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Private Practices, Payers, and Health IT Vendors Partner Together for CMS's Innovative CPC+ Program

Private Practices, Payers, and Health IT Vendors Partner Together for CMS's Innovative CPC+ Program

CMS just announced the innovative Comprehensive Primary Care Plus Program. This new five year program offers a unique way for primary care practices, payers, and health IT vendors to partner together to provide better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. For primary care practices, CMS will offer two possible tracks (Track 1 and Track 2) that both focus on continuity of care, care management, and comprehensiveness and coordination of care for the patients. Track 1 is for practices ready to build their services and Track 2 is for practices ready to increase the comprehensiveness of their services. Payment for services will move away from straight fee for service to a model based on quality of care, patient satisfaction, and outcomes. For...

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Guidelines for Video-Based Online Mental Health Services

Guidelines for Video-Based Online Mental Health Services

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) published practice guidelines for video-based online mental health services in May 2013. The ATA guidelines continue to be very relevant to any practitioner/group interested in starting an online video-based presence. Reviewing clinical considerations and understanding your own ethical and legal responsibilities is one of the first steps to becoming an educated video-based online mental health provider. Clinical areas for considerations according to the ATA are: Professional and Patient Identity and Location Patient Appropriateness for Videoconferencing-based Telemental Health Informed Consent Physical Environment Communication and Collaboration with the Patient’s Treatment Team Emergency Management Medical Issues Referral Resources It is recommended that you review the fully published document published by the ATA detailing the guidelines for video-based online...

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President Obama Announces ConnectALL Initiative to provide Broadband & Access to Technology for All Americans

President Obama Announces ConnectALL Initiative to provide Broadband & Access to Technology for All Americans

“The Administration has submitted its recommendation that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reform a $1.5 billion per year Reagan-era phone subsidy program to turn it into a 21st Century national broadband subsidy to help low-income Americans get online”. Technology connectivity is essential to access knowledge, resources and tele-health treatment. The implementation of country wide Broadband access will help to provide access to tele- health services to those with needs, any place, any time and on any device across America and at all income levels. This is a great step forward, but let’s not stop there! We must continue to advocate for new licensing laws that allow all professional licensed practitioners to practice across state lines. This is important for the...

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Ever wonder how new ideas and projects get born? Here is the story behind VTConnect!

Ever wonder how new ideas and projects get born? Here is the story behind VTConnect!

In 2009 Dr. Martha Ireland decided to relocate her established private psychotherapy practice of more than 20 years to another state in order to be closer to her family. Although the move was for a good reason, Dr. Ireland worried about her patients and spent a lot of time weighing her decision. How would her patients react to transitioning to a new clinician? Would her patients feel abandoned by her move and regress in their recovery? Would they cancel therapy altogether following her move? The therapeutic relationship is extremely important for recovery and it takes time be established. If possible, she wanted to preserve the relationships with her clients. Her son-in-law, an IT security professional, and her daughter, VTC co-founder...

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How to Select a Virtual Platform for Your Mental Health Practice

How to Select a Virtual Platform for Your Mental Health Practice

Just as customers drive demand for goods in the marketplace, clients drive the demand for services when it comes to mental health treatment options. One service option clients are demanding at an increasing rate is the ability to connect virtually with their provider from a distance via a video session. So ready or not, the time is now for you to select a video-teleconferencing platform for your practice. But before you commit to a particular solution, there are a variety of factors you need to evaluate. Most importantly, select a platform using your clinical knowledge and business expertise. Is the technology platform HIPAA and HiTech compliant? Will the platform provider sign a Business Associates Agreement (BAA) with you? This is...

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