Telehealth: Assessing Services in Kaiser Permanente (TASK)

Grant Details

Title: Telehealth: Assessing Services in Kaiser Permanente (TASK)

Funder: Kaiser Permanente Research

Grant Number: KPR-HPHQ-2021-01

Grant Period: 07/01/2021 – 12/31/2022

Brief Narrative: There is considerable optimism that telehealth –especially telephone and video-based visits –can transform care delivery within Kaiser Permanente (KP) and across the United States. Mental Health and Wellness (MHW) is the service line with the greatest potential to realize the benefits of expanding telehealth and transfer learning across service lines and regions. This mixed-methods project will study the quality, efficiency, and value of MHW services in six KP regions using generalized estimating equations, predictive analytics, and semi-structured interviews with members, clinicians, and administrators. The work will advance KP’s national telehealth strategy and inform capital and operational investments by improving our understanding of clinical, technical, and legal barriers and facilitators to telehealth as well as by furthering our ability to measure telehealth encounters and the relationship between telehealth and face-to-face care.

  • Lead sites:
    • KPNW (Administrative lead site, Co-PI Greg Clarke)
    • KPWA (Scientific lead site, Co-PI Robert Penfold)
  • Participating sites
    • KPCO (Site PI Jennifer Boggs)
    • KPGA (co-Site PIs Teaniese Davis& Courtney McCracken)
    • KPHI (Site PI Yihe Daida)
    • KPSC (Site PI Corinna Koebnick)

Awarded budget (total cost): $998,145

Personnel Contact List

Human Subjects: NO. All participating sites’ IRBs made a determination of quality improvement.

Current Status

Analyses are ongoing. We are evaluating:

  1. Changes in depression treatment outcomes and follow-up care with the switch to virtual care
  2. Assessing the clinical content of unscheduled telephone visits and developing measures to differentiate meaningful clinical content at these visits.
  3. Interviewing clinicians and members about their experiences
  4. Developing an updated predicting model for “no-shows” in the new (mostly) virtual environment in specialty mental health care.

Summary of findings

Interim findings suggest that positive outcomes for depression treatment were not substantially reduced by the move to virtual care. Some differences in follow-up PHQ9 administration were observed by race/ethnicity.

Qualitatively, most KP members are happy (or happier) with virtual care because of its convenience. They report only minor differences in interacting with their providers. Moderate irritation with technical issues is pervasive.


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