RFA for Participation in Rural School Based Health Centers for Pediatric Telehealth Program

RFA for Participation in Rural School Based Health Centers for Pediatric Telehealth Program

Now Recruiting Rural School-Based Health Centers:
Telehealth Strategies to Improve Pediatric Health Care
Applications due by January 19, 2017

School Based Health Centers (SBHC) have a critical role to play in reducing health disparities and meeting the needs of medically underserved children. Despite advances in healthcare coverage, largely through state Medicaid expansion, access to specialty care for children remains limited, especially in rural and other medically underserved regions of the country. In a national survey of 44 children’s hospitals, average wait times for pediatric subspecialists ranged from 5-13 weeks. Delays in access result in an increased emotional burden for the family, delays in diagnosis and delivery of appropriate therapy, and increased cost to the health system.

As part of the HRSA-funded School Based Health Center Telehealth initiative, Community Health Center, Inc. (CHCI) has funding to link rural school based providers with pediatric subspecialists in a wide range of disciplines through two telehealth programs: eConsults and Weitzman ECHO Complex Integrated Pediatrics. Participation in the program will last 2.5 years, beginning January 2018 through August 2020.

Electronic consultations (eConsults) are asynchronous, non-face-to-face consultations between a provider and a subspecialist that utilize secure messaging to exchange information. Clinical information sent by the PCP is reviewed and consult recommendations are returned within 2 business days, without requiring the patient to be seen in-person by the specialist. CHCI’s growing experience with this system has demonstrated that in many cases, clinical questions can be answered effectively and a care plan can be developed without patients needing to travel to see the specialist. This process allows more rapid access to needed care and quicker triage for patients that may still need face to face care with a specialist. The system is easy to use and requires no additional technology and minimum training. eConsults are now available in pediatric dermatology, cardiology, pulmonary, psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, endocrinology, and complex primary care.

Weitzman ECHO Complex Integrated Pediatrics connects primary care medical and behavioral health providers nationally with a multidisciplinary team of specialists in complex pediatric care. The Complex Integrated Pediatrics clinic uses twice-monthly videoconferencing sessions to explore a variety of topics designed to improve the quality of care and clinical outcomes for underserved children and adolescents. Specialists from Community Health Center, Inc., Connecticut Children’s Specialist Group, New England Regional Genetics Network, and the University of Connecticut present on key issues and provide recommendations on challenging cases posed by participants. The clinic is designed to emphasize the integration and collaboration between medical and behavioral health providers, reducing variations in care. Participants develop new clinical competencies and confidence with complex pediatric cases. The nine-month program addresses topics such as: asthma management and treatment; obesity; diabetes; suicide/self-harm; autism; and cardiology.

We invite you to submit an application for your SBHC to be a part of this exciting collaboration: https://www.weitzmaninstitute.org/rural-sbhc-app

We will be accepting applications until January 19, 2017 and applications will be reviewed within two weeks of submission. If you have questions about the project or application process, please contact Mandy Lamb by email [email protected] or phone 860-347-6971 ext. 3089.