AHRQ Urged to Review More Studies, Broaden its Evaluation of Telemedicine’s Benefits | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

AHRQ Urged to Review More Studies, Broaden its Evaluation of Telemedicine’s Benefits

January 27, 2016
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

The Healthcare Information and Management System Society (HIMSS) and the Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA) are urging the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to review international studies as well as individual studies in order to have more data to evaluate the benefits of telemedicine.

In a letter, the two organizations provide written comments in response to AHRQ’s technical brief on telemedicine, Telehealth: An Evidence Map for Decisionmaking, issued in December. The draft report was intended to provide a framework and an evidence map of the available research regarding the impact of telehealth on health outcomes and healthcare utilization that can be used to inform policy and practice decisions.

The AHRQ study was requested by Senators Bill Nelson (R-Fla.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), who asked for a literature review on the value of telehealth and remote patient monitoring, particularly for the chronically ill, with a focus on expanding access to care and reducing costs.

The two organizations recommend that AHRQ review international studies that “when properly analyzed can aid US policymakers in understanding additional applications of new and novel technology.” And, the organizations also recommended that AHRQ consider data from other delivery systems such as the Department of Veterans Affairs.

HIMSS and PCHA also urged the agency to expand and refine modality types in their review to include the term remote patient monitoring “to ensure that multiple modality types are not excluded as a result of an unintended bias based on evolving terms as noted in the background and definition section.”

“We ask AHRQ to expand outcomes to include patient engagement. Technologies associated with telehealth are becoming increasingly accessible to patients as consumers,” the organizations stated in the letter.

The organizations also noted that AHRQ’s decision to use only literature reviews rather than individual studies limits the inclusion of more recent data on remote patient monitoring usage. “We urge AHRQ to include individual studies with an emphasis on studies that do not restrict the research to only care delivery models that require doctor-patient interaction,” the letter states.

And, the organizations wrote, “Finally, we request that AHRQ broaden its evaluation to include telehealth encounters that go beyond isolated interventions constrained to direct encounters with patients. As noted in the technical brief, the size and scope of healthcare delivery in a virtual sense has expanded dramatically over recent years. In addition, many of these studies leverage telehealth and remote patient monitoring as ancillary to other supportive technologies to achieve outcomes, cost savings and to better engage patients.”

 

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Boston Children's Accelerates Data-Driven Approach to Clinical Research

In an effort to bring a more data-driven approach to clinical research, Boston Children’s Hospital has joined the TriNetX global health research network.

Paper Records, Films Most Common Type of Healthcare Data Breach, Study Finds

Despite the high level of hospital adoption of electronic health records and federal incentives to do so, paper and films were the most frequent location of breached data in hospitals, according to a recent study.

AHA Appoints Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has announced that John Riggi has joined the association as senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk.

Report: Healthcare Accounted for 45% of All Ransomware Attacks in 2017

Healthcare fell victim to more ransomware attacks than any other industry in 2017, according to a new report from global cybersecurity insurance company Beazley.

Study: Use of EHRs Does Not Reduce Administrative Costs

A recent study by Duke University and Harvard Business School researchers found that costs for processing a single bill ranged from $20 for a primary care visit to $215 for an inpatient surgical procedure, or up to 25 percent of revenue.

Kibbe to Step Down as CEO of DirectTrust

David Kibbe, M.D., M.B.A., announced he would step down as president and CEO of DirectTrust at the end of the year.