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Innovations in Health Technology: Telehealth

Telehealththe use of technology to deliver care at a distanceoffers unique opportunities and poses potential risks for academic medicine.

Telehealth use has risen dramatically as health systems look for ways to provide care while protecting providers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we reassess what health care looks like in a world living with COVID-19, it is crucial that we understand how telehealth impacts medical education and training, the delivery system and its workforce, and patients’ access to care. Additionally, the research mission of academic medicine will have an outsized role in evaluating the impact of telehealth services on quality, costs, and outcomes of care. 

This collection of resources:

  • Highlights how the AAMC and its members are implementing and using telehealth to provide high-quality care and improve access; 
  • Provides regulatory support for telehealth at health care institutions, including education about recent updates; 
  • Shares learnings across academic medicine about telehealth implementation and training; and
  • Uncovers insights from research and other literature about the impact of telehealth on access and workforce.

Telehealth and COVID-19

Delivering more care remotely will be critical as COVID-19 races through communities

Even before Congress lifted restrictions on reimbursement for telehealth through Medicare, academic medical centers were expanding telemedicine services.

AAMC Data Snapshot: AAMC-member teaching hospitals are expanding telehealth services to support COVID-19 patients

This data snapshot highlights how the COVID-19 pandemic has created myriad needs in both diagnosing COVID-19 cases and preventing the spread of the virus.

AAMC Webinars: Telehealth and COVID-19

Scaling Telehealth in Urban and Rural Settings During the COVID-19 Crisis

This webinar focuses on how two health systems have managed to scale up to meet current demand and how they are applying telehealth technology in both urban and rural communities.

Rapidly Scaling Telehealth in Response to COVID-19

In this webinar, leaders from the University of Virginia and Oregon Health & Science University share their experiences in deploying resources to dramatically scale up telehealth capacity. 

AAMC Regulatory Advocacy During COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been establishing telehealth waivers and regulatory flexibilities that have helped teaching hospitals and faculty physicians to expand care to patients. The AAMC has been in regular communication with CMS officials, other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, and representatives on the Hill to ensure that the significant efforts by AAMC teaching hospitals, health systems, and faculty practices, are being appropriately represented.

Visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Hub to learn more about the advocacy efforts led by the AAMC.

Telehealth Regulatory and Policy Resources During COVID-19

Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP): Access resources about telehealth policies, focusing on federal, state, and private payer policies, state licensure laws, and federal legislation. 

Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB): Before the COVID-19 pandemic, FSMB had been working on a universal licensure compact. With the vast increase in telehealth and the increased movement in providers across the country to respond to the pandemic, licensure has come again to the forefront. FSMB has been analyzing state licensure laws and other policies. 

CMS COVID-19 Waivers and Flexibilities: Access the current decisions from the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) to temporarily modify or waive certain Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, or HIPAA requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

AAMC Telehealth Initiatives and Research

Pre-publication: New Cross-Continuum Competencies in Telehealth

The AAMC and its Telehealth Advisory Committee have developed telehealth competencies across the continuum of UME, GME, and CME with input from a broad range of stakeholders. The competencies are intended to guide educators developing curricula as well as students learning to practice and professionals continuing their development. Upon formal publication, they will be included in the New & Emerging Areas in Medicine Series. If you have questions, please contact us.

Project CORE: Coordinating Optimal Referral Experiences

The AAMC has been supporting AMCs in implementing eConsults (asynchronous communication between primary care providers and specialists) and improving communication and coordination at the point of referral since 2014, through a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Health Care Innovation Award.

Project CORE has expanded to over 30 AMCs and children’s hospitals, better serving the needs of collective primary care populations totaling over 3 million patients. The model has been shown to reduce wait times, no-show rates, and leakage rates, in addition to improving comprehensiveness in primary care, and improving coordination of care between PCPs and specialists.

Telehealth in Academic Medicine: Roles, Opportunities, and Risks

If AMCs are to be leaders in the rapidly advancing field of telehealth, they must consider opportunities and risks in developing workforce capacity, telehealth training, and collecting high-quality data and conducting telehealth research. Read more. 

Teaching Hospitals Lead in Telehealth Adoption Data Snapshot and Overview

Findings from an AAMC analysis of data from the American Hospital Association reveal that teaching hospitals are increasingly implementing telehealth programs and are more likely to offer many types of telehealth services compared with nonteaching hospitals.

Telehealth and Medical Education

From Bedside to Webside: Future Doctors Learn How to Practice Remotely

As the use of telemedicine grows, more medical schools and teaching hospitals are offering specialized training in virtual care.

Examples of Telehealth Training Across Academic Medicine

As health systems increasingly use telehealth to provide care delivery, it is important to capture best practices across the field and highlight the innovative ways in which telehealth is being integrated into training and curricula across UME, GME, and continuing education. Learn more about exemplary telehealth training programs across the country.

Expanding Access to Care Through Telehealth

Telehealth and Access to Care

Ensuring that telehealth reduces barriers to access rather than creating additional ones is crucial. Learn more about the challenges and the unique approaches that health systems are using to leverage telehealth in improving access to care.

Rural and at risk for COVID-19

The novel coronavirus is hitting remote areas where patients are poorer, sicker, and older hard. Here's how medical schools and teaching hospitals are helping.

An increasing number of teaching hospitals offer online counseling visits. That's more important now than ever.

Telepsychiatry visits are increasing access to mental health care, particularly in rural areas, prisons, and nursing homes.

Labor pains: The OB-GYN shortage

Half of U.S. counties lack a single OB-GYN, and some women’s lives are endangered by long treks for much-needed care. What leaders in academic medicine are doin

Addressing the escalating psychiatrist shortage

More people are seeking mental health treatment, but there aren’t enough psychiatrists to meet the demand. Learn what academic medicine is doing to help deliver

For Veterans, Telehealth Offers Access, Convenience

The Veterans Health Administration uses telehealth technology to improve its reach and broaden its services.

Telehealth Helps Close Health Care Disparity Gap in Rural Areas

Academic medical centers are using telehealth services to improve patient outcomes in underserved rural communities.