Oregon Office of Rural Health

Telehealth and Project ECHO in Oregon

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Telehealth in Oregon

Each state and payer defines telemedicine and telehealth differently. Oregon defines:  

  • Telemedicine as the provision of health services to patients by physicians and health care practitioners from a distance using electronic communications.
  • Telehealth as a variety of methods, through the use of electronic and telecommunications technologies, for the distance delivery of health care services, including dental care services, and clinical information designed to improve a patient’s health status and to enhance delivery of the health care services and clinical information.

Help ORH Map Telehealth at Oregon Rural Health Clinics!

Please help us understand the telehealth you’ve implemented to address your community’s health needs, so we can support these efforts. If you have not yet implemented telehealth at your clinic, we would like to hear about the challenges you face so we can develop training and resources to assist you. Contact Rose Locklear, locklear@ohus.edu to participate in this project.

The Oregon Office of Rural Health (ORH) is managing a new project in partnership with the Telehealth Alliance of Oregon (TAO) and the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center (NRTRC). This work will contextualize and catalog the telehealth services provided at Oregon’s Rural Health Clinics (RHCs). The project is funded by Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) through the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to carry out telehealth and rural health activities. HRSA is using CARES funding to support the Telehealth Resource Center Program in preventing, preparing for, and responding to COVID-19 via the following strategies:

  • Prevent – Promote the use of telehealth technologies to reduce the risk of COVID-19;
  • Prepare – Enhance readiness and training to respond to COVID-19 through telehealth technologies; and
  • Respond – Provide access to telehealth technologies to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

States across the country are implementing projects to increase the ability of the Telehealth Resource Centers to provide technical assistance to health care providers or organizations as they rapidly increase their use of telehealth services or deploy new telehealth services to address the increased demands in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

We recognize the numerous challenges associated with offering telehealth in rural and frontier communities, with broadband connectivity and reimbursement being the most commonly cited challenges. This project will catalog and map the telehealth services that Oregon’s 102 RHCs offer. This data currently does not exist in one location and is greatly needed to support larger conversations about the challenges of connectivity, reimbursement, and behavioral health access, to name a few. Ultimately, the information collected will be readily available online.

Oregon Senate Bill 569 describes that the Oregon Health Authority shall prescribe by rule the information and documents that a governing body of an originating-site hospital may request for credentialing a telemedicine provider located at a distant-site hospital. ORS 441.056 speaks specifically to the rules outlined in this Bill for credentialing telemedicine providers.

The Oregon Medical Board (OMB) details telemedicine guidance described in their Statement of Philosophy on Telemedicine. The OMB Telemedicine webpage outlines rules for practicing across state lines, and practice guidelines for physicians (DO, MD, DPM), physician assistants, and acupuncturists.

This story map shows the originating and distant Telehealth sites for Oregon’s 25 Critical Access Hospitals. Detail is provided for each hospital.

Project ECHO is tele-mentoring education for providers on complex conditions, such as: Hepatitis C, Diabetes, Pain management and Addictions. Through video-conferencing, providers receive didactic training and advice on their complex cases from a team of Specialists (a Hub). Participating providers receive no cost CMEs and Nursing CEUs.

If you are outside of Oregon, find an ECHO program near you.

The Oregon ECHO Network is a statewide utility that supports the delivery of ECHO programming and services. Please see this link for available program opportunities. All programs are offered for no cost to the participant or facility and offer no cost CME.

For more information on how your facility can participate, please contact Maggie McDonnell | oen@ohsu.edu.


Rose Locklear | locklear@ohsu.edu | 503-577-3849