Florida’s First Family to Create a Telemental Health Network for School Children Affected by Hurricane Michael
Telemedicine has become an increasingly popular new way to treat patients who need medical services but may not have convenient access to physicians. This technology is ideally suited for areas that have suffered a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake. Thankfully, through the technology of telemedicine, victims of natural disasters can now get medical treatment.
This story comes to us from the state of Florida, where the children who have been affected by Hurricane Michael, a catastrophic Catagory 5 storm, will be able to receive mental health services virtually. These children, many of whom are left without the mental health care they need in the wake of the hurricane, will be treated to ensure their mental well-being is in good condition for the upcoming fall semester. It is estimated that 35,000 children in the Florida panhandle area, some who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, will be treated when the telemental health services are in place.
Unfortunately, the already rising issue of lack of physician care only heightened after the hurricane; according to the news article, as much as 40 percent of healthcare providers in the area have lost employees since the storm.
Telemedicine services could not have come at a better time. It is imperative that the children receive mental health treatment so their focus can be on their education and not the fears and memories that may still loom in their minds after the disaster.
Read more about this story and also the new telehealth law that was passed just a few days before its release, establishing new guidelines for telehealth and telemedicine and allowing payers and providers to work together on reimbursement.