FCC Commissioner Visits Banyan Community Health Centers
As part of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Covid-19 Telehealth Program, Banyan Community Health Center was awarded funding to reach individuals in medically underserved areas in Miami-Dade county by providing telehealth services to under-resourced, high-risk patients. Commissioner Brendan Carr of the FCC visited Banyan Health’s Little Havana Family Center in July of 2021 to get a first-hand look at Banyan’s FCC-funded intensive telehealth outpatient program.
Banyan Meets Telehealth Needs in Florida
While the COVID-19 pandemic sparked the need for greater telehealth capabilities, many vulnerable individuals in our community did not have the resources or access to the technology they needed to easily attend telehealth appointments. Banyan developed an Intensive Telehealth Unit (ITU) to provide patients with access to virtual visits and remote patient monitoring. The program provides intense health monitoring for patients with co-occurring disorders and barriers to telehealth like lack of access to wifi, technology or smart phones.
How Our Intensive Telehealth Unit Works
The Banyan ITU serves patients who have barriers to health care and an ongoing need for intensive telehealth monitoring due to mental health conditions and/or chronic conditions such as diabetes. Qualified patients receive an easy-to-use Vivify Health Telehealth Kit free of charge. The kit includes a wifi-enabled smart tablet that works only for telehealth purposes and can connect to Banyan Health even if the patient does not have access to broadband services, along with a weight scale, a blood pressure monitor, a thermometer and pulse oximetry. Our program is designed to offer patients the 24/7 support they need regardless of their health literacy or resources.
Commissioner Carr Praises the Benefits of Easily Accessible Telehealth
At Banyan Health, we are dedicated to empowering patients to take control of their health and we have found that telehealth is an important tool for patients during quarantine, as well as those who face ongoing mobility issues. Commissioner Carr was impressed by our team’s progress in providing monitoring and telehealth access to high-risk and low-income patients. On the day of his visit, Commissioner Carr tweeted “Banyan Community Health in Miami went from zero telehealth visits in 2019 to *90k* in 2020 with Covid + social distancing. With FCC funding, they provided 500 connected kits to their low-income patients, among other steps, & saw a 60% reduction in hospital visits.”
Contact us at 1-855-9BANYAN to learn more about the Intensive Telehealth Unit (ITU) at Banyan Health.
Photo Caption: Left to Right: Elias Da Hora, ITU Operations, Banyan Health Systems; Jeffrey, T. King, RN, MBA, Chief Operating Officer & VP of 24-Hour Programming, Banyan Health Systems; Tina Null, MSN, RN, Clinical Consultant, Vivify Health; Brendan Carr, FCC Commissioner; Vince Carrodeguas, Chief Executive Officer & President, Banyan Health Systems; Marcia Young, EVP Outpatient Care, Vice President of Integrated Outpatient Programming, Banyan Health System