SAN ANTONIO, TX (July 24, 2014)—Rural Health Telecom has reached an agreement with Gadsden, Alabama-based Quality of Life Health Services Inc. (QOLHS) to upgrade remote clinic connectivity. Rural Health Telecom CEO Tim Koxlien said resulting increases in broadband speed will enable video conferencing, telemedicine services and improved speed to access electronic medical records (EMR). “This upgrade will dramatically enhance Quality of Life Health Services Inc.’s capabilities to expand patient service access, reduce costs and improve care quality,” Koxlien said. “Efficiencies enabled by this improvement, along with Rural Health Telecom’s assistance in procuring government funding, will save Quality of Life Health Services money with telecommunications professionals freeing up Quality of Life’s staff to do what they do best – take care of patients.” Koxlien said that patients are the ultimate beneficiaries, experiencing better quality care and improved health outcomes.
Quality of Life Health Services’ problem was a common one in rural America: how to afford bandwidth speed necessary to reap the benefits of emerging technologies that improve quality and access to care.
Eligible rural health care providers can receive government funding from the Universal Service Fund (USF) under the Rural Healthcare Program. Funding subsidizes the difference between urban connectivity costs and rural costs, which are often higher due to the remoteness of clinic locations. Rural Health Telecom worked with Amelia Wofford, planning and development officer at QOLHS, to secure over $2.3 million in funding from July 2013 through June 2018.
Quality of Life Health Services Inc. CEO Wayne Rowe said technology is another wave of progress within the health care industry and in most cases the surface has only been scratched. “The exchange of information among health care providers offers better treatment and less costly services that avoid duplication,” Rowe said. “Understanding when and how to invest in infrastructure is crucial to operating an efficient health care group.”
Quality of Life Health Services Inc. needed a customized connectivity solution complicated by a lack of traditional copper connectivity options. Rural Health Telecom provided a superior fiber-based solution and worked with Danny McCord and the QOLHS IT staff to develop a Layer 2 Ethernet network.
“Making technology tools and requisite telecommunications connections affordable and customized is important, but Quality of Life Health Services needed more than a vendor – they needed a partner,” Koxlien said. “For over seven years, we have worked closely with Quality of Life from start to finish on each project. From understanding the funding process, to network design, to 24-hour network support and even a simplified billing process, our goal is to provide a comprehensive, superior customer experience. We are proud to stand with Quality of Life Health Services to provide care to underserved communities in Alabama,” he said.
About Quality of Life Health Services, Inc.
Quality of Life Health Services Inc. is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and operates 21 locations in Alabama spanning 18 contiguous counties and serving over 50,000 patients annually. The FQHC is part of the nationwide network of community health centers. Community health centers serve over 22 million people in more than 9,000 rural and urban communities through a unique model of care.
About Rural Health Telecom (RHT)
Rural Health Telecom, a division of TeleQuality Communications, Inc., is based in San Antonio, Texas. Its rural health care provider clients receive the largest amount of total funding in the continental United States. Founded in 1999, RHT focuses exclusively on supplying quality telecommunications products and services to health care facilities in America. Rural Health Telecom has made Inc. magazine’s 500/5000 list of the fastest growing telecommunications companies three years in a row. For more information please visit www.ruralhealthtelecom.com.