New Partnership Aims to Expand Telehealth Access for Seniors in South Carolina

New Partnership Aims to Expand Telehealth Access for Seniors in South Carolina

A new partnership between the South Carolina Department on Aging and nonprofit Palmetto Care Connections is set to bring telehealth services to thousands of seniors across the state. With the population of seniors in South Carolina projected to increase significantly in the next decade, state leaders are working to ensure that healthcare services are accessible, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

The partnership will place telehealth carts in 18 senior centers and councils on aging, allowing staff to assist seniors with telehealth visits to their primary and specialty care doctors. This eliminates the need for seniors to physically travel to the doctor’s office, reducing the risk of exposure to other illnesses and saving travel time.

The telehealth carts have already been piloted in three counties, and now with funding from the federal government, the program will expand to 14 new counties. The selected locations have been chosen based on their rural nature and high health disparities. The long-term goal is to make telehealth visits accessible from the comfort of seniors’ homes, once internet access is available to all.

The South Carolina Department on Aging emphasized that most seniors in the state are covered by Medicare, which currently provides coverage for telehealth visits. However, the department will be advocating for private insurance to cover these services as well. The state legislature has also been instrumental in promoting telehealth and creating the necessary foundation for this telehealth expansion.

Sources: WCSC

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