The pandemic is unleashing an overnight revolution in how we access health care, with care delivery shifting from medical offices to virtual solutions.
Without careful attention, these changes in how we access care may leave people and communities behind who faced barriers accessing care even before the pandemic.
Why Improving Access Through Virtual Care is a Priority
With a focus on improving implementation of virtual care to increase access to care, we will achieve our goals that people can get the personalized care they need, when and how they need it and people experience a health care system that is understandable and easy to navigate.
A well-designed approach to virtual care has the potential to break down long-standing barriers to health care access. Yet without deliberate effort and careful attention to people-centered approaches and solutions, a rapid move to virtual care could worsen gaps, making care more convenient for those who already had access, while continuing to leave behind those who need it most. These not only lead to worsening health outcomes but also to increased cost across the health care system and for individuals.
At USofCare, we are bringing people, policymakers, providers and entrepreneurs together to build a virtual care system of the future, centered on people’s needs that closes gaps and removes barriers to access. We are providing policymakers with evidence to make informed decisions on how best to use virtual care to close gaps in people’s ability to access care.
Our objective is for virtual care to be used to remove barriers to access for those who faced additional challenges before the pandemic, while also making health care more convenient for those who did not face access challenges. Virtual care is seen not as an outcome, but one strategy to help people — especially those who have been historically marginalized — access the care they need.
Our current initiatives include:
- Listening to, and lifting up, the needs of people to ensure access is improved for all people through the use of virtual care.
- Identifying policy solutions based on the needs of people, including older adults.
- Ensuring that virtual care can provide effective, timely, and quality behavioral health care.