SEPTEMBER 27, 2022 – Board Members of the Alliance for Connected Care conducted a government-funded study to determine whether there was an increase in primary care utilization with the expanded availability of telehealth across three health care systems. Using a grant from the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), data was collected by MedStar Health, Stanford Health Care, and Intermountain Healthcare.

Results suggest the availability of telehealth is not resulting in additional primary care visits, rather, telehealth is serving as a substitute for certain in-person encounters resulting in no overall increase in primary care utilization. Further, it seems telehealth was mostly utilized for patients whose medical needs required multiple primary care visits during each year, suggesting that these telehealth encounters enabled follow-up for patients with chronic illness. Overall, data are reassuring that expansion of telehealth services maintained access during the pandemic without increasing overall quantity of services for a large primary care population.

Additionally, MedStar Health, Stanford Medicine, and Intermountain Healthcare are launching the program with support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and will continue to work under the Connected CARE (Care Access Research Equity) & Safety Consortium, expanding the initial focus on primary care.

“While we expected to see variability in telehealth use in primary care, we were interested to learn that those patients with chronic illness and frequent primary care needs consistently replaced one to two visits per year with a telehealth visit,” Ethan Booker, MD, MedStar‘s chief medical officer of telehealth, the study co-author, and co-principal investigator for both grants, said in the press release. “This finding underscores our entry into a new era of chronic care, as telehealth helps providers increase access and care continuity for patients who need it most. Given the evidence that telehealth has expanded our care capabilities, we believe federal and state legislation and regulations should continue to protect telehealth access.” (Health Leaders)

If you are interested in learning more about the Alliance for Connected Care and our advocacy, and about further opportunities to engage through membership or our Board, please reach out to Casey Osgood Landry at