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  • VSSL

Enhancing Value-Based Payment Models Using Telehealth

"The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has driven clinicians and organizations around the country to expand their telehealth capabilities. Video and audio services were critical early in the pandemic, when individuals delayed in-person care and health care practitioners halted nonurgent services, actions that collectively plummeted clinic and hospital visits. Although in-person care recovered in the following months, telehealth has remained a critical tool while clinicians faced multiple waves of COVID-19 surges. These dynamics highlight how telehealth will remain a key element of patient care going forward, both in future waves and after the pandemic ultimately subsides."

This is rationale for a recent article published in JAMA Health Forum by VSSL's Joshua Liao. In it, Dr. Liao and University of Pennsylvania colleague Amol Navathe argue that telehealth can play an increasingly important role in value-based "alternative payment models" (APMs), which are designed to improve quality and contain costs through better coordination. Drs. Liao and Navathe use three examples to illustrate this potential:

* Improving primary care access

* Improving quality through population health management

* Containing costs by redesigning discharge decisions

They conclude that while "there are no silver bullets in health care transformation", and that "telehealth is also not a panacea", it is still "poised to improve payment reform by enhancing strategies identified through prior or current APMs."

Read the full article here. For more information about work in VSSL on telehealth, visit our partnerships page to learn about work the Lab is conducting with the Washington state Health Care Authority.


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