Abstract

Telemedicine or the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications, is a phenomenon that is growing in popularity. This usage growth has been steady over the last decade but has accelerated due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The pandemic led the US Congress to relax telemedicine regulations heavily, thus allowing for the rapid expansion of telemedicine use. As such, telemedicine healthcare will remain a permanent and integral part of the medical care system. We are interested in studying the following research question: “How does telemedicine impact medication adherence amongst chronic patients enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare?” Prior research has examined the impact telemedicine usage has on chronic conditions; however, specified health outcomes (such as medication adherence) for chronic patients have not been as widely studied. Chronic patients are an optimal population to study due to their need for a higher frequency of visits and a more significant number of prescribed maintenance medications. We aim to examine the mediation role that frequency of communication plays on the health outcome of medication adherence. The population of interest is Medicaid and Medicare-eligible patients. Our interest in this population is because of the unique need that this population has regarding their health. Not only is this population more vulnerable to chronic conditions and have a reported lower medication adherence (Lochner, 2013), but they also have lesser access to healthcare services. These factors help contribute to the prime opportunity for evaluation of usage. We propose to analyze the effect of telehealth adoption on medication adherence by using a panel model with a time-based fixed effect, as seen in Figure 1. We have not received the data from our source yet and are excited to expand this method at a later date. We are still in the data-gathering stage, and we propose a TREO talk to discuss other mediating variables for our research model besides frequency of communication with providers, how to explore Telemedicine within the Information Systems discipline, and other factors to consider as we further develop this research idea.

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