Medicare patients with serious mental health problems were well-served through telehealth during the COVID-19 crisis.
According to a new study published by the JAMA Network, such patients experienced
… 13.0% more mental health visits than those receiving care at practices that largely used in-person visits. There were no changes in medication adherence, hospital and emergency department use, or mortality based on the extent of telemental health use.
The study’s findings support continued use of telehealth for Medicare patients with mental health problems even now that the greatest threat of the pandemic has passed. Such a development also would support ASH’s call for greater attention to the behavioral health needs of Medicare and Medicaid patients in the communities safety-net hospitals serve and the introduction of federal policies that contribute toward that end.
Learn more about how the study was conducted and its findings in the JAMA Network report “Use of Telemedicine and Quality of Care Among Medicare Enrollees With Serious Mental Illness.”