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Southwest Telehealth Resource Center Blog

Children have long been recognized as a population with significant challenges accessing medical care, most notably due to a limited number of pediatric specialists who are concentrated at children’s hospitals in urban settings. And the very nature of face-to-face, traditional health care may place a disproportionate burden on low-income and rural based families.

This is particularly true in the large geographic region served by Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The Southwest Telehealth Resource Center has scored a hit!

Or, you might say, five hits!

 Established in 2009 by the Arizona Telemedicine Program, with funding from the federal Health Resources and Service Administration’s Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, SWTRC serves telehealth programs in five southwestern states: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

Have you been to any telemedicine meetings lately and wondered what’s happened to the basic research presentations? Surely it can’t be that we’ve solved all the challenges and finally proved to everyone that telemedicine really does have all the advantages we’ve been touting for years. 

No, there’s still a lot to discover and basic research is alive and well. The reality is that times change as do societies, tradeshows and conferences. It’s not a bad thing and there are lots of very useful, educational and productive telehealth meetings to choose from and attend. It all depends on what you are looking for. For example, the Service Provider Summit (SPS https://ttspsworld.com/) is a great national conference focusing on linking telemedicine and telehealth service provider companies with hospitals, healthcare systems, clinics and others who need their services. 

In its spring 2018 update on state telehealth laws and reimbursement policies, the Center for Connected Health Policy reported a patient-friendly trend in telehealth and telemedicine delivery to home-bound patients.  Ten states have revised their policies to recognize a Medicaid patient’s home as an “originating site” – a policy change enacted to improve patients’ access to care.

The 10 states are Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.

Chaco Canyon located in northwestern New Mexico

A great thing about America's Southwest is the diversity of its people.  Although many cultures call it home, it truly is Indian Country. The Navajo Nation with over 300,000 population encompasses more than 27,000 square miles of the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.  Along with several other tribes and pueblos, they have a dominating presence.  Many of us in healthcare deal with this wonderful group of people on a daily basis. My personal experiences with them have been very rewarding and enlightening.  Over the years I have learned much and developed a high regard and respect for their way and philosophy of life.

It is fascinating how similar their beliefs are to many old world cultures and customs.  It clearly is a testament to the universality of mankind.

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