“Approximately one in four Americans have a disability, and Americans with disabilities can benefit from telehealth use as much as, if not more than, the general population,” a CHRT study reports. Telehealth can increase access to care, help health systems reduce long term costs, and promote consumer independence.
People with disabilities are more likely to seek care from a physician and be admitted to a hospital than people without disabilities. People with disabilities are also more likely to experience challenges with telehealth barriers, such as internet access, and ability to afford technology needed to access telehealth.
Other challenges also exist for people with disabilities; for example, video communication platforms may be challenging for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, blind, or intellectually or developmentally disabled.
Therefore, people with disabilities are a critical population to consider when determining telehealth policy. In this brief, CHRT provides policy recommendations to improve telehealth for people with disabilities.