For immediate release: March 8, 2023 (23-028)
Contact: DOH Communications
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has launched a new webpage and tool to find telehealth sexual and reproductive health care services in Washington. The new DOH webpage and tool offers information about 37 clinics in the Washington State Sexual and Reproductive Health Network that provide telehealth appointments. Available telehealth services include birth control refills, pregnancy options counseling, emergency contraceptives, and screenings for sexually transmitted infections. Gender affirming care and PrEP for HIV prevention are available at some sites if a person has previously received the services from the provider.
The past few years have highlighted the importance of people’s ability to connect remotely with health care providers. Delays in accessing care can impact sexual and reproductive health outcomes. DOH wants to help make sexual and reproductive health services accessible for more people in the state, including areas with fewer health facilities.
Existing insurance plans, Medicaid, or Medicare may cover telehealth. More than half of Washington’s counties are experiencing primary care provider shortages, and the limited availability of health facilities often means rural residents must travel long distances to access care. These disparities highlight the continued need for affordable and accessible services in Washington, especially in rural counties and areas with fewer resources. Telehealth will help remove barriers and give clients who cannot otherwise access the clinic location the opportunity to connect with a provider through phone or video appointments.
“Telehealth is an important way to get more people the sexual and reproductive health care they need when they need it,” said Michele Roberts, Assistant Secretary for Prevention and Community Health, Department of Health. “This option will help increase access in parts of the state where an in-person visit may be challenging. Patients can still receive the same level of care remotely in a setting that suits them best.”
Telehealth services are convenient, confidential, and reduce waiting time – patients don’t have to travel or wait at a clinic to receive their desired service. DOH encourages people to ask their health care providers about telehealth or use the DOH clinic finder to search for more options. This webpage was developed in part with federal funds from the Office of Population Affairs grant FPHPA006613 for telehealth infrastructure enhancement and expansion.
Visit the DOH webpage for a complete list of available services, find a clinic, and more information.