gpTRAC Annual Telehealth Conference 2017

Our 2017 conference was a fantastic success.  Thanks to all who contributed to this effort!

Presentations from the conference:

Stewart Ferguson – Do we need Telehealth Programs

Jonathan Neufeld – Reimbursement

Tammy Hatting Avera eCARE AveraNow April 2017

Maureen Idecker Heart Failure Presentation

Marsha Waind – Long Term Care Delivery

Robert Schwab MD – Complex Specialty Care

Cara Towle – UW TelePain-PACC-ECHO

Reinventing the Rural Healthcare System

Marketplace has a fascinating look at recent research into the healthcare systems in several rural states, including four in the gpTRAC region.

In the study, researchers analyzed the barriers to effective and comprehensive health care available to residents.  The study’s authors identified four ongoing health care challenges: access to hospitals, the restructuring of health care funding mechanisms, building and supporting the medical workforce, and expanding access to telemedicine technologies.

Read the story here:

Healthcare IT News Compares 11 Telehealth Platforms

Healthcare IT News just published a very nice piece providing an overview (from company’s perspective) of 11 popular telehealth platforms.  This is coming from the platform vendors themselves, so take it for what it’s worth.  But it’s a nice little overview of how these platforms see themselves (or want to be seen).

You can read the comparison here:


Funding now available for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs)

This past summer, Congress passed Legislation  deeming skilled nursing facilities eligible for Rural Health Care (RHC) Program funding.  If you are a Skilled Nursing Facility or an organization that works closely with SNFs we strongly encourage you to participate on an upcoming introductory webinar offered by USAC on January 17.  You will have an opportunity to ask questions and get more detailed information about this program.

Through the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program, $400M per year is available to health care providers for reduced rates on telecommunications services and broadband access! By participating, health care providers can save an average of 65% on eligible services. 

During this webinar, you’ll learn about the funding available through the RHC Healthcare Connect Fund and Telecom Programs, the differences between the programs, how to apply, and tips for successful participation. 

Is your organization or a health care provider you work with eligible? Click here to check: (HCF Program) and (Telecom Program).

Please click here to register for the webinar.

HRSA grant opportunity

The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) is soliciting applications for the Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program (“Network Planning”). The purpose for this program is to assist in the development of an integrated health care network, in order to: a) achieve efficiencies; b) expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services and c) to strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. The project period is June 2017 through May 31, 2018.  The application Due Date is January 3, 2017

For more information please click here

Telemedicine at the Minnesota State Fair….coming up!

Again, this year, gpTRAC, will be demonstrating telemedicine at the Minnesota State Fair. If you plan to visit the fair, please come and join us to experience telemedicine or if you have a skin spot that you need an opinion from a dermatologist or just stop and say “hello”. We will be located inside the University of Minnesota building, which is located on Dan Patch Avenue, at the fair, next to the Food building. We have scheduled seven telemedicine sessions which will be connected to seven dermatologists from the community who will be educating fairgoers about their skin condition and providing some very valuable advice. This is a FREE program.  We hope to see you at the fair!

Scheduled teledermatology sessions:

Saturday, August 27, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Tuesday, August 30, 12:00-02:00 p.m. (two sessions, 1-hour ea)

Thursday, September 1, 06:00-07:00 p.m.

Friday, September 2, 09:00-10:00 a.m.

Saturday, September 3, 09:00-10:45 a.m.

Monday, September 5, 12:00-01:00 p.m.



One of the nation’s largest regional health plans in the Midwest has launched a multi-year program to monitor and treat their Medicare populations with heart failure, pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes.  This program will monitor patients in their own homes to promote patient engagement, improve patient outcomes and prevent costly and burdensome re-admissions. The remote monitoring and management of these patients is provided by AMC Health, a leading provider of virtual care solutions. AMC’s Bluetooth-enabled devices will allow patients to report their daily biometric measurements, such a weight, blood pressure, heart rate, glucose levels, and inhaled medication use. The patient data along with behavioral and symptom information will be transmitted to a secure cloud-based clinical platform which utilizes a sophisticated analytics engine to alert the care team to patient’s emerging health issues so the care team can prioritize outreach to the right patients before these issues become serious problems. AMC Health’s team of registered nurses (RNs)  will monitor and provide the support to patients with an alert status and they will act as an extension of the health plan’s care management teams.  In addition, AMC Health will focus on specific gaps in care to support the health plan’s commitment to clinical quality and STAR ratings.