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David J. Shulkin: VA using ‘telehealth’ to increase access

VA News

Imagine the day that you can see your medical provider from anywhere in the country, including from the comfort of your own home. You wouldn’t have to take a full day off of work or spend hours in a waiting room. Thanks to the age of smart phones and other advanced technology, that day has come. And it couldn’t have come at a more critical moment.

Across the nation, wait times in the private sector for new patient appointments have increased 30 percent in the last three years, according to a recent survey.

Telehealth technology is revolutionizing how Americans access health care.

Health care professionals have been using this technology for years, but with significant limits. Only a few states allow medical providers to use telehealth to practice across state lines, severely limiting the potential effect of this technology.

Unlike the private sector, the Department of Veterans Affairs is uniquely positioned to leverage telehealth technology to its full potential. VA provides more telehealth than any other health system in the country. Last year, more than 700,000 veterans received telehealth services — with nearly half living in rural areas.

Telehealth will never replace in-person visits, but it does provide greater choice for veterans and their families for how and when they receive care. VA offers nearly 50 types of specialty care through telehealth — ranging from teledermatology to teledentristry.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.ocala.com

This is very good news for veterans health. I’m looking forward to seeing them rollout Family Connect, which will allow any member of a veteran’s family, or their caregiver, to join virtually from their own personal device or computer from a separate location — making it easier for families and caregivers to be a part of their loved one’s care.



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