An Economic Framework to Measure Value of Pediatric Telehealth
Alison Curfman, S. David McSwain, John Chuo, Christina A. Olson, and Kit Simpson.An Economic Framework to Measure Value of Pediatric Telehealth. Telemedicine and e-Health. Dec 2021.1440-1442. http://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2020.0520
Background: Health care is experiencing significant disruptive innovation with the use of technology, including telemedicine and virtual modalities to deliver care. These new models can dramatically improve access to care and reduce health care disparities for patients, especially in underserved and vulnerable populations like children.
Problem: To assure diffusions and retention of new approaches they must be assessed for economic value. However, measuring telehealth programs using only an institutional financial viewpoint fails to convey all the societal value of such interventions, so economic studies of telehealth are needed but complex to design.
Methods: We reviewed economic study guidelines, details from telehealth study research protocols, IRB submission questions, and telehealth study design literature. We then used an iterative consensus process to develop a framework for measuring value of virtual care at the societal level.
Results: The work produced a set of tools that are useful for designing studies for measuring value of virtual care at the societal level. The framework and tools are presented in this report.
Conclusions: The conceptual framework for economic evaluation was feasible for use when applied to measure pediatric telehealth value.
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