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Access and Use of Telemedicine During COVID-19

Access and Use of Telemedicine During COVID-19

The Research and Development Survey (RANDS) is a platform designed for conducting survey question evaluation and statistical research. RANDS is an ongoing series of surveys from probability-sampled commercial survey panels used for methodological research at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). RANDS estimates are generated using an experimental approach that differs from the survey design approaches generally used by NCHS, including possible biases from different response patterns and sampling frames as well as increased variability from lower sample sizes. Use of the RANDS platform allows NCHS to produce more timely data than would be possible using traditional data collection methods. RANDS is not designed to replace NCHS’ higher quality, core data collections. Below are experimental estimates of telemedicine access and use for three rounds of RANDS during COVID-19. Data collection for the three rounds of RANDS during COVID-19 occurred between June 9, 2020 and July 6, 2020, August 3, 2020 and August 20, 2020, and May 17, 2021 and June 30, 2021. Information needed to interpret these estimates can be found in the Technical Notes. RANDS during COVID-19 included questions about whether providers offered telemedicine (including video and telephone appointments) in the last 2 months—both during and before the pandemic—and about the use of telemedicine in the last 2 months during the pandemic. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many local and state governments discouraged people from leaving their homes for nonessential reasons. Although health care is considered an essential activity, telemedicine offers an opportunity for care without the potential or perceived risks of leaving the home. The National Health Interview Survey, conducted by NCHS, added telemedicine questions to its sample adult questionnaire in July 2020. The Household Pulse Survey (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/pulse/telemedicine-use.htm), an online survey conducted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by the Census Bureau in partnership with other federal agencies including NCHS, also reports estimates of telemedicine use during the pandemic (beginning in Phase 3.1, which started on April 14, 2021). The Household Pulse Survey reports telemedicine use in the last 4 weeks among adults and among households with at least one child under age 18 years. The experimental estimates on this page are derived from RANDS during COVID-19 and show the percentage of U.S. adults who have a usual place of care and a provider that offered telemedicine in the past 2 months, who used telemedicine in the past 2 months, or who have a usual place of care and a provider that offered telemedicine prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Technical Notes: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/rands/telemedicine.htm#limitations

Columns

NameSocrata field nameColumn name in sgr mountData typeDescription
GroupgroupgroupTextEstimates were reported at the national level (total) and by age group, race and Hispanic origin, sex, education level, urbanization, and selected chronic conditions.
IndicatorindicatorindicatorTextIndicators include 1) provider offers telemedicine, 2) scheduled one or more telemedicine appointments, and 3) provider offered telemedicine prior to pandemic.
SuppressionsuppressionsuppressionTextIdentifies percent and standard error estimates that did not meet NCHS Data Presentation Standards for Proportions
ResponseresponseresponseTextSurvey question response for each indicator
PercentpercentpercentNumberPercent estimate
Standard Errorstandard_errorstandard_errorNumberStandard error estimate
Significant 1significant_1significant_1NumberIndicator for significance testing of difference from Round 1 where a value of 0 indicates the estimates are not statistically significantly different at the 5% significance level and a value of 1 indicates that the estimates are statistically significantly different at the 5% significance level. More information on the statistical test used and the interpretation of the results can be found in the study technical notes (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/rands/telemedicine.htm#limitations). Significance testing is not reported when percent and standard error estimates are suppressed.
SubgroupsubgroupsubgroupTextSubcategories for each group
Sample Sizesample_sizesample_sizeNumberSample size
Significant 2significant_2significant_2NumberIndicator for significance testing of difference from Round 2 where a value of 0 indicates the estimates are not statistically significantly different at the 5% significance level and a value of 1 indicates that the estimates are statistically significantly different at the 5% significance level. More information on the statistical test used and the interpretation of the results can be found in the study technical notes (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/rands/telemedicine.htm#limitations). Significance testing is not reported when percent and standard error estimates are suppressed.
RoundroundroundNumberData collection period; Round 1 occurred June 9, 2020–July 6, 2020, Round 2 occurred August 3, 2020–August 20, 2020, and Round 3 occurred May 17, 2021–June 30, 2021

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