Taking Advantage Of Telehealth: 3 Benefits For Rural Citizens

Experts estimate that about 46.2 million people (roughly 15% of the country's population) reside in rural counties. When it comes to receiving quality healthcare, individuals living in a rural setting may experience some unique challenges. If you are looking for a simple way to increase the quality of your healthcare services, and you live in a rural area, you may want to ask your doctor about telehealth options.

Here are three benefits you will enjoy when incorporating telehealth into your healthcare routine in the future.

1. Access to specialty services.

Many health clinics in rural areas don't have the financial ability to employ specialists on a full-time basis. This means that if you need a consultation with a cardiologist, internist, or other type of specialist, you might have to drive a significant distance to a regional hospital in order to receive the care you need.

When your rural family doctor partners with these regional specialists to offer telehealth services, you will be able to reduce the cost of caring for your health. Not only will you eliminate the time required to travel to a regional hospital, you will be able to eliminate the fuel costs and missed hours at work that can be associated with these trips.

2. Less time taken off work.

Many of the individuals living in rural areas are employed in the agricultural industry. Farm workers don't generate much income, and wages are actually decreasing over time. Experts estimate that the average wage of a farm worker has decreased by more than 20% over the last 20 years.

If you can't afford to take time off from your farm job to seek medical attention, working with a family doctor that offers telehealth services can help you solve your healthcare problems without missing work. You can easily video conference with your doctor on your lunch hour or break, allowing you to get the medical screening needed to maintain your health without sacrificing any of your limited income.

3. Fewer hospitalizations.

If you have a condition that requires around-the-clock monitoring, you may think that you need to be admitted to a hospital to receive the care you need to recover. Through advancements in telehealth, a medical professional can monitor your condition remotely while you recover at home.

With the average cost of a hospital stay across the United States ranging from $1,791 to $2,289 per day, having telehealth options can significantly reduce your care costs in the future.

Talk to your family doctor about the ways telehealth services can enhance your rural lifestyle or contact a company like Rural Health Services Consortium Inc. for more information.