Vermont Business Magazine The Community Health Centers of Burlington (CHCB) has expanded their telehealth services. Beginning the week of March 16, 2020, CHCB took swift action to more broadly provide telehealth visits for medical, behavioral health and psychiatric services in response to COVID-19. By mid-May, telehealth visits are now accounting for almost 85 percent of total scheduled visits.
The enhanced use of telehealth is critical to increasing access to assessment and treatment of medical and behavioral health conditions while serving to reduce transmission of infectious disease such as COVID-19.
This is particularly important for vulnerable patients with underlying chronic conditions who are already at higher risk for severe COVID-19-related complications. Such technology also provides CHCB staff with the mobility and flexibility needed to provide care to patients experiencing homelessness, whether at shelters, campgrounds, or any location CHCB outreach staff will visit, which is especially critical during the current pandemic.
Also in response to COVID-19, CHCB was recently awarded funding by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to purchase an increased supply of devices necessary to ensure secure HIPAA-compliant, high-quality visits via audio and video.
With the FCC funding, CHCB is also able to implement its telehealth support strategy through the purchase of several core infrastructure devices and applications that create a stable, secure, and versatile platform to support the continued delivery of high quality Medical, Behavioral Health and Psychiatry services.
“The FCC funding is an opportunity to vastly increase our telehealth hardware rollout, and will strengthen us when we come out of this situation to have the latest tech to grow and actualize our telehealth vision,” says CHCB IT Director, Cedric Spence. “It will ensure that we are ready for the future of many aspects of health care as it relates to this technology.”
Since 1971, the Community Health Centers of Burlington have provided quality health care for Vermonters regardless of financial or insurance status.
One of 12 Federally Qualified Health Centers in the state, CHCB has eight locations and is one of the largest nonprofit family health and dental practices in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties. For more information on their services and programs, visit www.chcb.org.
This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant H80CS00311, the Community Health Centers and Homeless Healthcare Program, at $3,035,000, 12 percent of CHCB funding. T
his information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.
Source: BURLINGTON, VT – The Community Health Centers of Burlington 5.26.2020