Funding awarded through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) FY 2023 RWHAP Part C Capacity Development Program will be utilized to strengthen infrastructure to respond to the changing health care landscape, due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. Furthermore, this investment will result in increased access to high quality HIV primary health care services for low-income, uninsured, and underserved people using telehealth services. The Mobile County Health Department’s Family Health Division (MCHD/FH) plans to utilize the funding for the following selected category and corresponding activities related to “Infrastructure Development.” MCHD/FH will utilize the $150,000 requested, for the one-year period of performance, to support the "Telehealth" category by contracting with Accuhealth to provide a turnkey 6-months of “remote blood pressure monitoring” specifically for 234 Ryan White patients experiencing hypertension. This remote blood pressure monitoring program would allow MCHD/FH to capture daily blood pressure readings and transmit them directly to the EMR, Athena. Through Accuhealth, a clinician is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week monitoring all readings taken by each patient. Accuhealth offers a nationwide English and-Spanish-speaking team of nurses and medical assistants who provide first-line clinical monitoring of all vital sign data being captured by patients 24/7/365. Accuhealth will seamlessly integrate with MCHD/FH's EMR (Athena) which will then enable staff to generate quality reports using the RPM (remote patient monitoring) data. Accuhealth provides true integration which places readings into true data fields within Athena. No Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, tablet, or smartphone is required for the patient to participate in the RBPM program. This is an important detail because most MCHD/FH's patients are low-income and have limited access to tablets, smartphones, or B
luetooth devices. When a patient's biometric data exceeds a critical threshold, the Accuhealth team will call the Ryan White patient using the Evelyn platform, on a recorded line, and make a clinical assessment. The Accuhealth nurse will then determine if the case needs to be escalated to the physician and if so, contacts the MCHD/FH Ryan White physician. Accuhealth ships remote blood pressure devices directly to patients using tracking numbers. Once the device is received, Accuhealth calls the patient to onboard them into the RBPM program. Accuhealth assists the patient with the first blood pressure measurement and makes sure that the data is flowing appropriately into the electronic platform. Common chronic conditions addressed by Health Center’s nationally, including HIV and AIDS, can also be a key indicator of negative outcomes when cooccurring with COVID-19 infection. Now, more than ever, access to healthcare has proven to be critical in not only addressing COVID-19 but also addressing the health issues that have been exacerbated due to avoiding clinical care. The influx of chronic issues that have arisen post COVID-19 onset are numerous and have overwhelmed medical staff who are scrambling to address emergent needs within the population. In this way, the rural population is at a disadvantage because of barriers to care, such as transportation and broadband accessibility for telehealth services. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a greater emphasis on utilizing telehealth services to maintain social distancing and reduce transmission events. This care modality has enabled Family Health to expand its outreach and accessibility to reach those who have limited access to care.