Study: Health Care Providers in New York Expand Patient Access through Telehealth Services
More than half of federally qualified health centers and hospitals in the state of New York utilize telehealth services.
ALBANY, N.Y. (January 11, 2016) – In a new report, the Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) at the University at Albany has found that more than half of federally qualified health centers and hospitals in the state of New York utilize telehealth services. Telehealth is an important tool used to link patients to primary care or specialty health care services, thus increasing access to services for New York residents.
Telehealth is defined as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration. In many areas of New York State that have a limited supply of health care providers, telehealth is another tool to increase access to services.
Recent federal and state health care reforms have resulted in a growing demand for health services, and increasingly, health care providers are considering innovative treatment modalities, including telehealth.
Other important findings from this report include:
• The vast majority of providers reported using telehealth services for clinical functions such as diagnosis and disease management.
• The most frequently cited reasons for starting or increasing the use of telehealth services were expanding access to health care and preventing the deterioration of medical conditions.
“Efforts to expand access to care, particularly in underserved communities, is increasing interest in and use of telehealth services,” said Robert Martiniano, MD, the CHWS senior program manager who led the study. “It is important to better understand the telehealth applications that providers are using and their impacts, as well as the barriers and facilitators of their use.”
About the Center for Health Workforce Studies Established in 1996, CHWS is a not-for-profit research organization, based at the School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). The mission of CHWS is to provide timely, accurate data and conduct policy relevant research about the health workforce. The research conducted by CHWS supports and promotes health workforce planning and policymaking at local, regional, state, and national levels. Today, CHWS is a national leader in the field of health workforce studies, and the only one uniquely focused on the oral health workforce.