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CCSD students to get access to free telehealth primary care

Updated June 29, 2020 - 4:31 pm

The Clark County School District’s roughly 325,000 students will have access to free telehealth primary care appointments at school starting in August.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding in mid-May with Hazel Health, which agreed to offer the service through May 31, 2025.

Services will be provided at no cost to students, with parent or guardian consent. And there is no limit on the number of visits students can receive. Company officials are working with CCSD on how to roll out the service amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

It’s a virtual health clinic that can be accessed from CCSD campuses during school hours. While a school nurse is present, a student will communicate with a medical provider via live video using an iPad.

“It looks as close as possible to what you can get in a pediatric office,” Hazel Health CEO Josh Golomb said.

No cost to CCSD or families

In a Thursday statement, CCSD said there won’t be a cost to the school district or students’ families. Hazel Health will bill Medicaid when possible and also accepts private insurance for those who have it.

“The goal of the service is to increase student attendance and health by providing easy access to a doctor in situations where issues prevent a visit to a traditional doctor’s office,” the school district said.

Hazel Health, a San Francisco-based health care company, contracts with schools and school districts and serves more than 600,000 students nationwide. It was founded in 2017 and launched its program in schools in 2018.

While Hazel Health serves all students, its focus is on low-income populations, where access to health care is often an issue, Golomb said.

The service allows schools to avoid calling an ambulance for minor medical issues that arise during the school day if a parent isn’t able to pick up his or her child, said Raquel Antunez, co-founder and vice president of education for Hazel Health.

Golomb added: “For a lot of those families, we end up solving that short-term acute condition.” But he noted Hazel Health also wants to partner with a family’s local doctor or help families find one.

Hazel Health plans to hire licensed health care providers in Nevada: pediatricians, physical assistants and nurse practitioners. Providers can write prescriptions, but parents need to pay for medications or appointments outside of school.

A previous version of this article contained incorrect information on Hazel Health’s acceptance of private health insurance that was provided by a company spokesperson.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener @reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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