The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is calling for public data on projects that have examined the value of telehealth for acute and chronic care.
In its call for information, AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said it is seeking supplemental evidence and data submissions to inform its review of Telehealth for Acute and Chronic Care Consultations, which is currently being conducted by the AHRQ’s Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPC) Program.
In its call for more data, published last week in the Federal Register, AHRQ is asking a number of key questions:
- Are telehealth consultations effective in improving clinical and economic outcomes? Clinical and economic outcomes may include, but are not limited to, mortality and morbidity, utilization of health services, cost of services, and access to services.
- Are telehealth consultations effective in improving intermediate outcomes? Intermediate outcomes may include, but are not limited to, patient and provider satisfaction, behavior, and decisions (e.g., patient completion of treatment, provider antibiotic stewardship); volume of services; and health care processes (e.g., time to diagnosis or treatment).
- Have telehealth consultations resulted in harms, adverse events, or negative unintended consequences?
- What are the characteristics of telehealth consultations that have been the subject of comparative studies?
- Do clinical, economic, intermediate or negative outcomes (i.e., the outcomes in Key Questions 1, 2, and 3) vary across telehealth consultation characteristics (Key Question 4)?
As far as timing, AHRQ says the telehealth consultations can be used at any point in the diagnosis, treatment, or management of a patient. Outcome measurement needs to occur after the telehealth consultation.
As far as settings, AHRQ stated that the consultation can involve providers and patients in any location. These could include inpatient, outpatient, or long-term care, and could be in civilian, Veterans Administration, or military facilities.
The agency is asking that any new submissions be sent to the Scientific Resource Center at the Portland (Ore.) VA Research Foundation within 30 days.
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