How cost effective is telehealth in practice?

Doctors on the ground build economies. Rural areas support Telehealth but as a supplement, not as a replacement.

The article  below, by Kaiser Health News, discusses some of the areas of concern surrounding the Telehealth debate.  Chief among those concerns: results from this recent study,  which found that while use of Telehealth did increase access to services, total  patient costs were higher than those from traditional office visits.

Are Virtual Doctor Visits Really Cost-Effective? Not So Much, Study Says

Rural Access to Anesthesia Care Scholarship

The American Society of Anesthesiologists is offering up to a $500 stipend for third and fourth year medical students interested in learning about anesthesia in rural areas.

Students will work with mentors at preselected rural sites across the United States. The stipend is designed to cover the costs of travel and lodging expenses for the rural clerkship.

Application deadlines:

  • By January 1 for a rotation starting March 1 or later
  • By April 1 for a rotation starting June 1 or later
  • By July 1 for a rotation starting September 1 or later
  • By October 1 for a rotation starting December 1 or later

Visit here for more information.

Virginia Rural Health Telecommunications Consortium

The Virginia Rural Health Association is currently accepting new sites into the Virginia Rural Health Telecommunications Consortium (VRHTC), which is open to select healthcare facilities in Virginia and surrounding Appalachian states.

The VRHTC fosters the development and growth of broadband healthcare networks through a streamlined application process to the federal Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF), which reduces prices and offers better connectivity for bandwidth used by rural healthcare providers. Eligible facilities receive up to a 65% rebate on the cost of internet services and broadband upgrades, and include:
-Community Service Boards
-Federally Qualified Health Centers
-Hospitals
-Inpatient treatment programs
-Nursing Schools
-Skilled Nursing Facilities
-Rural Health Clinics

Consortia benefit from access to funds not available to individual participants in the HCF, including upfront payments for equipment and healthcare provider constructed facilities, and funds for equipment necessary to manage a dedicated healthcare broadband network. Additionally, filing as a consortium encourages competitive bidding by telecommunications providers across the state, resulting in lower fees for the participating consortium members.

To be eligible for participation, sites must be:
-A rural healthcare provider AND
-A public or nonprofit entity*
*Some for-profit sites may also be eligible if they receive certain contracted services, such as telehealth, from a public site or 501c3

If you are interested in participating, please visit http://www.vrha.org/vrhtc.html and click “Take the SURVEY!”

Questions?

Contact Beth O’Connor (540-231-7923)

Watch the video!  We recently gave a presentation regarding VRHTC.  It’s a good starting point for more information.