Health insurance coverage in the United States Health insurance coverage is provided by several public and private sources in the United States. Duringthe U.
USDA Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program Funding to construct, enlarge, or improve essential community facilities for healthcare, public safety, and public services in rural areas and towns of up to 20, in population.
These facilities include schools, libraries, childcare centers, hospitals, medical clinics, assisted living facilities, fire and rescue stations, police stations, community centers, public buildings, and transportation. Funds may be used for telehealth initiatives.
USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant Program DLT Financial assistance to improve telemedicine services and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telecommunications, computer networks, and related advanced technologies to be used by students, teachers, medical professionals, and rural residents.
Applicants must operate a rural community facility directly or deliver telemedicine services to another organization that operates a rural community facility.
What are the challenges related to telehealth services in rural communities? Despite the promise of telehealth for improving access in rural areas, there are often policy barriers and infrastructure inadequacies that must be overcome.
Some of the challenges to telehealth adoption and success include: Reimbursement The issue of Medicare reimbursement is commonly cited as a major challenge for telemedicine.
Some criticisms of the current Medicare reimbursement model for telehealth include: Level of reimbursement in the fee-for-service system Restriction of eligible healthcare professionals who can provide telehealth-delivered services Limitation of reimbursement to rural and Health Professional Shortage Areas Limitation of reimbursement to certain types of healthcare facilities Limitation to certain current procedural terminology codes State Medicaid programs vary in their guidelines regarding reimbursement for telehealth expenses.
Refer to the Center for Connected Health Policy's State Laws and Reimbursement Policies for information about current and pending state laws and regulations related to telehealth and Medicaid.
Reimbursement by private payers for telehealth services can also vary. Some health insurance companies reimburse for telehealth services, while others do not.
The Center for Telehealth and e-Health Law, an organization that addresses the legal and regulatory barriers to the adoption of telehealth, provides a general overview about telehealth reimbursement and more in depth discussions on Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement.
Licensure According to the article Streamlining Telemedicine Licensure to Improve Rural Americathe current licensure system places burdens on physicians who want to expand their practice to rural areas.
Physicians who wish to practice across state lines must be licensed by the professional licensing board in each state where care is given.
Telehealth and Licensing Interstate Providers explores actions states have taken to ease licensure barriers, such as: Telehealth-specific licenses Reciprocity and endorsement with other states Interstate compacts For example, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact IMLCan agreement between 18 states and 23 osteopathic and medical boards, offers an expedited process for qualified physicians to be licensed to practice in multiple states.
The Department of Veterans Affairs VA is an exception, and VA physicians have license portability which allows them to practice across state lines to wherever the patient is receiving care.
Broadband Affordable broadband is needed to support telehealth and health information exchange, in order to increase access to quality care. Many rural communities do not currently have access to internet connection speeds which support the effective and efficient transmission of data to provide telehealth services.
Additional challenges restricting the adoption of telehealth in rural areas including malpractice, HIPAA and privacy, security, prescribing, and credentialing are discussed in Telehealth Policy Barriers.
What facilities, technology, and staffing would our facility need to implement telehealth services? While technological issues, such as baseline connectivity and the interoperability of data, can impact the implementation of telehealth services, successful programs realize that the technology has to be implemented in the right care processes to get the best outcomes.
Some issues to consider include: Services to be supported and enhanced through telehealth Payment models and reimbursement Equipment needed, which can vary and is dependent on type of services to be provided Facilities able to accommodate the technology Appropriate accommodations where services are to be provided Data services for handling, storing, printing, and transmitting medical information Training of providers and staff Staff buy-in Support staff to implement telehealth programs The California Telehealth Resource Center developed a Telehealth Training Module that addresses how to establish and operate a telemedicine service.
Topics covered in the module include: For information on how TRCs can assist with the implementation of telehealth programs see How do Telehealth Resource Centers help healthcare facilities develop telehealth services within their rural communities?
How can telehealth be used to reach patients in their homes? Telehealth can be used to reach patients in their homes through remote monitoring where personal health and medical data is collected from a patient in his home.
The data is transmitted to the provider in a different location for use in care and related support. Mobile health, referred to as mHealth, can be used by providers and public health units to communicate to patients and citizens in their homes.
It can also be used for remote monitoring, where personal health and medical data is collected from a patient in his home. The Rise of mHealth:The Health Care Value Chain: Producers, Purchasers, and Providers [Lawton R.
Burns, Wharton School Colleagues] on lausannecongress2018.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Written by Lawton R.
Burns and a panel of expert contributors, fromthe prestigious Wharton School, The Health Care Value Chainanalyzes the key developments and future trends in the UnitedStates' health care supply chain.
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View more Telehealth Use in Rural Healthcare Telehealth has great potential to expand access and improve the quality of rural healthcare. It can reduce burdens for patients, such as travel to receive specialty care, and improve monitoring, timeliness, and communications within the healthcare system.