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Telehealth Use in Rural Healthcare News

News stories from the past 60 days.

FCC and National Cancer Institute Champion Critical Role of Broadband in Rural Cancer Care
Dec 12, 2017 - Announces a Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to increase broadband access and adoption in rural areas. The inaugural project, L.A.U.N.C.H. (Linking and Amplifying User-Centered Networks through Connected Health), is a public-private collaboration to improve broadband health connectivity in Appalachia and will target areas with high cancer mortality and low levels of broadband access.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
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Industry Voices—the FCC's Rural Health Care Fund Is a Victim of Its Own Success
Nov 27, 2017 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a proposal to increase the $400 million annual cap on the Rural Health Care Fund. Among other things, this proposal would target funding to rural and tribal healthcare providers and prioritize the distribution of grants based on remoteness, type of service requested, whether the funding will come from the Telecom Program or the Healthcare Connect Fund, and the economic need of the provider's population.
Source: FierceHealthcare
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RUS: Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant Programs Federal Register
Nov 27, 2017 - Final rule from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) designed to streamline, revise, and update the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. The DLT Program works to encourage and improve telemedicine and distance learning in rural areas through the use of computer networks and other advanced technologies. Included changes seek to reduce the regulatory burden of applying for the grants and ensure funds are awarded to projects with the most demonstrable need. Provisions of the rule take effect December 27, 2017.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS Won’t Cover Telehealth in Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program
Nov 3, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) declined to cover virtual weight management coaching programs in the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, citing concerns that the mHealth and telehealth platform isn't reliable enough. CMS will, however, consider testing the platform in a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) demonstration project. Advocates for the platform are concerned that lack of reimbursement will threaten access to these services for rural patients.
Source: mHealthIntelligence
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Avera e-CARE's Telehealth Services Work to Preserve Healthy Rural Hospitals, Communities
Oct 30, 2017 - Highlights Avera Health's telehealth service in South Dakota. Created 25 years ago to reduce burnout in physicians in the rural regions it was serving, the program provided peer support across five Midwest states. Now serving providers in 15 states, this system allows for quick pharmacy, emergency, and other specialty care from specialists and keeps patients in their own communities.
Source: AHA News
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Why Appalachia Has One of the Nation's Highest Mortality Rates — and How Technology Could Help
Oct 24, 2017 - Discusses a recent report from the Appalachian Regional Commission on health disparities in Appalachia, including higher rates of stroke and suicide, and higher mortality rates for heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, injury, and diabetes. Also details access issues related to distance and demand for physicians and the impact of poverty on health. Touches on telemedicine as a potential intervention while detailing the barriers to that approach.
Source: The Post
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Last Updated: 12/13/2017