MaineHealth, the parent company of Maine Medical Center, has landed a federal grant of over $800,000 for telehealth services in Maine and New Hampshire.

The Federal Communications Commission’s grant for $803,268 will be used for “videoconferencing equipment” that will allow patients to see doctors, nurses and other health professionals from home via video, and for further expansion of the health system’s existing telehealth programs.

MaineHealth has already expanded the use of telehealth, from 15,000 telehealth visits in 2019 to 53,000 total patient visits since March 2020. Typical telehealth visits are for patient consultations and mental health sessions.

“This funding helps give our patient communities the opportunity for more convenient access to high-quality care where and when they need it,” said Jasmine Bishop, MaineHealth’s director of telehealth. “Given Maine and New Hampshire’s more rural geography and older age demographic, these telehealth services are critical and enable our providers to continue delivering care to our patients who need it the most.”

The funding MaineHealth received is part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

In addition to Maine Med, the MaineHealth network includes hospitals such as Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford; Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway; Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast; five other hospitals in Maine and New Hampshire, mental health and substance use disorder services and other health care services.

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