Using Telehealth Services to Expand Patients' Access to Care in New York

A recent report released by the UAlbany Center for Health Workforce Studies, entitled "An Exploratory Study of the Use of Telehealth Services by Federally Qualified Health Centers and Hospitals in New York State," summarizes findings from a study that surveyed New York State's health care providers' use of telehealth services. Findings reveal more than half of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and hospital survey respondents use telehealth services.

As a result of recent federal and state health care reforms, there has been an increase in demand for health services and more health care providers are open to using innovative treatment modalities, such as telehealth. This is evident in many rural areas in New York, where telehealth is being used to effectively link patients to needed health care services in places with a limited supply of health care providers.

The report shares other important findings, such as many providers reported using telehealth services for clinical functions, and expanding access to care and preventing the worsening of medical conditions were the most frequently cited reasons for starting or increasing use of telehealth services. Dr. Robert Martiniano, CHWS Senior Program Manager, said "Efforts to expand access to care, particularly in underserved communities, is increasing interest in the use of telehealth services. It is important to better understand the telehealth applications that providers are using, their impacts, and the barriers and facilitators of their use." Dr. Martiniano led this study.

To read the full report, visit the CHWS website at http://chws.albany.edu.