Telehealth Use Among Safety-Net Organizations in California During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published in: Journal of the American Medical Association (February 2020). doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.0282

Posted on on February 04, 2021

by Lori Uscher-Pines, Jessica L. Sousa, Maggie Jones, Christopher M. Whaley, Christopher Perrone, Colleen M. McCullough, Allison J. Ober

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are outpatient health centers that provide comprehensive primary care to 30 million low-income individuals. When the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic began in March 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) granted flexibilities to FQHCs to furnish video and telephone (audio only) visits to patients at any location. Pandemic-related regulatory waivers led to a substantial increase in telehealth across the health care system.

Little is known about visit trends during the COVID-19 pandemic among patients of FQHCs. We described trends in the use of in-person, telephone, and video visits among California FQHCs before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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