New Report on Rural Telemedicine: 15 Million Kids in Health Care Deserts

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In a new report, 15 Million Kids in Health Care Deserts, the Children’s Health Fund examines the role of telehealth services in addressing health care access issues for vulnerable and economically disadvantaged populations. Supported by nine case studies including practitioners from across the country, the report identifies a range of benefits for children, including timely access to expertise and specialists, improved connectivity between community-based providers, and expansion of mental health care services, among others.

In North Carolina, school-based telemedicine is identified as a strategy to reengage young people with follow up appointments and improve care. The Mission Center for Telehealth and Center for Rural Health and Innovation has helped patients access care from specialists and primary care providers. Visits through the school-based telemedicine program allow students to receive medical care during the day while at school, allowing parents to stay at work.

The Children’s Health Fund makes a number of key recommendations to accelerate the expansion to telehealth services. Among those are to create a national campaign to build awareness and understanding of telehealth resources, encourage coverage for telehealth services by Medicaid and insurers, and grow federal grant support for the development and utilization of telehealth to improve health care access for children.

Read and Download the Report

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