Mario Gutierrez, MPH
Mario Gutierrez is director of the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP).
Gutierrez brings more than 30 years of experience in California’s non-profit health and health philanthropy sectors. Prior to joining CCHP, Gutierrez served as a program director with The California Endowment for 12 years, where he led several major health care initiatives, including its 10-year, $20 million investment in telehealth deployment throughout California. He also served as The Endowment’s lead for Rural and Agricultural Worker Health Programs and Policy.
Gutierrez is Chairman of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) Rural Human Services Advisory Panel, which provides agencies of the federal government with policy analysis and recommendations to promote livable rural communities. Gutierrez also has extensive experience in global health policy, with a special emphasis on Mexico and Latin America.
Gutierrez serves on the Board of Directors of the California State Rural Health Association, a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization that works to improve the health of rural Californians and the quality and accessibility of the heath care they receive.
Gutierrez received his master’s degree in public health from the University of California. In recognition of his achievements, Gutierrez received the prestigious 2007 Terrance Keenan National Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy.
Advancing Policy Options for Sustainability and Spread of eConsult
To produce and disseminate a recommended electronic consultation (eConsult) reimbursement model for California to accelerate its spread and sustainability as a means for improving access to quality specialty care for the underserved.
Analysis of Expansion of Tele-ICU in Rural Areas
The Center for Connected Health Policy will provide the New England Healthcare Institute with strategic advising and policy analysis with respect to expanding Tele-ICU in rural areas. CCHP will research and identify potential policy challenges, provide information on potential sites, and assist in the identification and assessment of available Tele-ICU technology and potential sources of public/private support.
Continued Funding of the Center for Connected Health Policy
The Center will continue leading the California Telehealth Policy Coalition, including work with the Dept. of Health Care Services on telehealth in the Medi-Cal program, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development and the legislature. Building on its work related to telehealth and its impact on the Triple Aim to pursue greater integration of telehealth into health care systems, with an emphasis on increasing access to quality care for the underserved, the project will identify and address emerging telehealth policy, regulatory and legal issues.
Developing a Roadmap for eConsult Sustainability
To conduct a comprehensive policy and practice scan of the eConsult model, and produce a roadmap for California to further its use and sustainability as a means for improving access to quality specialty care for the underserved.
Electronic Consult Spring Forum
To gather payers, providers, policymakers and leaders in connected health technology in a forum to discuss current eConsult and related telehealth reimbursement policies and practices, hear how successful pilot programs in California and across the country are testing payment models for eConsult, and discuss how to advance the spread of eConsult in California.
National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
CCHP continues to serve as the National Telehealth Policy Resource Center (NTRC-P) as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). In this capacity, CCHP provides individualized telehealth policy assistance to 12 regional Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs). The NTRC-P serves as a national center of excellence on telehealth policy for TRCs, HRSA grantees, and key telehealth industry constituencies across the United States.
Policy Component – VDOT for TB
This project sets out to improve the policy and reimbursement environment for using telehealth to control tuberculosis and other infectious diseases in California. Its primary focus is to assess and recommend policies governing use and reimbursement of telehealth. A companion UC San Diego funding proposal would implement asynchronous Video Direct Observational Therapy (VDOT) in 6 urban and rural counties with a high TB incidence.
State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies
CCHP makes monthly updates to a 50-state scan of telehealth laws and reimbursement policies, including both established and pending legislation. Visit the interactive State Policy Map to learn more about state and federal telehealth policy developments.
Teledermatology in California & Its Role in Medi-Cal
The purpose of this project is to determine the current state of teledermatology in California assessing provider demographics, existing practice models, and perceived barriers to teledermatology practice, specifically as these issues relate to Medi-Cal financed healthcare delivery.
Telehealth and the Safety-Net: A Critical Analysis of Cost and Quality of Care
This Blue Shield of California Foundation-funded project will assess the true cost of telehealth-delivered services in federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). After gathering baseline cost data on a select group of California-based FQHCs, CCHP will partner with the California Telehealth Resource Center to develop individualized technical assistance and telehealth program optimization plans for each clinic. Clinic costs and savings, which will be tracked during a year-long implementation of the plans, will help answer key questions around telehealth, such as potential savings, cost efficiencies and other benefits.
Telehealth and Triple Aim Research Work Group and Symposium
With the help of an expert advisory panel, CCHP is creating a thorough database of telehealth research and pilot projects to date. The compiled body of knowledge, consisting of a field-wide literature search, catalog of best practice case studies and series of interviews, will be used to: identify, organize and present the current body of evidence on telehealth use; identify research gaps and best research study methods to determine telehealth’s effectiveness on the Triple Aim; and further substantiate field-tested benefits and limitations to telehealth use.
Telehealth Consulation Review
The Center for Connected Health Policy will examine whether a telehealth interaction can be considered legal and adequate to secure surgical authorization from a patient’s insurance company prior to his/her surgery.
Telehealth Legislative Staff Site Visit
CCHP will provide a forum for key policymakers and staff to increase their understanding of telehealth in California. It will highlight the potential of telehealth to increase access, quality, and efficiency; to serve low income Californians receiving care through public programs; and to improve urban and rural care delivery.
Telehealth Policy Coalition and Subcommittee
CCHP provides management and direction for the Telehealth Policy Coalition and Subcommittee, which consults with CCHP to advance telehealth policy in California.
Telehealth’s Impact on the Triple Aim Research Symposium
The Center for Connected Health Policy will conduct a symposium to collect, organize and objectively present the current body of evidence supporting telehealth's contributions to the Triple Aim in an effort to explore and eliminate the barriers that hinder the expanded use of telehealth.
The Children’s Partnership Project
The Center assists in conducting research related to children with special needs, including their health care and other service needs, the systems that serve them, and how their health care and other services are paid for, with a focus on California. The program also conducts research related to California’s telehealth reimbursement policies for services for children with special needs.
The Use of Telehealth for Serving the Undocumented; a Landscape Assessment
While there is serious interest in the use of telehealth technologies to transcend the current geo-political barriers in California and Mexico for the provision of needed primary and secondary care for the underserved undocumented Mexican immigrant population, there are a number of legal, financial, technological, and cultural questions that will need to be understood and addressed before proceeding. In addition, there are a number of potential resources on both sides of the border that can contribute to possible solutions that will need to be identified and assessed.
Over the course of six months, CCHP and its project partners will frame the dimensions of the issue and gather information that describe the degree of interest for utilizing telehealth to serve this population; identify and describe the barriers to implementation; and offer promising models that incorporate telehealth technologies along with resource opportunities for achieving desired change.