Using telemedicine to improve rural women’s health and save babies’ lives | Blue Cross Blue Shield

Using telemedicine to improve rural women’s health and save babies’ lives

Published May 22, 2018
Listen to the Story Here
Listen to the Story Here

In some Tennessee counties, infant mortality rates are as high as they are in many third world countries. How can that be in a place like the United States, known for some of the most prestigious hospitals and healthcare providers in the world? As with so many healthcare questions, there’s no single answer.

More than 90% of STORC's patients are having healthy babiesOne is the high prevalence of chronic conditions like diabetes. Another is profound poverty. There’s also the fact that women with high risk pregnancies have trouble accessing quality specialty care in rural areas. A specialist might be two hours away, and if the patient doesn’t have the gas money, or the child care, or the time off of work to get there, she’ll miss an appointment—and the chance to spot problems before they worsen.

Dr. David Adair conducts a telemedicine visit from his office in ChattanoogaListen to the story of how BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee decided it had a responsibility to tackle the issue and how a partnership with Dr. David Adair, an obstetrics specialist in Chattanooga, helped launch a major telemedicine network to serve rural women. We’ll meet a woman who never misses a telemedicine visit with Dr. Adair and visit a small town clinic that’s connecting women with the specialty care they need.

“I believe that this is something that really does help spread that quality and access to care regardless of your income level and regardless of where you live in the state.”

Chelsea Johnson, Manager, Community Relations, BlueCross BlueShield Tennessee