AHA Brief Highlights Telehealth Benefits

A new AHA issue brief recently claimed that policymakers can advance care deliver and increase benefit to patients through expanding access to telehealth in Medicare and new payment models.

“A growing body of evidence shows that telehealth can not only expand access to services but also create cost savings,” the report notes.

The Veterans Health Administration estimated its telehealth program reduced hospital admissions and decreased hospital stays. VHA estimated it saves nearly $1 billion in 2012 because of telehealth programs.

The California Public Employees Retirement System found it’s telehealth patients were less likely to require follow-up visits when compared to patients who received their initial consult for a similar condition in an emergency department or physician’s office.

Telehealth allows hospital patients to receive care in the comfort of their homes at lower costs and with access to specialists without the need of travel or hospital/nursing home transfers.

Additional research using larger samples sizes, diverse geographies and a broader range of conditions and services “can help policymakers better understand the full range of benefits,” the report adds.

To read the complete brief, click here.

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