Telehealth Projects Underway

The Rural Telehealth Research Center (RTRC) http://ruraltelehealth.org housed at the University of Iowa, College of Public Health and funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) within HRSA www.hrsa.gov, is working on several projects related to rural telehealth.

Project partners involved in the research include the RTRC housed in the Center for Health Policy and Research (CHPR) www.public-health.uiowa.edu, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill www.unc.edu, and the University of Southern Maine https://usm.maine.edu.

There are several research projects underway for 2016-2017. The first project will collect and analyze data on a uniform set of measures. The information to be studied will be made available from the “Evidence-based Tele-Emergency Network Grant Program” (EB TNGP) to help establish the evidence base for tele-ED. The EB TNGP supports implementation and evaluation of broad telehealth networks used to deliver 24/7 ED consultation services via telehealth to rural providers.

The second project “Provide Guidance on Measures for the School-Based Telehealth Network Grant Program Evaluation” will enable RTRC and FORHP to guide a set of measures to evaluate the School-Based Network Grant Program (SB TNGP).

The third project “Use of Telehealth Services among Rural Medicaid Enrollees: A Baseline Inventory” is using Medicaid Analytic Extract (MAX) data. The goal is to create a 50 state baseline inventory of telehealth services provided to Medicaid enrollees in rural and urban settings.

The project will provide information on the feasibility of using MAX data to study the effects of Medicaid telehealth policies on rural telehealth use and on the accessibility and quality of care delivered to rural Medicaid populations.

The fourth project “Telestroke Adoption, Cost, and Quality in Hospitals in North Carolina” is examining the hospitals in the state. The plan is to identify all hospitals serving as a telestroke originating sites and then summarize their structure, market, and community characteristics.

The next step is to compare the structural, market, and community characteristics to hospitals that do not provide telestroke, and lastly examine the influence of telestroke characteristics process measures on quality measures and costs by using secondary and primary data.

Go to http://ruraltelehealth.org/projects.php for a complete list of projects.

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