Greetings Northwest Region:
Did you complete the 2022 NRTRC Telehealth Survey

With the pandemic now in its third year, NRTRC wants to peer into the future of telehealth and how we can help the Northwest Region. This telehealth survey will help the NRTRC set priorities and align our work for your needs for the coming years. The survey should take about 10-15 minutes to complete, and you can opt in to win an Amazon gift card. Responding to the survey helps us help you, so take the 2022 NRTRC Telehealth survey.
Telehealth Flexibilities and the Public Health Emergency
— Dates to Note

  • July 15, 2022 — The public health emergency is extended until this date.

  • May 15, 2022 — Because federal officials have noted that we will receive at least 60-days notice if the PHE will not be renewed, we may be able to predict whether it will be extended for another 90 days if we don’t hear anything by around May 15, 2022. 

  • December 13, 2022 — Either way, the 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act allows many important telehealth flexibilities to continue for an additional 151 days beyond the end of the PHE. So, even if the PHE is not extended beyond July 15, we will have at least until Dec 13, 2022 to leverage these flexibilities to expand access and meet people’s needs and preferences in receiving their health care.

  • Infographic: Highlighting the key findings of those policies.
This one-pager from the Innovations in Primary Care section of the journal tracks a University of Wisconsin program that provides an excellent model that can be replicated to include inability to engage in telehealth visits as a social determinant of health. This program connects patients with navigators that can help patients with needed resources - device with camera and mic, adequate connectivity, digital proficiency support and/or a private space for a telehealth visit. The article also refers to Appendix Table 1: which tracks the implementation of the navigator program before and during the pandemic.
A survey of 518 telehealth providers found that providers were most interested in improving patient access and improving patient satisfaction. The survey also identified technology limitations as the main barrier to telehealth usage. The survey was published in April in Telemedicine and e-Health.
Save the Date: June 2

Save the date for the rural health webinar, “Optimizing and Sustaining Telehealth Operations in Rural Communities.” The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs Region 10 Office will serve as the host for the webinar Thursday, June 2 from noon. to 1:30 p.m. MT. 

Subject matter experts from federal, state, regional, and academic organizations will provide practical information and tools to optimize telehealth in rural communities.

Upcoming Events & Webinars
  • 2022 Power of Rural Virtual Healthcare Conference: This year's conference is devoted to addressing the most pressing challenges facing rural healthcare in Wyoming, as well as sharing innovative solutions to those challenges. Registration is $50, and the conference runs from 9 a.m. to Noon, May 12-13 and May 16-17

  • The National Telehealth Conference: The Health Resources and Services Administration is presenting its first national conference on May 16-17. Experts and leaders in the field will examine the evolution of telehealth, discuss its place in an integrated health care delivery model, and review the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. May 16-17 

  • HRSA Healthy Grants Session 2: The Office of Federal Assistance Management offers a series of workshops help you manage your grant. The May 18 workshop will discuss considerations for developing and managing a grant budget. Also, how to move from problem solving to risk management. May 18

  • HRSA Health Grants Session 3: OFAM's June 1 presentation will discuss "understanding and managing your grant award" and "healthy financial management practices. June 1

  • Telehealth and School-Based Programs: This webinar will focus on the use of telehealth to deliver services in a school-based program. Presented by the Center for Connected Health Policy. Noon to 1:30 p.m. MDT, June 3

  • State Licensure: The Center for Connected Health Policy webinar will focus in on what the post-PHE landscape will look like and ways to address the licensure issue. noon to 1:30 p.m., MDT, June 10
  • Frontier Healthcare Conference: The Montana Health Network conference offers information and networking for Critical Access Hospitals leaders in frontier communities. June 22-23    
Search for a telehealth provider in the Northwest Region by using the NRTRC's Telehealth Finder tool. You can find a provider by location, or search according to the specialty area you are seeking.
Telehealth Resources

  • The Telehealth Resource Centers have gathered resources specific to Federally Qualified Health Centers. Examples include a Critical Access Hospital Telehealth Guide and a webinar on Telehealth Essentials for FQHCs.

  • Emergency Declarations: Oregon is the only state in the Northwest Region still under an emergency declaration because of the COVID pandemic.

  • Research: current research opportunities, research articles and survey results.
Grant Funding Opportunities

  • Refer to the funding page on the NRTRC website for updated grant opportunities.

The Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center (NRTRC) has been exemplary in its ability to disseminate up-to-date, state-of-the-art data to healthcare providers like myself who rely on accurate telehealth information. Recently, while preparing for a keynote speech on telehealth, the NRTRC was one of the first sites I researched to help build my presentation. While attending their regularly scheduled webinars, I witnessed leaders in the field share their invaluable experiences which has helped to broaden my knowledge base, as well as gain connections in the area of telemedicine I didn't know existed. 

We have all experienced the rapidly changing landscape of Telemedicine and the NRTRC is the beacon we all needed to help guide us. 

In my opinion, its organizations like the NRTRC that will help make a difference in the adoption, success and integration of telemedicine as a viable option during this digital transformation, where telehealth continues to reshape our healthcare ecosystem.

Dr. Wilma Hunt-Watts, Telemedicine Ambassador, Northwell Health,The Sol Doc, LLC
Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center
“This publication was made possible by grant number UiUTH42531-01 from the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, Health Resources and Services Administration, DHHS”