Last quarter, we reported that Senator Cecile Bledsoe had introduced Senate Bill 133 that encourages the use of telemedicine in order to improve access to care and to authorize reimbursement and regulation of services provided through telemedicine. On April 2, 2015, Governor Hutchison signed SB133 into law making Arkansas the 23rd state to enact a telemedicine parity law and joins Louisiana as the only states with telemedicine parity laws that cover physician services exclusively. The parity provisions of the law go into effect July 2015 for Medicaid and January 2016 for commercial payors. Brief of Law: https://uamselink.com/arkansas-telemedicine-law-arkansas-act-887/
TRIUMPH: Tele-Rehabilitation Interventions with University-based Medicine for Prevention and Health
The relevance of Telemedicine is felt in many demographics: moms with high-risk pregnancies, men and women experiencing stroke symptoms, cardiac patients, and neonatal intensive care babies to name a few. There is another segment of the population benefiting from telemedicine: individuals with traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. The TRIUMPH Call Center operated by the UAMS Center for Distance Health is available to all Arkansans with traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries and their families. Trained Call Center personnel provide triage, emergency support, and treatment guidance 24 hours a day.
Jon Wilkerson, the chair of the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission had a recent experience that exemplifies the role of telemedicine in modern healthcare. Jon, who lives with a spinal cord injury, experienced a complication not uncommon to people with these type injuries – while traveling to a conference. On a Saturday morning, Jon decided to call the TRIUMPH Call Center. Before noon he had spoken with a nurse and a doctor who diagnosed an issue with his medication pump and electronically referred him to the appropriate healthcare provider who could correct the problem remotely. This call center encounter prevented a 20 mile drive to an emergency room, lengthy waiting time, and probable transport to another facility resulting in a weekend hospital stay. Rather than spending his weekend in a hospital bed, Jon was able to resume his weekend activities (watching football) confident that he received appropriate care.
This program is funded through a contract between the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission Trauma Rehabilitation Program and UAMS Center for Distance Health. For more information about these services, please call the TRIUMPH Call Center at 1-855-767-6983.
If you are interested in finding out more about continuing education opportunities, check out the examples of and links to CME/CE available via telehealth: https://learnondemand.org/default.aspx
If you’d like to discuss what others are doing or have ideas to further leverage the e-Link network, email us at email@example.com or call 501-603-1280.
To find out where Arkansas Telehealth sites are located in each county, go to http://telehealth.uamsweb.com/telemedicine-in-your-town/