Telehealth Solutions For Rural Communities

05 Mar

Telehealth Solutions For Rural Communities

Rural communities are home to 20% of our population, but less than 10% of the clinical providers in the country. Individuals living in these areas must travel, often extensively to find care. Rural communities are also home
to a higher percentage of their population living below the poverty line, a Harvard report stated that 14% of residents in rural settings live below the poverty line, and the per capita income is 27% lower than in cities.

''The Promise of Telehealth: Strategies to Increase Access to Quality Healthcare in Rural America," pinpointed four critical issues negatively affecting access to medical treatment in non-residential and urban areas:

  • Physician shortages in rural areas
  • Low financial resources
  • Limited access to employer-sponsored health insurance and Medicaid 
  • A shortage of physicians who accept Medicaid

Rural communities have historically faced challenges attracting enough talent to serve these areas. New doctors are often faced with staggering debt from the cost of their education, and urban facilities have the ability to offer better options for a physician seeking to build their practice.

Medical Economics reports that there will be a shortage of more than 100,000 providers in both primary and specialty care by 2030. Rural areas are expected to be hit especially hard by this shortage.

Telehealth has the ability to bridge the current and future gaps in service. So, what's the issue?

According to the FCC, 53% of rural Americans, or 22 million people do not yet have access to high-speed broadband service. Inconsistent service or lack of access to high-speed broadband service is the main barrier to entry for Telehealth in the areas where it is needed most.

Let's Talk Interactive can help. We offer Med Carts that can be housed centrally within these rural communities at a local clinic, church, or school. The Med Carts offer HIPAA-compliant video communication and come with a number of attachments to take vitals and assist the care provider in diagnosing a patient. If needed, Let's Talk Interactive has the ability to build a custom network of care providers. Contact us to talk about how our service can help your practice or community reach all of your potential residents or patients.