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Capacity of Primary Care to Deliver Telehealth in the United States.
J Am Board Fam Med. 2021 Feb; 34(Suppl):S48-S54.JA

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Because of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) pandemic, many primary care practices have transitioned to telehealth visits to keep patients at home and decrease the transmission of the disease. Yet, little is known about the nationwide capacity for delivering primary care services via telehealth.

METHODS

Using the 2016 National Ambulatory Medical Survey we estimated the number and proportion of reported visits and services that could be provided via telehealth. We also performed cross-tabulations to calculate the number and proportion of physicians providing telephone visits and e-mail/internet encounters.

RESULTS

Of the total visits (nearly 400 million) to primary care physicians, 42% were amenable to telehealth and 73% of the total services rendered could be delivered through telehealth modalities. Of the primary care physicians, 44% provided telephone consults and 19% provided e-consults.

DISCUSSION

This study underscores how and where primary care services could be delivered. It provides the first estimates of the capacity of primary care to provide telehealth services for COVID-19 related illness, and for several other acute and chronic medical conditions. It also highlights the fact that, as of 2016, most outpatient telehealth visits were done via telephone.

CONCLUSIONS

This study provides an estimate of the primary care capacity to deliver telehealth and can guide practices and payers as care delivery models change in a post-COVID 19 environment.

Authors+Show Affiliations

From The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Primary Care, Washington, DC (AJ, YJ, DBK, SP, JW); Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA (MW). ajetty@aafp.org.From The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Primary Care, Washington, DC (AJ, YJ, DBK, SP, JW); Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA (MW).From The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Primary Care, Washington, DC (AJ, YJ, DBK, SP, JW); Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA (MW).From The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Primary Care, Washington, DC (AJ, YJ, DBK, SP, JW); Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA (MW).From The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Primary Care, Washington, DC (AJ, YJ, DBK, SP, JW); Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA (MW).From The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Primary Care, Washington, DC (AJ, YJ, DBK, SP, JW); Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA (MW).

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33622818

Citation

Jetty, Anuradha, et al. "Capacity of Primary Care to Deliver Telehealth in the United States." Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM, vol. 34, no. Suppl, 2021, pp. S48-S54.
Jetty A, Jabbarpour Y, Westfall M, et al. Capacity of Primary Care to Deliver Telehealth in the United States. J Am Board Fam Med. 2021;34(Suppl):S48-S54.
Jetty, A., Jabbarpour, Y., Westfall, M., Kamerow, D. B., Petterson, S., & Westfall, J. M. (2021). Capacity of Primary Care to Deliver Telehealth in the United States. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM, 34(Suppl), S48-S54. https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2021.S1.200202
Jetty A, et al. Capacity of Primary Care to Deliver Telehealth in the United States. J Am Board Fam Med. 2021;34(Suppl):S48-S54. PubMed PMID: 33622818.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Capacity of Primary Care to Deliver Telehealth in the United States. AU - Jetty,Anuradha, AU - Jabbarpour,Yalda, AU - Westfall,Matthew, AU - Kamerow,Douglas B, AU - Petterson,Stephen, AU - Westfall,John M, PY - 2020/05/07/received PY - 2020/07/23/revised PY - 2020/07/26/accepted PY - 2021/2/24/entrez PY - 2021/2/25/pubmed PY - 2021/3/10/medline KW - COVID-19 KW - Child Health KW - Family Medicine KW - Mental Health KW - Pandemics KW - Primary Care Physicians KW - Primary Health Care KW - Rural Health KW - Social Determinants of Health KW - Telemedicine SP - S48 EP - S54 JF - Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM JO - J Am Board Fam Med VL - 34 IS - Suppl N2 - BACKGROUND: Because of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) pandemic, many primary care practices have transitioned to telehealth visits to keep patients at home and decrease the transmission of the disease. Yet, little is known about the nationwide capacity for delivering primary care services via telehealth. METHODS: Using the 2016 National Ambulatory Medical Survey we estimated the number and proportion of reported visits and services that could be provided via telehealth. We also performed cross-tabulations to calculate the number and proportion of physicians providing telephone visits and e-mail/internet encounters. RESULTS: Of the total visits (nearly 400 million) to primary care physicians, 42% were amenable to telehealth and 73% of the total services rendered could be delivered through telehealth modalities. Of the primary care physicians, 44% provided telephone consults and 19% provided e-consults. DISCUSSION: This study underscores how and where primary care services could be delivered. It provides the first estimates of the capacity of primary care to provide telehealth services for COVID-19 related illness, and for several other acute and chronic medical conditions. It also highlights the fact that, as of 2016, most outpatient telehealth visits were done via telephone. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides an estimate of the primary care capacity to deliver telehealth and can guide practices and payers as care delivery models change in a post-COVID 19 environment. SN - 1558-7118 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33622818/Capacity_of_Primary_Care_to_Deliver_Telehealth_in_the_United_States_ L2 - http://www.jabfm.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=33622818 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -