Connected Nation Michigan provides answers to telehealth questions

LANSING—Connected Nation Michigan officials say they’re offering free telehealth resources to help individuals and families navigate options offered by their doctor’s offices and area hospitals.

The resources include answers to common questions and concerns identified in a CN Michigan study, done in partnership with AARP and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, that examined telehealth over a six-month period.

“We released the study in late February 2020, just days before the first pandemic closures. In it, we identified some of the barriers to accessing the technology needed for telehealth and the concerns some patients raised about using the technology,” said Eric Frederick, executive director of CN Michigan. “As you can imagine, in the months that followed there was a massive surge in telehealth use to both limit exposure to COVID-19 and to help healthcare systems handle an influx of patients. During this time, we’ve continued to work on developing new resources to address the concerns raised about leveraging telehealth.”

Those concerns include whether insurance covers telehealth visits, questions about protecting a patient’s privacy while using online applications, securing devices used for your records, and having the internet needed to even use the technology. These resources can be found at connectednation.org/telehealth.

“We invited healthcare providers to share details on how they’re leveraging these health applications to better monitor patients as well as how they approach patient privacy and usage. We also talked with patients and doctors who are actually using these telehealth applications,” said Jessica Denson, communications director of Connected Nation. “We then created a series of short videos and easy-to-download resources that address concerns and provide a better understanding of how to leverage this technology which can help improve the quality of care as well as access to healthcare especially in rural areas that lack the same options found in urban settings.”

In addition to the online resources, five telehealth Public Service Announcements began airing on Michigan television stations on Dec. 1.

To learn more about CN’s research and developments about telehealth and to find the CN Michigan study go to: https://connectednation.org/telehealth-research-and-development/.

CN Michigan aims to expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. For more information, please visit: connectednation.org or connectednation.org/michigan.

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