March 2016 Newsletter
In This Issue
Welcome New Partners:
Wiregrass Medical Center
Mayo Clinic Health System Family Psychiatry
Lynns Counseling
Coastal Academy
Avenia Behavioral Management
Avita - Dr. Jividen
Appling Healthcare - Hospital
Appling Healthcare - EMS
Appling Healthcare - Physician
Happy St. Patrick's Day
7th Annual GPT Spring Conference
A Great Success!
Hosted by Georgia Partnership for Telehealth
The seventh annual 2016 Spring GPT Telehealth Conference proved to be an energizing and informative event for the 160+ attendees who came from throughout the region and even New York State to the beautiful & historic Jekyll Island Club. To say the least; holding this event "off the beaten path" on Jekyll Island created a relaxing and welcoming environment that enhanced the overall experience to those fortunate enough to attend.
The line-up of expert speakers produced an outstanding agenda with a variety of topics such as:
  • Current Reimbursement & Future Trends
  • Building Pediatric Specialty Care Capacity through Project ECHO
  • Telemedicine Missions; Domestic & Overseas
  • Mobile Integrated Health Care: Redefining the Role of Public Safety in Community Health & Wellness
  • Telehealth Law: 2016 & Beyond
The Opening Plenary Address, "How Telehealth Makes the World a Better Place," by Jeff Robbins, Tifton Regional Medical Center, Tifton, GA started the summit on a meaningful note encouraging all to see how telehealth transforms the lives of individuals who without this technology would not be able to access specialty care that is not available in their communities. From the middle aged stroke patient spared from long term disability to the autistic child who now functions in a school classroom; telehealth's greatest return can be found in transformed lives.
The enthusiasm in moving telehealth forward is strong and those who attended this year's conference left excited and determined to champion the cause in their communities and organizations around the region.
We wish to congratulate Ethica Health & Retirement Communities for receiving the "Telehealth Corporate Champion of the Year" award. Ethica has implemented telehealth services in many SNFs across the state which has benefited many of Georgia's most fragile citizens. We thank Ethica and its team of forward thinking administrators & staff who are harnessing technology to better serve their customers.
Receiving the "Telehealth Champion of the Year" award was Millie Thrift, RN who is the telehealth coordinator for the Ware County School System in Waycross, GA. Millie has launched one of the most successful school based telehealth programs in the state and her enthusiasm for delivering the right care at the right time to her students has made her a true champion in the eyes of all that who know her.
The "Telehealth Coordinator of the Year" honor was awarded to Jennifer Murphy of Appling County. Jennifer is new to the world of telehealth but by all measures; she has become the strongest of telehealth advocates and professionals in her county. She is successfully launching & coordinating telehealth services between the schools, hospital, and clinics and we expect under her leadership that Appling County's Telehealth Program will become a premier model for other county systems to emulate.
We are not only committed to providing a conference that meets the needs of the attendees but the needs of our speakers and supporters and thank all who attended. We look forward to another engaging and successful summit next year on Jekyll Island and hope to see you there!
GPT Employee Spotlight
We are proud of our GPT family. We would like to welcome the newest member of the team Jerad Johnson. He joined the team on Feb 29 as the new Chief Technology Officer. Some of you may recognize Jerad, he previously worked with GPT from 2008 until 2012, after a 4 years absence he has returned.
Jerad is a local native to the Waycross area as he grew up in Blackshear Georgia. He has been married 13 years to the love of his life, Jessica and they have two beautiful daughters, Natalie, age 9 and Addie, age 8.
Jerad and his family enjoy attending church at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, where he teaches Sunday School and works with Awana on Wednesday nights.
Please join us in welcoming Jerad back to the GPT Family.
GPT Board Member Spotlight
Jimmy Lewis, Secretary/Treasure of the GPT Board has roots in rural South Georgia, where he was born in Cordele, Georgia. Having graduated high school in Cordele, he attended Middle Georgia College and Auburn University. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn. Jimmy has held senior management positions in six fortune five hundred companies. He has been instrumental in passing key rural legislation and regulation for hospital based nursing homes, state merit, PPS and critical access hospitals. All of these have been key to the survival of rural hospitals and rural health care in Georgia.
Under his leadership, HomeTown Health has grown to a Georgia-based virtual company where 50 business partners and 56 hospital members cumulatively have over $800 million in sales. HomeTown Health's activities range from the identification of best practice solutions, to education, collective purchasing, developing managed care strategies, reimbursement advocacy, as well as legislative representation. HomeTown Health's efforts have been very instrumental in saving many of Georgia's rural hospitals. Jimmy is married with two grown sons. He and his wife, June, live in Cumming, Georgia.
GPT would like to thank Jimmy Lewis for being part of our team and success.
2016 Updated GA DCH Telemedicine Handbook
Partner Spotlight:
Augusta Health University
Dr. Adam E. Berman, MD
Adam E. Berman, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He also serves as the Director of Cardiac Arrhythmia Ablation Services at Augusta University Medical Center. Dr. Berman is board certified in Cardiac Electrophysiology and Cardiovascular Medicine. He joined MCG in 2006 with a practice focusing on consultative cardiac electrophysiology and catheter ablation of arrhythmias.  
Sometimes your heart can beat too fast or irregularly, this is called arrhythmias. Patients can benefit from ablation and other procedures by electrophysiologists, cardiologists who are specially trained to care for heart rhythm problems.
Dr. Berman is now available via the GPT network to see patients with cardiac irregularities. His practice routinely provides a full spectrum of invasive, noninvasive and consultative cardiac electrophysiology services.  
Georgia Partnership for Telehealth appreciates the opportunity to partner with Dr. Berman and offer this service through our telemedicine program at GPT. For an appointment with Dr. Berman call GPT's scheduling line at 866-754-4325
Patient Testimony:
Jeff Davis Schools
Jill Johnson Yearty works for Jeff Davis Board of Education she was overjoyed about their first telemedicine appointment held at the school. Read her Facebook comment below:
"I am excited, grateful, overjoyed and so proud to say that my child was the first successful patient this morning with Jeff Davis Telehealth!!!! For months many people have worked so hard to make this happen in our schools. This new technology is so exciting, life changing, and unbelievable!!! I encourage every parent to find out more about this in our school system!!! If you have not heard of Telehealth and you are interested PLEASE email me,! I will be happy to talk to you, get you an enrollment packet, anything to help make this a success!!! Thank you to the wonderful Dr. Kirk Munsayac, his staff, Eric N Ashley McEachin. Denise Stone Darley, and so many others that played a part in this becoming a reality in JDCS!!!!"
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Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth Demonstrates School-Based "Doctor of the Day" Initiative for Georgia State House and Senate
GPT Showcases Telemedicine Program to State Government Officials Via Live Demo
Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth (GPT), a charitable nonprofit promoting the establishment of telemedicine programs in communities throughout Georgia, addressed legislators regarding its telehealth network and "Doctor of the Day" initiative at the Georgia State Capital on February 16, 2016. This marks seven consecutive years that GPT has been invited to address state government officials in session.
GPT had the honor of conducting a telemedicine demonstration and introducing the virtual "Doctor of the Day" Initiative for the Georgia State Senate. During the demonstration a connection to the Appling County High School Based Health Center (SBHC) occurred. Jennifer Murphy, SBHC coordinator between the Appling School District and Appling Health System demonstrated how telemedicine works in a school setting via GPTs telemedicine equipment. Dr. Scarlet Copeland, Superintendent of Appling Schools, described the benefits of having telehealth services on campus, noting that it allows for fewer missed school days and a greater overall health of the student body. Dr. George Shokri of Tift Regional Medical Center served the members of the House and Senate as the virtual doctor of the day. The medical aid station was open to all legislators and staffers during session.
Rena Brewer, CEO of Global/Georgia Partnership at TeleHealth and Sherrie Williams, Executive Director at Georgia Partnership for Telehealth were on hand to address the state legislature regarding GPT's telehealth network.
"We would like to thank the Georgia State Assembly for allowing us the opportunity to conduct a live demo during session and for their support over the years," said Sherrie Williams, Executive Director at Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth. "One of GPT's key objectives is to generate awareness for telemedicine and its benefits. It is absolutely crucial that we educate our lawmakers on the impact that telemedicine programs in schools can have on the overall health and wellness for the children of Georgia."
Ask the SETRC Experts...
"I'm a physician operating a small practice in rural Georgia. I have been thinking of getting a telemedicine program going with a very large Medicaid population. Can you shed some light on the originating sight fee and how to bill for it?"
Telemedicine originating site facility fee.
Only the originating site is eligible to receive a facility fee for telemedicine services. Claims must be submitted with the Q3014 HCPCS code. If an originating site provider performs a separately identifiable service for the beneficiary on the same date as a telemedicine service, documentation for both services must be clearly documented in the member's record. This code is billable on services rendered on or after November 1, 2012. This code will be reimbursed at a rate of $20.52. Hospitals are eligible to receive reimbursement for a facility fee for telemedicine when operating as the originating site. Claims must be submitted with revenue code 780 (telemedicine) and type of bill 130. There is no separate reimbursement for telemedicine services when performed during an inpatient stay, outpatient clinic or emergency room visit or outpatient surgery, as these are all-inclusive payments.
"GT" Modifier: Via interactive audio and video telecommunication system.
All services provided from the distant site must be billed with the GT modifier. Definition:
Originating Site: The originating site is the actual location at which a patient is receiving services via the telecommunications system.
Source: GA Department of Community Health Telemedicine Handbook 01/2016
If you have a question you would like answered please contact Lloyd Sirmons, Director, at
Sign up for the Certified Telemedicine Clinical Presenter or Certified Telehealth Coordinator today by visiting the National School of Applied TeleHealth: NSAT Website
The Southeastern TeleHealth Resource Center serves as a resource to health care providers, health systems, clinics, long term care facilities, schools, government agencies and others interested in providing telehealth services for the rural and underserved in the region. SETRC's coverage area includes Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia and is operated by Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth, Inc., Georgia's successful nonprofit statewide telehealth network.
(Grant #G22RH20212-04-00)
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