Telehealth Access for Rural and Low-Income Populations
Telehealth services have demonstrable benefits in delivering quality health care in a convenient, affordable, and accessible way. Foundational telehealth rapidly transitioned in to main-stream health care when the world was rocked with the global pandemic, Covid-19. In efforts to contain and stop the dangerous virus, people were asked to stay home and seek in-person health care only if absolutely necessary. This too, was also recommended to avoid overwhelming an already strained health care system.
While some flawlessly transitioned in to remote health care, others faced the same adversities encountered with in-person health care. Low-income and rural populations were met with access, reimbursement, and literacy challenges. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the significance of Medi-Cal reimbursement for federally qualified health center (FQHC) services and rural health clinic (RHC) services regarding e-consult visits in the state of California. While related legislation was recently vetoed by the California Governor, the Senate is considering the Governors veto. Potential stakeholders will be discussed, in addition to a Health Policy Brief.
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