In December 2018, the VA and T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) kicked off a partnership with 70,000 lines of T-Mobile wireless service to power the VAs telehealth app and make healthcare more accessible to millions in more rural areas “ with unlimited access to the telehealth app. Recently, both were put to the test with the VA seeing an 800% surge in telehealth visits, and with nearly 20,000 patients now meeting with their VA healthcare teams daily, the T-Mobile network was more than ready to support the VA without missing a beat.
Not only is telehealth important and, for many, preferred right now with the COVID-19 crisis, but for millions of veterans living in rural America, its sometimes the only option for regular healthcare, said Mike Katz, EVP, T-Mobile for Business. T-Mobiles nationwide service keeps veterans in rural communities connected to their doctors and has the bandwidth to support this huge surge in telehealth visits.
The VA cares for nine million veterans, a third of them living in rural America, driving an average of 25-50 miles for healthcare. Because of the distance between their homes and their healthcare providers, some veterans found themselves having to choose between their jobs and their healthcare. T-Mobile was the first of several wireless partners to step up to help the VA extend healthcare access to veterans through telehealth “ without using up their data bucket, so they can stay closely connected to their care teams and get the right treatment, no matter where they live and work.
Many veterans who live in rural areas sometime have to drive great distances to see their VA providers, so telehealth services provide an important alternative option for the much-needed services veterans receive from the VA, said Deborah Scher, Executive Advisor to the VA Secretary in the Secretarys Center for Strategic Partnerships. In 2018, T-Mobile stepped up as a pioneer partner in the effort to extend healthcare access to veterans.
For more information on T-Mobile’s partnership to expand telehealth access for veterans, visit https://www.t-mobile.com/business/resources/articles/va-case-study.
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T-Mobile US, Inc. Media Relations