Telehealth is the
utilization of electronic communications, information technology, or other means
between a provider in one location, and a patient in another location. It
typically involves the application of technology to provide or support
healthcare delivery by replicating the interaction of a traditional, in-person
encounter between a provider and a patient. The past 15 years have seen the
growing use of telehealth in a variety of healthcare settings as one approach to
improving access to care. Payment for telehealth services is evolving across the
public and private sectors with significant variability from one payer to
It is assumed that
telehealth encounters are as effective as in-person encounters. Because
telehealth is intended to replicate the interaction of a traditional healthcare
encounter, it is expected that the clinical outcomes for patients would be the
same independent of the modality of care. While there is a multitude of clinical
measures that evaluate the effectiveness of healthcare interventions, less is
known about the extent to which these measures assess or could be used to assess
the effectiveness and overall quality of telehealth interventions, particularly
in rural areas. What is needed is a measurement approach that takes into
consideration the characteristics of telehealth and the challenges faced by
rural healthcare providers and their patients.
Forum (NQF) will conduct a multistakeholder review of existing and potential
telehealth metrics, leading to the identification of measurement gaps, and the
development of a measure framework and set of guiding principles for future
telehealth measurement and the possible need for telehealth measure development.
The purpose of this work is to facilitate the identification of the most
appropriate way to ensure clinical measures are applied to telehealth encounters
in order to measure quality of care and to guide the future development of
telehealth related measures.
Over a 12-month period,
NQF will convene a multistakeholder committee to conduct an environmental scan
of existing and potential telehealth metrics, conduct a gap analysis, develop a
measure framework, and produce a detailed final report of the measure framework,
with a prioritized list of measure concepts and guiding principles to be
considered for future telehealth measurement. Throughout this project, NQF will
solicit input from NQF’s multistakeholder audience, including NQF membership and
public stakeholders at key points throughout the project.
This project is
funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.
about the availability of auxiliary aids and services for NQF’s federally funded
projects, please visit http://www.medicare.gov/about-us/nondiscrimination/nondiscrimination-notice.html.
information, please contact Katie Goodwin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.