HumanInsight Predictors of Video versus Audio-Only Telehealth Use among Urological Patients
Urol Pract. 2022 May;9(3):198-204. doi: 10.1097/UPJ.0000000000000301. Epub 2022 Feb 10.
INTRODUCTION: During the COVID-19 public health emergency, telehealth use grew due to regulatory and reimbursement surrounding the use of video and audio-only visits for the evaluation and management of patients.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed patients seeking outpatient urological care from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 at a urological tertiary care center. Our study was designed to determine the relative effect of demographic, socioeconomic and geographic variables on the likelihood of using video compared to an audio-only telehealth.
RESULTS: We identified 4,744 unique patients who had a urological telehealth visit. Demographic factors associated with lower probability of utilizing video telehealth were older age (ages >65 years, average marginal effect [AME] -38.3, 95% CI -40.8, -34.7), Black/African American race and American Indian and Alaska Native race (AME -9.7, 95% CI -10.7, -7.1; AME -17.1, 95% CI -18.8, -13.7, respectively), interpreter use (AME -4.5, 95% CI -5, -3.1), Medicaid insurance (AME -13.3, 95% CI -14.8, -9.8), rural residence and living in area with low broadband Internet access (AME -12.8, 95% CI -14.1, -9.1).
CONCLUSIONS: Forty-four percent of patients used audio-only visits to connect with their urologists. Age, ethnicity, rurality, type of insurance and broadband access all impacted the type of telehealth used to receive urological care. Without coverage and reimbursement of audio-only visits, video telehealth could exacerbate health disparities in access to urological care.
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