remain to the use of telehealth modalities, including issues related to reimbursement, licensure, workforce, and costs. Also, some areas of telehealth have developed a stronger evidence base than others.

WORKSHOP STATEMENT OF TASK

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) sponsored the IOM in holding a workshop in Washington, DC, on August 8-9, 2012, to examine how the use of telehealth technology can fit into the U.S. health care system. HRSA asked the IOM to focus on the potential for telehealth to serve geographically isolated individuals and extend the reach of scarce resources while also emphasizing the quality and value in the delivery of health care services. Specifically, the charge to the planning committee was to

  • discuss the evolution of telehealth since 1996, including the increasing role of the private sector, policies that have promoted or delayed the use of telehealth, and consumer acceptance of telehealth;
  • discuss the current evidence base for telehealth, including available data and gaps in data;
  • discuss how technological developments, including mobile telehealth (mHealth), electronic intensive care units, remote monitoring, social networking, and wearable devices, in conjunction with the push for electronic health records, is changing the delivery of health care in rural and urban environments; and
  • discuss actions that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) can undertake to further the use of telehealth to improve health care outcomes while controlling costs in the current health care environment.

Overall, the workshop speakers were asked to meet the following workshop objectives:

  • delineate the evidence base for telehealth;
  • highlight special implications for rural populations;
  • discuss the actions HHS can undertake; and
  • identify what in particular warrants further study.

The planning committee’s role was limited to planning the workshop, and the workshop summary has been prepared by the workshop rapporteur as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. Statements, recommendations, and opinions expressed are those of individual presenters



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