Posted on October 3, 2022
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NEHI will have the opportunity to present our recommendations and guiding questions for tele-mental health research to a large, diverse group of researchers affiliated with PCORI at this event. These researchers could expand upon our recommendations in future studies to improve equitable delivery of tele-mental health innovations.
COVID-19 has accelerated innovations in tele-mental health. Telehealth’s convenience and other benefits indicate that the utilization of digital care modalities will continue at current rates for the foreseeable future. However, the pandemic also emphasized deep disparities in access to tele-mental health care services, particularly among people of color and low-income populations —a significant proportion of whom receive Medicaid benefits. Issues related to disparities in access include compatible devices, internet connectivity, technological savvy, and awareness that telemental health care may be an option. The impact of disparities in access to tele-mental health, as well as the variation in the effectiveness of tele-mental health for different demographic groups, diagnoses, and in delivering different types of interventions, remains unclear and under-researched.
NEHI’s PCORI Engagement Award project, “Leveraging Patient and Other Stakeholder Perspectives to Advance Research on Medicaid Access to Tele-Mental Health Care,” developed recommendations for future research on tele-mental health. Further study stemming from these recommendations could eventually inform clinical guidelines for effective and equitable use of tele-mental health care. The NEHI team developed these recommendations through multiple discussions involving patients, mental health and substance use disorder treatment providers, and payers (including Medicaid state officials and representatives of Medicaid managed care health plans).
“It is NEHI’s hope,” said NEHI CEO Wendy Warring, “that this may lead to studies that have broader meaning and applicability to advance the field of tele-mental health and its acceptance across the health care industry.”
PCORI’s Annual Meeting convenes researchers, clinicians, patients, caregivers, and other voices in healthcare research to share progress and findings from PCORI’s funded projects.
Register for the 2022 PCORI Annual Meeting here.