Friday, February 26, 2016

Telemedicine comes to rural firefighters

Is Mississippi getting in front of the curve for once on healthcare?  Mississippi Commissioner of Insurance announced Wednesday at a press conference that Teladoc will provide telemedicine services to the state's rural firefighters.   The Commissioner said the program will cost $200,000.  Covered firefighters will be able to use their phones as well as an iphone app to contact Mississippi-licensed doctors for medical services.  Mr. Chaney said there are over 13,000  volunteer firefighters who deserved the benefit because they don't get paid while risking their lives to save other lives.




Mr. Chaney said providing salaries and benefits to volunteer firefighters would cost the state over half a billion dollars.   Mr. Chaney said the Teladoc program will lower insurance rates as well as health provider costs.   He said "we can provide primary healthcare over a simple device called in Iphone" as he displayed his Iphone to the audience.  He said the goal is to provide "primary health care for routine medical conditions to firefighters and their dependents."   The app will allow those covered to videoconference with a Teladoc doctor, send pictures to him during the consultation, and determine the best course of medical treatment.  The service will be available 24-hours a day.

Teladoc Vice-President of Government Affairs Claudia Tucker said the Commissioner's decision to offer Teladoc services to rural firefighters was a "first in the country".   Attorney and former State Senator Charlie Ross represents Teladoc.  He said the program was the "way of the future".  Mr. Chaney closed the program by urging county fire coordinators to enroll their firefighters. The press conference was held at the South Madison County Fire Station on Stribling Road. 

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is nice, but he is also putting the screws to Fire Departments across the state by allowing State Farm to by pass the rating system, after he had told those same departments he would not allow it. You need to look into this Kingfish.

Anonymous said...

Who is paying the $200,000?

Anonymous said...

Who in Mississippi has a financial interest in Teledoc? Bob Galli at UMMC has been involved with the expansion of telemedicine in the state since its inception. Curious about who is benefiting and also curious about this:
Who are these MS docs who are going to diagnose firefighters and treat them without a physical examination?
Sounds suspect to me.

Kingfish said...

You probably would've been suspicious of Gutenberg.

Anonymous said...

Teledoc is based out of Dallas and has been in business several years. Many employers provide it for employees either as a paid benefit or a supplemental offering. They use local doctors. It is very useful for minor maladies. No I don't work for Teledoc nor do I have any monetary interest in this program

Anointed With Halo said...

Like volunteer firemen are the only people who don't have time to go to a medical clinic? Why attempt to make martyrs out of this group? Take school teachers, for example. They do not have the flexibility to leave during the day to visit a doc in the box.

This whole thing is nothing but political theater.

Anonymous said...

Supertalk FM ran a story about the Miss. legislature shutting this down. Mississippi doesn't want out-of-state doctors prescribing Rx to locals without a face-to-face consultation.

Anonymous said...

A $200k contract with Mike Chaney is just the beginning. Henry Barbour's lobbying firm is peddling Teladoc-favoring bills to the Mississippi Legislature. Teladoc will have many more government contracts soon.

Anonymous said...

Lining the Barbour pockets is why Mississippians pay taxes.

Anonymous said...

An underlying issue is Easterling and his buddies controlling access to healthcare. Telemedicine is good especially when you have no access to care. They are trying to continue to limit nurse practitioners even though many have no access to doctors. These doctors don't practice in rural areas because it's not lucrative. Of all those that participants the rally, many make more than $250,000 per year. This is about money.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a good thing. When Its taking AMR over an hour to get to a scene this could actually help save a life. I get that it's meant to be used for firefighters and family. Underfunded volunteer firefighters are resourceful and I'd bet they will use this to help them stabilize patients.

KF, are all of your readers the glass half empty crowd?

Anonymous said...

Oblique much @3:01?

Anonymous said...

@3:01 - You're ignorance abounds. This telemedicine is like them seeing a doctor for their illness, not that of their patients. EMT's and Paramedics working under a medical control agreement have ALWAYS been able to pick up a phone and speak with a physician about a patient they respond to. This has been the case for decades. The telemedicine has nothing at all to do with that.
And you won't find one case where it took AMR over an hour to respond to a life threatening emergency. Many calls are downgraded based on the nature of the call. What you may think is an emergency, just because it is happening to you, may not be something that an ambulance can actually make a difference in, other than getting you a ride to a waiting room.
But Madison and Rankin County will soon not have AMR since AMR has told the counties they will not be putting in bids for these contracts because they make about 2% of their revenue there. People have worried too much about how quick something gets there rather than the quality of the service that gets there. Instead of putting more into the fire department EMS side they will go with a Taco Bell-style service that gets there quick. AMR Jackson has been nationally recognized for it's level of training, cardiac arrest saves and is nationally accredited. You get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

@9:10 - UMMC telemedicine was supposed to be at the old Saks building but died when it was realized the cost to get fiber at the site and connect it to the state ITS backbone.

James Hadley said...

That is good to know that the government is looking after those service and it has been an underlying issue for a long time. Telemedicine services is a modern age tool for the firefighters who do not have on the spot healthcare assistance in the times of need. This way their life is insured and are not at risk.

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