State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS), in partnership with Manatt Health, Health Equity Solutions, Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR), the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), Bailit Health, and GMMB, developed this resource page to serve as an accessible “one-stop” source of health equity information for states. This resource is designed to support states seeking to make coverage and essential services available to all of their residents, regardless of where they live, how much money they make, or discrimination they face. SHVS will update this page frequently with new resources as they become available.
Since March 2020, many states have rapidly leveraged federal and state flexibilities under the public health emergency to expand telehealth capabilities and reimbursement through both public and private payers. Now, some states are extending telehealth for the long term or expanding their existing telehealth programs. Increased uptake of telehealth could reduce administrative costs, transportation costs, and wait times. It also could exacerbate existing disparities if barriers to care for populations experiencing these disparities are not addressed. To realize telehealth’s potential for increasing equity in access, states must analyze the impact of these services. This expert perspective highlights considerations for states to maximize the potential of telehealth care to improve equity.
The COVID-19 public health emergency created an urgent need for telemedicine services and prompted the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (the Department) to expand telemedicine through rulemaking and federal disaster authority. This report evaluates the changes made to telemedicine policy in Health First Colorado in response to COVID-19.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services presented a report on telemedicine utilization during the COVID-19 pandemic at a House Health Finance and Policy hearing on February 23. Increased access to telemedicine has resulted in: improved attendance at appointments, with fewer no-shows and late arrivals; easier access to treatment and involvement of patients’ family members; and receipt of health care services that otherwise would have been skipped due to illness or fear of contracting COVID-19, travel distance or lack of transportation.
With the rapid expansion of telemedicine in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that remote care reaches diverse, low-income patients and promotes health equity, rather than exacerbating health disparities, is critical. Through a partnership between the Center for Care Innovations, UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP), and the Commonwealth Fund, we have developed this toolkit to provide background information as well as concrete guidance relevant to safety-net healthcare systems looking to initiate, expand, or improve their telemedicine programs.
During this COCA Call, Presenters of this webinar discussed the intersection of telehealth and health equity and implications for health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Presenters identified long-standing systemic health and social inequities that contribute to COVID-19 health disparities, while highlighting opportunities and limitations of telehealth implementation as an actionable solution.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the United States, states, payers, and providers are looking for ways to expand access to telehealth services. Telehealth is an essential tool in ensuring patients are able to access the healthcare services they need in as safe a manner as possible. In order to provide our clients with quick and actionable guidance on the evolving telehealth landscape, Manatt Health has developed a federal and comprehensive 50-state tracker for policy, regulatory and legal changes related to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Considering both the public health crisis and future patient needs, Families USA has assembled state policy recommendations around three themes: 1) improving telehealth financing and implementation models to increase reach; 2) removing provider barriers to increase access to telehealth; and, 3) bridging the digital divide to improve patient access to telehealth services.
On Friday, June 12 at 12:00 p.m. ET, State Health & Value Strategies hosted a webinar during which experts from Manatt Health and Georgetown reviewed the current telehealth policy landscape and considerations for states as they design their post-apex telehealth policies. This webinar included a question and answer session during which webinar participants posed their questions to the experts on the line.
This Health Affairs blog post highlights states’ policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as their proactive approaches to addressing a wide range of health concerns.
Telehealth increases convenience for both the doctor and patient and decreases everyone’s risk of exposure to COVID-19. But telehealth also has limitations, the most obvious of which are that it does not allow for physical exams or lab tests. Less obvious though, is the potential of telehealth to exacerbate health disparities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light some limitations in our nation’s capacity to share and use health information.
An article detailing how community health centers in Connecticut are building up their telemedicine capabilities.