Healthcare Utilization Differences Among Primary Care Patients Using Telemedicine in the Veterans Health Administration: a Retrospective Cohort Study.

Healthcare Utilization Differences Among Primary Care Patients Using Telemedicine in the Veterans Health Administration: a Retrospective Cohort Study.

Publication date: Jan 22, 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic encouraged telemedicine expansion. Research regarding follow-up healthcare utilization and primary care (PC) telemedicine is lacking. To evaluate whether healthcare utilization differed across PC populations using telemedicine. Retrospective observational cohort study using administrative data from veterans with minimally one PC visit before the COVID-19 pandemic (March 1, 2019-February 28, 2020) and after in-person restrictions were lifted (October 1, 2020-September 30, 2021). All veterans receiving VHA PC services during study period. Veterans’ exposure to telemedicine was categorized as (1) in-person only, (2) telephone telemedicine (≥ 1 telephone visit with or without in-person visits), or (3) video telemedicine (≥ 1 video visit with or without telephone and/or in-person visits). Healthcare utilization 7 days after index PC visit were compared. Generalized estimating equations estimated odds ratios for telephone or video telemedicine versus in-person only use adjusted for patient characteristics (e. g., age, gender, race, residential rurality, ethnicity), area deprivation index, comorbidity risk, and intermediate PC visits within the follow-up window. Over the 2-year study, 3. 4 million veterans had 12. 9 million PC visits, where 1. 7 million (50. 7%), 1. 0 million (30. 3%), and 649,936 (19. 0%) veterans were categorized as in-person only, telephone telemedicine, or video telemedicine. Compared to in-person only users, video telemedicine users experienced higher rates per 1000 patients of emergent care (15. 1 vs 11. 2; p 

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Concepts Keywords
Healthcare COVID-19
Pandemic internet access
Pc primary care
Veterans telemedicine
veterans

Semantics

Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease MESH comorbidity

Original Article

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