CCHP in the News

CCHP staff frequently contribute to articles on telehealth’s most pressing issues.

  • What Telemedicine, Telehealth Resource Centers Offer to Providers

    mHealth Intelligence

    Healthcare providers, organizations and vendors interested in knowing more about telemedicine and telehealth have a ready resource at their fingertips: a network of telehealth resource centers covering every region of the country. Established in 2006, the Regional Telehealth Resource Center (RTRC) Program consists of 12 regional and two national telehealth resource centers. The centers are funded by three-year renewable grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT), which is part of the Office of Rural Health Policy. Together, they form what’s called the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers (NCTRC). 

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  • Using Telehealth to Put Patients at the Center of Healthcare

    RHI hub

    It seems like we aren’t making much progress but I think, when you look back over time, there have been incremental changes at the state and federal level. So, I think we are getting there. I’d like to break the challenges down into several areas, the first being federal policy. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services limits the definition of telehealth to only the use of live video, which is its most inefficient form. Rural elderly could benefit from being around their families in their own home and community if they are monitored remotely but instead, because that remote home monitoring is not reimbursed or allowed under Medicare, they have to move to an urban facility. It’s an issue that continues to be confounding. We also know that “store-and-forward” asynchronous telehealth consultation has been proven to be valuable as well as cost-efficient, yet is still not considered for reimbursement by Medicare. The other kicker is that a medical facility has to be located in a narrowly defined rural location designated by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy in order to receive coverage for telehealth services.  

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  • Pennsylvania Lawmaker Aims to Broaden Telehealth Access

    Healthcare Analytics News

    In a time of massive division about the future of healthcare in the United States, telehealth is one of the few agreeable items. The concept of leveraging new technology to make people healthier for lower costs is hard for lawmakers to deny, and nationwide more and more states are defining wider and wider sets of accepted services to ensure patients can utilize them.   This week, Pennsylvania State Senator Elder Vogel introduced one of the state’s most comprehensive telehealth laws to date. Most states have at least a bare minimum definition of telehealth or telemedicine on the books, in addition to often specific policies regarding telehealth concepts like remote monitoring or store and forward. The Center for Connected Health Policy, which tracks and advocates for increased legal recognition of the packages, shows an anemic record for Pennsylvania’s legislature as far as telehealth is concerned.

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  • Report: All But Two States Have Some Medicaid Telemedicine Reimbursement

    MobiHealth News

    The Center for Connected Health Policy has released the fifth edition of its State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies Report. CCHP uncovered many notable findings in the new report. Perhaps chief among those: 48 states and Washington, D.C., provide reimbursement for some form of live video in Medicaid fee-for-service.  Specifically, 13 states reimburse for store-and-forward delivered services in Medicaid; states that only provide reimbursement for teleradiology were not counted in this number. Twenty-two states reimburse in Medicaid for remote patient monitoring. The report also found that 31 states provide a transmission and/or facility fee. Six states have geographic/rural restrictions. And 23 states limit Medicaid reimbursement to a specific list of facilities. “While many states are beginning to expand telehealth reimbursement, others continue to restrict and place limitations on telehealth delivered services,” CCHP said in the report. “Although each state’s laws, regulations and Medicaid program policies differ significantly, certain trends are evident when examining the various policies.” 

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  • 48 States Provide Some Medicaid Reimbursement for Telehealth, says CCHP Report

    The Longevity Network

    This month, the Center for Connected Health Policy has released the fifth edition of its State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies Report. (An interactive map and search tool of the results is also available on their website). Chief among its findings: 48 states and Washington D.C. allow for some kind of Medicaid reimbursement for some form of live video fee-for-service. “While many states are beginning to expand telehealth reimbursement, others continue to restrict and place limitations on telehealth delivered services,” CCHP said in the report. “Although each state’s laws, regulations and Medicaid program policies differ significantly, certain trends are evident when examining the various policies.”

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  • More States Reimburse for Telemedicine Under Medicaid Than You Think

    Healthcare IT News

    The Center for Connected Health Policy has released the fifth edition of its State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies Report. CCHP uncovered many notable findings in the new report. Perhaps chief among those: 48 states and Washington, D.C., provide reimbursement for some form of live video in Medicaid fee-for-service.  Specifically, 13 states reimburse for store-and-forward delivered services in Medicaid; states that only provide reimbursement for teleradiology were not counted in this number. Twenty two states reimburse in Medicaid for remote patient monitoring. The report also found that 31 states provide a transmission and/or facility fee. Six states have geographic/rural restrictions. And 23 states limit Medicaid reimbursement to a specific list of facilities. “While many states are beginning to expand telehealth reimbursement, others continue to restrict and place limitations on telehealth delivered services,” CCHP said in the report. “Although each state’s laws, regulations and Medicaid program policies differ significantly, certain trends are evident when examining the various policies.” 

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  • Examining the State of Medicaid Telehealth Reimbursement

    mHealth Intelligence

    The majority of the United States offers Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth and related services, but reimbursement rules within each state can vary significantly, according to the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP).  CCHP's Fifth Annual 50 State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Report focused on Medicaid fee-for-service policies and policy language in each state as of March 2017. The report found that 48 states and the District of Columbia provide fee-for-service Medicaid reimbursement for some form of live video. Massachusetts and Rhode Island are the only two states without definitive reimbursement rules for their public insurance program.  “No two states are alike in how telehealth is defined and regulated,” CCHP said. “While there are some similarities in language, perhaps indicating states may have utilized existing verbiage from other states, noticeable differences exist.”  

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  • Report: Despite Progress, Telehealth Still Faces Disparate Medicaid Policies

    Fierce Healthcare

    Medicaid regulations in all but two states offer reimbursement for some form of telemedicine, but those policies vary widely from state to state, often limiting the services available to patients. Massachusetts and Rhode Island were the only two states with Medicaid reimbursement for live video telehealth visits, according to a report from the Center for Connected Health Policy. Among those that do have a policy, several have expanded regulations to allow for remote patient monitoring as well as store and forward, where patients can send digital images and data to a telemedicine provider.

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  • Telehealth Wave: Surf’s Up for Fed, State Policymakers

    Managed Care Magazine

    Telemedicine may be the wave of the future, but federal and state policymakers are surfing it in different ways. In Washington, the Republican plan to replace the ACA is dominating everything related to health care, including telehealth. Repeal and replace could be telemedicine’s big chance to assume a leading role in the Medicaid and Medicare programs. Statements from HHS Secretary Tom Price suggest he is favorable toward the technology. Meanwhile, in state capitals, health officials and regulators have been dealing with telehealth as an emerging technology for quite some time. Responses have varied, and the result is a hodgepodge of rules at the state level. But the uncertain future of insurance coverage in the country will affect both the perception and reality of telehealth in the years ahead. If millions of Americans lose Medicaid or private health insurance coverage because of the unACAing of American health care, telehealth may seem like a gimmicky sideshow rather than a good-faith effort to bring health care into the digital century.  

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  • Interview: Mario Gutierrez on the Future of Healthcare

    The Signal Center

    We sat down to talk about the future of healthcare with Mario Gutierrez, who serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP). Last year, Gutierrez participated in a panel with TSC Director Pamela Villacorta at the Governor’s Conference on Aging and Disabilities. We asked him about his perspective on the state of healthcare, his commitment to supporting rural populations, and his groundbreaking work with the CCHP.  About Mario Gutierrez:  Prior to becoming the Executive Director at CCHP, Gutierrez worked for over 30 years in California’s nonprofit health sectors. He previously served as the Program Director for the California Endowment, where he focused in especial on the deployment of a 5-year, $50 million telehealth initiative in the state of California. He sits on the board of directors for both the California State Rural Health Association and OCHIN, one of the nation’s largest and most successful health information networks. He also chairs the advisory panel for the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), housed within the University of Iowa College of Public Health, which provides federal policy analysis and recommendations for the promotion of livable rural communities across the country. 

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  • Interview with Mario Gutierrez, Part Two: "The practice of healthcare would be turned on its head"

    Healthcare Analytics News

    In the first half of HCA News’s conversation with Mario Gutierrez (pictured), the CCHP’s executive director, he spoke of the need for systemic changes in approach to advance telehealth. In this second part, Gutierrez goes on to talk about how telehealth policy is evolving nationwide, and what an ideal outcome would be for the CCHP’s mission.  In terms of telehealth policy, do you see some regions of the country pushing ahead and others lagging behind? It’s kind of like a dog race, some state will emerge and do something interesting and another state will do something that goes backwards. The problem is that, in order to really reform how telehealth is used in a particular state and particularly for their Medicaid patients, there has to be a couple of things. One is a real commitment to moving away from fee-for-service to a more value-based approach, working with payers to serve a population. Telehealth becomes very attractive when it’s not just another fee to bill. Secondly, we define the policy areas into several key budgets, and unless the state is willing to look at all of that rather than just piecemeal it, they’re not going to make much progress.

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  • Executive Director of the Center for Connected Health Policy: "It's about a culture change"

    Healthcare Analytics News

    As the landscape of health continues to evolve, with massive advances at the technological level but widespread uncertainty in health policy, it’s difficult to determine the role that new technologies can play, or will be allowed to play, down the road. The Center for Connected Care Health Policy, or CCHP, has worked for nearly a decade now to advocate for the use of telehealth as a means to streamline care, lower costs, and put patients at the center of the healthcare system. Initially begun to advocate for legal telehealth reform in the state of California, the CCHP has since become the leading, federally-designated national body for the movement. Mario Gutierrez, the Center’s executive director, kindly granted HCA News an interview (fittingly, conducted by telephone) this March to speak about the organization’s aims and the current state of telehealth policy across the country. 

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  • Telemedicine Could Be Great, if People Stopped Using It Like Uber

    Wired

    THESE DAYS, MORE people are working from home, shopping from home, and yes, even seeing the doctor from home. Last year more than a million people traded the waiting room for the comfort of their own couch—which sure beats thumbing through a sad collection of creased magazines. Today, telehealth is touted as one of the chief ways to deal with rural residents left behind by hospital consolidation, as well as the 20 million new patients the Affordable Care Act brought into the health care system. Its value hinges on the premise that patients will use telehealth options instead of going to the doctor or the urgent care clinic. But a new study released today shows that people are using phone-a-physician services in addition to in-person visits, not as a substitute. And the result of the Uber-ization of health care is an increase in overall costs. In April 2012, CalPERS Blue Shield started covering telehealth visits for their 300,000 insurance enrollees. 

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  • Where Teleneurology is Expanding, and Who is Paying For It

    Neurology Today

    Technology-enabled physician visits and other telemedicine applications have long been snubbed by payers and burdened by a patchwork of state regulations. But as the health care value movement takes hold, those who kept telemedicine on the sidelines are beginning to see its charms.Indeed, 29 states have passed laws requiring private insurers to pay for telemedicine-delivered services in the same way they pay for in-person care, and 48 states provide some Medicaid coverage. And even Medicare, which has never been friendly to telemedicine, may be changing its attitude.“I guess I'm the most optimistic I've ever been in terms of the alignment between the [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] leadership with the intent of Congress to do something about this,” said Mario Gutierrez, executive director of the Center for Connected Health Policy, a national nonprofit organization that develops and advances telemedicine policies and resources.

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  • The Future of Telemedicine: Two Perspectives

    Healh Management

    The Center for Connected Health Policy is an organisation that is vocal about policy reforms on integrating telehealth virtual technologies into the American health care system. Mei Wa Kwong, Policy Advisor and Project Director spoke to HealthManagement.org about the legal challenges of harmonising telehealth/medicine across borders.
    What, from the perspective of the Center for Connected Health Policy, have been the greatest challenges in 'harmonising' telehealth regulations across the U.S.? The way the US health care system is structured, you have multiple entities who pay for care. You have government programmes like Medicare on the federal level and Medicaid on the state level as well as private insurers who provide insurance through employers or private purchase. This creates layers of different policies in law, regulations and the insurers own individual policies. So already you have a complicated environment to navigate. Now multiple that 51 times (50 states and the District of Columbia) and you can see how daunting and complicated the policy environment is around telehealth. And what I’ve just described is only one aspect of policy. You also have other laws, regulations and policies that aren’t necessarily specific to telehealth but impact it such as licenses to practice medicine.

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