The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Office of Rural Health (ORH) are pleased to announce the awardees for the telehealth pilot projects. The projects are supported by the federal State Innovation Model (SIM) grant, which Oregon received to fund innovative projects that support the State’s health care system transformation efforts.
In October 2014, OHA, in partnership with ORH, requested letters of intent from organizations interested in conducting for telehealth pilot projects that improve care coordination; increase individuals' access to their own health data and engagement in their care; expand system capacity; and achieve efficiencies in health care delivery. Proposed projects were required to be innovative, scalable, and align with SIM grant purposes:
- Support Oregon's coordinated care model and health care transformation;
- Identify and spread health care innovation and/or;
- Promote the triple aim of better health, better care, and lower costs.
Sixty-seven letters of intent were received from all areas of the state and across all types of organizations. Scott Ekblad, Director of the Oregon Office of Rural Health noted, "This was an incredibly valuable process in so far as understanding the telehealth needs across Oregon. Proposed projects ranged from rural facilities looking to expand access to specialist services to Coordinated Care Organizations looking at new ways of using technology to improve population health. It demonstrates the ongoing importance of collaboration and innovation."
Thirteen applicants were invited to submit full proposals, and five awardees were selected. "We are excited to partner with these organizations and support their efforts to improve coordination and access to care through telehealth technologies," said Susan Otter, Director and State Coordinator for Health Information Technology. "Each of these pilot projects will work to address a unique population and system challenge in areas such as behavior health, youth dental, dementia care, HIV services and connecting paramedics to clinics in rural areas. We look forward to lessons learned through these pilots and sharing best practices for improving care and increasing access in local communities."Projects will begin by in late May and early June. They will run through June of 2016. OHA and ORH will share the results of these projects in early fall of 2016. If you have any questions about the grants, please contact Meredith Guardino at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More About the Federal State Innovation Model Grant
In April 2013, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) awarded a State Innovation Model (SIM) grant to Oregon. The SIM grant supports Oregon's ongoing health system reform and transformation and funds Oregon's efforts in testing innovative approaches to improving health and lowering costs across the health care system, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the private sector. A portion of Oregon's SIM grant is dedicated to supporting and accelerating statewide HIT initiatives.
Telehealth Grantees and Pilot Projects
Adventist Health Tillamook Medical Group
Adventist Health Tillamook Medical Group paramedics cover 1,100 square miles and respond to nearly 4,000 calls for service each year from four ambulance stations strategically located throughout Tillamook County. This project's focus is to reduce hospital readmissions related to gaps in a care between the hospital and primary care or specialty management. Adventist Tillamook Medical Health Group will put high-speed data connectivity in each ambulance to support direct, real-time communication with the Rural Health Clinics (RHC). Hospital-based Community Paramedics (CP) will visit patients identified as at-risk for hospital readmission due to lack of post-discharge follow with a primary or specialty care provider. The CP will have the capability to communicate directly with the RHC's Care Coordinator, or provider to help individuals adequately manage their health care follow up from home.
Capitol Dental Care
Studies in other states have shown that a remotely located dentist, working with an Expanded Practice Dentist Hygienist (EPDH), who is seeing a patient at a different location, can collaboratively deliver quality dental care. Capitol Dental Care's pilot project will target approximately 1,500 children in the Central School District of Polk County, which includes three elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. Led by an EPDH, Capitol Dental Care will implement telehealth-connected oral health teams to reach children who have not been receiving dental care on a regular basis and to provide community-based dental diagnostic, prevention and early intervention services.
People living with HIV/AIDS who are newly diagnosed or those that have unsuppressed viral loads, co-morbidities, and/or other medication adherence issues have greater issues with drug interactions, side effects, and other medication adherences, resulting in poorer health outcomes. HIV Alliance's project aims to increase access to care for these persons in rural eastern and southern Oregon with collaborative practice agreements and telehealth technology. The pilot will proactively engage Pharmacists to be more directly involved with HIV specialists or primary care providers through collaborative practice agreements. These agreements will enable Pharmacists to: view and order labs for patients; assess a patient's current medication regimen;
identify problems in the regimen;
make changes to the regimen as needed and in consultation with the HIV specialist; and
provide regular education, consultations and follow-up monitoring with patients.
Oregon Health & Science University: Layton Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center
Currently, 80,000 Oregonians have dementia. One of the main goals of the State Plan for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias in Oregon (SPADO) is to increase access to dementia care. To meet this need, SPADO experts recommend expansion of telemedicine services across the state. The Layton Center's project will create a direct-to-home telemedicine program to: establish the reliability of standard measures of patient and caregiver well-being when used with telemedicine, and establish the feasibility and usability of direct-to-home video dementia care using telemedicine technology.
Trillium Family Services
Children in Secure Children's Inpatient (SCIP) and Secure Adolescent Inpatient (SAIP) programs can spend up to six months on a waitlist to see a Psychiatrist in their community, which is a requirement for discharge. For low-income children in rural areas, access to outpatient mental health services is a significant challenge. Trillium Family Services' project will improve access to mental health services for vulnerable children in rural Oregon by providing psychiatric assessments, follow-up and medication management via telehealth for approximately 80 children each year discharged from SCIP and SAIP programs and approximately 300 children in rural school settings who cannot effectively access outpatient psychiatry services.