Greetings Northwest Region:
PHE Has Come To An End: What Now?

The Biden administration announced that the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ended on May 11, 2023. The end of the PHE means multiple federal regulatory waivers and flexibilities will end, affecting telehealth.

Click here for the NRTRC's End-Of-The PHE Compliance Check List to learn what this means for telehealth.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Temporary Telemedicine Extension Updates

The latest news and summary on the DEA’s final regulations on telehealth prescribing of controlled substances:

  • “...states that a practitioner and patient have a ‘‘telemedicine relationship established via COVID–19 telemedicine prescribing flexibilities’’ if the practitioner issued the patient a prescription for controlled medications pursuant to the telemedicine flexibilities that were available during the COVID–19 PHE and extended through November 11, 2023 by this temporary rule.”

  • “...provides for a partial extension of those telehealth flexibilities through November 11, 2024, but only with respect to patients with whom the prescribing practitioner has a telemedicine relationship established via COVID–19 telemedicine prescribing flexibilities on or before November 11, 2023.”

  • “...describes the conditions which must be met for practitioners to issue prescriptions” - no change from what was in place during the COVID-19 PHE. See the full text of the temporary rule for the list of conditions."
Thank You TeleBehavioral Health Summit Participants
Thank you to every one who presented, attended and moderated the successful inaugural 2023BHISummit!

The Summit educated over 1600 attendees from all 50 states and 14 different countries!

In case you missed The Summit, presentation recordings and PowerPoint slides are now available on the Harborview Behavioral Health Institute’s website.

(Unfortunately, CME credits are not available for recorded presentations)
Updates to the Telebehavioral Health 101 Course

The Behavioral Health Institute, Telebehavioral Health 101 online training sessions 1 & 4 have been updated with telehealth and telebehavioral policy changes as the PHE is rescinded.

Keep your eye out for the NRTRC’s annual telehealth survey coming to your inbox June of 2023!
News You Can Use
  • The Office for the Advancement of Telehealth highlighted an excellent resource offering suggestions for conducting a high-quality telehealth visit.
  • Rural Broadband Access and Telehealth Use During the Pandemic: Researchers compared county-level data on broadband capacity with telehealth use among Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries from January through September 2020. The association between broadband access and telehealth utilization and the decreased telehealth utilization in rural areas highlight the importance of broadband access for healthcare access and the need to continue investing in broadband infrastructure to promote equitable healthcare access across populations.

  • Telehealth has emerged as a cost-effective and extremely popular addition to in-person care for a wide range of patient needs. A recent survey revealed that 69% of Americans prefer telehealth to in-person care because of its convenience. To help your healthcare organization achieve its goals and get the most out of your telehealth program, we’ve identified five critical components that will help you to expand your program and navigate the latest telehealth rules and regulations.

  • Is your practice interested in improving the cancer diagnostic process in the telemedicine and hybrid environments? The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is recruiting practices for a free 18-month program to improve diagnostic verification, timeliness and communication with patients. Practices will receive training and one-on-one expert coaching to implement sustainable improvements to close the loop at critical points in the cancer diagnostic process, which has the potential to prevent harm associated with missed or delayed diagnoses. Participants will also be eligible for CEUs, CMEs, and ABIM MOC points. Learn more and sign up for an informational webinar on the program website:
Upcoming Events & Webinars
A Novel Approach to the Behavioral Health Workforce Expansion Grant: The Arizona Center for Rural Health will discuss three goals of the grant, all of which aim to expand the number of behavioral health professionals in rural and underserved areas. May 18, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Indigenous Connectivity Summit 2023: Indigenous community leaders will discuss challenges to provide broadband access for Native American communities. Registration is closed, but prospective attendees can register for the waitlist. May 22-24 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Internet For All: Utah Broadband Confluence: The Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity, Utah Broadband Center and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will hold a day-long workshop in Provo to will bring together stakeholders to discuss coordination on broadband efforts as the state prepares its strategic five-year broadband plan. June 7

UETN Tech Summit: Registration is now open for this year’s gathering of technology professionals working in K-20+ education and healthcare. June 14-15
Events to Bookmark in 2023
7th Annual ConVerge2Xclerate (#ConV2X) AI & Tech in Telehealth and Medicine: Partners in Digital Health produces this annual conference to advance the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare. Sept. 22, in New Orleans, LA. Call for Speakers.

APHA 2023: The American Public Health Association will hold its annual meeting and expo, Nov. 12–15, in Atlanta, GA.
Do you provide health care or services via telehealth?  

Telehealth Triumphs
Many thanks to the NRTRC with help and resources regarding telehealth and the end of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency declaration! 

As a brand new Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner negotiating the confusing change in rules regarding prescribing and telehealth, I turned to NRTRC for help after having been introduced to this trusted resource during an immersion at Gonzaga University. 

As a student and new PMHNP, I have witnessed the importance of telehealth in increasing access to mental health care. I feel confident beginning my practice with the support of NRTRC to assist with my telehealth questions.
Telehealth Resources

  • Emergency Declarations: Utah is the only state in the Northwest Region still under an emergency declaration because of the COVID pandemic. It is set to expire when the national PHE expires.

  • Research: current research opportunities, research articles and survey results.
Grant Funding Opportunities

  • Refer to the funding page on the NRTRC website for updated grant opportunities.

NRTRC’s 2022 11th Annual Telehealth Conference video sessions are free to view. If you were unable to attend, or want to watch your favorite sessions again, visit NRTRC’s YouTube page.
Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center
“This publication was made possible by grant number UiUTH42531-01 from the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, Health Resources and Services Administration, DHHS”