By Consumers For Quality Care, on November 3, 2021
According to a new study reported by Patient Engagement, researchers found disparities in access to telehealth between urban and rural communities.
Despite assumptions that rural patients would be more prone to utilize telehealth services, the study found that older adults in rural areas did not access telehealth for chronic disease management as often as those living in urban or suburban areas. Forty-seven percent of those living in non-rural zip codes used telehealth during 2020, compared to just 34 percent of those living in rural areas.
The report suggests that policymakers must focus on improving rural access to telehealth by addressing the “digital divide,” which has increasingly shown to be an emerging social determinant of health that seriously hampered rural residents’ access to telehealth.
CQC urges policymakers to close the urban-rural disparity that currently exists in accessing valuable telehealth services.