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Policy Recommendations for Using Telehealth to Manage and Control TB

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Recognizing the potential role that telehealth can play in effectively monitoring TB patients’ daily intake of their medication, PHI’s Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is helping to improve the policy and reimbursement environment for the use of telehealth for the management and control of tuberculosis (TB) and other infectious diseases. Working with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), which implemented a pilot program using asynchronous Video Directly Observed Therapy (VDOT) in five urban and rural counties with a high incidence of TB, CCHP explored potential barriers and opportunities to employing technology to deliver online DOT (eDOT) in treating TB in the state of California and released evidence-based policy recommendations. Read the final brief.

Prior to this project, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had not updated their guidelines regarding DOT or made any inclusion for the use of telehealth in administering it. However as a direct result of this project, the CDC is now creating a toolkit that will incorporate telehealth in the administration of DOT to treat tuberculosis, and launching a New York City-based pilot project to that will look at the efficacy of using telehealth to deliver DOT. In California, the California TB Controllers Association has updated the telehealth DOT guidelines for the State to now incorporate VDOT for the first time. The California Department of Public Health has also approved the guidelines, and they are now publicly available with the joint endorsement of these two entities.

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