2019 News

The Impact of the 21st Century Cures Act and the ECHO Act on Telehealth and Telemedicine (Blog Series 3 of 3)

Posted by John Kornak on Mar 29, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Will the 21st Century Cures Act and the ECHO Act Cause a Major Adoption Increase in the Telehealth and Telemedicine Space?

The two pieces of legislation (The 21st Century Cures Act and The ECHO Act) outlined in my previous blogs are encouraging for the growth of telehealth and telemedicine in the long term. However, short term advancement in the adoption of telehealth and telemedicine, based solely on these two programs, is unrealistic. In many ways, the biggest impetus to adopt telehealth resources and solutions is already happening: the shift from volume-based to value-based care models by healthcare providers. Health systems, hospitals, and providers are realizing they MUST think beyond reimbursable transactions. It is essential to consider episodes of care, bundle payments, and population health to survive in today’s healthcare setting. Organizations will need to leverage the ability to improve quality and access to care amongst provider networks.

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Topics: Telehealth, telecommunication, telemedicine, 21st Century Cures Act, The ECHO Act, Telehealth Legislation

The ECHO Act Could Increase Telemedicine Programs in Rural Areas Throughout the U.S. (Blog Series 2 of 3)

Posted by John Kornak on Mar 28, 2017 4:00:00 PM

What is the ECHO Act?

The Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act, approved unanimously by Congress in late 2016, extends Project ECHO nationwide in attempt to increase access to healthcare resources in rural areas through telehealth solutions and continuing medical education. Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) was originally introduced by a University of New Mexico Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Sanjeev Arora, upon realizing the barriers of providing care to liver disease patients due to the lack of skilled medical clinicians able to treat their condition. The Project began in 2003 as a health IT pilot in rural parts of New Mexico and was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Project ECHO operates as a hub and spoke telemedicine network that connects primary care providers and regional practitioners with specialists from academic hubs via teleconferencing. The technology provided by Project ECHO allows specialists to transport medical education and knowledge to mentor local primary care providers and nurses. Patients living in underserved and rural areas receive high-quality specialty care in the right place at the right time without being burdened by transportation. Since the introduction in 2003, the model has successfully expanded to over 90 academic hubs covering 45 diseases and conditions including pain management and addiction.

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Topics: Telehealth, telecommunication, telemedicine, Healthcare, Healthcare Legislation, The ECHO Act, Telehealth Legislation