This paper describes the consumer perspective on the value of telehealth and the current policy concerns with this avenue of health care delivery. This consumer perspective is provided by AARP’s Public Policy Institute on behalf of older adults and their family caregivers.
As technology progresses and more care is delivered via telephone, video, e-mail, and other telehealth methods, more research will be needed to identify the models of care that provide the highest quality with the most access to consumers. Research has shown that there are types of telehealth that help some older adults with specific chronic needs, although they don’t help all. As more care is provided via telehealth services, there will be more evidence to further demonstrate telehealth’s usefulness and its cost-effectiveness—or lack thereof.
As payers and providers seek to improve long-term, comprehensive care for adults with complex needs in the community, the needs and preferences of older adults and family caregivers should guide the development and integration of home telehealth strategies.