Covid-19 and telehealth operations in texas primary care clinics: Disparities in medically underserved area clinics

Omolola Adepoju, Winston Liaw, Minji Chae, Chinedum Ojinnaka, Erin Britton, Sarah Reves, Rebecca Etz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the landscape of health care delivery, prompting a rapid, widespread adoption of telehealth in primary care practices. Using a pooled sample of 1,344 primary care clinics in Texas, we examined the adoption of telehealth in Texas during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, by comparing medically underserved area (MUA) clinics and non-medically underserved area (non-MUA) clinics. Our analysis suggests that compared with MUA clinics, clinics in non-MUAs were more likely to conduct a majority of their visits via telehealth before May 1st, 2020. However, later surveys indicated that differences in telehealth use between MUA and non-MUA clinics lessened, suggesting that some of the barriers that MUA clinics initially faced might have resolved over time. This research provides an additional perspective in discussions about telehealth adoption on a widespread, permanent basis in Texas and the U.S.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)948-957
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Delivery of health care
  • Health care disparities
  • Health services accessibility
  • Health services needs and demands
  • Medically Underserved Areas
  • Primary health care
  • Telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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