Last year, Sylvia, a low-income senior living with diabetes, faced a difficult choice. Experiencing a hyperglycemic episode, she weighed a costly trip to the emergency department against the risk of potentially exposing herself to COVID-19. She chose to get treatment, likely saving her life, but with proper diabetes management she could have avoided the visit altogether.
Today, Sylvia is enrolled in a care management program that helped her obtain, and learn to use, an internet-connected tablet. With it, she also gained access to a telehealth physician. Working with a care team to control her diabetes, she is no longer at a high risk of needing emergency services. She considers herself lucky, but most low-income seniors with chronic conditions lack the resources and knowledge to access telehealth services on their own.