Cover: Telehealth After COVID-19

Telehealth After COVID-19

Clarifying Policy Goals for a Way Forward

Published Jan 22, 2021

by Lori Uscher-Pines, Monique Martineau

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Although clinicians have experimented with telehealth for years, it did not become mainstream until the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic curtailed in-person health care services. The growth of telehealth services—spurred by temporary changes that are intended to help prioritize and maintain both access to care and adherence to social distancing guidelines—has policymakers, payers, and advocates rethinking the role that they would like telehealth to play in a post-pandemic health care system. The authors of this Perspective present considerations for how telehealth could benefit (or detract) from several policy goals. They also offer recommendations for how policymakers might use the tools at their disposal to achieve their post-pandemic goals.

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Funding for this Perspective was provided by gifts from RAND supporters and income from the operation of RAND Health Care. This research was carried out within the Access and Delivery Program in RAND Health Care.

This commentary is part of the RAND expert insight series. RAND Expert Insights present perspectives on timely policy issues. All RAND Expert Insights undergo peer review to ensure high standards for quality and objectivity.

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