NEHI (the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation) received a funding award from the Eugene Washington Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Engagement Awards Program. This convening support award will support a multi-stakeholder meeting titled, “Leveraging Patient and Other Stakeholder Perspectives to Advance Research on Medicaid Access to Tele-Mental Health Care.”
NEHI President and CEO, Wendy Warring, J.D., and Policy Director, Vasudha Gidugu, Ph.D., will spearhead this timely project. The project aims to facilitate a discussion on stakeholders’ current experiences with tele-mental health care, their perspectives on extant research on the topic, and input on future directions for adoption of and research related to tele-mental health care.
This project is taking place at a critical time when the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need for mental health care, reinforcing the need for remote access to care. Utilization of tele-mental health care grew continuously throughout the past 16 months, as it essentially became the only method through which providers and patients could connect. The pandemic, additionally, emphasized the incredible disparity 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 tele-mental health care may be an option.
According to Greg Martin, PCORI’s Acting Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer, “This conference was selected for Engagement Award funding because it will bring together patients and other stakeholders to explore critical issues related to comparative effectiveness research (CER) and communicate PCORI-funded research findings to key stakeholders. We look forward to working with NEHI throughout the course of their 12-month project.”
NEHI will facilitate stakeholder focus groups to seek input on research in the tele-mental health field and garner insight into the relevance of existing research in relation to their experiences of tele-mental health, especially during the pandemic. Project participants will gather in the spring of 2022 to discuss focus group findings and develop consensus on critical research questions that resonate with a multi-stakeholder group.
“This project will certainly enrich different stakeholders’ understanding of how current research is perceived and used, as well as provide a picture of tele-mental health experiences at a unique time in health care. It may also reveal new research issues emerging from the facilitated conversations that providers, payers, and patients have,” Warring noted. “It is NEHI’s hope,” Warring added, “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.”
NEHI’s project and the other projects approved for funding by the PCORI Engagement Award Program were selected through a highly competitive review process in which applications were assessed for their ability to meet PCORI’s engagement goals and objectives, as well as program criteria. Click here for more information about PCORI’s funding to support engagement efforts.
PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. Learn more at www.pcori.org
About NEHI (the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation):
NEHI is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with member organizations from diverse sectors of U.S. health care, including, among others, patient advocates, payers, providers, biopharma, pharmacy, and academia.
We are committed to developing pragmatic policy and practice recommendations that incorporate different industry perspectives to improve productivity, drive better outcomes and address unmet needs through innovation.