Northwest Health Foundation awarded $260,000 in grants for $10,000 each to provide general operating support to organizations engaged in healthcare reform activities. The Telehealth Alliance of Oregon (TAO) was named one of the recipients. TAO will use some of the funds to continue to advocate with healthcare providers, insurance companies, and associations such as Oregon Health Network, O-Hitech, HITOC, the Office of Rural Health, and the Community College Health Education Alliance for ways to help the healthcare system in the state reach specific goals.
They plan is to ask state officials to:
• Work on telemedicine reimbursement issues at the state and federal levels
• Support credentialing and privileging of telemedicine providers
• Provide information to organizations tasked with assisting providers with the implementation of HIT
• Share resources with other HIT organizations to help create shared strategies for efficient and effective access to healthcare services and information
• Promote telehealth strategies to deliver healthcare to contain costs and increase access to care especially in rural areas
TAO also plans to work with the Oregon Health Network to develop a resource directory of all the state and federal resources for health information technology that will include telehealth resources. The information will be available at no charge to healthcare providers, healthcare educators, state agencies, and policy makers.