The Indian Health Service today announced a new contract for $6.8 million awarded to Avera Health to provide telemedicine services in all 19 Great Plains Area service units, which serve approximately 130,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives. The contract expands telemedicine services as a means of strengthening access to care at IHS health facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.
The contract will strengthen existing IHS services for patients by enabling IHS facilities to offer additional specialty services and appointments to ensure patients have the fastest possible access to the health care they need. Under the contract, Avera Health will be providing additional emergency medical services at hospitals in the Great Plains Area as well as providing additional access for American Indian and Alaska Native patients to see specialists in: behavioral health; cardiology; maternal and child health; nephrology; pain management; pediatric behavioral health; rheumatology; wound care; ear, nose and throat care; and dermatology. The funding announced today covers one year of services. IHS has the option to add funding to the contract to expand services this year as well as to extend the services up to five years in total, subject to the availability of resources.
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