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    Maryland Health Care Commission awards fifth round of telehealth grants
    Funding will demonstrate telehealth impact on care delivery in rural communities

    Baltimore, MD (January 31, 2017) – Maryland Health Care Commission announced today a $75,000 grant to the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health as part of a telehealth project launched this month. The program will demonstrate the impact telehealth has on increasing access to health care and on improving population health in rural communities of the Eastern Shore.

    “This is great news for health care access for Eastern Shore residents and for innovation in the medical field that will ultimately benefit Marylanders across our state,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This grant funding will enable University of Maryland Shore Regional Health to serve more patients through telemedicine, while improving these cutting-edge technologies at the same time.”
    Telehealth utilizes such telecommunications and related technologies as video-conferencing, image capturing and use of remote examination tools to support health care services, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. The expanded telehealth capability aims to reduce hospital emergency department visits, inpatient admissions and readmissions; to enable the early provision of appropriate treatment; to improve access to care; and to provide cost savings to patients and providers.
    Using telehealth, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health will work to increase access to palliative care services by expanding the clinical care and service area of the Shore Regional Palliative Care Program to patients in Kent County. Behavioral health services will also be expanded to patients in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties through the implementation of telehealth for emergency department psychiatric services and inpatient psychiatric consultations.
    These projects aim to increase access to needed services and to decrease potentially avoidable hospital utilization. UM Shore Regional Health has agreed to provide a 2:1 financial match, as well as to demonstrate sustainability of the project. The project is a collaboration between Shore Regional Health, the University of Maryland Medical System eHealth and the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.
    The telehealth project launched this month and will continue through July 2018. These new grants will allow Maryland Health Care Commission to continue to test the effectiveness of telehealth with various technologies, patients, providers and clinical protocols in a variety of settings. Since 2014, Maryland Health Care Commission has awarded more than $375,000 to support a variety of telehealth projects. For more information, contact Erin M. Dorrien, the Commission’s chief of Government and Public Affairs.