Service members who are geographically remote from a military treatment facility may face unique challenges accessing high-quality behavioral health care. RAND research identified three key priority areas for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Remote service members may face challenges accessing and receiving high-quality behavioral health care through the Military Health System, putting them at a greater risk for negative outcomes related to behavioral health issues.
Remote service members with PTSD, depression, or substance use disorder face challenges accessing high-quality behavioral health care through the Military Health System. They see primary care and private-sector providers for such care and are less likely to receive psychotherapy.
COVID-19 has affected telehealth utilization disproportionately. The increase in telemedicine use was greatest among patients in counties with low poverty levels, among patients in metropolitan areas, and among adults compared with children.
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.
Although many emergency departments (EDs) have telestroke capacity, it is unclear why some EDs consistently use telestroke and others do not. We compared the characteristics and practices of EDs with robust and low assimilation of telestroke.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, visit volume at a sample of FQHCs declined modestly for primary care visits and remained stable for behavioral health visits because telehealth visits replaced in-person visits.
Telehealth use has surged during the pandemic at clinics that serve lower-income Americans, which allowed the clinics to maintain access to care. But most visits have been audio-only, which may pose challenges if payers consider dropping reimbursement for such services after the pandemic.
This study found that during the initial phase of the COVID-19 epidemic in March and April of 2020, patients significantly reduced use of preventive and elective care and increased use of telemedicine but not enough to offset reductions in in-person care.
The use of telehealth services has increased during the pandemic. When policymakers evaluate telehealth policy going forward, they will need to consider whether telemedicine can improve care quality, reduce costs, increase access, or achieve some combination of these goals.
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.
In the context of the pandemic, buprenorphine prescribers quickly transitioned to providing telemedicine visits in high volume; nonetheless, there are still many unknowns, including the quality and safety of widespread use of telemedicine for OUD treatment.