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Rural Health Information Hub

Telehealth Models to Improve Care Delivery

Many rural programs have implemented or expanded telehealth programs to improve care delivery and increase access to healthcare services in their communities. Models to improve care delivery often address common barriers to healthcare access in rural communities, such as distance and transportation, stigma of health issues such as mental health or substance use disorders, and workforce shortages such as limited numbers of specialty care providers. Telehealth can be used to reach patients in their homes, addressing barriers such as distance and transportation. Technology can also be used to increase access to services that are otherwise unavailable because of physician shortages in rural communities — particularly specialty care providers and pharmacists.

This toolkit describes telehealth models for improving rural care delivery: