Telemedicine Can Help Safety-Net Providers Expand Specialized Medical Services
Jul 29, 2020
Research on the costs of telemedicine programs shows that they are not self-sustaining and require grants and other resources to operate. However, given the significant changes to state telemedicine policies that have occurred in the past few years, this research base is outdated. RAND researchers describe telemedicine-related costs incurred by health centers participating in the Sustainable Models of Telehealth in the Safety Net initiative.
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Research on the costs of telemedicine programs has shown that they are not self-sustaining and typically require grants and other resources to operate. However, given the significant changes to state telemedicine policies that have occurred in the past few years, this research base is outdated. To address this gap in the literature, RAND researchers examined setup and ongoing annual costs associated with telemedicine implementation among nine community health centers in California that participated in the Sustainable Models of Telehealth in the Safety Net (SMTSN) initiative. Health centers that participated in the initiative offered different specialty telemedicine services (e.g., tele–mental health, diabetic retinopathy screening) and used different approaches to providing telemedicine.
This research was funded by the California Health Care Foundation and conducted by the Access and Delivery Program within RAND Health Care.
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