Atlanta School Children Now Have Free Telehealth Access

Atlanta school students can now benefit form a telehealth service giving children access to doctors in schools.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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The Atlanta Public Schools have partnered with Hazel Health to provide “free” taxpayer-funded telehealth access to students. The service covers physical ailments and emotional/behavioral issues. This is in direct response to elevated health concerns brought on by the pandemic and the previous school year. 

On average, the new telehealth program will cost the Atlanta Public Schools $15 per child. That’s $500,000 annually. Services will be open from 7 am-7 pm Monday through Friday and are supposedly giving more healthcare options to underprivileged students.  It is a year-to-year agreement, so if the district does not see improved results it can end the program. Yet the question of whether or not online health discussions can truly aid students through complex mental issues or serious physical ailments is a serious one. 

Haze Health provides on-demand telehealth care. What is known is that the telehealth company lists itself as a “culturally competent,” provider which works to utilize “preferred language.” They tout the progressive talking point that “Healthcare is a human right,” and are committed to partnering with public schools. 

The Denver Public Schools claim that this is a necessary measure. While only about 2.52% of students experience chronic illness, the youth national emergency in mental health affects about 25% of children in the district and so these telehealth services are a quick-fix offering to try and address the situation, but whether or not it will work is uncertain. The district claims that lack of insurance and funding has led an increased need for school intervention.

This is curious, being that the Affordable Care Act was supposed to provide low-cost healthcare options for the nation’s most needy. In addition, federal government mental health care initiatives were launched by the Obama administration around the same time as the health care overhaul, yet some claims show that it produced harmful results. By providing standardized, one-size-fits-all programs to aid students with mental health issues, these emotional and behavioral disturbances were not resolved but grew worse.  

While the public debate on how healthcare access should be handled has been a heated one for decades, the success of programs like Obamacare and federal mental health school programs have yet to be proven. Healthcare premiums have increased and the costs of healthcare services like prescription medicines have continued to skyrocket. While the number of uninsured Americans has decreased slightly, many families are still unable to pay for quality care and that is something that telehealth services may not be able to fix. 


While many education professionals are committed to aiding families combat the physical and mental struggles of children, large-scale efforts have failed because they do not offer enough individualized focus. Telehealth services are now being considered as a new affordable way to provide relief, but long-term success rates are yet to be produced and family support is often a factor in recovery. Schools can only do so much. The more public education veers toward usurping parental rights, the less support they have received. Whether or not this measure will be considered intrusive to caring parents or welcomed by those in need depends on how it is implemented, promoted, and how it affects the children involved.