What is the purpose of the Illinois Telehealth Network (ITN)?
The ITN is an established federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation comprised health care organizations that are committed to the following mission and vision:
Mission: ITN promotes the capacity of Members to improve access to health care in rural, underserved and disadvantaged communities, through the application of telehealth and telemedicine solutions.
Vision: ITN will connect and share resources, strengthen rural health care and save lives.
ITN strives to support all facets of telemedicine services—including technology, care delivery best practices/protocols and billing/reimbursement—and assists members in identifying and implementing solutions to strengthen rural healthcare and support patient care in their respective facilities.
Who are the current ITN members?
As of July 2018, the ITN consists of 26 member organizations throughout central and southern Illinois. A member map can be found here.
Who can be an ITN member?
Healthcare organizations in Illinois (outside the Chicago region), particularly in rural areas, may request membership information through the ITN website with an email address and phone number.
What are the expectations of ITN members?
ITN members participate in needs assessments and voluntarily plan and collaborate on initiatives to drive change in healthcare delivery by evaluating, choosing and implementing telemedicine solutions that support their organizational business model and serve their patients. ITN members are highly engaged, motivated and committed to increasing access to quality patient care in rural and underserved areas. Members contribute annual member dues and participate in committees and member meetings to advance ITN’s mission and vision through practical collaborations and pilots.
How is the ITN governed?
ITN oversight is provided by a nine member Board of Directors that was first elected by members in June 2016. The Board is supported by an Executive Director, Network Director, Project Director, Finance Director and other team members who support the day-to-day operations of the network.
Do ITN members pay annual dues?
Each member organization pays $3,000 in member dues each year. The first annual dues will be assessed for payment in the months of December 2017 and January 2018 to accommodate various organizational CY or FY budgets.
What do ITN members currently receive in return for their dues?
Members may request reimbursement for up to $4,500 annually for telemedicine supplies.
Valued at more than $2,000/year, ITN members enjoy full membership benefits to regional and national telemedicine associations and the National Cooperative of Health Networks Association. This provides you with access to: member rates for conferences, valuable webinars and online resources such as practice manuals, and the latest reimbursement and regulatory information.
Member organizations have access to the two full-time experienced ITN professionals, an Executive Director and other staff and advisors to provide support, tools and expertise to help you design, develop, fund and operationalize your own organization’s telemedicine services.
ITN can provide the necessary resources, expertise and support to apply for grant opportunities that benefit members. For funded federal, state, or private foundation grants, ITN can provide the necessary oversight and fiscal management.
What are possible future benefits to ITN members?
Membership provides the opportunity to participate in a learning community that could in the future benefit from economies of scale, collaborations on projects with mutual benefits, and support in philanthropy and fundraising to remove barriers. For example, this “learning community” might incubate small test pilots, supported by philanthropy or grants, that may then be expanded.
In the future, member organizations will be able to explore opportunities for shared savings, group purchasing, and ITN-negotiated vendor discounts for telemedicine services and equipment. (Experience shows that higher patient volumes can help secure better pricing.)
Why are dues paid to HSHS St. Francis Hospital (Litchfield, IL)?
HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield is currently the lead applicant managing a three-year HRSA Rural Health Network Development grant and has also managed ITN’s two other federal grants.
What is the role of Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) in the ITN?
HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield (an HSHS affiliate), launched the ITN with HRSA funding in June 2014. HSHS affiliates located in Illinois joined the consortium and are active members together with non-HSHS members. In addition, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis Foundation has provided significant matching grants to six ITN federal and private foundation grants. ITN staffing is provided by HSHS colleagues (on leased agreements) and operating under the employment and grant management policies and procedures of HSHS (since ITN, as a new nonprofit, does not yet have these policies in place.)
Does ITN membership mean our organization will be required to partner with HSHS for telemedicine services?
No. ITN is a kind of “Switzerland” to assist member organizations in determining the best options for telemedicine services in their respective facilities. Provision of telemedicine services is often a layered matrix where an individual facility can serve as both a hub and a spoke with services provided both internally and externally. HSHS affiliates may offer one or more telemedicine service options which may be advantageous to some ITN members. However, participation in any organization’s telemedicine program or with any vendor provider is voluntary and at the discretion of each individual member organization.
When does the ITN meet?
The ITN holds an annual member meeting in June. Board meetings are held every other month. ITN member committee meetings are held year-round.
Where does the ITN meet?
The ITN annual meeting has been held in Springfield, Illinois, since it is a central location. Full member meetings are conducted both in person and via teleconference. Individual committee meetings are normally conducted by teleconference with in-person meetings as scheduled by the individual committees.