September 11, 2023
Slate recently published an article co-authored by Gordon Burtch, Associate Professor in Information Systems, and Meizi Zhou, Assistant Professor of Information Systems, discussing how technology can improve rural health care access with the possibility of long-term consequences.
With 60 million Americans occupying rural areas that tend to be older and in poorer health, versus those in urban areas, rural areas also face more challenges accessing health care. Policymakers and medical organizations are pushing for telehealth expansions with the idea that telehealth will benefit healthcare access.
Burtch and Zhou add that, “Rural hospitals and providers lose an average of 4.6 percent and 5.6 percent in revenue and payments, respectively.”
Ultimately, a constructive debate is needed among policymakers, health care providers, insurers, and patient advocates on the best way to grasp telehealth technologies in a way that is supportive of rural and urban health care in a sustainable manner.