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Rural Healthcare Providers in Arkansas Receive Support to Implement Telehealth Services
[October 15, 2020]

Rural Healthcare Providers in Arkansas Receive Support to Implement Telehealth Services


LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Oct. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The COVID-19 pandemic and an increased usage of telehealth services has exposed the inadequate broadband coverage that many rural healthcare providers face. Centene, a leading multi-national healthcare company, has announced a collaboration with AT&T to offer healthcare providers access to FirstNet® – the only nationwide,  high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America's first responders and the extended public safety community. Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care, as part of the Centene family, will be deploying this program to rural healthcare providers and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in Arkansas to expand access to telehealth services and enable them to better serve their patients.  

Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care healthcare providers, as part of the Centene family, join FirstNet as extended primary users - organizations and agencies that could be called on to support public safety during significant emergency response. From mitigation, remediation, clean-up and restoration to the provisioning of other services required during the time of an emergency or its aftermath, extended primary users includes public works, healthcare, essential government services, school security, transportation and utilities. Eligibility for extended primary user status is rigorously reviewed before service is approved to help ensure that FirstNet's unique capabilities remain dedicated to first responders and those who support them.

Access to high-speed broadband internet can be a limiting factor for healthcare providers and primary care physicians (PCPs) to effectively use telehealth to treat patients remotely or provide access to virtual specialists. At the same time, the upfront costs of telehealth equipment can create another barrier, especially when considering the financial impacts of COVID-19 on smaller healthcare providers. Through the program, Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care will help rural providers and FQHCs integrate virtual care into their workflows with access to the FirstNet network and is also making equipment grants available to select practices to help cover their upfront investment costs.  By addressing providers' connectivity and affordability challenges, the health plans hope this enables them to:

  • Expand their reach and improve access to care in local communities
  • Enhance consumer experience and overall satisfaction of local patients  
  • Promote virtual provider-to-provider collaboration (particularly access to specialists)
  • Improve quality and population health outcomes
  • Reduce operating expenses (e.g. broadband savings) and help improve staff productivity



"During the COVID-19 pandemic, rural providers and FQHCs have faced hardships that have threatened their ability to remain open, which can negatively impact the health of their communities," said John Ryan, president and CEO of Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care. "With FirstNet available to these providers, they're able to implement telehealth systems feasibly and economically, so they can continue to operate and provide care to those in need."

Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care support Arkansas residents with government sponsored healthcare programs. Their efforts to address the social determinants of health reinforce their long-standing commitment to supporting the whole health of their communities, one person at a time.


FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks of the First Responder Network Authority.

About Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care
Founded in 2014, Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care are health care companies that arrange for the delivery of quality health care throughout Arkansas. Committed to helping Arkansas live better, Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care support active local community involvement in all 75 Arkansas counties, with approximately 1000 employees statewide. Centene offers affordable and high-quality products to nearly 1 in 15 individuals across the nation, including Medicaid and Medicare members (including Medicare Prescription Drug Plans) as well as individuals and families served by the Health Insurance Marketplace, the TRICARE program, and individuals in correctional facilities. The Company also serves several international markets, and contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide a variety of specialty services focused on treating the whole person. More information on Arkansas Health & Wellness and Arkansas Total Care can be found at www.arhealthwellness.com and www.arkansastotalcare.com.

About Centene Corporation
Centene Corporation, a Fortune 50 company, is a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise that is committed to helping people live healthier lives. The Company takes a local approach – with local brands and local teams – to provide fully integrated, high-quality, and cost-effective services to government-sponsored and commercial healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. Centene offers affordable and high-quality products to nearly 1 in 15 individuals across the nation, including Medicaid and Medicare members (including Medicare Prescription Drug Plans) as well as individuals and families served by the Health Insurance Marketplace, the TRICARE program, and individuals in correctional facilities. The Company also serves several international markets, and contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide a variety of specialty services focused on treating the whole person. Centene focuses on long-term growth and the development of its people, systems and capabilities so that it can better serve its members, providers, local communities, and government partners.

Centene uses its investor relations website to publish important information about the company, including information that may be deemed material to investors. Financial and other information about Centene is routinely posted and is accessible on Centene's investor relations website, http://www.centene.com/investors.

 

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/rural-healthcare-providers-in-arkansas-receive-support-to-implement-telehealth-services-301153172.html

SOURCE Arkansas Health & Wellness; Arkansas Total Care


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