Allison Elliott-Shannon

Telehealth Expands Patient Access To Care

Published: Jul 16, 2013

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 16, 2013) - The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, July 14.
 
By Rob Sprang
 
Imagine that during your last visit to your mother’s home in Eastern Kentucky, you noticed that she was having memory problems. The closest memory disorder specialist is in Lexington and Mom has made it clear that she feels fine and is not going all the way to Lexington just to see the doctor. So, if you can’t bring Mom to the doctor, can you bring the doctor to Mom? In Kentucky, the answer is yes.

 

Kentucky is a recognized national leader in the use of telehealth or interactive video conference technology used to connect patients and providers who are many miles apart. Telehealth began in Kentucky in 1995, and the first patient seen via telehealth was a young girl who was diagnosed with cardiac problems. The pediatric cardiologist, patient and parents were able to see and hear each other; heart and lung sounds were transmitted by an electronic stethoscope. The echocardiogram done at a community hospital was visible to the cardiologist. Throughout the patient’s treatment, she had several follow-up visits via telehealth. Her final telehealth visit cleared her to begin cheerleading.

 

Telehealth in Kentucky uses high definition video conference systems in health care facilities to bring patients and providers together, helping to reduce the cost and inconvenience of travel. There are more than 200 approved Kentucky Telehealth Network health care facilities across the state where patients can be seen by their health care providers. The network includes hospitals, clinics, public health departments, community mental health centers, public school clinics and the state’s three medical schools.

 

The technology is also used to see prison inmates, eliminating the cost to secure and transport the inmate to a medical facility while protecting the public by keeping inmates inside the prison. One of the largest coal mining companies in the country, with operations in Kentucky uses telehealth to bring health care services directly to the mines, helping employees and their families access needed health care services from the work site.

 

The most significant obstacle facing telehealth services has been the lack of reimbursement for providers who see patients via telehealth, but over the years, Medicare has expanded its coverage for telehealth encounters, and Kentucky was the first state in the country to pass comprehensive telehealth reimbursement mandates for both Medicaid and private health insurers. Recently, Kentucky’s Medicaid program has approved new regulations to expand the providers and services that are eligible to use telehealth.

 

The patient scenario at the beginning of this article happened. The family was able to bring their mother to their local hospital where she was connected to a specialist on TV. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and had follow-up care every few months for the next eight years until she died. The family attributed the successful care of their mother to having easy access to specialized medical care and family caregiver support resources through telehealth technology.

 

Rob Sprang is the director of Kentucky TeleCare. For information about the Kentucky TeleHealth Network, contact him at rsprang@uky.edu

sprang_rob.jpg
July
 
 
1
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
2
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
3
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
4
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
5
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
6
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Artful Sunday: Benday Dot Day
Sun
7
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
8
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
9
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
10
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
11
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
12
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
International Youth Water Justice Summit
Sat
13
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
14
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
15
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
16
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers (with Dr. Greg Jicha)
Wed
17
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
18
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
19
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Color Water Balloon Fight
Sat
20
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Summer Salon: Landscape as Subject with Tom Barnes, Photographer
Sun
21
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
22
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
23
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
24
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
25
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
26
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
27
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
28
 
Mon
29
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
30
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers (with Mary Crowley Schmidt)
Wed
31
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
 
 

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Wed, 07/30/2014

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Thu, 07/31/2014

Fri, 08/01/2014 - Wed, 09/03/2014

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Fri, 08/01/2014

Reset Page