PBS NewsHour Fails to Recognize Telehealth as a Solution for Disappearing Rural Hospitals

SAN ANTONIO (March 31, 2016) - “While we very much appreciate PBS NewsHour’s two recent segments on the national crisis of rural hospital shutdowns and closures across the United States, we were surprised to see no mention of the role of telehealth and telemedicine in aiding rural hospitals and clinics to reduce expenses and hence stay in operation,” said Tim Koxlien, CEO of TeleQuality Communications, a national telecommunications provider that exclusively serves the healthcare industry.   

On March 4 and March 18, 2016,  describing how small-town hospitals were facing economic calamity, with 50 rural hospitals nationwide closing since 2010 and hundreds more facing extinction as a result of falling revenue and decreasing federal spending.

Neither segment, PBS NewsHour broadcast two segments produced by PBS in partnership with Kaiser Health News, cited the positive trending impact of telehealth and telemedicine that is saving lives and money while helping to rescuing hospitals in rural America.             

“The oversight is a common problem even among key players in the healthcare industry who have failed to recognize the impact telemedicine has in rural areas.  In some instances, opposition by stakeholders, such as the state medical boards, physicians’ groups and others, against the expansion of telehealth without in-person consulting done first tragically hinders telehealth initiatives,” Koxlien added. “I would urge PBS NewsHour to re-air the segment and include telehealth as a solution available to rural healthcare providers.”             

Today telehealth, the use of digital broadband technology and IT tools for conducting long-distance counseling and diagnosis of some forms of medical problems, is forging ahead with stunning financial and clinical results.             

In fact, telehealth visits have the potential to save the healthcare system more than $100 per visit and its remote care delivery model could potentially save $6 billion annually in U.S. healthcare costs, according to research by the Alliance for Connected Care and Towers Watson.             

“Telehealth severely needs national recognition from media outlets such as PBS as a powerful solution for rural healthcare providers facing financial burdens and looking to save money while at the same time increasing the quality of their patient care,” Koxlien said.     

About TeleQuality Communications, Inc. (TQCI)

TeleQuality Communications, Inc. (TQCI) and its division, Rural Health Telecom (RHT), are based in San Antonio, Texas. Founded in 2006, TQCI focuses exclusively on supplying quality telecommunications products and services to health care providers throughout America. TQCI has made Inc. 5000’s list of fastest growing private companies four times in the past five years. For more information, please visit www.telequality.com.     


Contact: Delia Lauinger

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