New Report: The Role of Telehealth in Achieving a High Performing Rural Health System: Priorities in a Post-Pandemic System

Telehealth usage increased during the Public Health Emergency (PHE), and this has fueled discussions on the optimum use of telehealth in healthcare delivery. Based on experiences during the PHE, and new applications of telecommunications technologies, this report assesses potential improvements in rural health service delivery, as well as potential unintended consequences that could undermine goals to improve services for currently underserved populations. The assessment is guided by the over-arching framework of the high-performing rural health system (HPRHS), to understand the benefits of telehealth in improving health equity as affecting four pillars of the HPRHS – access, affordability, community health, and quality.

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Principal Authors: Joel M. James, MPH and Keith J. Mueller, PhD (Panel Chair) 

Prepared by the RUPRI Health Panel: Alva O. Ferdinand, DrPh, JD; Alana D. Knudson, PhD; Jennifer P. Lundblad, PhD, MBA; A. Clinton MacKinney, MD, MS; Timothy D. McBride, PhD; Nancy E. Schoenberg, PhD