Advocacy & Public Policy
KUCTT faculty and personnel are active in trying to advance telehealth and health information technology policies in Kansas to create a sustainable environment for telehealth practices. Over the last several years, team members have participated in numerous statewide committees and workgroups on such topics as reimbursement, tele-mental health, ECHO, pain management, and many others. A few examples of KUCTT's advocacy efforts are provided below.
KUCTT has particularly focused on improving insurance reimbursement for telehealth consultations in Kansas, working with state Medicaid officials in late 2001 until a Medicaid policy became effective in 2004, and private insurers over many years culminating in the Kansas Telemedicine Law in 2018. Dr. Ryan Spaulding was an active member of the Kansas Telemedicine Task Force which was Chaired by the Kansas Insurance Commissioner and designed for reviewing telemedicine reimbursement policy in Kansas, implementing expanded reimbursement and responding to evolving telehealth applications. More recently, Dr. Shawna Wright testified to the Kansas Legislature in 2018 as a private telemedicine provider about telemedicine reimbursement in Kansas and the need for expanded coverage.
KUCTT Project ECHO personnel have also worked extensively on ECHO advocacy and support.
Carla Deckert (below) was invited to join ECHO representatives from around the country to participate in the inaugural ECHO Hill Day, June 4, 2019, in Washington, DC. In addition to policy discussions, participants met with their congressional delegation to share their individual ECHO stories of helping enhance health care services for people in rural and underserved areas. Melanie Simpson, RN, Ph.D., from the KU Health System - who has served on multiple KUMC ECHO expert panels - joined these meetings sharing insights, lessons learned and the importance of expanding the ECHO model in Kansas. Kansas Representative Steve Watkins from the 2nd District and Representative Sharice Davids from the 3rd District took time to personally find out more about KUMC ECHO's ability to impact their constituents, Kansas and the nation.
If you have any questions or suggestions about telehealth or HIT policies, please contact KUCTT at 913.588.2226.
Dr. Melanie Simpson (left) and Carla Deckert (center) from The University of Kansas Medical Center meet with Rep. Sharice Davids (right) in Washington, D.C.
Carla Deckert (left) and Dr. Melanie Simpson (right) meet with Rep. Steve Watkins (center) in Washington, D.C.