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Telehealth follow-up associated with increased returns and hospitalizations after emergency department visit



UCLA CTSI News Archive

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Telehealth follow-up consultations following an emergency department visit were associated with 28 more repeat ED encounters and nearly 11 more return hospital admissions per 1000 patients compared with in-person follow-ups, UCLA research suggests.

The findings, published in the peer-reviewed JAMA Network Open, held true even when the researchers controlled for the seriousness of patients’ conditions, co-morbidities, and sociodemographic factors.

One of the first studies to link telemedicine with these negative outcomes, these findings come out just when policymakers and payors are in active discussions about whether and in what situations telemedicine should continue to be reimbursed.

Read the full UCLA press release.  

Study co-authors are Chad Villaflores, Linh Chuong, Dr. Richard Leuchter, Sitaram Vangala, Dr. Austin Kilaru of the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Catherine Sarkisian of UCLA. Dr. Sarkisian also serves as co-leader of the UCLA CTSI Integrating Special Populations Program (ISP).

CTSI support of this research was provided by the Value-Based Research Consortium via ISP and the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design Program. 

The study was supported by the National Institute on Aging (1K24AG047899-06), the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute from NCATS (UL1TR001881-06), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (5K12HS026372-04), the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (5R38HL143614-03).