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DEVELOPMENTS IN TELEMEDICINE

It's Been a Big Week for Telemedicine and Telehealth Forbes Congratulations to the rest of the world — you know, people outside the health IT industry — on discovering telemedicine this week. In fact, kudos to some inside the industry for understanding its potential.

Tazca Connects and TIP to Deploy 4G LTE-as-a-Service for Rural Telehealth Health Tech Zone  The goal of TIP is to use its team of telehealth experts to connect a system on a global scale with a care infrastructure that addresses the healthcare challenges countries around the world face.

Cross-Border Pediatric Telemedicine Works Well Health Data Management After studying more than 1,000 pediatric telemedicine consultations offered in Latin America, researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh--a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospital--found physicians in those countries were highly satisfied with the services and believed they had improved patient outcomes.

BUSINESS NEWS

Dignity Health Teams Up With Other Hospitals Through Telemedicine Santa Maria Sun “The doctor on the other end appears on the computer screen and can actually talk and ask questions of the patient and doctors,” Merrill said. “And they can actually examine patients that way.”

Healthcare Robot Systems Market Worth $3,764 Million by 2018 Digital Journal This report studies the global medical robots market over the forecast period of 2013 to 2018. Medical Robotic Systems Market was valued at $1,781 million in 2013 and is expected to reach $3,764 million by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 16.1% from 2013 to 2018.

RI Hospital Develops Use Case for Google Glass in Telemedicine HER Intelligence From radiology images to EHR access to surgical visualization, Glass is finding a home in a healthcare industry seeking new ways to leverage technology in the fight against inefficiencies and waste.

U.S. FEDERAL AND STATE NEWS

Regulatory Barriers Are Keeping Telemedicine From Reaching Its Full Potential House Committee on Small Business “One of the best ways to reform health care and reduce costs is to allow the private sector to improve the industry through innovation and increased access. Telemedicine is the type of tool that does this, and we should fully embrace it.."

ATA Execs Say Telehealth Policy Reform on Lawmakers' Radar  iHealthBeat During the American Telemedicine Association's weekly telecast on Tuesday, ATA executives said that telehealth policy reform legislation is a key priority for many lawmakers.

Compromise bill would fund VA accelerating mobile clinics via telemedicine mHealthNews A proposed compromise in Congress to overhaul the VA, if passed, would have a notable impact on the department's mHealth and telemedicine initiatives.

TELEMEDICINE AROUND THE WORLD

ACRRM and HISA Join Forces to Promote Telehealth Pulse IT Magazine The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) have agreed to jointly produce webinars promoting the use of telehealth as a tool to overcome the fragmentation of care.

U.S. TELEMEDICINE LEGISLATION

(Arizona) SB1050. Telemedicine; Naturopaths: Introduced January 14, 2014, amending previous Telemedicine legislation section 36-3601.
Read Bill Text

(Hawaii) SB2469. Telehealth; Insurance; Health Care Providers; Reimbursement: Introduced January 21, 2014, Requires reimbursement for services provided through telemedicine to be equivalent to reimbursement for the same services provided via face-to-face contact between a health care provider and a patient. 
Read Bill Text

(Maryland) SB198. Maryland Medical Assistance Program - Telemedicine: This bill would amend the state’s law regarding Medicaid coverage of telemedicine.  It would remove restrictions, such as requiring the use of telemedicine only in the case of providing for the treatment of cardiovascular disease or stroke; in emergency department settings and when an appropriate specialist is not available.  If passed, this bill would take effect October 1, 2014.
Read Bill Text

(Washington) HB1448. Regarding Telemedicine. Re-introduced January 13, 2014, this bill will be amending RCW 70.41.020 and 2 70.41.230; adding a new section to chapter 41.05 RCW; adding a new 3 section to chapter 48.43 RCW; creating new sections; and providing an 4 effective date.
Read Bill Text

S. 1932: Better Care, Lower Cost Act: Introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR] in January 2014, the goal of this bill is to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to establish a Medicare Better Care Program to provide integrated care for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions, and for other purposes.
Read Bill Text

H.R. 6719 TeleHealth Promotion Act: Introduced by Rep. Thompson (D-Calif.) in late 2012, the goal of this bill was to prevent readmission and help with interstate licensing. It was introduced Dec. 30, 2012, but not enacted.
Read Bill Text

H.R. 3577 (Introduced Nov. 21, 2013): To establish the Commission on Health Care Savings through Innovative Wireless Technologies Read Bill Text

H.R. 3077: TELE-MED Act of 2013 (Introduced Sept. 10, 2013): To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to permit certain Medicare providers licensed in a State to provide telemedicine services to certain Medicare beneficiaries in a different State.
Read Bill Text

H.R. 3306 Telehealth Enhancement Act of 2013: Introduced by Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), along with Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.). It was introduced on Oct. 22 with the goal of promoting and expanding the application of telehealth under Medicare and other federal healthcare programs.
Read Bill Text

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TELEMEDICINE.COM NEWS

August 2014

Gaining Ground in the Grants Game

As Telemedicine gains popularity with lawmakers, funds are becoming more widely available to aid hospitals and clinics with exploring the arena.  A little research will yield an impressive list of grants that cover some aspect of this remote care field, but understanding whether or not your healthcare agency and/or project qualifies can be a frustrating process.  We have compiled some of the best tips for making the most out of your grant search.

Tip #1: Know What the Grant Funding Covers
There are several types of grants, including research-based, typically designated with an “R##”, as well as, innovation and training grants.  If your project needs equipment, don’t bother with grants that aren’t going to cover it.  Many will have a clear list of what is covered up front, but often a simple scan of the grant opportunity will save you the heartache of starting the application process prematurely. There is always funding available, don’t waste your time applying for grants that you won’t be successful!

Tip #2: Don’t Limit Yourself
The facility for which you are trying to procure funding may not seem to qualify for certain grants, but consider the resources you may have in your community that do.  Can your project be linked with the local firehouse or public school?  Public and government institutions often have access to a wider variety of grant options, as do non-profits. Is your for-profit organization able to create a non-profit sub-segment? Consider aligning your organization with one that has a good footing in the field through partnership

Tip #3: Use Your Resources
There is a plethora of knowledge available to you on the topic of writing grants and can be found with a simple web search.  However, wading through it can be difficult.  We are here to help, as is your local Telehealth Resource Center representatives, defined by state.  There are often live free webinars that cover topics regarding grant navigation, some of which are archived, and can be accessed at any time.

Tip #4: Be Prepared!
There are several grants that reoccur annually, but many only give 30 to 60 days after the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is released to submit your application.  Keep track of their typical due dates and have all paperwork ready for last minute announcements. Be sure to have a current Grants.gov registration, in some cases a SAM.gov registration is required as well. It can take up to 2 weeks to process these registrations, so keep them current!  

Tip #5: Hire a Grant Writer or Grants Consultant
Determining your project’s eligibility is usually straightforward if you read all of the NOFA and supplementary documents released by the funding agency. However, the ability to determine competitiveness only comes with experience. There can be thousands of applicants for a single application, so knowing where you stack up against the other applications. Consulting with a grant professional prior to starting the process will give you a good feel for your chances for success. If its in your budget, hiring a grant writer is going to ease the application burden significantly, but it is not necessary. Follow these tips and do your research to have success no matter what your budget can offer in ways of assistance.

Tip #6: Keep Organized
Assign one person in your organization to manage your grant applications. Even if you are not able to hire an external grant writer or grant writing consultant, an internal grant manager can ensure that all documents are accessed quickly. It is best if this person has signing authority or is the direct assistant to someone with signing authority and can obtain signatures quickly. The grants manager should also keep all past grant applications on file as these can be great reference tools as you apply for new funding.

Tip #7: Pay Close Attention to All Deadlines
This might seem like an obvious piece of advice, however, many grants require “pre-applications.” These often have deadlines prior to the main listed date and can be an easy step to miss. Pay close attention to what information is required to each submission website and on which date.

Click here for a list of current Telemedicine grants, as well as, a list of agencies that commonly provide funding.

If there are any questions left unanswered or if you would like help with an upcoming grant application, call Telemedicine.com at (530) 676-0421 or email us at mail@telemedicine.com. We are here to help!

 

In California, the California Telehealth Resource Center (CTRC), has a current grant through Blue Shield of California Foundation to offer FREE ONSITE TRAINING SESSIONS . See the training flyer for more information!

We are proud to work closely with the TRCs to provide education and guidance to our health care providers, hospitals and clinics. Contact us to find out how we can team up to help your organization. (530) 676-0421 or mail@telemedicine.com



Telemedicine.com is always looking to assist facilities at any stage in their remote care project development. Please let us know how we can assist you with your telemedicine needs, contact us today at mail@telemedicine.com!

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MEDICARE AND MEDICAID

ATA Asks HHS to Lift 'Unnecessary' Restrictions on Medicare Providers Fierce HealthIT "Providers cannot take advantage of the full capabilities of telemedicine and telehealth due to unnecessary limitations," said Jonathan Linkous, chief executive officer of ATA, in an announcement.

Telemedicine and Telehealth Benefits to Change for Texas Medicaid May 1, 2013.. Learn More

House bill seeks active-duty telehealth Healthcare IT News. Continuing the recent spate of mHealth activity in the nation's capital, a pair of California Congressmen have submitted a bill that would expand telehealth coverage to active-duty service members, their dependents, retirees and veterans.

Final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule for 2013 Includes a 26.5% Decrease. HANYS. Telehealth: CMS adopted its proposal to add eight Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes to the list of services approved for coverage under the Medicare telehealth policy.

Delaware Medicaid Program Announces Reimbursements for Telemedicine-Delivered Services. HIMSS. This initiative will help to improve patient’s access to care, better the quality of care and help to transform the state’s mental health system.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Telehealth and Telemedicine - View here.

Medicare Payment Policies for Telehealth Services

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WHAT IS TELEMEDICINE?

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