UnitedHealthcare Gives $700,000 Grant To The California Telehealth Network To Help Expand Access To Quality Care

UnitedHealthcare has donated $700,000 to the California Telehealth Network to help expand telemedicine training and provide technical support for rural and medically underserved clinics and hospitals in California.

California Telehealth Network (CTN) is the Golden State’s statewide partnership for telehealth. It uses broadband technology to improve access to quality health care with a focus on rural and medically underserved communities. CTN plans to partner with the California Telemedicine and eHealth Center (CTEC) and other stakeholder partners to provide training and technical support for CTN sites throughout the state.

This is the second grant UnitedHealthcare has given CTN. In 2010, UnitedHealthcare donated $600,000 to help launch CTN and its goal of connecting telehealth devices across the state.

“CTN thanks UnitedHealthcare for this important funding that enables us to expand offerings beyond broadband services to include increased technical and programmatic support for CTN sites all over California,” said Eric Brown, president and CEO, California Telehealth Network. “Less than 20 percent of our locations have onsite information technology expertise. The UnitedHealthcare funding also enables CTN to provide much needed IT support to our sites to enable them to better utilize the technology CTN makes possible.”

“UnitedHealthcare shares California Telehealth Network’s goal of ensuring that people statewide have access to the care they need,” said Dan Rosenthal, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Northern California. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue our support for CTN as it brings much-needed health care into underserved communities throughout the state.”

UnitedHealthcare offers health benefits, including employer-sponsored and Medicare health plans, to nearly 3 million Californians, and partners with about 50,000 physicians across the state.

About the California Telehealth Network

CTN’s mission is to use broadband technology to improve access to the best quality health care in rural and medically underserved communities statewide. The CTN is the product of an unprecedented statewide coalition of healthcare, technology, government, and other stakeholders, that drafted a proposal in spring 2007 to the Federal Communications Commission. Under the FCC’s Rural Health Care Pilot Program – with the goal of significantly increasing access to acute, primary and preventive health care in rural America – the FCC will provide California with up to $22.1 million over three years. Additional funds for the CTN have been provided by the California Emerging Technology Fund, and UnitedHealth/PacifiCare.

The CTN project intends to leverage and build upon California’s historic and recent investments in telehealth. In recent years, a number of exciting initiatives have been launched in California to advance the use of telecommunications and health care technology. CTN will connect over 800 California healthcare providers in underserved areas to a state- and nation-wide broadband network dedicated to healthcare.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealth Group is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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