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Telehealth Use in Rural Healthcare News

News stories from the past 60 days.

Educational Attainment a Key Factor in Rural Patient Uptake of Telehealth Activities
Nov 6, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) studied factors affecting telehealth use. They found that educational attainment is strongly associated with telehealth activity, with rural people with college degrees being significantly more likely to use telehealth than the rural average.
Source: Amber Waves, USDA Economic Research Service
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IHS Announces a New Policy to Expand Access to Medication Assisted Treatment in Remote Locations
Nov 1, 2018 - Blog post from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the Indian Health Service's (IHS) new Internet Eligible Controlled Substance Provider Designation policy. This policy allows IHS, tribal, and urban Indian organization healthcare providers the opportunity to provide medication assisted treatment through telemedicine in an effort to improve access to treatment for opioid use disorder for American Indian and Alaska Native people in rural and remote areas.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Blog
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USDA Announces Funding to Increase Access to Education, Workforce Training and Health Care Opportunities in Rural Communities
Oct 31, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $39.6 million in funding for 128 projects to increase access to job training, educational, and healthcare services in rural areas. Funding for these projects comes from the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. More than 4.5 million residents in 40 states and three territories will benefit from the funding.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
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CMS Proposes to Modernize Medicare Advantage, Expand Telehealth Access for Patients
Oct 26, 2018 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would allow Medicare Advantage and Part D program plans to cover additional telehealth benefits. Other changes aim to make it easier for enrollees in certain Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans to navigate the system, improve program integrity, require plans to more seamlessly integrate benefits across two programs, and help CMS recover improper payments made to Medicare Advantage organizations.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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NTIA: Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Broadband Availability Data Federal Register
Oct 25, 2018 - The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is seeking comment on their intent to collect information on the level of broadband services available at a more granular level than just at the Census block level as is currently being done. This will allow for more accurate reporting of broadband availability, especially in rural areas where Census blocks are large or in locations where only small pockets within the Census block have broadband services. Comments on the change are due by December 24, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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County Teams with Co-op to Bring Telemedicine to Veterans
Oct 15, 2018 - Describes a collaboration between a rural Kentucky county's library, a Veterans Administration (VA) hospital, and a rural telecom cooperative to offer medical services to veterans using telemedicine. The service, called the "Virtual Living Room," allows veterans to use the library's computers and broadband internet, provided by the co-op, to connect with their doctors at the VA hospital.
Source: National Association of Counties
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For Mothers, Better Monitoring Arrives Digitally
Oct 12, 2018 - The Before Baby: Avera Remote Gestational Diabetes Monitoring program in Mitchell, S.D. provides remote home monitoring of blood sugars in pregnant women with suspected blood sugar problems. The remote monitoring of blood sugars allows providers to more closely monitor blood sugar in rural patients and make immediate treatment recommendations.
Source: The Daily Republic
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Avera Receives Helmsley Grant to Extend Behavioral Health Telemedicine
Oct 10, 2018 - Avera Health, with funding from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, is adding behavioral health services to the list of telemedicine applications available through Avera eCARE in an effort to increase access to mental health services in rural areas. The virtual behavioral health team will first focus on providing services for people in crisis presenting at emergency departments and lend off-hours response support for inpatient psychiatric hospitals. Mobile support will also be provided to first responders dealing with individuals experiencing a crisis in order to get them care quickly.
Source: Avera eCARE
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Last Updated: 11/6/2018