Achieving Equity in Telehealth: “Centering at the Margins” in Access, Provision, and Reimbursement

Andrea Westby, Tanner Nissly, Rebecca Gieseker, Kaleigh Timmins, Kathryn Justesen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic has led to rapid transformation of health care delivery and access with increased provision of telehealth services despite previously identified barriers and limitations to this care. While telehealth was initially envisioned to increase equitable access to care for under-resourced populations, the way in which telehealth provision is designed and implemented may result in worsening disparities if not thoughtfully done. This commentary seeks to demonstrate the opportunities for telehealth equity based on past research, recent developments, and a recent patient experience case example highlighting benefits of telehealth care in underserved patient populations. Recommendations to improve equity in telehealth provision include improved virtual visit technology with a focus on patient ease of use, strategies to increase access to video visit equipment, universal broadband wireless, and inclusion of telephone visits in CMS reimbursement criteria for telehealth. ( J Am Board Fam Med 2021;34:S29-S32.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S29-S32
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue numberSupplement
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Board of Family Medicine. All rights reserved.


  • Access to health care
  • Centers for medicare and medicaid services
  • Covid-19
  • Medically underserved area
  • Telemedicine

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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