Telehealth Care Quality Better Than In-Person for Some Measures
According to a study published in JAMA Network Open, telehealth care performed the same or better than in-person care on most quality measures studied. The retrospective cohort study covered 526,874 patients, of whom 409,732 received in-person care only and 117,142 received virtual care. Performance was better for the in-person-only group on medication-based measures, with significant differences in just three of the five measures: patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) receiving antiplatelets, patients with CVD receiving statins, and patients with upper respiratory infections avoiding antibiotics. Meanwhile, the telehealth group performed better on four testing-based measures—patients with CVD with lipid panels, patients with diabetes with hemoglobin A1C testing, patients with diabetes with nephropathy testing, and blood pressure control—and on seven counseling-based measures—cervical cancer screening, breast cancer screening, colon cancer screening, tobacco counseling and intervention, influenza vaccination, pneumococcal vaccination, and depression screening. For chronic diseases, in particular, the researchers indicated that telehealth could augment care.
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