ICYMI: New Study Showcases How Telehealth Can Help Fill Health Care Gaps
athenahealth study emphasizes that telehealth utilization in conjunction with in-person care can help ensure more patient needs are met
In case you missed it, a recent study conducted by Telehealth Access for America (TAFA) member athenahealth found that virtual care may fill preexisting health care gaps for patients in the wake of pandemic-era integration of telehealth.
The research, conducted from January 1, 2019, to April 30, 2022, highlights the convenience and accessibility of telehealth among a broad range of patients. As athenahealth’s research reveals, 24 percent of respondents did not believe their health care concerns required an in-person appointment, allowing for more frequent check-ins and increased preventative care. The study also found that 23 percent of surveyed patients’ telehealth visits were for regularly scheduled check-ins related to chronic conditions, and nine percent of telehealth appointments resulted from one-off check-ins to address chronic conditions. These findings emphasize that telehealth allows patients with chronic and non-chronic conditions to access the health care they need without upending their schedule to attend an in-person appointment or incurring other associated travel costs, among other benefits.
The study also supports previous research showcasing that Black and Hispanic patients are more likely to utilize telehealth services. Further, as athenahealth’s research finds, 23 percent of mental health patients were more likely to seek out mental health care and receive diagnoses due to increased access to care that telehealth provides.
athenahealth’s study highlights that telehealth access increases patients’ ability to obtain the health care services they rely on in an easy, quick, and convenient way and can help fill traditional in-person care gaps, particularly where those with chronic conditions or in underserved areas are concerned. Congress must act now to ensure permanent telehealth protection so that the millions who have benefitted and come to rely on telehealth do not lose access to equitable health care.
Read the full study HERE, and learn more about how Congress can act to permanently protect telehealth access HERE.
ABOUT TELEHEALTH ACCESS FOR AMERICA
Telehealth Access for America (TAFA) is a public education campaign supported by leaders in health care committed to better care, expanded patient choice, and protecting access to critical telehealth services. Learn more and take action today at www.telehealthaccessforamerica.org.