American Journal of Preventive Medicine: Before and During Pandemic Telemedicine Use: An Analysis of Rural and Urban Safety-Net Clinics

Research found that rural residents had lower telehealth engagement rates during the COVID-19 pandemic than their urban counterparts, showing the need for geographic targeting and the provision of additional resources. This study aimed to determine whether the location of residence had an influence on care quality by comparing data on rural and urban residents from before and during the pandemic. Researchers noted that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no noticeable correlation between the type of visit —in-person or virtual — and residence. However, during the pandemic, telehealth visits increased by 27.2 percent among those living in isolated rural areas and by 52.3 percent among those living in urban areas. Researchers noted that the future of telehealth equity will be influenced by reimbursement.

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