Our mission is to catalyze and disseminate IHPI-member research on the role of telehealth in improving healthcare access, enhancing patient experience, and reducing costs.
What is telehealth?
Telehealth is the use telecommunications technology to remotely diagnose, manage, or treat disease. Telehealth includes the use of video conferencing software, telephone, patient portals, and mobile health applications to deliver healthcare. The terms telehealth, telemedicine, virtual care, digital health, and eHealth are used interchangeably.
What is the Telehealth Research Incubator (TRI)?
The Telehealth Research Incubator leverages collective resources and expertise from University of Michigan clinicians and scientists and IHPI staff to scale the efforts of telehealth researchers at U-M. The focus of many TRI projects is to rigorously evaluate federal/state telehealth policies and institutional programs on four specific outcomes:
- Patient experience
Our collaborators include faculty from Michigan Medicine, the School of Public Health, the School of Nursing, the Ross School of Business, the College of Engineering, the Center for Evaluating Health Reform, and the Survey Research Center. TRI also has access to large Medicare and commercial payer databases (including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Optum, Truven Marketscan) to conduct telehealth policy analyses.
How can we work with you?
The Telehealth Research Incubator partners with IHPI faculty, health systems, professional organizations, researchers, and governmental agencies to evaluate telehealth policies and programs on cost, quality, access and the patient experience. Please contact Emma Steppe if you are interested in discussing a collaboration.
What is the Telehealth Research Network?
The Telehealth Research Network, currently under development, will convene telehealth researchers at U-M and promote collaborations through research meetings and networking events.
If you are interested in joining the Telehealth Research Network listserv, please contact Emma Steppe.
The first Telehealth Research Networking Event will take place in Spring 2020. Members of the Telehealth Research Network listserv will be the first to receive details about the event, and IHPI will also send an all-member email announcement, so keep an eye out for future information!
Chad Ellimoottil, M.D., M.S., director of the U-M Telehealth Research Incubator, explains telehealth’s potential to bring greater value, quality, and access to healthcare delivery, and the important questions to consider in evaluating telehealth policies and implementation.
Is telehealth being used by providers in Accountable Care Organizations?
Using national Medicare data, our team is studying how telehealth is utilized by providers in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). ACOs have inherent incentives to use telehealth to improve population health. Additionally, new policies/waivers have given ACO providers greater flexibility to use telehealth.
How will the removal of the Origination Site Requirement impact telehealth use?
Using data from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), our team is performing pre-post analysis to evaluate the impact of a BCBSM telehealth reimbursement policy change that allowed patients to conduct video visits from their home.
How are specialists using telehealth?
Using national Medicare and commercial payer claims, our team is conducting a line of research evaluating how telehealth impacts access to medical and surgical specialty care for underserved populations, including rural and low-income patients.
Does the use of telehealth in outpatient clinics lead to cost savings?
Using a novel methodology to calculate the cost of labor resources, we are determining the optimal way that video visits can be integrated into surgical clinics.
What barriers do providers face when implementing video visits?
In conjunction with the Michigan Medicine health system, we recently conducted a mixed-methods study including a survey sent to 500 providers to unlock the barriers faced by providers in their attempts to scale the use of video visits in their practice.