Health Centers’ Journey to Telehealth Adoption

Interactive Breakout

April 16, 2019 | 10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. CDT

Through Health Center Program funding, authorized by Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) supports the delivery of affordable, accessible, comprehensive, and high quality primary care services to the Nation’s high need geographic areas and populations. The nearly 1,400 health centers operate more than 12,000 service delivery sites in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. Nearly 27 million patients, including medically underserved and uninsured patients, received primary health care services through the Health Center Program in 2017.

Annually, health centers report to HRSA on clinical quality metrics through a standardized Uniform Data System (UDS). Questions regarding the use of telehealth were introduced to the UDS in 2016. The number and specificity of questions have since increased, giving a clearer picture of telehealth use. According to 2017 data (the most recent available), 44 percent of health centers reported using telehealth and another 20 percent planned to implement telehealth soon. With the support of HRSA-funded supplements and technical assistance, health centers are increasingly using telehealth and applying these technologies to a more diverse array of services.

This interactive panel will share what is known about health centers’ use of telehealth, including summarizing the findings of the December 2018 Health Affairs article describing factors associated with and barriers to telehealth use. Health centers and Primary Care Associations, who are state and regionally-based health center strategic partners, will provide case examples and successful practices, and identify opportunities that will support health centers’ expanded use of telehealth. Audience questions and dialogue will be encouraged throughout by the panel moderator.


  • Shannon McDevitt, MD, Office of Policy and Program Development Medical Officer, HRSA
  • Ching-Ching Claire Lin, Ph.D, Health Economist, Heath Resources and Services Administration