Author: kimberly b

Milwaukee VA telehealth program helping veterans with mental health care

Milwaukee VA telehealth program helping veterans with mental health care

Milwaukee’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center offers telehealth services to veterans, with 90% of its providers participating in the program.

So far, only about 400 veterans have received care through this telehealth program, however with the high rate of participation among its providers, that number will grow quickly this year.

The program, like many other telehealth programs around the country, expands the reach of a clinic by offering virtual visits to people who live far away or are otherwise unable to physically go to the clinic.

Milwaukee’s WTMJ-TV did a spotlight segment on this program and interviewed a veteran who used to have to travel 30 miles for treatment, and who suffers from vertigo. He now uses his laptop to meet with his provider from the comfort and security of his own home, with great success. He appreciates not having to make the long drive and avoiding the anxiety of being in an unfamiliar environment. Watch this veteran’s story here:  https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/new-program-offers-veterans-a-virtual-alternative-to-traditional-health-visits

Reduce weather-related cancellations by adopting telehealth

Reduce weather-related cancellations by adopting telehealth

In 2018 and 2019, the months of January and February both showed dramatic increases in Clocktree telehealth usage. These increases spiked during times when there were snowstorms in the Northeast and Midwest.

If you don’t already have a telehealth service available for your clients to meet with you via video, Clocktree is an easy, affordable option that can help reduce cancellations. Clients don’t need to download any special software or apps, and they can be connected with you on a video session within minutes.

Clocktree has a 90-day free trial, so you can use Clocktree for free to get you through the winter months before deciding if you’d like to subscribe to Clocktree’s service after 90 days. To get started, visit www.clocktree.com and click “Join for free”.  Our Customer Care team is available at 302-990-8935 to answer any questions.

VA Reports 235% increase in video visits in 2019

VA Reports 235% increase in video visits in 2019

The Department of Veterans Affairs provided over 2.6 million telehealth episodes in Fiscal Year 2019, making it the largest telehealth program in the country.  In addition to a 235% in video visits, there was a 17% increase in overall telehealth services over the previous fiscal year, according to new data released by the VA. During this time, more than 900,000 veterans accessed the agency’s telehealth services in a clinic or at home.

FY 2019 was the first full year of the VA’s Anywhere to Anywhere initiative, which enables care teams to treat veterans regardless of their location, including across state lines or outside a VA facility. The new program is particularly beneficial for veterans living in rural areas who would otherwise need to travel a considerable distance or across state lines to receive care.

Use of VA Video Connect, the agency’s video app, increased by 235% this year.  More than 99,000 veterans used the app at home, eliminating a trip to the nearest VA facility. More than 200,000, or approximately two-thirds of the 294,000 VA Video Connect appointments this year were for tele-mental health visits.

Read more at Health Data Management: https://www.healthdatamanagement.com/news/va-reports-235-increase-in-video-telehealth-visits-in-fy19

CONNECT for Health Act would expand Medicare coverage for telehealth

CONNECT for Health Act would expand Medicare coverage for telehealth

Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2019 has bipartisan Senate and House support and would expand telehealth services through Medicare. The bill “aims to improve health outcomes, make it easier for patients to connect with their doctors, and help cut costs for patients and providers” according to a statement released yesterday by the bill’s sponsor Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i)

“Telehealth is the future of health care. The technology is advancing, more providers and patients are relying on it, and we have broad bipartisan support,” said Senator Schatz. “This bill will help ensure that every American gets the care they need no matter where they live.”

The CONNECT for Health Act of 2019 builds on the progress made in recent years to increase the use of telehealth through Medicare. Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Provide the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to waive telehealth restrictions when necessary;
  • Remove geographic and originating site restrictions for services like mental health and emergency medical care;
  • Allow rural health clinics and other community-based health care centers to provide telehealth services; and
  • Require a study to explore more ways to expand telehealth services so that more people can access health care services in their own homes.