HRSA’s New Tool Is Making Telehealth Care More Accessible to Coloradans
It may sound like a simple task, but setting up a telehealth appointment can be challenging. It can be especially difficult for those in underserved communities, which are prevalent in Colorado.
In fact, The Denver Post reports that nearly 700,000 Coloradans don't have sufficient Internet access, while the Colorado Health Institute estimates that over 350,000 residents do not have health insurance.
With the COVID-19 pandemic making telehealth care a necessity, these issues cannot be ignored. That's why the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) created Telehealth.HHS.gov — to provide virtual care to those who are geographically, medically, or economically vulnerable.
"There are individuals, especially in rural frontier areas, that may not have access to high-speed Internet through their cellphone or a broadband service," said CDR Heather Dimeris, M.S., R.D., Deputy Associate Director for the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), in our "Tuned In to NoCo" interview. "If they're able to access the Telehealth.HHS.gov website through a local library or computer, they'll see different resources that they can turn to."
These resources include stipends for Internet access and a link to the Healthcare.gov marketplace, which can help Americans get affordable health insurance amidst the pandemic.
Dimeris believes that Telehealth.HHS.gov will ease the burdens that come with in-person healthcare, such as transportation limitations.
"The rate at which patients are seeing their doctors over telehealth has continued to be higher than it was before the pandemic," she said. "[Telehealth] is a really good thing to begin to learn and understand because we do see a lot of promise with it and hope people take advantage of it."
Learn more about how to use Telehealth.HHS.gov by listening to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" interview with CDR Heather Dimeris, M.S., R.D. below.