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Telehealth

Do you need help with telehealth?

The COVID-19 public health emergency is shining a light on the importance and benefits of telehealth and telemedicine in managing health and providing services to patients. If your organization is a current PHA client through the Quality Payment Program Resource Center or the Indiana Medicaid PI Program, you may be able to access telehealth-related coaching and guidance at no cost. Contact the PHA Help Desk at 844-742-4668 (toll free) or INMedicaidMUHelp@pha.purdue.edu.

COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Guidance

In an effort to ensure access to healthcare during these uncertain times, CMS broadened Medicare’s telehealth coverage so that patients can see a provider without leaving their homes. Although this expansion of benefits is temporary, CMS urges both providers and patient to take advantage of the telehealth as means to reduce potential exposure to the Coronavirus for both the patient and the healthcare facility. We've put together reference guides and resources, which are listed below.


Telehealth Primer

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.

  • Synchronous Videoconferencing: Live and interactive videoconferencing, which includes a two-way audio and video connection between the patient and healthcare provider
  • Asynchronous Videoconferencing: Also called “store and forward” videoconferencing, where a recorded video, image, or data is sent to a remote healthcare provider. This can include x-rays, lab data, and other images.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM): Using connected electronic tools to record personal health and medical data in a central location for healthcare provider to remotely review, usually at a future point of time.
  • Mobile Health (mHealth): Using mobile devices to provide healthcare and public health information, which may include general educational information, targeted texts, and notifications about disease outbreaks.

The terms "telehealth" and "telemedicine" are often used interchangeably, and each U.S. state has slightly different definitions for each term. For Indiana, telehealth is a broad term that includes telemedicine and any type of healthcare activity that uses technology for preventative educational and health-related administrative activities. Telemedicine is the actual clinical encounter between the healthcare provider and patient, who are in different physical locations. For our purposes, telehealth and telemedicine are not services in and of themselves, but are simply different delivery mechanisms for the same healthcare services that can be delivered in-person.

The National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers have compiled several research catalogs reflecting the efficacy of telehealth.


References

HealthIT.gov, Telemedicine and Telehealth. Retrieved April 7, 2020.

Center for Connected Health Policy. State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies. Spring 2019.

Upper Midwest Telehealth Resource Center. umtrc.org. Retrieved April 7, 2020.

Indiana Code IC 25-1-9.5-6, Telemedicine. Retrieved April 9, 2020.

Upper Midwest Telehealth Resource Center. umtrc.org.  Retrieved April 7, 2020.

National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers (NCTRC), Evidence for Telehealth. Retrieved April 7, 2020.

Contact

Natalie Stewart

MBA

Assistant Director, Quality Services

765-496-1265

765-517-1682

nmstewart@purdue.edu

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