Telehealth in New York: How Telemedicine Is Reaching Growing Medical Deserts in Rural NY


Sandra Eaton, a 66-year-old with complex medical needs, described the prospect of leaving her apartment in a rural upstate New York village for a nursing home as a death sentence…

…The health care dilemma is acutely felt in rural communities across upstate, where nearly one in five people are 65 and over, according to a study last year by the Empire Center. By contrast, about 15% of the New York City area is 65 and over.

Further, those rural areas tend to be poorer and have fewer doctors. It all comes together to widen medical deserts where thousands of New Yorkers receive limited health care in comparison to more affluent suburbs and cities.

While Long Island had about 148 primary-care physicians for every 100,000 people, the comparable number was 89 in the Southern Tier, 83 in the Mohawk Valley and 78 in the North Country, according to a 2018 report from the University at Albany-based Center for Health Workforce Studies.

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