Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Foundation provides $0.9m grant to support telehealth in Tennessee

Steve Rogerson
April 15, 2015
 
The Tennessee Primary Care Association (TPCA) has been awarded a $900,000 grant from the United Health Foundation to help support Tennessee Quality Connect, a clinical initiative that connects health care professionals and patients through community health centres (CHCs) using telehealth technology.
 
The foundation awarded the grant during a community event this month at a clinic in Nashville. The event brought together TPCA staff and partners, local health experts, community leaders, care providers, patients, and staff from Neighborhood Health and United Healthcare to demonstrate the support for access to new health care technologies in the state.
 
“We are thrilled to receive United Health Foundation’s support to help us expand our work with CHCs in delivering comprehensive care for patients living with hypertension, diabetes, depression and more – especially for people living in remote areas,” said Kathy Wood-Dobbins, CEO of TPCA.
 
The ability to leverage technology such as telehealth extends the reach of urban-based specialty care providers, improving access to critical health services in remote and underserved areas. More than ten million people in the USA directly benefited from using telemedicine last year, according to the American Telemedicine Association.
 
“We thank United Health Foundation for providing this grant to the TPCA,” said state senator Doug Overbey. “We have a goal to broaden access to quality medical and behavioural health services through face-to-face visits and telehealth technology, and this partnership will help us achieve that goal.”
 
United Healthcare serves more than a million people in Tennessee enrolled in employer-sponsored, individual, Medicare and Medicaid health plans, with a care provider network of 150 hospitals and more than 24,000 physicians statewide.
 
“The Tennessee Primary Care Association’s work in the community has shown significant success in connecting people with quality health care services, and we are grateful for the opportunity to support its efforts to bring new, innovative approaches to health care,” said Rita Johnson-Mills, CEO of United Healthcare Community Plan of Tennessee.
 
TPCA’s membership is comprised of more than 30 non-profit primary care clinics operating more than 200 satellite sites that provide primary care to people across the state. Member health centres served more than 396,000 people in 2013 and continue to see their patient numbers grow.
 
The United Health Foundation was established by United Health Group in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, it has committed more than $240m to programmes and communities around the world.