Rep Griffith and Carilion working to make telehealth more accessible

Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 4:53 PM EDT
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GILES COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - More and more doctors visits are going in the direction of telehealth.

Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith stopped by Giles County on June 2, to find out ways Congress can make telehealth more accessible.

Both Carilion and Rep. Griffith agree that telehealth is the way of the future. Now the goal is making it more accessible for people in rural areas.

“I knew that the technology was coming, I didn’t know it was here and it’s right here in Giles County and all over the Carilion footprint,” Griffith said.

He spoke with Carilion Representatives at Carilion Giles Community Hospital with the goal of finding out ways to improve telehealth connection in southwest Virginia.

“We currently are conducting around 300 visits per day throughout the healthcare system,” Carilion Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Morgan said.

Prior to the pandemic, there were geographical restrictions around reimbursement for telehealth visits. The pandemic loosened those restrictions but there’s fear that might come to an end.

“There was actually equal pay for a provider to do telemedicine as they would with an in person visit,” Dr. Morgan said.

That’s something Griffith hopes to address in congress to make sure that continues.

“The medical community is ready,” Griffith said. “They want to use telemedicine to provide better and more extensive health care to rural areas. We have to get some of the old laws out of the way.”

“It is just a tremendous opportunity to expand how we can take care of patients in a convenient way where they would like to have the care and it’s not for everything,” Dr. Morgan said. “But there are certain conditions that really telemedicine is going to be the wave of the future.”

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