Audio-only health care visits have been instrumental in maintaining access to care during the pandemic. Despite this, coverage for audio-only visits is likely temporary. Devaluing and prematurely casting off a key telemedicine modality could mean the difference between a needed doctor visit and no visit at all.
One in every five American adults is caring for a loved one in need. Too often, they have to fight to make their voices heard in a health care system that doesn't always see them as the partners in care they can be. More could be done to integrate them into patients' health care teams.
Telehealth use has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Can this form of high-quality, low-cost care be maintained over the long term? As discussion of post-pandemic policies begins, lessons from patients' use of telehealth will provide valuable guidance.
Vertical integration with a hospital helps primary care practices that might otherwise have closed to remain in operation. It thereby creates the opportunity for the continued development and improvement of local primary care for patients.
The supply of doctors in primary care, known as 'GPs' in the UK, is falling behind a growing demand for their services, as GPs leave general practice in large numbers. One way to help struggling GP practices could be vertical integration—combining health care organizations operating at different stages along the patient pathway.
Primary care networks in the UK bring together general practices and community providers to develop new services for patients and to provide better integration of health and social care services and sustainability in primary care. While still relatively new, their trajectory is likely to be influenced by COVID-19–related adaptations they have made over the course of the pandemic.
Periods of rapid change offer both opportunities and challenges for health care quality improvement. Understanding the building blocks that need to be in place to support improvement processes may help those seeking to embed improvement capabilities and capacity into their organisations, both as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Many post-9/11 veterans who have PTSD or depression also struggle with substance use. There are clinically proven treatments to help break the cycle of the co-occurring disorders, but the VA and other facilities need guidance on how to expand and enhance treatment opportunities for these veterans.
Rising mental health problems in the United States have long made health advocates and providers worried about the need for additional support for struggling college students. The pandemic has only exacerbated this concern.
Virtual doctor visits have become part of the new normal. Since the first COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, Medicare and other payers have relaxed their rules to make it easier for patients to connect to care. But without permanent policy changes, physicians may not continue telemedicine services.
During the August recess Hill staff should have an opportunity to step back from the fast pace of votes and hearing preparation to examine priorities for the fall and beyond. This list of must-read research and commentary covers some policy issues they will likely be addressing after the break.
During the COVID-19 pandemic telehealth has helped to maintain continuity of care for millions of Americans, preserve personal protective equipment, and facilitate social distancing. But that does not mean that telehealth will be embraced by patients and providers in the long run.