Area commissioners’ top issues: broadband, highways, telemedicine
More federal funding to expand broadband, rules to allow the continuation of telemedicine, highway funding and more aid for small businesses are at the top of the list for area rural counties.
Those were the messages county commissioners delivered to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar during a virtual roundtable she hosted Friday. The three commissioners are board members of the Region Nine Development Commission.
Le Sueur County Commissioner Steve Rohlfing hoped Klobuchar will help push for changes to federal rules to allow telemedicine to continue after the pandemic.
“COVID, like it or not, has really created some new avenues for us. Telemedicine is working and we don’t want that to go away.”
Rohlfing said telemedicine visits not only help with doctor and nurse visits but also with social worker and mental health professional visits.
He said current rules on reimbursement are designed to encourage in-person rather than telemedicine visits.