As Telehealth Grows Tremendously,Behavioral Health Stays Dominant Patients using telehealth have increased tenfold since 2010 among Missouri Medicaid users, and the vast majority of them continue to receive behavioral health services. The growth of telehealth in Missouri is attributed to state telehealth laws in 2016 and 2018 that allow any licensed or registered professional to provide telehealth services, as well as rapid improvements in telecommunications technology that became widely accepted by patients and providers. Behavioral health was among the first services provided by telehealth because videoconferencing was easily applied to conversations between patients and providers. While many other care specialties have subsequently used telehealth, behavioral health has remained dominant due in part to the need for substance abuse treatment and suicide prevention. Reference: MO HealthNet claims data accessed through the MU MO HealthNet Data Project, a collaboration of MO HealthNet, the Center for Health Policy, and the Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis at the University of Missouri. Data analyzed by project staff and the Missouri Telehealth Network. Click here for a National Public Radio story on the Missouri telehealth data. Show-Me ECHO EnhancesDiagnosis of Skin Conditions A two-year study found that Show-Me ECHO’s Dermatology project provided participating primary care providers with expert recommendations that benefited nearly 84 percent of adult cases and 72 percent of pediatric cases. “This program breaks the mold,” said study co-author Jonathan Dyer, MD, professor and interim chair of dermatology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. “These are real cases and real-life discussions. We believe this project will help doctors take the cases presented and apply them to others in their clinic. The patients will benefit from this program because they are provided the correct diagnosis at the correct time, right at the point of care, which will improve their outcome and reduce their cost and the expense incurred by the health system.” Click here to learn more. Show-Me ECHO Asthma ReceivesABMS Quality Improvement Award The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the leading not-for-profit organization overseeing physician certification in the United States, awarded the University of Missouri School of Medicine’s ECHO Asthma program with the Portfolio Program Outstanding Achievement in Quality Improvement (QI) Award. The award recognizes exemplary efforts and activities to improve patient care quality, safety, outcomes and experiences. MU was selected based on the QI excellence it demonstrated in implementing the Asthma Ready® Communities (ARC)-sponsored Asthma Care Accelerator (ACA) Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO®) QI project, an inner-city initiative seeking to decrease the rate of uncontrolled asthma. Based on a community needs assessment of stakeholder and family focus groups, the project launched in 2018 with an in-depth understanding of contributing factors involved as well as an array of effective interventions. The project created a learning collaborative to implement asthma practice changes in alignment with national guidelines. Activities included the use of objective measures for assessing airflow and coaching patients for optimal inhalation technique, educational programs for school nurses, standardized asthma self-management education across settings, verification of dispensing rates, and electronic run charts to track practice changes. The ACA initial pilot resulted in increased use of inhaled corticosteroids with improved disease control and decreased risks. ACA is now available across the entire state of Missouri. Click here to learn more. ECHO Autism Helps Doctors EasePatients’ Transition to Adulthood To improve access to care for teenagers and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a researcher from the University of Missouri Show-Me ECHO program teamed up with other national experts to analyze a pilot project designed to train and mentor primary care physicians (PCPs) in best practices. The researchers discovered the project significantly improved PCPs’ confidence in caring for youth and young adults with ASD. “We know that identifying young people with autism and symptoms of autism is important because early intervention is important,” said study senior author Kristin Sohl, MD. “But as young children diagnosed with autism are aging, we’ve realized that over 500,000 with autism are turning 18 every single year. And they need ongoing medical care and support in their daily lives. Unfortunately, the health care system is not organized to support them. That’s why we devised this pilot program.” Click here to learn more. Missouri Telehealth Network 2017 Annual Report Show-Me ECHO is saving lives and money. Twenty-eight Hep C patients are being treated by a Hepatitis C ECHO participant from a remote Shannon County clinic. Asthma ECHO helped save MO HealthNet $8.3 million in the past two years.* By April 2018 every family in Missouri will be within 60 miles of an ECHO Autism-Trained Provider who can diagnose young children with obvious autism symptoms and manage their medical conditions. To read more about Show-Me ECHO’s impact click here to view the 2017 Annual Report. To view the 2018 ECHO Evaluation Report, click here. ECHO Answers Opioid ‘Emergency’ Media outlets across Missouri and neighboring states looked to Show-Me ECHO’S Opioid Use Disorder ECHO and Chronic Pain Management ECHO for information when the opioid epidemic was declared a national public health emergency. ECHO Reduces Impact of Asthma Deb Cook, RN, director of health services for public schools in Kennett, Mo., regularly participates in Show-Me ECHO’s Impact Asthma ECHO. “I can connect with several experts in the area of asthma, including a pediatric pulmonologist, a pediatric allergist and other asthma experts,” she said. ECHO Autism Featured in KRCG-TV Special Report ECHO Autism helps increase experts’ reach to providers caring for children with autism throughout the state. See the full story from KRCG-TV. Asthma Care Improved Across Missouri, Money Saved Building on the work of the MO Asthma Control Program and the Missouri Foundation for Health, Show-Me ECHO Asthma counties saw better asthma care and saved Medicaid $8.3 million over two years. See the map below of the 29 counties affected by Show-Me ECHO Asthma. DISCLAIMER: These are PRELIMINARY numbers only. More robust analyses are underway and this page will be updated when complete. Additional analyses with more rigorous methodological design are necessary to better delineate the impact of the project. Autism Care Improved, Diagnosis Time Shortened by New MU Program Wait lists for a specialist to confirm an autism diagnosis can be agonizing and last months. As the prevalence of autism and autism spectrum disorders increase, so does the demand for a health care system that is fully equipped to respond to the complex needs associated with autism. Now, Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) Autism, a new program from the University of Missouri, is training primary care providers in best-practice care for autism spectrum disorders. Initial results of the pilot program found significant improvements in primary care provider confidence in screening and management of autism and in utilization of specific tools and resources. “We are very excited about the initial results from the ECHO Autism model,” said Kristin Sohl, associate professor of child health and the director of Show-Me ECHO Autism. “Children with autism can show symptoms as early as 12 months; however, in too many cases children may not receive a diagnosis until they are 5 years old. Early diagnosis is critical for children with autism, and primary care providers play an important role in that initial process.” Read the full story. Show-Me ECHO Empowers Rural Physicians to Treat Hepatitis C, Other Chronic Conditions MU telehealth initiative aims to combat rising hepatitis C infection rates According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, hepatitis C is on the rise in Missouri, and it is also being diagnosed earlier in younger individuals. Show-Me ECHO, a new telehealth training initiative from the University of Missouri School of Medicine, empowers physicians in rural parts of the state to treat the increasingly common condition. Approximately 7,200 new cases of hepatitis C were identified in Missouri in 2015, an increase of nearly 1,700 cases from 2014. Funded by the Missouri legislature, Show-Me ECHO — which stands for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes — allows a team of experts to use videoconferencing technology to train providers throughout the state to identify and treat chronic conditions such as hepatitis C. Read the full story.