This week, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) announced the initiation of a new program to assess telehealth’s potential as a tool for addressing and eliminating health disparities in the United States. Along with the announcement, the CEO’s Advisory Group on Using Telehealth to Eliminate Disparities and Inequities issued a framework that will serve as the foundation for ongoing strategic analysis and future policy recommendations. The group, which includes more than 30 executives from the various payer, provider, and tech organizations, issued a framework that will serve as the foundation for ongoing strategic analysis and future policy recommendations.
Ann Mond Johnson, CEO of the ATA, said in a statement, “In recent years, we have seen rapidly growing evidence that telehealth services can and should play a central role in strategies to address health disparities in the U.S.” The advisory group is chaired by Kristi Henderson, Optum’s CEO for MedExpress; Yasmine Winkler, GEHA Health’s independent director; and Dr. Ron Wyatt, MCIC Vermont’s VP and safety officer.
Stakeholders, policymakers, and advocates have underlined the relevance of telehealth in narrowing rather than widening gaps. It’s not just about expanding internet infrastructure, though that’s an integral part of it.