RI Health Insurance Commissioner Marie Ganim shared her beliefs why telemedicine services are critical for maintaining health care accessibility in Rhode Island in a recent Convergence RI opinion piece, framing the conversation around the proposed telemedicine budget article before the General Assembly.
"As the COVID-19 pandemic continues - and the opioid overdose and suicide epidemics persist - the provision of safe and accessible health care services has been increasingly challenging in Rhode Island. Although in-person health care visits are occurring with protective safety measures in place, getting to those visits remains very difficult for many people. This is especially true for those with chronic health conditions, in need of transportation, and/or lacking adequate childcare assistance.
"Rhode Island's health insurers and health care providers must be congratulated and thanked for their rapid adaptation of policies and procedures to expedite the use of telemedicine services.
"Throughout the nation, telemedicine - whether through traditional secure platforms that providers' offices have put into place, through more commonly used audio-visual tools [such as Facetime or Skype], or through audio-only telephone calls - has become a critically important tool in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to increase access to needed health care services."
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