OeHI’s Telehealth and Broadband Initiative develops and supports approaches that lead to increased adoption of telehealth, and reliable and affordable broadband access for health organizations and consumers. Telehealth and broadband are key priorities of the Primavera and Polis administration. Colorado has already made significant progress in providing remote access to care through telemedicine. Telehealth is an important avenue to support health care reform and is increasingly seen as an acceptable alternative to many types of in person provider visits. One of OeHI’s Wildly Important Goals, or WIGs, for this year is to increase utilization of telebehavioral health in safety net providers. OeHI is also working to support expansion of telehealth policies and practices based on cost savings, economic impact, and health outcomes.
In Colorado’s rural areas, only 7 in 10 people have access to broadband. OeHI’s goal, in partnership with other state agencies, is to raise rural broadband availability and pave the path to achieve 100 percent access for all of Colorado. Lack of broadband inhibits the utilization of telehealth services in many parts of rural Colorado as well as the uptake of other emerging health IT capabilities. OeHI is working with the state to expand usage of telemedicine and broadband access in order to make health care across the state more affordable and accessible for all.
CHI Releases Three Publications on the Value of Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Response
The Office of eHealth Innovation partnered with the Colorado Health Institute (CHI) to examine the value proposition of telehealth services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and Colorado’s rapid transition to virtual care delivery. CHI developed an analysis plan that utilized key informant interviews and electronic health record data from the Colorado Health Observation Regional Data Service (CHORDS) network to answer key questions related to utilization and access, outcomes and quality, and provider and patient experience.
Their published findings can be found below:
- The Financial Impact on Providers and Payers in Colorado
- Insights From Patient Care Utilization in Colorado
- Insights From Patients in Colorado
Value of Telemedicine through the Eyes of Three Colorado Providers
In collaboration with the Office of eHealth Innovation, the Colorado Health Institute (CHI) examined the impact of utilizing telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of July and August, CHI conducted interviews with both patients and providers at the following community healthcare centers:
CHI documented these conversations and created the following reports to illustrate the value of continuing to promote telehealth efforts across the state of Colorado. These reports dive into the incredible use of telemedicine at these clinics during COVID-19, challenges faced, sustainability, and the path forward. CHI's provider profiles are now published and available using the links below:
OeHI’s Telemedicine Projects
In support of Medicaid providers throughout the state, OeHI, in partnership with Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO) and Quality Health Network (QHN), has funded 34 projects to support infrastructure and technology to expand telemedicine capabilities, totaling $2 million.
These projects focus on:
- Narrowing the digital divide between rural and urban providers
- Mental and physical health providers
- Advancing health equity to vulnerable populations
OeHI is working with project participants to identify the barriers to telemedicine, provide insight for key partners such as Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), and help solidify the new normal of virtual care.
Find a full list of our active telemedicine projects here.