THE FUTURE OF RURAL HEALTHCARE
Even before COVID-19 struck, Southern EVALS and the Louisiana Rural Health Association recognized the need to improve the capacity of rural clinics to adapt to the growing Telehealth environment. A decision was made to pursue a public-private partnership to drive down the cost of critical workforce training that will not just prepare local clinics for operating in the online world but will also have the effect of retaining our clinics during any economic crisis.
The Louisiana Virtual Medicine Alliance in Partnership with The Louisiana Rural Health Association and Southern EVALS received grant funding from the Delta Regional Authority States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP) as well as USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program administered by the Rural Utilities Service giving them the ability to implement high-quality telemedicine technology and training.
This project is designed to retain jobs in Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) by keeping them economically viable as they transition to offering Telehealth services as a business-saving response to the new realities of delivering online health care, which is especially applicable in a post-COVID-19 world.
The project aim is to:
Increase patient volume by increasing Telehealth linkages to schools and long-term care facilities;
Train clinical support staff (i.e., medical assistants and/or nurses) in Telehealth;
Train providers in rural health clinics on Telehealth and best practices;
Provide mentoring to rural sites on implementing Telehealth and Chronic Care Management systems using providers, nurses, and experienced administrators;
Decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission while maintaining primary care and chronic disease management.
All six of Louisiana’s congressional districts are included in this project. The 26 Parishes that will benefit include: Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Bienville, Claiborne, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, Evangeline, Franklin, Iberia, Iberville, Jackson, La Salle, Lincoln, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, St. Landry, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Union, Vermilion, and Winn. Of the 113 proposed sites, which include rural health clinics, schools, and nursing homes, 23 are in qualified economic development opportunity zones. A high percentage of the Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in Louisiana will be included in this project.
We are excited to partner with The LRHA and LVMA to implement this state of the art program. Our highly trained Clinical and Operational Liaisons will work with you and the programs network partners throughout the implementation process and will provide on-going training and technical assistance for the duration of the grant. Our aim is to help you build strong relationships with key stakeholders in your community, help increase access to technologically advanced and efficient care and increase clinic viability.