Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) on Sept. 14 announced it is working with Samsung Electronics America to expand access to telehealth for individuals living in rural and underserved communities. The initiative will supply providers with Samsung Galaxy A10e smartphones to disseminate to patients who would not otherwise have the ability to receive their healthcare virtually. Additionally, some providers will receive Samsung Galaxy tablets to use to conduct telehealth visits.
With this initiative, Centene and Samsung will deploy 13,000 Galaxy A10e smartphones, with 90 days of free wireless service, to approximately 200 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), other providers and community support organizations throughout Centene’s markets, with a particular focus on rural and underserved areas. The providers and organizations will then determine which of their patients need the devices and distribute them accordingly.
Centene previously announced the creation of a Medicaid Telehealth Partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) to help FQHCs quickly ramp-up their capacity to provide telehealth solutions to meet the needs created by the COVID-19 crisis.
As of mid-July, a CDC survey found that 44.4% of respondents reported delaying or not receiving care for various reasons, including concerns and challenges around COVID-19. Meanwhile, before the COVID-19 outbreak, rural residents already exhibited higher mortality rates and higher incidences of preventable inpatient and emergency room admissions than their counterparts in urban areas.