Regional Telehealth Resource Center

Grants and Contracts Details


The University of Kentucky's (UK) Telehealth program, the Kentucky Telecare Network, has unique expertise that will contribute to the synergy developed by the University of Virginia and the regional partners involved in this resource center application.. Kentucky's Telehealth initiative was launched at UK in 1995 and this initial eastern-Kentucky centric program became a statewide, legislatively mandated program in 2000 with the passage of legislation that created the Kentucky TeleHealth Network (KTHN). Kentucky now has over 250 healthcare facilities equipped with interactive videoconference technology, including all three medical schools, urban medical centers, rural hospitals, rural health clinics, public health departments, state health agencies, public school clinics, state psychiatric hospitals and community mental health centers .. Kentucky is able to share the following areas of expertise that should be of great interest to other Telehealth programs: 1. State legislation to mandate Medicaid and commercial insurance reimbursement for Te/ehealth and the development of a statewide Te/ehealth initiative" Kentucky's Telehealth initiative, like many other states was launched from a University Medical Center at the University of Kentucky.. Before 2000, the network developed as a very eastern-Kentucky-centric program, primarily serving the traditional UK catchment area, and the western half of the state was not serviced by Telehealth technology. Another problem was that while Medicare had begun to recognize some Telehealth services as eligible for reimbursement, for both the professional and facility fee, Kentucky's Medicaid program refused to consider Telehealth as a reimbursable service. As a result, commercial health insurance companies in Kentucky refused to recognize Telehealth as a reimbursable service .. In mid-1999, Kentucky TeleCare approached the joint House/Senate Health & Welfare Committee to explain the problem that while the Kentucky TeleCare Network was well developed in the eastern half of the state, the legislator's rural constituents would never enjoy the benefits of Telehealth if the state would not mandate that Medicaid and commercial health insurance companies reimburse Telehealth encounters the same as a traditional in-person health encounter. One member of the Kentucky House or Representatives agreed to lead the effort to pursue new legislation and over the next several months, Telehealth stakeholders were recruited to provide input and legislation was crafted to be submitted in the 2000 legislative session .. The legislation was passed and several key problems were addressed, including: 1) Medicaid was mandated to reirnburse for Telehealth encounters, 2) Commercial health insurance companies were mandated to reimburse for Telehealth encounters, 3) $1.2M was allocated to expand Telehealth to the western half of the state, 4) A Telehealth Board of Directors was instituted to oversee the work of the Telehealth network and 5) Four Telehealth Training Centers were developed to promote the expanded use of Telehealth throughout the Commonwealth. Many Telehealth programs struggle to expand their organizational program into a true statewide resource, including the integration of other Telehealth programs in the state. Kentucky has been a national leader in the development of legislation that creates a collaborative relationship between organizations that are normally adversarial, mandating Medicaid and Commercial Health Insurance reimbursement for Telehealth and creating a statewide dialing plan makes seamless connections between nearly 1500 videoconference systems in healthcare, K-12 schools, higher education, state government offices and other facilities.
Effective start/end date9/1/118/31/12


  • University of Virginia: $17,250.00


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