TAO welcomes new executive director

The Telehealth Alliance of Oklahoma recently announced Dawn Watson will serve as the new executive director. Watson most recently served as the Oklahoma Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, leading the organization’s advocacy efforts in the state. Prior, she served as a research analyst on the nonpartisan staff of the […]

Two telehealth bills introduced in Kansas House

Two pieces of telehealth legislation were introduced to the Kansas House of Representatives over the past two weeks, House Bill 2206 and House Bill 2254. HB 2206 is a parity bill that requires individual and group health insurance policies, along with KanCare (Medicaid), to provide coverage and payment for telehealth services at the same rate […]

ATA’s new report on Medicaid coverage: Regional breakdown

The American Telemedicine Association recently released an updated report on the status of telemedicine coverage and reimbursement for state Medicaid programs. Oklahoma was among nine states awarded an overall grade of “A,” up from a “B” last year. Missouri, Kansas and 32 other states received a “B.” Here is a quick breakdown of what the […]

Missouri Governor cuts telehealth funding

Missouri’s new governor, Eric Greitens, recently announced deep budget cuts to higher education, social services and transportation. Among the cuts were two that will directly impact telehealth in Missouri. The governor withheld $121,250 from the budget of Missouri Telehealth Network, money that was planned for use in Show-Me ECHO, Missouri’s telementoring program for primary care […]

Telehealth program implementation strategies revealed

The Telehealth ROCKS (Rural Outreach for Children of Kansas) grant, now in its second year, seeks to improve treatment and assessment of children with developmental and behavioral health challenges in rural Southeastern Kansas. In September 2016, the project started accepting referrals. The schools or providers identify parents who are interested in services via telehealth and […]

Telehealth likely to remain hot topic

As a new year and a new presidential administration begin, telehealth is poised to remain a hot issue on both the state and federal levels. Though the incoming Trump administration has not yet staked out any clear policy position on telehealth, telehealth advocates are hopeful that policy agendas set by the outgoing administration will help […]

National ECHO bill heads to House

On November 29, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed SB 2873, the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act. Though it does not appropriate any funding, the act would authorize the U.S. Department of Health and Senior Services to study the ECHO model developed by the University of New Mexico to evaluate its effectiveness on a […]

HTRC director publishes telemental health guide

HTRC Director, Eve-Lynn Nelson, PhD, a professor of pediatrics and telemedicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) and licensed psychologist, recently co-authored a new book, A Practitioner’s Guide to Telemental Health: How to Conduct Legal, Ethical, and Evidence-Based Telepractice by David D. Luxton, PhD , Eve-Lynn Nelson, PhD , and Marlene M. Maheu, […]

Indian Health Workshop

Connectivity continues to be a key factor in the delayed implementation of telehealth, particularly for those of rural and isolated Indian American and American Native communities, where Indian Health Services are essential in treating the underserved. In order to address connectivity, reimbursement and other barriers to telehealth implementation, the Health Resources and Services Administration and […]

Sunflower Foundation Capacity Building Grants

The Sunflower Foundation is now accepting proposals for capacity building grants. Nonprofit organizations providing health services to underserved populations in Kansas are invited to submit by February 15, 2017. These are one-year grant awards of up to $30,000. More information

Telesupervision in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma

Many rural communities of the heartland suffer from a shortage of health professionals able to provide quality, affordable, timely care for community members. While telehealth can be used to connect rural patients to urban providers, increasingly, state licensing boards are considering the role that telehealth can play in bringing more providers to town – in […]

Professional development training to advance integration of telehealth in Missouri

Missouri Telehealth Network hosted a Telehealth Training Conference November 9-10 in Columbia, Mo. Participants from the health community around the state learned about technical, clinical, operational, legal and regulatory aspects of telehealth. The conference served those who were interested in either starting their own telehealth program, gaining a greater understanding of state and federal policy, […]

A new Kansas partnership hopes to improve access to care in rural Kansas

Last month, the University of Kansas Hospital announced a partnership with Hays Medical Center (HaysMed). Although the two hospitals have worked together several times previously, this is the first time they have signed a letter of intent to form an official partnership. This new partnership will benefit both organizations in several ways. Hays Medical Center […]

KanTel meeting

Right: Kirsten Angell discusses telenutrition reimbursement at October KanTel meeting. During the October meeting of KanTel, the board agreed to recommend to the Kansas Behavioral Science and Regulatory Board that they consider expanding the use of telesupervision in licensing mental health professionals. One of the licensing requirements of mental health professionals is supervision by another […]

Skilled nursing facilities soon eligible for Universal Service Fund

In June President Obama signed legislation that added skilled nursing facilities (SNF) to the Rural Health Care Program (RHC) as an eligible healthcare provider. This means that SNFs can begin applying for funding from the Universal Service Fund on January 1, 2017. Among other things, the program helps subsidizes Internet access to make telehealth services […]