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It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week––State Agency Highlights that Hospital Stays for Treatment Exceeded One Million Days during 2018

October 09, 2019

Since 1990, the first full week of October has been dedicated as Mental Illness Awareness Week. A new research brief highlights the number of hospital stays for behavioral health treatment, as HAP advocates for expanded access to care.

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Innovative Rural Health Model, Legislation Advances

September 24, 2019

Yesterday, legislation aimed at improving the financial stability of rural hospitals cleared another legislative hurdle and was voted out of the House Health Committee. Senate Bill 314, sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker (R–Luzerne), would establish the Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center (RHRC), which would serve as the governing body of the new Rural Health Model, which began January 1, 2019, and was formally announced during March.

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Telehealth in Spotlight at Broadband Hearing

September 04, 2019

The Senate Communications and Technology Committee held the second in a series of hearings on the lack of broadband in rural Pennsylvania. A heath care leader spoke about the importance of telehealth.

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New Study Looks at National Progress on Expanding Telehealth Coverage and Reimbursement

July 29, 2019

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) recently issued a report stating that more states than ever are taking steps to expand telehealth coverage and reimbursement.

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New Proposal Seeks to Fund Broadband to Boost Telemedicine in Rural Areas

July 16, 2019

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced that it is seeking comment about its proposed Connected Care Pilot, a program that would help address a key barrier to implementing telemedicine in some rural areas—broadband access.

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The Challenges of Cancer Care in Rural Communities

July 01, 2019

As part of its efforts to understand and address cancer health disparities, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASOC) examined the cancer incidence and mortality in urban and rural areas. 

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Survey Highlights the Benefits of Telehealth in Rural Communities

June 24, 2019

A recent survey by National Public Radio (NPR), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health sheds new light on the struggles rural families face with affordability and accessibility of vital health care services.

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Pennsylvania House Adopts Resolution Authorizing Study of State’s Behavioral Health Needs

June 04, 2019

This week, the state House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution to help lawmakers better understand the behavioral health needs of Pennsylvania’s patients, beginning with the impact of behavioral health holds in emergency departments. 

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Study on Emergency Departments and Behavioral Health Clears First Hurdle; PA Hospital Community Encouraged to Show Support

May 17, 2019

This week, the House Health Committee considered HAP-supported House Resolution 268 to study the impact of the Commonwealth’s mental and behavioral health treatment capacity. Members of Pennsylvania’s hospital community are encouraged to sign a petition urging lawmakers to support the resolution.

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Study Finds Telemedicine Visits Generate Cost Savings

May 13, 2019

According to a study by Thomas Jefferson University, published in this month’s The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, patients using the health system’s telemedicine platform generated cost savings by diverting patients from more expensive care settings.

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National Hospital Week Celebrates Pennsylvania Hospitals

May 08, 2019

Lawmakers in Harrisburg have unanimously adopted companion resolutions recognizing National Hospital Week, which will take place May 12–18, 2019.

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AHRQ: Telehealth Consultations Can Improve Access, Outcomes, and Patient Satisfaction While Reducing Utilization

May 03, 2019

Is there evidence that telehealth consultations help providers improve acute and chronic care? An extensive review and synthesis of 233 articles—culled from more than 9,000 abstracts and a review of more than 1,000 full-text research studies examining the clinical and cost effectiveness of telehealth—indicate that they do.

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Barriers in Delivering Health Care, Expanding Telemedicine Highlighted at Annual Rural Pennsylvania Legislative Briefing

May 02, 2019

At an event yesterday hosted by Pennsylvania state Representative Kathy Rapp (R-65), state Senator Michele Brooks (R-50), and Lisa Davis, director, Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, Dr. Frederick Bloom, president, Guthrie Medical Group, presented testimony before a number of legislators and staff. Dr. Bloom highlighted the significant barriers to access to care brought about by the lack of connectivity to broadband Internet.

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Medicare Advantage Enrollees May Have More Access to Telehealth Services

April 17, 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a final rule updating the Medicare Advantage program to allow for innovative plan design and more choices for patients. The popularity of Medicare Advantage plans has been on the rise and new flexibilities, including additional telehealth and nontraditional benefits will likely continue this trend. 

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Pennsylvania Highlighted for Rural Health Care Innovation

April 10, 2019

The transformative changes hospitals and health systems face are front and center at this year’s American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Meeting. During an executive session centered on rural issues, Pennsylvania’s hospitals were highlighted for their innovative work through the Rural Health Model.

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