Mercy plans telemedicine center

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Doctors, especially specialists, are hard to come by in many corners of America. A suburban St. Louis hospital chain is addressing the problem with plans for a "virtual care center" that will offer telemedicine to underserved regions.

Mercy Health is breaking ground Tuesday on a $50 million four-story, 120,000-square-foot telemedicine center in Chesterfield, Missouri. Plans call for the center to open next year with nearly 300 physicians, nurses and support staff.

The center will deliver medical care all day, every day, through audio, video and data connections. It will provide medical care for people in remote rural areas and underserved inner cities.

Mercy operates 32 hospitals in four states — Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas. But CEO Lynn Britton says the telemedicine center won't be limited to those regions.

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