February 2017

TeleQuality Communications

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Introducing the New TeleQuality.com

Introducing the NEW TeleQuality.com

TeleQuality Communications announces our new website launch! The completely revamped website features a streamlined and simplified design, improved functionality and enriched content areas to help rural healthcare providers make well-informed decisions about their telecommunications and technology needs and goals. Visit it now

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This Month on the Blog: Supporting IT Networks in the 21st Century Healthcare Industry

Last month we tackled how important managing and monitoring is for the health of your IT networks and infrastructure. But what happens if you don’t have the people, means or resources available to truly support that network? We break down this scenario in this month's educational blog post. Read it now

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Support at Your Fingertips





State Reports

American Telemedicine Association Releases State Report Card

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) today released an update to two critical state policy reports which identified gaps in coverage and reimbursement, and physician practice standards and licensure. The reports, which capture the policy landscape of each state and Washington, DC, include research methodology and state-specific grades based on a series of indicators for each report. Seven states, including Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Rhode Island, Utah, and West Virginia, have adopted policies that improved coverage and reimbursement of telemedicine-provided services since the 2016 report, while Delaware, South Carolina and D.C. have either lowered telemedicine coverage or adopted policies further restricting telemedicine coverage. Read more



Interstate Telehealth Compact Hits Snag in Implementation

In 2014, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) crafted model legislation for an Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (Compact) that would create an expedited process to obtain a medical license in a state that was a member of the Compact. Since then, eighteen states have passed legislation to join the Compact and an additional five states currently have pending legislation to enact it. Although the Commission charged with administering the Compact has now been formed and is meeting regularly, they have encountered a setback to its implementation. Read more

Legislation



Unplugged

FCC Rollback of ‘Lifeline’ Subsidies Could Negatively Impact Telehealth

The FCC recently issued an order reconsidering the role of nine companies set to offer broadband internet through the Lifeline program, which subsidizes telecommunications services for low-income individuals and families. The move could impact telehealth initiatives, which generally require patients have access to high-speed internet, and raise questions about the future role of the FCC in federal efforts to spur adoption of telehealth services. Read more



CMS Releases Updated 2017 Medicare Factsheet

CMS has released their updated telehealth factsheet, reflecting the changes made to Medicare telehealth reimbursement in the CY 2017 fee schedule. The changes included adding new CPT codes for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) related services for dialysis and advance care planning codes to the list of codes eligible for reimbursement when delivered through telehealth. It also includes an explanation of the new place of service (POS) code specifically designated to indicate telehealth was used. Read more

Medicare





Reimbursement Law

House Bill Reintroduced to Expand Reimbursement of Telestroke Services

Congress is set to revisit a bill that would expand Medicare reimbursement nationwide for telestroke services. The Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act, originally introduced in 2015, would alter the Social Security Act to allow Medicare coverage of telestroke services no matter where the patient is located. Current legislation allows those services only in certain rural areas. U.S. Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), who co-sponsored the original legislation, made the announcement this week that they have reintroduced the bill, with the support of the American Heart Association and American Academy of Neurology. Read more



Op-Ed: Telehealth Key to Combating Nation’s Addiction Crisis

As one observer noted, “because it removes barriers of time and distance, telemedicine offers great potential for enhancing treatment and recovery for people with substance and abuse disorders.” The federal government has taken notice. For example, the USDA is financing five Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants to the tune of almost $1.4 million for the development of virtual treatment programs for opioid addicts in rural central Appalachia. The FDA launched a Naloxone App Competition, inviting programmers, public health experts, clinicians and others to encourage innovation in developing low-cost, crowd-sourced mobile health apps connecting individuals overdosing with those able to provide Naloxone, a prescription drug that helps reverse some of the effects of opioid overdoses. Read more

Opioid Addiction



Conference News

Come see us at the following conferences in March!

NARHC 2017 Spring Institute

San Antonio, TX 
March 20-22, 2017

MTHA Annual Conference

Jackson, MS
March 22, 2017


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