Reimbursement top barrier to telehealth + 6 other things to know: UPMC health IT report

Artificial intelligence, telehealth and patient access are "top of mind" for health systems, according to a new report from the Center for Connected Medicine at Pittsburgh-based UPMC and KLAS Research.

AI will be the most exciting emergency technology in the next two years, while telehealth has seen the greatest progress in the last two and patient access is the problem with the greatest potential to be improved through tech, according to the survey of dozens of health system leaders released Nov. 30.

Here are seven more things to know from the Top of Mind for Top Health Systems 2023 report:

1. Telehealth is the most popular digital tool for improving patient access, followed by patient portals, patient appointment reminders (by text, email, etc.), online bill pay, and online registration.

2. Self-scheduling was named the technology that best services patient needs, while patient portals were voted the most effective technology.

3. Fifty-two percent of organizations are using AI for patient access, with machine learning the most popular use.

4. Sixty-eight percent of leaders said AI is helpful for improving patient access.

5. More than half (51 percent) of organizations use telehealth for 10 percent or less of their appointments.

6. Thirty-nine percent of respondents voted convenience as the top benefit of telehealth, while 22 percent said it was care from certain specialties (telestroke, behavioral health, consult) and 15 percent said it was continuity of care.

7. Twenty-six percent of leaders said reimbursement issues were the biggest barrier to telehealth usage.

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