Telemedicine for urban uninsured: Framework and tools for specialty care planning for sustainability

Author: Yelena Hudson, M.D., M.S.

Primary Advisor: Kim Dunn, MD, PhD (co-author)

Committee Members:

Masters thesis, The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Health Information Sciences at Houston.

Abstract

A national approach to medical care for uninsured is for the provision of primary and preventive care through Community Health Centers. Access to specialty care for both Medicaid and uninsured patients is in decline even though specialty care has been shown to be cost-effective and improve outcomes. The consequences could result in further deterioration of the health of the uninsured and underinsured populations and increasing costs born by the insured and safety net providers.    Telemedicine can provide specialty services efficiently if planned with a business model to sustain the program.  This paper outlines a framework to plan and cost-justify telemedicine specialty care for uninsured and marginally insured.