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Rural Matters

Aug 9, 2018

Mara chats with Michael Adcock, executive director of the Center for Telehealth at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) about using technology to connect patients and providers in rural areas. The Center has been providing telehealth services for 15 years and is one of the two Telehealth Centers of Excellence in the United States. Starting with providing emergency services, moving on to mental health, the program now offers more than 35 medical specialty services in more than 200 sites across the state. The Center is focusing on offering more telehealth services in the school settings, Adcock notes, which is a win-win for students, their parents, and for overutilized emergency rooms.  None of its services are meant to replace local physicians, Adcock points out, but to augment existing services. The cost of the service is minimal in many instances, such as mental health services, requiring only a laptop or desktop and a webcam and applicable software, which can be provided and maintained by UMMC. And there are grant funds out there for this equipment, he adds.  Patients appreciate that they don’t have to travel to Jackson, MS for services but still get to be seen by clinicians. In most cases, the Center can replicate in-person care, but if they can’t, they won’t provide those types of telehealth services. The episode concluded with a discussion of a very successful diabetes telehealth pilot program developed by UMMC. This episode was sponsored by, the Center for Telehealth at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Learn more at The national sponsor for this episode is AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Learn more at