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News Archive

New Evidence Based Telehealth Network Program Funding Opportunity from HRSA
January 12, 2021

This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Evidence Based Telehealth Network Program (EB THNP). The two-fold purpose of this award is (1) to demonstrate how health networks can increase access to health care services utilizing telehealth technologies and (2) to conduct evaluations of those efforts to establish an evidence base for assessing the effectiveness of telehealth care for patients, providers, and payers.
The implementation of telehealth technology is rapidly expanding into health systems.1 HRSA defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Telehealth modalities that support clinical treatment may include video conferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications. Rising evidence supports that many health conditions can be addressed with a virtual in home visit from a doctor to his or her patient.2 In 2015, the American College of Physicians declared their position and support for Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) considering the patient has an established relationship with the providers, and the care meets in person standards of quality

Source: https://www.hrsa.gov/grants/find-funding/hrsa-21-082?utm_campaign=enews20210218&utm_medium=email&utm
Ensuring Quality in the Era of Virtual Care
February 2, 2021

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, aided by a relaxation in federal telemedicine regulations, has ushered in a new era of virtual care. Physicians and patients have substantially increased their adoption and use of virtual care. According to one report, an estimated 1.6 million telemedicine visits were conducted early in the pandemic, between January and March 2020, representing approximately 50% more telemedicine visits than occurred in the same period in 2019.1 Based on aggregated payer data covering 150 million privately insured individuals in the US, by April 2020 telemedicine visits accounted for 13% of all medical claims compared with 0.15% in April 2019, an 86-fold increase.

Source: https://jamanetwork.com/
AHA Tells MedPAC to Take its Time on Telehealth Coverage Recommendations
February 18, 2021

The American Hospital Association supports the elimination of geographic site restrictions and coverage for audio-only services, but it says more time is needed to study and set long-term telehealth reimbursement policy.

Source: https://mhealthintelligence.com/
Free Telehealth 101 Online Training is Now Available
February 10, 2021

Gain practical knowledge with this comprehensive overview.  For those new to telehealth or looking for a refresher, this course will provide information on how to create and/or grow telehealth programs. Tools, tips, and lessons learned will be incorporated into the content of the various components of setting up a telemedicine program.  A total of 1.75 CME credit hours is available upon course completion.

Source: https://nrtrc.catalog.instructure.com/courses/telehealth101
Acting HHS Secretary Signals Extension of Public Health Emergency
February 2, 2021

The Acting Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) indicated in a recent letter to state Governors that the Department intends to extend the declaration of a Public Health Emergency (PHE) through at least the end of 2021. The Public Health Service Act grants HHS broad authority to issue a PHE declaration that remains active for a 90-day period. In 2020, HHS took a wait-and-see approach to reauthorizing the PHE declarations it issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant reevaluating the PHE declaration based on the evolving situation and reauthorizing the PHE declaration near the end of each 90-day period. In addition, the Acting Secretary indicated in the letter that the Department will provide states a 60-day notice prior to the termination of the PHE declaration.

Source: hhs.gov
FCC ANNOUNCES INITIAL PROJECTS SELECTED FOR CONNECTED CARE PILOT PROGRAM
January 15, 2021

$100 Million Program Will Support Connected Care Service Across Country, Focus on Low-Income and Veteran Patients

Source: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-369274A1.pdf