Montana Public Radio

telemedicine

Telemedicine And Montana’s Digital Divide

19 hours ago

When COVID-19 safety protocols shifted whole sectors of the healthcare industry from in person visits to a telehealth model, Arjun and Hannah Verma watched their parents, a pulmonologist and a cardiologist, fret about some of their elderly patients who were unprepared for the switch. The elder Vermas were concerned that their patients who didn’t own camera enabled devices or know how to use video conferencing platforms would be forced to forgo critical care.

Doctors are now cleared to check in with patients over the phone as part of the effort to minimize the number of people in health care facilities. Private health insurance companies and Medicaid are relaxing telemedicine requirements during the coronavirus pandemic.

Keith Regier (R) SD-3
Montana Legislature

A Kalispell lawmaker is trying to stop doctors from offering abortion by telemedicine, a practice that is not yet available in Montana.

Republican Keith Regier calls them “webcam abortions”; a woman meeting with a doctor over a remote video connection, to get a prescription to terminate her pregnancy. So far no clinic in Montana offers abortion services over telemedicine, and Regier wants it to stay that way.