Recommendations to Advance Telehealth during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic

The use of telehealth services has expanded dramatically since the onset of COVID-19, driven by necessity and enabled by emergency changes to the policy landscape. To assess the implications of this broad expansion, the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, Center for Public Health, and FasterCures analyzed recent policy updates and trends related to telehealth and put forward a series of actionable recommendations. This brief discusses recent legislative and regulatory changes and identifies opportunities to scale access to services, foster health equity, and support innovation in the months and years ahead.

To encourage progress in telehealth, the Milken Institute recommends the following:

  1. Permanently lift Medicare location restrictions on telehealth to ensure that older adults can receive a variety of services in their homes and communities, regardless of where they live.

  2. Meet the growing need for behavioral health care by addressing barriers to remote care and expanding the availability of telebehavioral health services.

  3. Increase equitable access to telehealth services through digital technology, literacy programs, and broadband coverage.

  4. Support development and implementation of innovative telehealth and mobile health technology for prevention, well-being, clinical care, and research.

  5. Develop and document clear data sharing standards to support transitions of care across acute, post-acute, and long-term care settings, including care provided in the home and in residential care facilities.

Updated/Published December 7, 2020