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Telemedicine, the health care delivery system that applies high-speed phone lines, computer equipment, and specialized medical cameras enabling physician specialists to consult with patients in remote areas, is gaining even more momentum in its use for patients with mental illness.
Blue Cross Blue Shield in Georgia (BCBSGa), which has a telemedicine program, began seeing its first telespsychiatry patients in August and its first pediatric patient last month.
BCBSGa embarked on a collaboration with the Georgia Department Insurance and Fire Safety in 2004 to create an advanced network for the delivery of specialty health care services to patients in traditionally underserved areas.
The company committed $11.5 million to establish, equip and staff the telemedicine network in 37 rural hospitals. Officials say as of September 1, BCBG has exceeded the number of telemedicine sites they originally …