Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Program

Center for Connected Health Policy

The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is the federally designated national telehealth policy resource center. CCHP provides technical assistance, education and creates resources and materials related to telehealth policy and consults frequently with federal and state policymakers, health plans, providers, national organizations and others.

Program Director(s)

Mei Wa Kwong

Program Site

cchpca.org

Projects

California Telehealth Policy Coalition

CCHP convenes the California Telehealth Policy Coalition, a collaboration of over 70 statewide organizations who are invested in state telehealth policy. As the convener, CCHP chairs Coalition meetings, oversees creating of materials and facilitates interactions with state and federal policymakers.

FQHC Delivery of MAT Services Via Telehealth

CCHP has received funding from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation to conduct research on policy changes that need to be made in order for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to utilize telehealth to address the opioid crisis. Policy obstacles FQHCs face in implementing a telehealth MAT program will be chronicled by examining a sampling of states where there are high incidents of OUD and have recently received federal funding to address the crisis.

National Telehealth Policy Resource Center

CCHP acts as the federally designated National Telehealth Policy Resource Center providing technical assistance on telehealth policy issues. Among the work CCHP does, it also authored and updates twice a year a 50 state compendium of telehealth laws, Medicaid policies and regulations. Staffed by nationally recognized telehealth policy experts, CCHP is frequently consulted by federal and state policymakers, health plans, national organizations and others.


Here's How We're Making a Difference

Advancing Telehealth Policy across the Country

The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) at the Public Health Institute is as a state and national leader in developing and promoting policies to lower cost of and improve access to care through broader adoption of telehealth or “connected health” technologies. 

As the federally designated National Telehealth Policy Resource Center, CCHP provides policy technical assistance, legislative tracking, and policy analyses to twelve regional telehealth policy resource centers nationwide, as well as the general public. As part of this work, CCHP tracks and publishes State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Program Policies, which offers policymakers, health advocates, and other interested health care professionals a detailed compendium of state telehealth laws, regulations and Medicaid policies. For example, their Fall 2019 tracking revealed that all fifty states and Washington, DC provide reimbursement for some form of live video in Medicaid fee-for-service.

Considered one of the foremost experts on telehealth policy, CCHP has on staff some of the most knowledgeable telehealth policy experts in the United States, and its resources have been utilized by government agencies, the media, researchers and all sectors of the telehealth field. Thanks to CCHP's materials, consultation and guidance, state and federal policymakers are able to craft better telehealth policy—helping to increase access to quality care for populations that need it most. CCHP has helped shaped Medicaid and Medicare by highlighting gaps and conflicting issues in existing policy, and their staff have provided expert assistance to legislators in states across the country including California, Nebraska, Utah, and Nevada. 

Expanding Telehealth Services in California

Recommendations by PHI’s Center for Connected Health Policy became the blueprint for California’s Telehealth Advancement Act of 2011. The act removes barriers, allowing the use of digital technologies to deliver a variety of health services. This can speed treatment for patients, eliminate the need for patient travel, improve communication among providers and lead to better care at a lower cost.

 

 

Exploring Policy Options for Advancing the Sustainability and Spread of eConsult

In 2017, PHI's Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) produced and disseminated a recommended electronic consultation (eConsult) reimbursement model for the state of California. The goal was to support and accelerate the spread and sustainability of eConsult as a means for improving access to quality specialty care for the underserved. CCHP hosted a forum of policymakers, health plans and provider organizations to disseminate and gain input on the current findings and recommendations, as well as to establish a common baseline of understanding among diverse stakeholders.

CCHP is helping to advance a recommended reimbursement model with steps to achieve legislative and regulatory changes, and/or new reimbursement policies that can account for eConsult visits, and develop and implement an impact measurement framework and participate in technical assistance and joint learning activities.

Policy Recommendations for Using Telehealth to Manage and Control TB

Recognizing the potential role that telehealth can play in effectively monitoring TB patients’ daily intake of their medication, PHI’s Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is helping to improve the policy and reimbursement environment for the use of telehealth for the management and control of tuberculosis (TB) and other infectious diseases. Working with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), which implemented a pilot program using asynchronous Video Directly Observed Therapy (VDOT) in five urban and rural counties with a high incidence of TB, CCHP explored potential barriers and opportunities to employing technology to deliver online DOT (eDOT) in treating TB in the state of California and released evidence-based policy recommendations. Read the final brief.

Prior to this project, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had not updated their guidelines regarding DOT or made any inclusion for the use of telehealth in administering it. However as a direct result of this project, the CDC is now creating a toolkit that will incorporate telehealth in the administration of DOT to treat tuberculosis, and launching a New York City-based pilot project to that will look at the efficacy of using telehealth to deliver DOT. In California, the California TB Controllers Association has updated the telehealth DOT guidelines for the State to now incorporate VDOT for the first time. The California Department of Public Health has also approved the guidelines, and they are now publicly available with the joint endorsement of these two entities.

Virtually Connecting Patients to Care

Incorporating telehealth modalities of care into community health center practices can be the key to ensuring timely access to the increased demand for specialty care amongst the newly insured in California, and across the country. The Center for Connected Health Policy’s Specialty Care Safety Net Initiative (SCSNI) used telehealth to connect patients in rural and urban medically underserved communities with health specialists in six high-need disciplines. 

Over the span of three years, SCSNI clinics successfully referred over 3,000 patients for specialty care in offices as far as 600 miles apart. The Center for Connected Health Policy also identified ten keys to success that help clinics to successfully establish, integrate, and use telehealth to increase patient access to specialty care.

Learn more about the project and read the report.