How Telehealth Will Shape K12 Health Services In 2021

 Telehealth services grew out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re here to stay. The rapid acceleration of telehealth also forces those in EdTech to incorporate telehealth services to students, especially those in lower-income neighborhoods.

Voice of B2B, Daniel Litwin, talked with Kate Eberle Walker, CEO of PresenceLearning, a provider of live online special education-related services to K-12 schools nationwide, including speech-language therapy, behavioral and mental health therapy, occupational therapy, and assessments, on Marketscale TV.

 

The duo talked about telehealth services, which expanded rapidly during the pandemic. In Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield saw the number of medical providers that provide telehealth services jump from 10 to 82 percent. Further, a March 2021 update by the Federation of State Medical Boards saw telehealth waivers issued in 41 states, which helped expand access to telehealth services. The states that issued waivers saw telehealth services skyrocket.

“In K12, teletherapy went from being a niche idea that helped fill gaps, to a wide-spread practice within a year,” Walker said.

But, things aren’t all rosy, especially for those in lower-income areas. In a lower-income school district in North Texas, Garland ISD, 65 percent of students are economically disadvantaged, negatively impacting medical care. The school district opted to integrate telehealth services into their existing services. But, not all school systems might not have this capability, and students need to have access to healthcare.

“The most important thing that telehealth does for an underserved community is it brings qualified clinicians to that community,” Walker said.

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