Telehealth is currently a very active area for public and private health coverage stakeholders engaged in delivery system innovation. Emerging evidence can and should play an important role in helping stakeholders interested in telehealth to target their resources effectively. To enable effective dissemination of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) on telehealth, the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) is convening a cross-state, cross-agency affinity group of state health policy makers interested in advancing evidence-informed policy in the area of telehealth.
NASHP’s Telehealth Affinity Group will convene quarterly to explore emerging PCOR on telehealth. The Telehealth Affinity Group will be a unique opportunity for busy policy makers to learn the latest PCOR findings on telehealth and to explore the policy issues affecting implementation of telehealth.
NASHP’s objectives for this Engagement Award are to: identify existing and emerging PCOR findings on telehealth; convene a cross-state and cross-sector group of stakeholders to present PCOR findings to and explore policy levers for successful implementation; create opportunities for policy makers to learn from their peers’ experiences; and to share relevant contextual information for policy makers to understand and implement telehealth research.
NASHP has a strong history of engaging policy makers from a variety of state offices and agencies. Through engagement with state officials, NASHP has identified that health policy makers have specific questions when presented with research, different from those of clinicians and patients. For example, when encountering emerging PCOR on telehealth, policy makers may ask if the evidence merits action and, if so, how the evidence can be implemented. State policy makers are also interested in understanding how other states have successfully implemented evidence-based reforms.
Through cross-state and agency discussion, the Telehealth Affinity Group will yield an understanding of the policy implications of emerging findings. The meetings will also create an understanding of the policy issues that may be impeding telehealth implementation. The meetings will yield direct feedback on disseminating PCOR to policy makers, informing future dissemination aimed at this group. Finally, written products and a webinar will broaden the impact to the wider community.