White Mountain Community Health Center in New Hampshire http://www.whitemountainhealth.org and Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Connected Care/Center for Telehealth https://med.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/connected-care.html serving communities in northern New England, have launched a new hepatology telemedicine service for Mount Washington Valley residents.
This new service uses live, two way secure video to connect Dartmouth-Hitchcock providers with health center patients and local medical care teams. This partnership brings together Rachel A. Jeffers MD a specialist in gastroenterology and hepatology with health center patients via telemedicine. Also Hepatitis C consultation and treatment is provided along with advice on other diseases of the liver.
The health center has been seeing more patients with Hepatitis C since they began offering substance misuse treatment as the disease often spreads through used needles. The disease can be dormant for years and then flare up, causing serious liver damage and even cancer.
Health Center patients who need Hepatitis C treatment can use their regular insurance or use the sliding fee scale to pay for telehealth appointments which is the same fee as a normal primary care visit. Patients that have insurance with a deductible can use the sliding fee scale to make the appointments affordable. Medication is covered by insurance and for those without insurance, the health center can provide a discount pharmaceutical care to reduce the cost.
The newest treatment for Hepatitis C is much more effective than previous treatment options but is only covered by insurance when prescribed by a gastroenterologist or an infectious disease specialist. Currently, the telemedicine service is only being offered for health center patients.