Innovating with a Conscience - TelePioneers in Rural Health
NARBHA's unique geographic service area led us to pioneer a telepsychiatry network to increase member access to psychiatric services and to improve our providers' ability to recruit and retain practitioners. NARBHA serves as a telemed training site for providers throughout the country and has helped draft national standards and best practices for this service delivery technology. Today NARBHA is a national leader with an award-winning telemedicine program, called NARBHAnet, which provides members in remote areas with access to psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners, as well as to American Sign Language interpreters. With more than 100,000 patient telepsychiatry appointments since its inception, NARBHAnet includes 80 sites in Arizona.
In 2013, NARBHA added 6 new sites at CCC in Snowflake; WYGC in Hillside PHS; SBHS in Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City and Kingman; and CFSS in Tempe.
We received more than $246,000 in Federal rebates for rural non-profit RAs who are part of the NARBHA telemedicine network. The rebates cover part of the charges the clinics pay for the telecommunication circuits. Since we have been filing for the clinics in 1998, NARBHA has received more than $2.7 million dollars back for them.
NARBHA conducted 20,363 in FY ‘13, compared to 10,538 the year before. To date, NARBHAnet has had more 113,894 clinical sessions.
In a 10-year telemedicine satisfaction survey to gauge long-term member satisfaction with psychiatric services provided via video, 86% expressed their belief that the quality of medical care via telemedicine is the same as or better than in person.
Given a choice between telemedicine and in-person services, 80% of respondents either have no preference or prefer telemedicine.
NEWS on NARBHA's Telemedicine Program
- Case Study: In Arizona, Polycom® RealPresence® Video Solutions Enable NARBHA to Remove the Distance Separating Patients from the Care they Need, While Saving Millions of Dollars
- Arizona Telemedicine Program's ‘Northern Arizona Telemedicine Corridor' Becomes a National Model of a ‘Telehealth Ecosystem'
- NARBHA Wins award for telemedicine program
- National Council Names 2010 Awards of Excellence Honorees
For more information or to schedule meetings using Telemedicine resources, go to www.rbha.net