Medical Care | VOL. 60
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Veterans’ Use of Telehealth for Veterans Health Administration Community Care Urgent Care During the Early COVID-19 Pandemic

Publication Date Sep 20, 2022

Abstract

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has been an option for Veterans receiving urgent care through Veterans Health Administration Community Care (CC). We assessed use, arrangements, Veteran decision-making, and experiences with CC urgent care delivered via telehealth. Convergent parallel mixed methods, combining multivariable regression analyses of claims data with semistructured Veteran interviews. Veterans residing in the Western United States and Hawaii, with CC urgent care claims March 1 to September 30, 2020. In comparison to having in-person only visits, having a telehealth-only visit was more likely for Veterans who were non-Hispanic Black, were urban-dwelling, lived further from the clinic used, had a COVID-related visit, and did not require an in-person procedure. Predictors of having both telehealth and in-person (compared with in-person only) visits were other (non-White, non-Black) non-Hispanic race/ethnicity, urban-dwelling status, living further from the clinic used, and having had a COVID-related visit. Care arrangements varied widely; telephone-only care was common. Veteran decisions about using telehealth were driven by limitations in in-person care availability and COVID-related concerns. Veterans receiving care via telehealth generally reported high satisfaction. CC urgent care via telehealth played an important role in providing Veterans with care access early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Use of telehealth differed by Veteran characteristics; lack of in-person care availability was a driver. ...

Concepts

Use Of Telehealth Urgent Care Community Care Convergent Parallel Mixed Methods Early COVID-19 Pandemic Veteran Characteristics Pandemic Progression COVID-19 Pandemic non-Hispanic Black Western United States

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