Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia announces Screven County Hospital to join Georgia Rural Telemedicine Network

Sylvania 19 July 2005Screven County Hospital has been selected to participate in a comprehensive telemedicine network as part of the Georgia Rural Health Initiative, which was launched by Insurance and Fire Commissioner John Oxendine on March 7. The hospital will be one of the initial sites in what will become a network of 40 health care facilities utilizing leading edge telemedicine equipment and technology to improve access to speciality health care for rural Georgians.

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Telemedicine is a health care delivery system that applies high-speed phone lines, computer equipment, specialized medical cameras and advanced encryption technology to enable physician specialists to consult with patients remotely. Once installed at Screven County Hospital, patients from the local area will be able to receive diagnosis and treatment plans from leading specialists at the state's top tertiary care centres without the need to travel to Atlanta or Macon.

"We're excited and honoured to be a part of the telemedicine programme here in Georgia", stated George St. George, Chief Executive Officer, Screven County Hospital. "It is a significant step forward for us, and is in keeping with our mission to provide the highest quality of care for our patients here in the community."

The telemedicine equipment and training is being provided through a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia as part of a three-year, $11,5 million commitment to support the Georgia Rural Health Initiative, a unique public/private collaborative with the Georgia Office of Insurance and Fire Safety.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia is an operating subsidiary of WellPoint Inc. As the nation's largest publicly traded commercial health benefits company, WellPoint serves the health care needs of approximately 28,5 million medical members nationally. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.


Leslie Versweyveld

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