Using Telehealth to Improve Access to Specialty Care - Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center | Martinsburg, WV

One of 150 medical centers operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Martinsburg VA Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va., has been treating military veterans since 1944. In addition to its main facility, Martinsburg offers medical care through its seven community-based outpatient clinics that serve 22 counties in Western Maryland, West Virginia, South Central Pennsylvania, and Northwest Virginia.

Located 90 miles from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Martinsburg is a relatively rural medical center. Several of its community outpatient clinics are situated in even more remote areas, located two hours from the main facility. Thus, to improve access to care, Martinsburg instituted a telemedicine program in 2004 that has evolved over the years.

The organization’s initial foray into virtual health care was the creation of a home telehealth service.“Health buddies” visit veterans in their homes to administer and record simple diagnostic information and communicate it back to providers. In 2011, Martinsburg’s program grew with the introduction of video telehealth used for retinal imaging. Although it is not a live diagnostic tool, tele-retinal technology records, stores, and transfers a digital image that can be examined later by a provider.

Soon after implementing the retinal program, Martinsburg entered the realm of “face-to-screen,” real-time telehealth by adding tele-podiatry and tele-mental health services.

Related Resources

Letter/Comment
Public
In this letter to Congressman Troy Balderson,  AHA expresses support of the Knowing the Efficiency and Efficacy of Permanent (KEEP) Telehealth Options Act…
Letter/Comment
Public
In this letter to Congresswoman Cindy Axne, the AHA expresses support of the Knowing the Efficiency and Efficacy of Permanent (KEEP) Telehealth Options Act of…
Letter/Comment
Public
AHA expresses support of the Health Care Broadband Expansion During COVID-19 Act, which proposes improvements to the Federal Communications…
Letter/Comment
Public
AHA Expresses Support for the Health Care Broadband Expansion During COVID-19 Act, which proposes improvements to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)…
Letter/Comment
Public
Dear Chairman Pai: I am writing to update the record on and urge expedited approval of the American Hospital Association’s pending Petition for Partial…
Webinar Recordings
Member
A panel of 4 experts discussed federal policy emerging from Congress and the Administration under COVID-19 focusing on rural health priorities and took…