AHRQ Issues Technical Brief on Telehealth

Issue #525
AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.
July 12, 2016

AHRQ Stats: Diabetes Care for Children and Young Adults

Children and young adults from the poorest communities were nearly three times as likely as those from wealthier communities to get emergency department care for diabetes in 2012. Medicaid was the primary payer for more than 40 percent of diabetes-related emergency department visits. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #203: Emergency Department Visits for Children and Young Adults With Diabetes, 2012.)

Today's Headlines:

AHRQ Issues Technical Brief on Telehealth

A new technical brief from AHRQ has found that the research literature on telehealth is vast and varied, consisting of hundreds of systematic reviews and thousands of studies of use across various clinical conditions and health care functions. There is sufficient evidence to support the effectiveness of telehealth in some circumstances, including remote monitoring, communication and counseling for patients with chronic conditions, and psychotherapy as part of behavioral health. For these telehealth applications, the brief concludes, the research focus should shift to how to promote broader implementation and address barriers. However, additional systematic reviews may be helpful for some topics, such as clinician-patient consultation as well as issues related to maternal and child health, where primary studies are available but not synthesized. For other uses, such as triage for urgent care, telehealth is cited as offering potential value, but more studies are needed. Future research also should assess the use and impact of telehealth in new health care organizational and payment models, according to the brief. Access the brief.

AHRQ Study Tracks Changes In Health Status and Care Use After Affordable Care Act Expansions

On average, the health status of people enrolled in Medicaid was better in 2014 than in 2013 following passage of the Affordable Care Act, according to an AHRQ study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.  Researchers concluded the change probably occurred because previously uninsured people who signed up for Medicaid coverage were healthier than Medicaid enrollees. By contrast, people with individual private insurance coverage appeared less healthy as a group in 2014 than in 2013. That shift may have occurred because people who previously would have had difficulty purchasing a policy from an insurer were guaranteed access to plans in the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces, researchers concluded. Access the abstract.

Register for July 20 Webinar on Updated MONAHRQ® 7 Software for Quality Reporting

Register now for a webinar on July 20 from 3 to 4 p.m. ET to learn about AHRQ’s updated MONAHRQ 7 software. The new software offers new types of health care quality data that organizations can provide to consumers who seek comparative information about hospitals, nursing homes and doctors. MONAHRQ 7 is designed for use by hospitals, hospital systems, hospital associations, nursing homes, public health departments, business and community alliances and other organizations that advocate health care quality improvement. The software’s new features allow users to report data from Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) surveys on nursing homes and clinicians and groups; to display data using more than 10 infographic templates that visually depict hospital and nursing home data on quality of care; and to show cost and quality data for coronary artery bypass grafting. Any organization can use MONAHRQ 7 either with inpatient and emergency department data it already has or by importing publicly available data such as Hospital Compare, Nursing Home Compare and Physician Compare from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

AHRQ Releases Playbook on Integrating Behavioral Health Care in Ambulatory Care Settings

AHRQ’s Integration Playbook, a new interactive guide to support the integration of behavioral health care in ambulatory care practices, is now available on the Academy for Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care portal. The free guide provides tips, resources and real-world examples of how practices are integrating behavioral health care; pitfalls to avoid; an interactive self-assessment checklist; and access to an online forum for peer-to-peer networking and sharing. Visit the portal to access the Integration Playbook and other resources for integrating behavioral health care.

Study: AHRQ Health Literacy Tool Helps Identify Patients’ Drug Therapy Problems

The use of an element from AHRQ’s Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit can help identify medication problems when patients go to the doctor, according to an AHRQ-funded study. The toolkit’s "Brown Bag Medication Review" was implemented in a rural private practice in Missouri and an urban teaching practice in California. Both practices made the changes recommended in the toolkit to encourage patients to bring all of their prescription and nonprescription medications to office visits. Pre- and post-implementation evaluation revealed a threefold increase in the percentage of patients who brought all their prescription medications to office visits. The percentage of reviews in which drug therapy problems were identified doubled, as did the percentage of medication regimens that were changed as a result of the doctor seeing everything the patient was taking. The authors concluded that the toolkit can provide an easy, low-cost way to identify drug therapy problems. "Improving the Effectiveness of Medication Review: Guidance from the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit" was published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Access the abstract.

AHRQ Offers July 26 Webinar on Shared Decision-Making for Chronic Conditions, Long-Term Care Planning

An AHRQ webinar on July 26, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. ET, will examine how shared decision-making can be used to manage chronic conditions and facilitate the long-term-care planning needs of aging veterans and other adults with chronic conditions. The webinar will highlight how Dartmouth’s School of Medicine is using shared decision-making to improve care management of individuals with chronic conditions and how the Veteran’s Administration is implementing shared-decision making to engage veterans in their long-term-care planning decisions. Registration is free. Clinicians may earn continuing education credit. Lean more and obtain tools to implement AHRQ’s SHARE Approach, a five-step process for shared decisionmaking.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Evolving concepts of patient-centered care and the assessment of patient care experiences: optimism and opposition. Cleary PD. J Health Polit Policy Law 2016 Apr 28. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Association between atopic dermatitis and extracutaneous infections in US adults. Strom MA, Silverberg JL. Br J Dermatol 2016 Apr 28. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Clinical outcomes of early and later physical therapist services for older adults with back pain. Rundell SD, Gellhorn AC, Comstock BA, et al. Spine J 2015 Aug 1;15(8):1744-55. Epub 2015 Apr 4. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Establishing chronic condition concordance and discordance with diabetes: a Delphi study. Magnan EM, Gittelson R, Bartels CM, et al. BMC Fam Pract 2015 Mar 28;16:42. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Does increased adherence to medications change health care financial burdens for adults with diabetes? Miller GE, Sarpong EM, Hill SC. J Diabetes 2015 Nov;7(6):872-80. Epub 2015 May 6. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

A multimodal intervention improves postanesthesia care unit handovers. Weinger MB, Slagle JM, Kuntz AH, et al. Anesth Analg 2015 Oct;121(4):957-71. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Graphical display of diagnostic test results in electronic health records: a comparison of 8 systems. Sittig DF, Murphy DR, Smith MW, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2015 Jul;22(4):900-4. Epub 2015 Mar 18. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

Inpatient admissions from the ED for adults with injuries: the role of clinical and nonclinical factors. Spector WD, Limcangco R, Mutter RL, et al. Am J Emerg Med 2015 Jun;33(6):764-9. Epub 2015 Mar 7. Access the abstract in PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed July 2016
Page originally created July 2016
Internet Citation: AHRQ Issues Technical Brief on Telehealth. Content last reviewed July 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/525.html