All posts by Sarah Bonham

PIHOA – American Samoa

PIHOA – American Samoa

The 63rd Pacific Island Health Officers’ Association (PIHOA) executive board meeting was held on March 28th in American Samoa. Ginger Porter of the PBTRC attended the meeting in person and provided technical support. PBTRC co-director Christina Higa presented remotely via video teleconference as part of a telehealth panel. Her presentation covered the basics of telehealth and highlighted telehealth programs in the United States Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI). In addition to providing technical support at the meeting, during her time in American Samoa Ginger Porter also provided an overview of the Universal Services Administrative Company’s rural health care program.

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Telehealth Round-table Discussion

Telehealth Round-table Discussion

On March 28th, 2018, the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center facilitated a telehealth round-table discussion with Ms. Aisling McDonough.  Ms. McDonough recently became Senator Schatz’s health legislative assistant following the departure of Dr. Aimee Grace.  Approximately 18 participants from the community attended the round-table and provided Ms. McDonough with an overview and introduction to Hawaii’s telehealth landscape, activities, and initiatives.  Ms. McDonough explained the telehealth components in the 2018 budget agreement.  As part of the 2018 budget agreement, Medicare will pay for more telehealth services including: telehealth services to diagnose and treat a stroke (beginning in 2019); monthly clinical visits via telehealth for home dialysis patients (starting in 2019); allowing Medicaid advantage plans to offer telehealth more easily (beginning in 2020); and allowing some accountable care organizations to provide care to patients in their homes via telehealth (starting in 2020).

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