VA weighs in on NCQA White Paper on The Impact of Telehealth on Health Equity

“The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) today announced the release of a new white paper titled, “The Future of Telehealth Roundtable:

The Potential Impact of Emerging Technologies on Health Equity.” The report stemmed from an NCQA roundtable discussion on the future of virtual health care delivery in a post-pandemic world. Held in October 2021, the roundtable featured a diverse panel of experts in telehealth, technology, regulation, and policy, including individuals from MedStar Health, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the National Partnership for Women and Families, among others.”

“’Even prior to the pandemic, a change in health care delivery was on the horizon with ever-evolving advancements in technology,’ says NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. ‘As virtually based care expands, unique patient needs and preferences must be identified and prioritized so that telehealth can help us close the gaps in health care and not widen existing disparities.'”

“While there are clear benefits to telehealth such as cost-effectiveness and convenience, this modality has the potential to exacerbate inequities among people in underserved communities. Using a hypothetical, patient case-based approach, panelists identified technical and structural issues that lead to inequities in telehealth, including lack of broadband access, disjointed technology interfaces, antiquated federal regulations, restrictive payment and coverage policies, and disparate state licensure laws.”

“The white paper outlines a combination of patient-centric, policy focused, technology-based solutions to address these barriers, including…” Read the full press release here.

Source: NCQA Releases White Paper on The Impact of Telehealth on Health Equity – May 10, 2022. The National Committee for Quality Assurance.

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