Posted: November 27, 2021
The Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition (NUIHC), a nonprofit providing healthcare services to the urban American Indian and Alaska Native population, needed to find a way to connect with its community during the pandemic. Let's Talk Interactive was the solution.
The American Indian and Alaska Native communities face major health disparities compared to other groups. Studies by the U.S. government and healthcare nonprofits show that life expectancy is five years less, on average, and people suffer from higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and other conditions. Communities also face greater behavioral health challenges, with suicide being the second-leading cause of death for their young people. Hospitals and healthcare centers are understaffed compared to the rest of the United States as well.
Recognizing those disparities and challenges to accessing care, Let's Talk Interactive (LTI), a leader in customizable telehealth solutions, has partnered with several organizations that provide healthcare and other services to tribal, rural and underserved populations. NUIHC, for example, found LTI's technology paid off not only during the worst of the pandemic, but even afterward when facilities reopened.
"We are able to continue to provide consistent support to our community throughout the pandemic thanks to Let's Talk Interactive's telehealth solutions," said Kenneth Boryca, behavioral health director at NUIHC, which serves the Omaha, Neb. and Sioux City, Iowa areas. "But telehealth is not going away—this is something we are going to continue to offer as an organization post-pandemic. Many of our clients prefer telehealth sessions because it saves so much of their personal time to meet virtually from wherever they are that day."
LTI also partnered with the school district in Fort Madison, Iowa, to overcome issues with funding for mental health initiatives, working with the district to offset mental health costs to insurers. LTI built an online portal that gives families and students access to qualified mental health providers through the largest insurance providers in the region. Now, students and their families have access to mental health support and services, billed directly through their insurance at no cost to the school.
LTI's partnerships with organizations including 2nd Alarm, a community coalition providing mental health counseling to first responders in Florida's Panhandle region, and Soldier On, a nonprofit connecting veterans in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania with mental health services, underscore the telehealth solutions company's commitment to underserved and hard-to-reach communities.
"Telemedicine and telehealth capabilities enable providers to administer quality care, regardless of their locale," said Arthur Cooksey, founder, chairman and CEO of Let's Talk Interactive. "We're proud to work with communities and organizations to help meet the demand for high-quality, specialized care to communities in need to help alleviate the burdens of accessibility, finding childcare, or missing work to ensure that patients, even in rural areas have better healthcare outcomes."
Another key feature for nonprofits and other small organizations is the ease of use of LTI's telemedicine technology. The LTI platform and its expert support makes it easier for the groups to schedule sessions and properly document cases, while also being secure and HIPAA-compliant.
"Documentation is a big thing people struggle with. Having the notes section available digitally makes reporting at the end of the day so streamlined," NUIHC's Boryca said. "The assistance LTI provides, the simple upgrades -- it's been a game changer. To me, it's a home run."