JUDGE: Telehealth station ready to open for use
For months we have talked about the new, one of its kind, telehealth station that is right here in Milam County.
Telehealth demonstrations have been given to the public since August to enable everyone an opportunity to get used to this really neat device. Now, we are happy to announce that the station will open to the public beginning Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.
Beginning this week, the station will be open for public use between the hours of noon and 7 p.m. daily. There will be a $65 per patient charge to use the device and the charge can thereafter be submitted to one’s insurance to recoup some or all of the costs. We plan to keep the station open for longer hours as we go forward.
The telehealth station was developed through a grant awarded to Texas A&M by Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Texas A&M kindly contacted Milam County and we readily agreed to have the new station placed in the County. The device was developed by a company from Florida, called OnMed and it is the latest in telehealth technology. But, even though it is the most advanced, it is simple to use.
To use the station, one simply walks in, closes the door and pushes one button. A medical provider appears on a large screen and a dialogue begins to establish symptoms and a prognosis. There are numerous diagnostic tools to help with the diagnosis, including a thermometer, stethoscope, a handheld camera and a blood pressure, heart monitor and pulse cuff. Once a diagnosis is determined a prescription may be issued which can be filled at any pharmacy. In some cases, medications can even be dispensed by the station.
The station has numerous advantages, such as after hours care and the probability of no waiting to see a provider. A working mom who comes home to find her child with fever, could easily take the child for a quick visit and get a prescription for needed medications. A person who may need to get a new prescription to renew their blood pressure medication could use the station for that purpose, for a one-time fee of $65.00. Even someone who is having chest pains could use the station for an initial diagnosis and if emergency care was needed the provider would quickly make those arrangements for transportation to an emergency room. In some cases, a follow-up referral to one of our fine local providers might be in order.
Thus, the station will be an invaluable aid in our need for medical treatment and we hope you will take advantage of it. If it is not used, it may be re-located to another state. To emphasize the importance of and ease of use, we have some special friends coming on Wednesday afternoon for our final demonstrations. Mr. Drayton McLane, Mr. Wayne Fisher, Congressman Flores, Sen. Schwertner and Rep. Wilson will all be on hand for a quick tour and a personal demonstration of the station.
A special thanks to our fine Milam County Sheriff, Chris White for placing the station in his secure 24-hour lobby. And of course, a special thanks to Dr. Joy Alonzo and to all our friends at Texas A&M for selecting Milam County and to Austin White of OnMed for developing such an advance innovative medical device.