Telemedicine Navajo Nation

Specialty Care for Children on the Navajo Nation

UnitedHealthcare Community & State operates the Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS) program in Arizona that serves approximately 24,000 children with congenital anomalies. Of particular concern is that families in rural, hard-to-reach communities often must travel hundreds of miles to reach specialty care. In addition to long drives, these trips can mean lost wages and lost school days.

Among these children are more than 300 Navajo children with complex medical issues living in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Many live far from the nearest physician or specialist. To help these children receive the care they need, UnitedHealthcare Community & State has introduced a new telemedicine program connecting them with Phoenix-based physicians through a sophisticated telemedicine system. The program supports physicians in delivering advanced clinical care for complex neurological diseases such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida. The initiative, matching children with Phoenix-based pediatric neurologists, marks the first time telemedicine has been used to treat complex pediatric problems for patients in the Native American community. The initiative has been widely recognized for its effective use of technology and won the 2012 Medical Health Plans of America (MHPA) Technology Award.

Did You Know?

UnitedHealthcare received the Technology Award from Medicaid Health Plans of America’s Center for Best Practices for its telemedicine services used to treat children with complex medical conditions on the Navajo Nation.