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Disparities in Telehealth use During the COVID-19 Pandemic

HumanInsight Disparities in Telehealth use During the COVID-19 Pandemic

J Immigr Minor Health. 2022 Aug 17. doi: 10.1007/s10903-022-01381-1. Online ahead of print.


The coronavirus 2019 pandemic led to rapid expansion of outpatient telemedicine. We sought to characterize patient factors influencing outpatient teleneurology utilization at an urban safety-net hospital. We reviewed all neurology televisits scheduled between June 15, 2020 to April 15, 2021. We used the chi-squared test and multivariate logistic regression to characterize patient demographic factors associated with televisit completion and video use. Of 8875 scheduled televisit encounters, 7530 were completed successfully, 44% via video. Non-English speaking patients, Black patients, Latinx patients, and those with a zip code-linked annual income less than $50,000 were less likely to successfully complete a scheduled televisit. The same demographic groups other than Latinx ethnicity were also less likely to use the video option. Our study found unequal telehealth utilization based on patients' demographic factors. Currently declining telemedicine reimbursement rates asymmetrically affect audio-only visits, which may limit telehealth access for vulnerable patient populations.

PMID:35976473 | DOI:10.1007/s10903-022-01381-1

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