Alabama e-Health: Rural Healthcare of Tomorrow Today
MAO operates a state-of-the-art telemedicine network consisting of two full-service provider locations and 10 rural patient satellite clinics that represent MAO’s Alabama e-Health Initiative. Patients benefit from direct care as well as counseling and social service assistance via Alabama e-Health. When you visit your MAO provider or social worker, ask about connecting via Alabama e-Health for future routine visits.
Alabama e-Health Satellite Clinics:
Barbour County – Clayton
Escambia County – Brewton
Conecuh County – Evergreen
Covington County – Andalusia
Henry County – Abbeville
Marengo County – Linden
Lowndes County – Hayneville
Dallas County – Selma
Perry County – Marion
Pike County – Troy
If your appointment has not yet been scheduled, call the Copeland Care Clinic appointment line and speak with a member of your provider’s team at 1-800-510-4704 for assistance.
About the Alabama e-Health Initiative
Over the years, Medical Advocacy & Outreach (MAO) recognized a number of barriers related to patients accessing care in the Deep South. The combination of rurality, health professional shortages, stigma, and poverty compounded by the increasing number of HIV diagnoses in Alabama posed a significant challenge in reaching people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A). In 2011, with these considerations in mind, MAO sought a new or alternative means of providing care for rural clients.
Thanks, in part, to a matching grant from AIDS United, MAO established Alabama’s first telemedicine network serving PLWH/A in rural Alabama. Using high-speed internet connections, Bluetooth peripherals, high definition audio-video equipment, and partnerships with rural social services organizations, MAO created a network to bring primary HIV care to rural Alabama without the need for travel. Furthermore, by branding these satellites as Alabama e-Health, care could be delivered with less stigma derived from references to HIV or AIDS.
MAO’s first Alabama e-Health telemedicine clinic was established in Selma, Alabama in 2011. Telemedicine technology allowed for a provider in Montgomery or Dothan, Alabama to treat a patient in Selma via a kind of real time video conference with the help of an on-site nurse to facilitate the patient-end of the encounter. Using high definition cameras and video screens that meet privacy requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 128-bit encryption, high speed internet and Bluetooth medical technology, clinicians in urban settings can now treat patients in rural clinics, providing direct to patient HIV specialty and primary care from a distance. Growing from one patient clinic and one provider location, MAO expanded its telemedicine network to cover 12 counties throughout rural Alabama.
To learn more about telemedicine technology, feel free to CLICK HERE. If you are a provider agency and are interested in learning how you might extend your reach via telemedicine, contact MAO’s Telehealth Resource Center.
National Recognition for MAO
The American Academy of HIV Medicine and the Institute for Technology in Healthcare awarded the Alabama e-Health Initiative for its innovative use of technology in the HIV care setting. Additionally, under President Obama’s administration, the White House’s national HIV strategy highlighted the Alabama e-Health model as a viable and cost-effective means of reaching rural HIV patients. Recognizing the state’s egregiously disproportionate number of poor health outcomes in rural counties, the State of Alabama turned to MAO, under the previous Governor, for advice on addressing health disparities, resulting in the nomination of MAO’s CEO, Michael Murphree, L.I.C.S.W., to the State’s Healthcare Task Force. Murphree has also been invited to participate in three rural health conferences at the White House where he advocates for policies to bolster rural healthcare capabilities.