Will telehealth impact diabetes care for Medicare patients?

How do you care for a chronic disease when visiting a doctor in person could be risky or not an option  at all due to the COVID-19 pandemic? That’s a concern for many people living with diabetes now.

Researchers at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), Ochsner Health System and Pennington Biomedical Research Center are studying how telehealth practices are being adopted and implemented during the pandemic for patients with diabetes on Medicare.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) awarded the team $421,629 as an enhancement to an existing grant awarded in 2016. That grant was designed as a series of natural experiments to evaluate targeted health policies to prevent diabetes and its complications.

Louisiana has among the of highest prevalence diabetes, hypertension and other chronic conditions in the U.S. These same conditions increase patients’ risk for severe COVID-19 illness and death.

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