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Phoning it in

Jul 01, 2021
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Phoning it in

How telephone and video conferencing are revolutionizing healthcare

Last year was a tough one – for everyone. Between physical distancing restrictions, the increase in demand for behavioral health professionals, and decreasing staff sizes among providers – the healthcare industry was particularly hard hit. On the bright side, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted just how important telehealth is in bridging the gap between patients and providers, as well as expanding capacity and access to healthcare.

 

Good to Know

While telehealth became more prominent and important during the pandemic, it’s been around almost as long as the telephone. In fact, NASA has been using satellite connections for decades as a way to monitor astronauts’ health in space.

Other forms of telehealth are already making life easier for millions, whether through electronic diabetes monitoring or the text reminders we get when it’s time to renew a prescription. That’s called telepharmacology, if you want to be technical.

 

Need to Know

Telehealth (also called telemedicine) allows people to meet with healthcare providers by telephone or through a secure Internet connection using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. If it sounds simple, that’s because it is.

Pandemic or not, telehealth can save you time and sometimes even money, as well.  As of July 1, our plans include quick, convenient access to telehealth urgent care with $0 cost to Members through 2021. Click here for more information. On those occasions when you’re sick or injured and don’t want to get in the car, you have a new option. You can also use the Health Options telehealth platform to find hard-to-book providers in our area, like mental and behavioral health specialists.

 

More to Know:

To learn more about our telehealth platform, log on to your Health Options Member portal; click on the Health & Wellness tab, and choose "Get Started" to access the sign-up page. Here, you can register for your personal account, and your information will be saved for future visits.  

Once upon a time, country doctors made house calls to keep sick people from traveling and getting even sicker. Telehealth is essentially a modern-day house call. You get the care you need without leaving the comfort of home. 

SEE ALSO

As part of an effort to expand access to free and accessible world-class fitness in beautiful public spaces, Community Health Options has partnered with National Fitness Campaign (NFC) to build Fitness Courts® across Maine.

The Fitness Court is an outdoor bodyweight circuit training gym that supports all-level workouts and can be completed in as little as seven minutes a day. The Fitness Courts are free to use, designed for all fitness abilities, and suitable for ages 14 and older. With the free Fitness Court app, available for iOS or Android, users can take classes, learn workout routines, and get fit.

The ultimate goal is to fight back against preventable diseases caused by sedentary behavior and transform the next decade so that millions of Americans will choose outdoor wellness activities for healthier lives.

“Mainers are known for enjoying the great outdoors. Our partnership with the NFC will help more adult Mainers enjoy exercising outside and will allow them to be their healthiest selves, mentally and physically,” said Kevin Lewis, president and CEO of Health Options. “Our vision to be a leader in transforming and improving individual and community health naturally aligns with the NFC’s work.”

Through the NFC partnership, grant-funded Health Options Fitness Courts will be constructed in easily accessible public spaces beginning in Summer 2022. The NFC and Health Options will begin accepting grant funding applications on November 4, 2021, to support Fitness Court construction in local communities.

Qualified municipalities, schools, and other organizations who own accessible public space are encouraged to apply here: nationalfitnesscampaign.com/maine. Grant recipients will receive a wellness toolkit and design resources to aid in planning, funding, and launching their outdoor Fitness Court and community wellness campaign. To learn more about National Fitness Campaign and how to qualify for funding, visit: nationalfitnesscampaign.com/maine.

Watch this video to learn more.