HumanInsight Clinical and Sociodemographic Factors Associated with Telemedicine Engagement in an Urban Community Health Center Cohort During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Telemed J E Health. 2022 Nov 10. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2022.0389. Online ahead of print.
Objective: To examine chronic diseases, clinical factors, and sociodemographic characteristics associated with telemedicine utilization among a safety-net population. Materials and Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of adults seeking care in an urban, multisite community health center in the Northeast United States. We included adults with ≥1 outpatient in-person visit during the pre-COVID-19 period (March 1, 2019-February 29, 2020) and ≥1 outpatient visit (in-person or telemedicine) during the COVID-19 period (March 1, 2020-February 29, 2021). Multivariable logistic regression models estimated associations between clinical and sociodemographic factors and telemedicine use, classified as "any" (≥1 visit) and "high" (≥3 visits). Results: Among 5,793 patients who met inclusion criteria, 4,687 (80.9%) had any (≥1) telemedicine visit and 1,053 (18.2%) had high (≥3) telemedicine visits during the COVID-19 period. Older age and Medicare coverage were associated with having any telemedicine use. Older and White patients were more likely to have high telemedicine use. Uninsured patients were less likely to have high telemedicine use. Patients with increased health care utilization in the pre-COVID-19 period and those with hypertension, diabetes, substance use disorders, and depression were more likely to have high telemedicine engagement. Discussion: Chronic conditions, older patients, and White patients compared with Latinx patients, were associated with high telemedicine engagement after adjusting for prior health care utilization. Conclusion: Equity-focused approaches to telemedicine clinical strategies are needed for safety-net populations. Community health centers can adopt disease-specific telemedicine strategies with high patient engagement.
PMID:36355045 | DOI:10.1089/tmj.2022.0389
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