The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the Indiana Rural Health Association $828,000 to support its efforts against COVID-19. The organization says the funding will be used to provide assistance for rural healthcare providers to employ telehealth services.
“We plan to add staff and additional resources to help physicians, providers, medical professionals, clinics and hospitals integrate and leverage telehealth resources,” said Becky Sanders, a senior director of IRHA. “Interest and demand for telehealth is presently so high that we’re dealing with phones ringing off their hooks and floods of emails,” she added.
Telehealth options can replace office visits and allow physicians to schedule tests and x-rays in certain facilities that observe social distancing.
“Telehealth has emerged in a very major way in the past few months,” Sanders explained. “A few years ago, telehealth use was the equivalent of a small rowboat in the middle of Lake Michigan – now it’s a huge rescue ship from which physicians and medical professionals treat patients daily.”
The $828,000 is included in over $3 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration to the Indiana State Department of Health.