JAMIA recently published their study on the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) initiative to bring telehealth to Veterans in serious need of healthcare and with barriers to accessible care. Eighty-six VA facilities provided tablets with telehealth capabilities to 6,745 patients.
One Million Telehealth Visits in 2018! The VA continues to expand its utilization of telehealth. 2018’s numbers are 19% higher than last years.
This number is bound to greatly increase. The new Authority of Health Care Providers to Practice Telehealth rule, published in the Federal Register on October 2nd, 2017, allows for the VA to provide telehealth services directly to veterans’ homes across the country. In addition, the VA launched its new mobile VA Video Connect application, making video sessions easier for veterans. I suspect these recent developments have only begun to show a footprint. Only 105,300 of the million + video visits were conducted using the new mobile application.
The military and VA use telehealth more than any organization I know of. They also have conducted research which shows that it reduces no-show rates and hospital readmissions and provides access to many clients who normally would not have received care.
Both, working with the military and providing telebehavioral health services require specific awareness and skills. Our interview with Mercia Cummings provides you a view of what it is truly like to provide the services.