Children's Hospital Colorado
Telehealth

Telehealth

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, we treat the big things, the small things and everything in between.

Pediatric telemedicine

The Department of Telehealth works to create technology solutions that empower patients and providers to transform healthcare. Our team helps create efficiencies and improves the quality of care by: 

  • Transforming the way healthcare is delivered 
  • Transforming patient and provider education    

What is the purpose of telehealth (also known as telemedicine)?

At Children's Colorado, the mission of the Telehealth Department is to provide the right care to children across the nation, in the right place at the right time. This means serving patients and families where they are, supporting providers and clinicians when they need it, and furthering opportunities for all: patients, families, providers, partners and payors.

How telehealth works

Some people say telehealth is like Facetime or Skype with your doctor, but with medical-grade HIPAA compliant tools. Essentially, telemedicine provides the convenience of best-practice medical care for patient visits or education at a time and place most convenient for the family.

Using telehealth to help diabetes patients

The Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes (BDC) at the University of Colorado School of Medicine has collaborated closely with Children’s Colorado, successfully using telehealth for patients with diabetes mellitus living in Wyoming and communities in Western Colorado. Researchers from BDC at the Anschutz Medical Campus have launched a major clinical study using telehealth to target youth with type 1 diabetes with the help of over $1 million in gifts, including $960,000 from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Read more about the innovative approach for young adults with type 1 diabetes.

New law makes telehealth available across the state

On March 20, 2015, Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill expanding telehealth services in the state — prompting Children’s Hospital Colorado to put the new law to use immediately. House Bill 1029 will improve access to telehealth for Coloradans across the state and requires insurers to reimburse healthcare providers for telehealth services in counties of all sizes. Read more about the recent expansion bill signed into law.

Get more information about telehealth

To get started using telehealth with Children's Colorado, please refer to our video conference tips.

If you have questions or need help setting up a Vidyo account, please email us at Telehealth@ChildrensColorado.org

Frequently asked questions about telehealth

Telehealth (also known as telemedicine) is the remote delivery of healthcare, clinical information and patient/provider education using technology. Some people say telehealth is like Facetime or Skype with your doctor, but with medical-grade HIPAA compliant tools. Essentially, telemedicine provides the convenience of best-practice medical care for patient visits or education at a time and place most convenient for the family.

Children's Colorado uses the latest HIPAA-compliant, encrypted technology that is very easy to use. To get started, we issue you a Vidyo account, you download it on the devices you'd like to use (e.g. computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone), we provide hands-on training, and you're ready to get started.

Anyone who is capable of using technology like Skype or Facebook is capable of using telemedicine. More than half of U.S. hospitals now use some sort of telehealth, and that rate is increasing every day.

The primary benefits of telehealth are that it helps reduce healthcare access problems and it drives down the cost of care. Telehealth from Children's Colorado gives patients and their families increased access to best-practice care, with the convenience of being at home or in their community provider's office rather than driving to one of our locations.

A variety of patients and their families are benefiting from telemedicine, such as:

  • Patients who live in a remote area and need Children's Colorado expertise in their local Emergency Department during an urgent/emergency situation.
  • Patients who need to maintain regular contact with their Children's Colorado specialist but can't afford to travel to Denver as frequently as needed.
  • Patients being discharged from Children's Colorado after a complicated surgery, whose parents and community-based provider would like to know what happens next.

The majority of medical conditions can be treated via telehealth, with the exception of complex procedures like surgery. Telehealth is used most in the areas of radiology, cardiology, psychiatry, dermatology and endocrinology.

The CoYoT1 (Colorado Youth Type 1) Diabetes Management Program uses telehealth to support adolescents and young adults who are managing their own diabetes. The patients in this program will be able to attend their multidisciplinary medical visits "virtually" from the comfort of their home, dorm room or workplace. Individuals in this stage of life with Type 1 Diabetes often experience significant struggles with their diabetes management (especially if they're at college or living away from home and their doctors for the first time), which can lead to serious health complications. Telehealth technology allows for more frequent contact with medical providers, resulting in improved medical outcomes.

All telehealth services at Children's Colorado are in compliance with licensure, malpractice and liability regulations, within scope of practice, and meet security and HIPAA requirements.

To get started, please contact Gerard Frunzi in the Children's Colorado Telehealth Department (phone: 720-777-0104 or email: gerard.frunzi@childrenscolorado.org). We will walk you through the entire process, from training and installing your equipment, to support of your clinical or educational efforts. We look forward to talking with you!

On March 20, 2015, Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill expanding telehealth services in the state — prompting Children's Colorado to put the new law to use immediately. House Bill 1029 will improve access to telehealth for Coloradans across the state. It requires insurers to reimburse healthcare providers for telehealth services in counties of all sizes.

State law had previously required reimbursement only for counties with 150,000 residents or fewer, but health systems said that technology-enabled visitations can aid urban residents as well with everything from oncology consultations to chronic-disease management. Read more about the recent expansion bill signed into law.

Medicaid: In Colorado, Medicaid covers almost all medical care delivered using telemedicine technology. Some educational services are covered. Services must be delivered to a valid site of practice, and patients' homes are not currently eligible.

Private insurance: Until a recent change in Colorado law, patients who lived in an urban setting could not receive medical services via technology and have it paid for by their private insurance. The recent change requires insurance companies to pay for telehealth services in urban settings the same way they are paid in rural settings. The law will have a delayed implementation to allow insurance companies to properly price their services.

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