Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Federal grants will improve telehealth services for rural veterans in Virginia, Montana and Alaska

A disproportionate number of veterans are in rural areas, and telehealth could soon improve their health care, which is often lacking because of limited resources or long-distance travel to Department of Veterans Affairs  hospitals. The Department of Health and Human Services has partnered with the VA to provide almost $1 million to rural veterans' health care providers to improve VA telehealth and HHS state health information exchanges. The three states with the highest rates of rural veterans -- Virginia, Montana and Alaska -- will each receive about $300,000.

The VA said its telehealth system, once it's fully integrated nationwide, will be capable of providing at least 1.2 million medial consultations annually for veterans who would otherwise have to travel long distances to be treated, Robert Longley of About.com reports. Under the Honoring America's Veterans Act signed by President Obama last month, the VA is authorized to waive co-payments for veterans who use telehealth services. (Read more)

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