New OK Bill Aims to Reduce Emergency Psych Admissions Using Telehealth & More in Today’s Telehealth Buzz

New OK Bill Aims to Reduce Emergency Psych Admissions Using Telehealth

  • S.B. 1208 was introduced in the Oklahoma Senate by State Senator Michael Bergstrom.
  • S.B. 1208 would connect police officers responding to mental health crisis situations with mental health specialists via telehealth to determine appropriate care.
  • The bill is based on a successful two-year program operating out of Grand Lake Mental Health Center that currently reaches 12 counties in NE Oklahoma.
  • The current program drastically reduced psychiatric inpatient admissions from 402 in 2017 to only one in 2019.
  • Senator Bergstrom hopes making the service state-wide will reduce the number of mental health transports, reduce patient trauma, and allow for quicker treatment.
  • Read the full story here.

University of Kentucky Launches Telehealth Graduate Certificate

  • The University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences is launching a 9-credit hour graduate certificate for telehealth practitioners in Summer 2020.
  • The course takes place online with one in-person seminar each semester.
  • Content will cover a broad overview of telehealth applications, interprofessional collaboration and advocacy in the field, and evidence-based clinical practice techniques.
  • The goal of the program is to train effective telehealth practitioners to meet the varying healthcare needs of both urban and rural communities and address the shortage and cost challenges rampant in the healthcare industry.
  • Read the full story here.

Tennessee Addressing Gaps in Current Telehealth Laws

  • H.B. 1699, introduced by Rep. Robin Smith, would amend Tennessee’s current telehealth law, Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-1-55. The bill has 58 cosponsors.
  • The bill affords greater flexibility by allowing patients to choose the location of their telehealth visit.
  • H.B. 1699 also ensures payment parity and clarifies coverage of remote patient monitoring services.
  • The bill is supported by a group of medical students in a recent op-ed where they make the case for telehealth’s use in the care of chronic conditions.
  • Read the full story here.

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