute, one of two groups offering standards-based accreditation for connected care programs.

CMS code gives docs a chance to use store-and-forward telehealth
mHealth Intelligence., November 12, 2018 Link
Beginning next year, Medicare will reimburse providers using store-and-forward telehealth (also known as asynchronous telehealth) to analyze and diagnose images sent to them from established patients .
 
Kansas faces lawsuit over anti-abortion clause in telemedicine law
mHealth Intelligence, November 09, 2018 Link
The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights is suing Kansas over a clause written into the state's telehealth guidelines that prohibits abortion by telemedicine.

Licensure compacts gain ground as a means to expand telehealth
mHealth Intelligence, November 08, 2018 Link
Interstate licensure compacts for physicians, physical therapists and nurses are all showing growth as more states join in to make it easier to practice telehealth across state lines.
 
USDA report highlights challenges to rural telehealth adoption
mHealth Intelligence, November 07, 2018 Link
A new report issued by the USDA points out that rural Americans aren't embracing telehealth as fast as their rural neighbors, even though they stand to see more benefits from connected care technology.

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act: Expanding Medicare coverage of telehealth services to combat the opioid crisis
The National Law Review, November 6, 2018 Link
The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, signed into law by President Trump on October 24, 2018 includes provisions for expanding Medicare coverage for telehealth-based treatment for substance abuse, including reimbursement for services delivered to patients connecting to providers from home.
 
Big changes in 2019 for Medicare telehealth policy
This is an overview of the changes in Medicare reimbursement policy for telehealth services in finalized CMS 2019 Physician Fee Schedule. Included are services not based on interactive videoconferencing, such as virtual check-ins, remote evaluation of pre-recorded patient information and interprofessional internet consultation.
 
Understanding Medicare’s new remote evaluation of pre-recorded patient information (asynchronous telemedicine)
The National Law Review, November 6, 2018 Link
The final rule recently published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule includes a new code for certain medical services delivered via asynchronous telemedicine technologies. This article provides the top 10 things to know about the new code and explains how it will work.

CMS to reimburse providers for remote patient monitoring services
mHealth Intelligence, November 02, 2018 Link
CMS has issued its final update to the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program, including three new CPT codes for reimbursement of remote patient monitoring. The changes mark an important step in the government's acceptance of mHealth and telehealth technology.
 
NY State expands telemedicine program for the homeless
The Heartland Institute News and Opinion, October 30, 2018 Link
Under a grant-funded project, United Concierge Medicine in Troy, NY, is working to implement telehealth services for the homeless at shelters in Schenectady.
 
Kaiser Permanente sees good results with video-based telehealth
mHealth Intelligence, October 16, 2018 Link
Researchers with the California-based health system found high patient satisfaction rates and positive outcomes in an analysis of over 200,000 video-based telehealth encounters between 2015 and 2017.
 
How one health system gets behavioral healthcare into rural schools with telemedicine 
mHealth Intelligence Featured Resource , September 2018 htm
The efforts of Heywood Healthcare to develop telemental health services for rural school in Massachusetts are profiled and initial outcomes for improved health care access are summarized. A key barrier for further success is the lack of training programs in colleges and nursing schools.
Recommended Telehealth Research/Resources
Archibald D, Stratton J, Liddy C, et al.  BMC Psychiatry 18(1): 119, 2018
 
Center for Connected Health Policy. November 2018
 
Cheeley J, Chen S, Swerlick R.  J. Amer. Acad. Dermatol. 79(2): 384-386, 2018
 
Koblauch H, Reinhardt SM, Lissau W., Jensen P.  J. Telemed. Telecare 24(1): 31-36, 2018
 
Martinez-Martin N, Kreitmair K.  JMIR Ment. Health 5(2): e32, 2018
 
Parker S, Prince A, Thomas L, et al.   BMJ Open 8(8) :e019192, 2018
 
Reed ME, Parikh R, Huang J, et al.  New Engl. J. Med. 379(15): 1478-1479, 2018 pdf
 
Shore JH, Yellowlees P, Caudill R, et al. Telemed. e-Health [epub ahead of print], October 2018 (publicly available only through Nov)
 
Sirintrapun SJ, Lopez AM.  Amer. Soc. Clin. Oncol. Educ. Book 38: 540-545, 2018
 
Stenberg PL. Economic Information Bulletin Number 199, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, November 2018
 
Taylor E.  Health Facilities Management Magazine , May 2018 htm
About the NETRC
The Northeast Telehealth Resource Center (a proud member of the  National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers) aims to increase access to quality health care services for rural and medically underserved populations through Telehealth. Our service area includes New England, Northern New Jersey, and New York. Learn more at www.netrc.org
This newsletter was made possible by grant number G22RH30352 from the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, Health Resources and Services Administration, DHHS
NETRC | netrc@mcdph.org | 800-379-2021 | www.netrc.org