Telehealth: Access to Care for all Granite Staters

Here in New Hampshire, there are many barriers to accessing in-person medical care – geography, weather, transportation, work obligations, and the list goes on. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has emerged as a powerful tool for health equity by eliminating many of these barriers and allowing patients to access care virtually over the computer or the phone. It is imperative lawmakers pass telehealth expansion.

As amendmed, HB 1623 proposes to make permanent supports for telehealth that have been adopted temporarily under COVID-19. To learn more/read the bill see herehttp://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2020&id=1180&tx...

Call to Action

On Tuesday, June 30th, the New Hampshire House of Representatives will vote on telehealth expansion (HB 1623). Make sure your lawmakers hear your voice, call Representatives and let them know why is it important to you that they PASS telehealth expansion!

WHY is expanding Telehealth important for New Hampshire?

Health equity: Improves access to and quality of medical and behavioral health care
  • Very often, attending an in-person appointment at a physical location means having to take time off of work and incurs other expenses.
  • Rural and underserved populations benefit greatly from increased access to quality health care services.
  • Telehealth is yielding much greater appointment attendance, with fewer cancellations and more clients are on time for appointments.
  • Patient and families centered care is in the best interests of the client and will yield best outcomes. Because appointments, happens in the comfort of own home, where clients oftentimes feel more themselves. In the case of care for children, telehealth yields more parental engagement as the therapist shows parents what to do and they do it themselves.

Preventative care: Aligns with health care model that keeps NH healthy
  • Telehealth is driving many patients to seek care they would have avoided if relying only on in-person appointments. This increased utility of health services is in the best interest of patients and aligns with the preventive model of primary care that helps to keep people healthy.
  • Investing in preventative care up front is less costly than intervention and treatment services.

 

Health care workforce capacity: Strengthens reach of health care workers
  • Receiving treatment from a mental health professional can be challenging in a rural areas of the state, where there are few providers. Telehealth is a promising solution to healthcare workforce shortages that uses technology to deliver services, precluding the need for clients to travel long distances to access mental health services.
  • Telehealth can be used to efficiently provide pediatric physicians working in remote locations, such as rural northern New Hampshire, with ongoing medical education, increasing their ability to care for more complex patients in their community, reducing the burdens of travel on patients and families, and supporting the medical home
  • Telemedicine technologies have the potential to improve current models of care by increasing communication among clinicians, resulting in more efficient and higher quality.

Telehealth in the News

Telehealth is Essential for N.H. Health Equity by Jay Couture and Tess Stack Kuenning 

Telehealth helps keep our community safe by Kris McCracken

Share Your Story

Your story is crucial to make change in the Granite State, where too many Granite Staters face long wait times or travel distances to see providers, especially specialists. The resulting delays in care can have serious consequences on the health and wellness of our state. New Hampshire lawmakers need to hear directly from patients of all ages and providers who see and experience the impact of telehealth. Your story will help lawmakers understand why they need to take action to expand Telehealth access to all Granite Staters.

Thank you for your continued advocacy!