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Bill proposes Mississippi center to boost rural telehealth

A bill headed to Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves would establish a center focused on increasing training opportunities, business development and Telehealth services in the state’s rural healthcare system.

House Public Health Committee Chairman Sam Mims is a sponsor of House Bill 94. He said Wednesday that lawmakers hope federal coronavirus relief money can help fund the Mississippi Center for Rural Health Innovation.

Health care providers have increasingly pivoted to using telemedicine instead of in-person appointments during the pandemic to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The House voted 112-6 to pass the bill, sending it to the governor. The new center would be in the state Health Department’s Office of Rural Health.

Mississippi has received $1.25 billion from the federal government for pandemic relief. The state is spending $300 million on grants for small businesses, and officials still need to decide how to spend most of the rest of the money.

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