Carolyn Fisher, Emily Hahn, and Molly Totman. “Primary Care Telehealth for Medicaid Populations: Patient and Provider Perspectives”. Presented at the Massachusetts League of Community Health Center’s Community Health Institute 2023 Conference (oral presentation). North Falmouth, MA
Telehealth has taken off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but adoption and implementation has varied, and consensus has not yet emerged around how to integrate telehealth into routine care. In this session, we will describe the findings and implications of a study exploring barriers to engaging in video telehealth for primary care among a Medicare patient population in Springfield, MA. We examined usage patterns, conducted patient interviews in English and Spanish, fielded a multilingual patient survey, and interviewed primary care providers. We found that contrary to prior expectations, technology was not the primary barrier for many patients engaging in telehealth. Instead, both patients and providers shared their expectations around high-quality care, the importance of human touch, their trust in the accuracy of remote diagnosis, and the importance of convenience. We will conclude with a discussion of considerations for best practices.