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Telehealth and Health Information Technology in Rural Healthcare – Resources

Selected recent or important resources focusing on Telehealth and Health Information Technology in Rural Healthcare.

Billing for Telehealth Encounters: An Introductory Guide on Fee-for-Service
Presents an overview of how to bill fee-for-service Medicare and Medicaid for telehealth encounters. Includes information on originating and distant sites, virtual healthcare, and coding telehealth services. Lists types of practice sites, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), and implications for billing telehealth services. Provides contact information for Regional Telehealth Research Centers (RTRC).
Date: 07/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Connected Health Policy: The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
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Progress and Ongoing Challenges to Electronic Public Health Reporting Among Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals
Data brief examining public health reporting among acute care hospitals, including rural hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), in 2022. Discusses challenges with the exchange of electronic health information, such as lack of capacity to exchange electronically, interface issues, and differing vocabulary standards. Presents data on the mean number of public health reporting types completed by hospital size, CAH status, rural/urban location, and independent/system affiliation. Appendix Table A4 contains data on the number of hospitals surveyed that reported at least one reporting challenge by state.
Author(s): Chelsea Richwine
Date: 06/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
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Using Population-Based Outcome Measures to Assess the Impact of Telehealth Expansion on Medicare Beneficiaries' Access to Care and Quality of Care
Explores the feasibility of using population-based measures to estimate the association between telehealth use, quality of care, and access to care when both telehealth and in-person visits are available to fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries. Compares data from the second half of 2019 to the second half of 2021 by the level of telehealth utilization in Hospital Service Areas (HSAs). Includes rural references throughout.
Author(s): Morteza Saharkhiz, Tanvi Rao, Sara Parker Lue, et al.
Date: 06/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: American Institutes for Research, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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MedPAC Report to the Congress: Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System, June 2023
Evaluates Medicare payment issues and provides recommendations to the U.S. Congress. Chapter 7 presents a report on the use, payment, and quality of telehealth services that Medicare pays for separately under the physician fee schedule (PFS). Also includes chapters on the cost of drugs covered under Medicare Part B, postsale rebates for prescription drugs in Medicare Part D, standardized benefits in Medicare Advantage plans, future directions for Medicare Advantage payment policy, disparities in outcomes for beneficiaries with different social risks, Medicare behavioral health services, the alignment of fee-for-service payment rates across ambulatory settings, and the evaluation of a post-acute care prospective payment system prototype.
Date: 06/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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Expansion of Telehealth Availability for Mental Health Care After State-Level Policy Changes From 2019 to 2022
Explores mental health access associated with state-level telehealth policy changes due to COVID-19. Highlights disparities in mental health via telehealth access before and after COVID-related policy changes and details access rates in counties based on race and rurality, among other measures.
Author(s): Ryan K. McBain, Megan S. Schuler, Nabeel Qureshi, et al.
Citation: JAMA Network Open, 6(6), e2318045
Date: 06/2023
Type: Document
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State Medicaid Telehealth Coverage Policy Decisions Since the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
Describes changes to state Medicaid telehealth policy flexibilities and/or new policies enacted during the COVID-19 PHE as of April–May 2022. Focuses on flexibilities that were rolled back, as well as those made permanent in whole or in part. Examines the decision-making processes behind Medicaid telehealth policy changes. Summarizes findings from guided discussions with state Medicaid representatives across four domains: 1) state attitudes and perspectives on telehealth and telehealth policies; 2) state telehealth policy decision-making processes; 3) states' future plans for telehealth; and 4) challenges and lessons learned. Outlines potential opportunities for the future of telehealth. Includes rural references throughout.
Additional links: Executive Summary
Author(s): Peggy G. Chen, Sara E. Heins, Stephanie Dellva
Date: 05/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, RAND Corporation
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Interoperability among Hospitals Treating Populations That Have Been Marginalized
Examines how hospitals that serve more marginalized patients engage with interoperability. Compares the percentage of hospitals supporting interoperable exchange and participating in national networks by hospital characteristics, including Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation and rural-urban status.
Author(s): Jordan Everson, Vaishali Patel, Andrew W. Bazemore, Robert L. Phillips
Citation: Health Services Research, 58(4), 853-864
Date: 05/2023
Type: Document
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Defending Rural Healthcare Against Ransomware
A recorded webinar that discusses the burden of ransomware attacks on rural healthcare facilities. Provides information on how to prepare for, detect, and respond to a cyber attack.
Additional links: Presentation Slides
Author(s): Michael Hamilton, Fred Langston, Johnathen Inskeep, Jake Milstein
Date: 05/2023
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Center for Optimizing Rural Health
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State Medicaid and Private Telemedicine Coverage Requirements and Telemedicine Use, 2013–2019
Examines the association between state Medicaid and private telemedicine coverage requirements and live video-based telemedicine use by analyzing nationally representative survey data from the 2013–2019 Association of American Medical Colleges Consumer Survey of Health Care Access. Evaluates the impact of these requirements by rurality. Explores whether telemedicine coverage requirements were associated with healthcare access.
Author(s): Brandy J. Lipton, Michael F. Pesko
Citation: Health Services Research, 2023
Date: 05/2023
Type: Document
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Pandemic Era Telehealth Innovations in the Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment Fields: Practice-Informed Findings and Recommendations
Report highlights some takeaways from the expansion of telebehavioral health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses the ways behavioral health providers adapted telehealth to their practices and the effect that had on access, outcomes, and care utilization, among other factors. Details the effect telebehavioral health had on expanding access to rural areas.
Date: 05/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Council for Mental Wellbeing
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Last Updated: 8/1/2023