Office for Telehealth Education
Connecting South Carolina to Health
Established in 2015 through a partnership with the MUSC Center for Telehealth and the South Carolina AHEC, the Office for Telehealth Education was designed to educate healthcare providers about the usage and implementation of telehealth.
South Carolina AHEC is an active education partner with the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance to support education for students and health professionals on emerging trends and technology, as well as policy and standards in telehealth. We partner with providers, academic institutions, and healthcare systems to meet the state's educational needs to support the provision of telehealth.
Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.
Telehealth leverages technology to extend access to care to individuals who may not otherwise be able to travel or reach health services. This can include extending access to specialists in rural and underserved areas, allowing for coordinated and patient-centered care and supporting the patient-centered medical home.
South Carolina Telehealth Alliance
The South Carolina Telehealth Alliance (SCTA) is a statewide collaboration of many organizations joining forces to expand telehealth services across the state. The SCTA provides guidance, assists with strategic development, and advices on technology and standards to develop an open-access network. This open-access network gives all South Carolina residents access to quality health care, while effectively managing the cost of providing care.
The SCTA strives to improve the health of all South Carolinians through telehealth: Telehealth will grow to support delivery of health care to all South Carolinians with an emphasis on underserved and rural communities. It will facilitate, coordinate and make more accessible quality care, education and research that are patient-centered, reliable and timely. Our state will become recognized for telehealth that is uniquely collaborative, valuable and cost effective.
Palmetto Care Connections
Palmetto Care Connections (PCC) offers telehealth support services and membership opportunities to health care providers. PCC works to coordinate existing telehealth activities, expand successful models, develop new applications, assist providers in navigating telemedicine implementation, advocate for reimbursement by all payors and serve as a resource for telehealth information for South Carolinians.
PCC can help providers learn more about and connect to the Palmetto State Providers Network (PSPN), a dedicated, secured, high capacity network with connection capabilities for health care data, medical images, telehealth, bridge access, electronic health records and more.
What are the benefits of telehealth?
According to the American Telemedicine Association, telehealth creates "value for payers, patients and providers; increased patient access; enchanced reach of healthcare services; reduced cost structure; 24/7 coverage; and higher customer satisfaction."
What is the difference between telehealth and telemedicine?
The American Telemedicine Association considers both nearly interchangeable terms that include a wide rande of distance healthcare. Although, telehealth "may not always involve clinical care."
How can I get involved in telehealth?
The South Carolina Telehealth Alliance has information and resources for health professionals interested in participating in telehealth provision. Students should inquire at their respective institutions about elective and experiential opportunities.
Where can I find information about billing and reimbursement for telehealth services?
The Center for Connected Health Policy has information about state laws and reimbursement for telehealth on its website. The South Carolina AHEC Learning Portal also offers a free, online Telehealth Billing and Reimbursement Bootcamp module.