- Associated Press - Thursday, November 17, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Federal health officials are highlighting the telemedicine services offered by Sioux Falls-based Avera Health during National Rural Health Day.

Avera Health providers offered a live, simulated telemedicine demonstration Thursday as part of a series of events organized by federal health officials to highlight the best practices, resources and challenges of delivering health care in rural communities.

Mary Wakefield is the acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She says an estimate shows that 58 percent of health care providers in the U.S. used some form of telemedicine services during 2015.

Avera Health currently provides telemedicine services to facilities in 10 states. In September, it was contracted to offer emergency and specialty care remotely at health care facilities on Native American reservations in the Great Plains.

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