Patients

HHS SAMHSA final rule makes PHE opioid-related telehealth flexibilities permanent

Lead

On February 2, 2024, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), published a final rule that expands on, and makes permanent, certain opioid-related telehealth flexibilities initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the rule, authorized providers will be able to start patients on buprenorphine or methadone—medications used to treat opioid use disorders—pursuant to a telehealth visit and without needing an in-person visit.

Want better access to telehealth and healthcare? Start with digital equity and inclusion

Lead

Conversations around healthcare increasingly center on digital equity and inclusion, especially as more communities across the country embrace telehealth, expand broadband connectivity, and consequently recognize the importance, more than ever, of digital literacy.

According to Jaleen Johnson, program manager for the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center (NRTRC), social determinants of health have long been connected to digital literacy and broadband connectivity. However, to better understand that relationship, digital equity and inclusion must first be defined, and an explanation provided as to why these concepts are important, and how they relate to healthcare.

A centralized telehealth approach helps HealthONE serve nine hospitals in two states

Lead

COVID-19 is frequently attributed with introducing healthcare providers to the world of telehealth, but for a hospital system serving patients in Colorado and Kansas, the expansion of telehealth has been the norm for almost a decade.

With growth comes a need to negotiate space in tight hospital settings. HealthONE’s remedy was to bring all telehealth under one roof at their Denver headquarters by creating the Virtual Care Center.

Supporters of new Arizona telemedicine law say pets will receive greater access to care

Lead

From Dr. Steven Hansen’s Arizona Humane Society office, you may have heard a sigh of relief when Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed Senate Bill 1053 into law on May 9. Beginning in August, veterinarians licensed in the state will legally be able to provide veterinary care through telemedicine, a care alternative many have become accustomed to on the human side of healthcare.

Currently, there’s a six-week waiting list for pet owners who need the Humane Society’s subsidized services at their clinics in Maricopa County. Bringing telemedicine into the picture will make a difference.

Telemedicine helps further major advancements in eradicating hepatitis C

Lead

It’s tough to believe that almost 10 years ago, we began to realize a substantial cure for hepatitis C was just around the corner. When the ION-3 study results came out about the medication combination sofosbuvir/ledipasvir, there was a tangible sense that we were about to have an achievable cure.

Step forward to the present day. A handful of innovative new treatments have come and gone, leaving us with powerful options including two that can cover all the virus’s genotypes in one fell swoop.

Telemedicine: The New Frontier for Increasing Access to Breastfeeding Support

Lead

The remarkable lifelong health benefits of breastfeeding for both a breastfeeding parent and their child are well-known, and include a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, early childhood illnesses and autoimmune diseases, to name just a few. Most new parents intend to breastfeed their child, and 83.2% of newborns in the US start out receiving some breastmilk initially, but according to the CDC’s 2022 Breastfeeding Report Card, only 24.9% of infants in the United States are exclusively breastfed at 6 months of age as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

After Moving His Community Through Covid’s Challenges, Medina-Garcia Leads Nevada’s Clark County in Embracing Telemedicine

Lead

Early in the Covid lockdown in Las Vegas, Dr. Luis H. Medina-Garcia was front and center of almost every press conference and community conversation.

The public health emergency (PHE) put the infectious diseases specialist at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in the middle of Clark County’s planning and communication efforts and forced him and his colleagues to finally take that deep dive into an area of practice they had eagerly discussed many years prior to the pandemic–telemedicine.

How Does a Telemedicine Pain Program Work in Rural America with Multi-Vulnerable Patient Populations?

Lead

In April 2017 Summit Healthcare started a multi-disciplinary program to treat patients with chronic and acute pain in the White Mountains of Arizona. Our patient service area is HRSA-designated as having a shortage of providers and medically underserved. The area is the size of Rhode Island and includes Native American reservations and other vulnerable populations. Many of our patients live in a high poverty area which makes access to care challenging.

Medicaid, Medicare, Telehealth, and Indian Health: Understanding the Differences

Lead

Medicare and Medicaid – two important programs for paying for health care for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people. As we near the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), it’s going to be important to understand the differences between these programs and how they may impact reimbursements for telehealth services moving forward. Understanding these differences will be important for understanding the next steps for continuing to get reimbursed and any challenges that may be encountered in that process.