New Mexico Expanding Telehealth Network
Stroke and brain injury patients in New Mexico will benefit from expansion of a unique telemedicine network from 11 to 30 hospitals. The three-year, $15.1 million grant funding the project is part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Health Care Innovation awards.
The joint project of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and Net Medical Xpress Solutions builds on an existing service. It will provide neurological consultation using inexpensive audiovisual equipment and software, CMS said. The goal of the project is to cut the unnecessary transport of stroke patients from rural hospitals to Albuquerque. According to Dr. Howard Yonas in a copyrighted Albuquerque Business article, 40 percent of air transports to the University of New Mexico hospital were unnecessary. New Mexico officials hope the telemedicine program will save tens of millions of dollars by preventing patients being inappropriately transferred to a tertiary center.