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Hospitals are turning to telehealth to manage scarce physician resources

January 11, 2019 / Susan Morse

New flexibilities for telehealth reimbursement and expected changes for 2019 and beyond are making its use more widespread. Providence St. Joseph Health headquartered in Washington State, has been working for over 12 years on its telehealth program and the technology, in fact, has become necessary as a way to leverage the scarce resources of physicians and nurses, a problem facing all hospitals, said Kim Swafford, group vice president of telehealth and health technology strategy for Providence St. Joseph Health. "Providence St. Joseph has 51 hospitals across seven states, we represent a lot of rural communities," Swafford said. "How do you take those scare resources and scale them appropriately?"