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mHealth, Telemedicine Experts Appointed to NQF’s Telehealth Committee

The committee members are participating in a year-long NQF project to determine quality measures and guidelines for evaluating telehealth programs across the country.

By Eric Wicklund

- A who’s who of telemedicine and mHealth experts is helping the National Quality Forum map out a framework for measuring the success of telehealth projects across the country.

The NQF’s Telehealth Framework to Support Measure Development project was launched earlier this year, with a goal to “identify existing and potential telehealth metrics to identify gaps and develop a measure framework, prioritized list of measure concepts, and guiding principles for future telehealth measurement.” 

“It is assumed that telehealth encounters are as effective as in-person encounters,” the foundation wrote in its description of the project, which is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. “Because telehealth is intended to replicate the interaction of a traditional healthcare encounter, it is expected that the clinical outcomes for patients would be the same independent of the modality of care. While there is a multitude of clinical measures that evaluate the effectiveness of healthcare interventions, less is known about the extent to which these measures assess or could be used to assess the effectiveness and overall quality of telehealth interventions, particularly in rural areas. What is needed is a measurement approach that takes into consideration the characteristics of telehealth and the challenges faced by rural healthcare providers and their patients.”

Efforts like the NQF project are designed to help a healthcare ecosystem slowly transitioning from volume-based to value-based care, as well as highlighting the challenges faced by providers in determining what makes a successful and sustainable program. mHealth experts have blamed a lack of industry standards in the past for everything from misguided studies to unsustainable programs to a lack of enthusiam among providers to embrace mHealth and telehealth tools.

The program’s 26-member committee was established in October and held its first two-day meeting in November. It consists of:

  • Judd Hollander, MD (co-chair), associate dean for strategic health initiatives and vice chairman of finance and healthcare enterprises at Sidney Kimmel Medical College, part of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
  • Marci Ward, PhD (co-chair), director of the newly created Rural Telehealth Research Center at the University of Iowa.
  • Dale Alverson, MD, medical director for the Center for Telehealth at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, N.M., chairman of the New Mexico Telehealth Alliance and a past president of the American Telemedicine Association.
  • Rashid Bashshur, PhD, senior advisor for eHealth, a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Health Management and Policy and executive director of the UMHS eHealth Center at the University of Michigan Health System, as well as a president emeritus and past president of the ATA.
  • Adam Darkins, MB, ChB, MPHM, MD, FRCS, vice president for innovation and strategic partnerships for the Americas Region at Medtronic and former director of national telehealth initiatives at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Henry DePhillips, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Teladoc.
  • Charles Doarn, MBA, a professor of family and community medicine at the University of Cincinnati, former ATA board member and currently a special assistant to the chief health and medical officer at NASA.
  • Marybeth Farquhar, PhD, MSN, RN, vice president of quality, research and measurement for URAC and the former vice president of performance management at the NQF.
  • Archibald (Stewart) Ferguson, PhD, Chief Technology Officer for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in Anchorage, Alaska and a past president of the ATA.
  • David Flannery, MD, medical director at the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics in Bethesda, Md.
  • Paul Giboney, MD, director of specialty care at the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.
  • Nate Gladwell, RN, MHA, director of telehealth and telemedicine at the University of Utah Health Care in Salt Lake City.
  • Don Graf, national telehealth director for UnitedHealthcare.
  • Julie Hall-Barrow, EdD, vice president of virtual health and innovation at the Children’s Health System of Texas.
  • Steven Handler, MD, PhD, CMD, an associate professor and Chief Medical Informatics Officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
  • Yael Harris, PhD, MHS, senior health researcher at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C. and a former HHS official.
  • Kristi Henderson, DNP, NP-C, FAAN, FAEN, vice president of virtual care and innovation at Seton Healthcare and a clinical professor in population health at Dell Medical School at UT-Austin in Austin, Texas.
  • Mary Lou Moewe, MT (ASCP), PMP, ACP, FACHE, CPHIMS, director of e-Health initiatives for Tennessee’s Department of Health Care Finance and Administration (HCFA).
  • Eve-Lynn Nelson, PhD, a professor at and director of the KU Center for Telemedicine & Telehealth at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Fairway, Kansas, as well as the principal investigator for the Heartland Telehealth Resource Center.
  • Stephen North, MD, MPH, regional clinical and IT director and practicing physician at Mission Medical Associates and Mission Community Primary Care in Spruce Pine, N.C. and co-author of the ATA’s pediatric telehealth guidelines.
  • Peter Rasmussen, MD, medical director of distance health at the Cleveland Clinic.
  • Sarah Sossong, MPH, co-founder and director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s MGH TeleHealth program and former manager of Kaiser Permanente’s first telemedicine program.
  • Daniel Spiegel, MD, MBA, national director of home hemodialysis for DaVita Healthcare Partners in Denver.
  • Dennis Truong, MD, director of telemedicine/mobility and assistant physician-In-chief for Kaiser Permanente’s Mid-Atlantic region in Rockville, Md.
  • Jean Turcotte, MA, BSN, RN, director of tele-ICU services for the Adventist Health System in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
  • Angela Walker, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist with Direct Dermatology, Science 37 San Francisco.

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