Building on a previous announcement regarding COVID re-opening, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced today that their states will be working together on telehealth issues. From the press release:
“To ensure that the nation benefits from our knowledge as changes to federal regulations are contemplated, to support continued application and availability of telehealth in our states, and to ensure that we address the inequities faced in particular by tribal communities and communities of color, we are announcing that Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington have agreed to work together to identify best practices that support telehealth services for residents of our states. We will have individual state-driven approaches to implementing telehealth policies, but our work will be guided by seven overarching principles:
1. Access: Telehealth should be used as a means to promote adequate, culturally responsive, patient-centered equitable access to health care, and to ensure provider network adequacy.
2. Confidentiality: Patient confidentiality should be protected, and patients should provide informed consent to receive care and the specific technology used to provide it.
3. Equity: We will focus on improving equitable access to providers and addressing inequities and disparities in care. Telehealth should be available to every member, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, income, class, disability, immigration status, nationality, religious belief, language proficiency or geographic location.
4. Standard of Care: Standard of care requirements should apply to all services and information provided via telehealth, including quality, utilization, cost, medical necessity and clinical appropriateness.
5. Stewardship: Our states will require the use of evidence-based strategies for the delivery of quality care, and will take steps to mitigate and address fraud, waste, discriminatory barriers and abuse.
6. Patient choice: Patients, in conjunction with their providers, should be offered their choice of service delivery mode. Patients should retain the right to receive health care in person.
7. Payment/reimbursement: Reimbursement for services provided via telehealth modalities will be considered in the context of individual state’s methods of reimbursement.”
Today, Governor Sisolak announced the appointment of Alan Cunningham as the State Chief Information Officer. As CIO, Cunningham will set and execute the strategic direction of state information technology. Cunningham has served as the Washoe County School District’s Information Security Officer since 2016, following a 14-year IT career in the private sector. He is a certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) with extensive experience in cyber security operations, disaster recovery, business continuity planning, and policy and strategic planning.
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