NRTRC Monthly Highlights
Upcoming NRTRC Annual Survey

Watch your inbox for the 2021 NRTRC Annual Telehealth Survey coming in late July. NRTRC wants to better understand the telehealth landscape in the Northwest Region and the support needed for educational topics moving forward.

With part of the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, and the federal Public Health Emergency set to end July 20, please complete the survey and share with the NRTRC where your telehealth program is at and if telehealth will continue to be a priority post-pandemic.

Proposed Federal Regulation:
The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) announced that it is tracking more than a hundred proposed telehealth legislation initiatives at the federal level. The majority of the proposed bills focus on increased telehealth reimbursement, audio only services, and codifying pandemic telehealth flexibilities.

  • Allow payment parity for audio-only telehealth services.
  • Make permanent the ability for patients to be treated at home.
  • Let rural health clinics (RHCs) and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) serve as distant sites for telehealth services.

  • Removes originating site and geographical limitations.
  • Maintains telehealth flexibilities for RHCs and FQHCs.
  • Expands coverage for audio-only telehealth services. 
  • Removes restrictions that limit clinicians’ ability to remotely monitor and track patient health and provide them access to innovative digital devices.
Telehealth News:

  • Healthcare IT News: Senators introduce bipartisan bill aimed at safeguarding rural telehealth access

Upcoming Events & Webinars:
  • Annual IIBHN 2021 Conference: The Idaho Integrated Behavioral Health Network (IIBHN) is focused on systems transformation to increase access and improve the quality of behavioral health services in Idaho. IIBHN is the vehicle to drive change and the conference is the tool to develop professional learning collaboratives to enhance and support the growth of Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) programs through peer-to-peer support, advancing clinical education, facilitating statewide training opportunities and developing a cadre of technical experts for sustainability. The IIBHN shares a common vision to develop a behavioral health integration learning collaborative and to create a community of sharing and giving. July 8-9.

  • Emergency Broadband Benefit Program: In this webinar, USAC will walk consumer advocates through the program, explain the application process and share resources that consumers groups can you do to help eligible households enroll. July 8, 2-3 p.m. Mountain time.

  • UMTRC Webinar Telehealth and the New Normal: What Happens after the PHE Ends?: This webinar will dive into the field of telehealth with a look at the past, present, and future. How has the delivery of healthcare changed during COVID? With the myriad of regulatory changes to telehealth thanks to COVD-19,, what will happen once the Public Health Emergency sunsets. Presenter: Becky Sanders, MBA, Senior Director, Indiana Rural Health Association; Program Director, Upper Midwest Telehealth Resource Center, July 13, 11 a.m. Mountain time.

  • Broadband Adoption and Use — The Secret to Sustainable Networks: This session will draw from national and local models to explore new ways to bridge the digital divide and dive deep on topics such as: digital skills training, WiFi hotspots, broadband subsidies and tech mentoring. Practitioners in education, nonprofits and more will facilitate exercises to identify your community’s underserved segments and partners to reach those populations. July 14, 9 a.m. Mountain time.

  • NCTRC Webinar — “The Impact of Technology on Telehealth Treatment”: In this webinar, you’ll discover how your choice and use of technology affects the clinician, client and clinician-client communication. We'll discuss how treatment styles and goals influence what telecommunication technology is used. You’ll learn about the process of modifying clinical style and techniques according to the telecommunication technology. Investigate research into the benefits and drawbacks of video, audio and text-only communication. July 15, noon Mountain time.

  • Virtual Care Implementation ECHO Program: This program will support I/T/U clinicians and administrators in implementing and overcoming common challenges associated with virtual care programs, such as apps that support healthy behaviors, telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. July 20, 11 a.m. to noon, Mountain time.

  • Telemedicine Application Conference: This conference offers a detailed approach for any telemedicine program, providing a in-depth look at the clinical applications of a telehealth program. These conferences are excellent for individuals or groups who have some telehealth experience and are interested in expanding services. It's also a great course for those new to telehealth who are interested in understanding this growing industry. Fees waived for network members and Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Nevada residents. July 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mountain time.
Grant Funding Opportunities:

Telehealth Resources:

  • Emergency Declarations: Read each state's Public Health Emergency declarations for the seven states in the Northwest Region.

Wyoming Telehealth Consortium

The Wyoming Department of Health has been actively promoting telehealth since 2007. In 2009, the Legislature created the Wyoming Telehealth Consortium (WTC) to promote telehealth. Wyoming Medicaid has paid for telehealth services at parity since 2010, and was one of the first states to do that. The WTC worked with the boards of Medicine, Pharmacy and Nursing to establish standards of telehealth care. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the WTC was able to re-strategize with the help of NRTRC and the distribution of CARES funding. 

WTC used CARES funding to hire a consulting firm to help guide the WTC through the process of strategic planning to further define the individual roles and structure of the consortium and its membership. "We now have appointed members, committee structures and clear values to drive our work forward for increased access to telehealth in the state of Wyoming."
Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center
“This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under G22RH31114, Coronavirus Telehealth Resource Center’s Grant Program in the amount of $325,000. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.”