Governor Mills: Telehealth needs to be permanent

Governor Mills,

Thank you for expanding Maine Care to cover telehealth services during this pandemic. I urge you to work toward making this a permanent arrangement. Telehealth is advantageous to healthcare patients and professionals alike.

It reduces costs and time spent traveling to appointments. It removes transportation and child care barriers. It expands access to more providers and specialists. It provides much-needed options to those in the most rural parts of our state. Telehealth is a boon to fighting the opioid epidemic, as well as reducing our chronic epidemic of alcoholism. It is improving mental health in our state.

Telehealth increases access to preventative care and treatment alike.  It reduces overhead costs for providers and allows greater flexibility. Taking away commutes is a boon to our environment and supports a higher quality of life.

Telehealth will enable providers to engage more patients, especially as it greatly reduces canceled appointments. Telehealth reduces emergency room visits and use of crisis services. It’s more cost-efficient for all concerned.

Telehealth means less pulling kids out of school for appointments. It means less stress and exposure from sitting in waiting rooms. It means snowstorms don’t result in canceled check-ups. It provides greater confidentiality and anonymity (no one in your small town sees your car at an outpatient clinic).

Telehealth makes sense for the people of Maine and it’s an important step in meeting the needs of our state’s most vulnerable.

Thank you,

Jim LaPierre LCSW, CCS

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim is the cofounder of an online addiction recovery program that is affordable and provides complete anonymity