Reflecting on a Year of Proven Value and Bipartisan Support for Telehealth: Part IV
A Look Back at Key Themes in Virtual Care and Growing Momentum for Action Ahead of Countdown to Potential Telehealth Cliff in 2024
Without action from Congress, critical flexibilities that support access to telehealth for millions of patients are set to expire on December 31, 2024.
As we wind down the final days of 2023 and approach the one-year mark until a potential telehealth cliff, we can reflect on a year filled with new, and overwhelming evidence of telehealth’s critical value for patients and the future of the U.S. health care system — and growing bipartisan support for safeguarding access to critical care.
On Tuesday, we started our recap of key topics on the value of telehealth, revisiting the importance of permanent policy, the positive impact on cardiac care, and the role of virtual care in improving health outcomes for veterans. Check out Part I HERE.
Then on Wednesday, we reviewed telehealth’s positive environmental impact, critical value for mental and behavioral health care, and role in improving preventative care in Part II HERE.
On Thursday, we looked back at how virtual care is improving mental health care in historically underserved communities and enabling better health outcomes and a better quality of life for cancer patients in Part III HERE.
And today, we’ll recap the importance of telehealth as an effective tool for treating opioid-use disorder and how telehealth improves access to care in rural communities in Part IV:
“Through telehealth programs, those undergoing opioid-use disorder (OUD) treatment are reported to stay in treatment longer, were more likely to receive their medications than those attending traditional, in-person appointments, and as a result, faced a 33 percent lower risk of fatal drug overdose. This means that with telehealth intervention, more OUD patients can consistently access their appointments and are offered a better chance of obtaining essential preventative care … With the number of opioid-related deaths continuing to rise, the evidence is clear: increased access to OUD treatment is essential to providing proactive care for opioid users and reducing the risk of fatal overdose.”
Read our full blog from October HERE.
“Telehealth has been shown to help reduce this inequity by providing access to care for those in rural communities. For some patients living in rural areas, a lack of access to virtual care options can mean worry about saving up funds to afford the gas for long drives to their doctor’s office or waiting a month or more to see a specialist a city away … With the convenience of virtual care, patients can take their appointments from the comfort of their homes, opening the door to a safe, low-cost health care option…
Telehealth is a particularly impactful option for rural patients who have chronic conditions or have frequent visits with providers… Telehealth is vital for increasing access to care, particularly among communities (people of color, financially disadvantaged communities, rural communities) that have traditionally been underserved.”
Read our full blog from November 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.